More on Huntsman

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on February 1, 2011

Politico’s Arena decided to have a debate over the Huntsman candidacy. My initial contribution can be found here. Christine Pelosi, daughter of the former Speaker, decided to try to get cute. I personally believe that she got a little too cute for her own good.

Unfortunately for Jon Huntsman, his problems are not restricted to the Pelosis of the world. The Purgiest Purge in the History of Purgedom (phrase inspired by Mary Katherine Ham) is beginning anew on the Right. Thus, we have this. I didn’t know that Republicans are now supposed to be upset that Republicans are calling for tax cuts, but apparently, there was a memo to that effect, and I missed it. One wonders whether the authors of that memo know that extending the Bush tax cuts–which I was for–costs $900 billion in the short term. Obviously, those of us who advocated extending the tax cuts did so because we believe that it is important to get the economy rocketing back to life again, and because we believe that it will be easier to collect revenue when the economy is growing. But there is no denying that there is a short term cost to the government having to give up that revenue, even as we believe that it would do the economy good to have the tax cuts extended, and that people should be able to keep more of their money as a general matter of principle. Tax cuts are stimulus. They are not even remotely the kind of stimulus that the Obama Administration fought for in 2009, and they are not the kind of stimulus that was enacted. And Huntsman’s quote makes clear–the Hot Air commentary notwithstanding–that he was calling for a significantly different brand of stimulus than the one that the Obama Administration pushed for. But the Purgiest Purge in the History of Purgedom is not interested in making such distinctions.

Huntsman’s other perceived sin is his statement that politics works in cycles, and that eventually, a cycle may work against the Tea Party. The statement is so obvious as to be banal–fortunes go up and down in politics–but it is being treated as blasphemy of sorts. The mind reels; there is no doubt that the Tea Party has done much to revive the fortunes of the center-right, but there is also no doubt that it has done much to sabotage those fortunes as well (see Angle, Sharron and O’Donnell, Christine). One may argue that the good outweighs the bad, but one cannot argue with a straight face that the Tea Party will remain ascendant from now until The End Of Time. But apparently, by not arguing that the Tea Party will remain ascendant from now until The End Of Time, Jon Huntsman has shown himself to be an unworthy potential President.

The Politico article linked to in the Hot Air post also informs us of the following supposed Bad Thing About Jon Huntsman:

On winning the ‘intelligentsia’: We’ve drifted a little bit from intellectual honesty in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt, for example, where they would use rigorous science to back up many of their policies, and in this case many of their environmental policies. Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency. We declared the war on cancer.

A lot of intellectual rigor went into the policies of those days, and we’ve drifted a little bit from taking seriously the importance of science to buttress much of what we’re doing today.

Are people really targeting Huntsman for defeat because they are upset that he said “being smart is a good thing, and we need to get smarter”? If so, what are those people doing in positions that might help determine our country’s destiny?

I don’t have any illusions. I will either support Mitch Daniels, or Huntsman, knowing full well that whomever I choose will likely not get the nomination. Instead, we will likely witness anew the ability of the Republican party to throw away its prospects for an electoral victory with both hands. I hope that I am wrong about all of this, but I expect that there is a greater chance that the GOP will nominate a Palin-Bachmann ticket to take on Barack Obama and Joe Biden in the fall of 2012, and that the resulting calamity for the GOP will make Adlai Stevension, Barry Goldwater, George McGovern, and Walter Mondale look like Electoral Titans.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J4MZP4EDBJFQMFMLRWPPYZDXBE Pat

    Anybody who would work for Obama in any capacity is not fit to run against him as the GOP candidate. Palin has been demonized by the Left (including the media) ever since McCain picked her. They have thrown everything they have at her, her children, and her husband. Unlike lesser souls, e.g. Gingrich, she has stood firm and fought back with grace, wit and class. They have nothing left to throw at her. That won’t be the case with any other GOP contender.

    She isn’t polling well at the moment, but then Reagan wasn’t either, at this stage of the 1980 election. She has nowhere to go but up; Obama is still going down.

    By 2012, gas will be in $5 range, unemployment will still be around 10%, Obamacare will be starting to kick-in in the worst way possible — employers bailing of employer sponsored health insurance without the government run alternatives in place — and the Middle East will be a disaster zone. Iran will have nukes and most of our former Arab allies will have fallen to Al Qaeda’s civilian wing, the Muslim Brotherhood.

    We know from SOTU that Obama doesn’t have a clue on how to turn the economy around, so that’s not going to happen. Palin got it exactly right; SOTU was full of WTF moments. Despite the disastrous example of Spain, Obama is still pushing uneconomic green solutions while destroying domestic energy production – coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power. Palin has been strong on domestic energy production as a national security issue from day one. With the Middle east blowing up, who looks smarter?

    Even John Hinderaker at Powerline thought her response to the SOTU was the best.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/01/028219.php

    Her FB demolition of Obama on Healthcare Reform was pretty good, too.

    http://www.facebook.com/notes/sarah-palin/lies-damned-lies-obamacare-6-months-later-its-time-to-take-back-the-20/433315368434

    I’m not seeing anyone else out there taking the fight to Obama like she is. Romney? Huckabee? Huntsman? Gingrich? Daniels? Pawlenty? Thune?

    The one politician who is seen as the anti-Obama is Palin. As his failures become even more obvious, she is the one who will reap the political reward, one way or another.

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      Yeah, God forbid any Republicans serve the country while a Democrat is President. They might get policy cooties.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J4MZP4EDBJFQMFMLRWPPYZDXBE Pat

        It depends on the Democrat. This particular one is a nasty mix of hard-left ideology, arrogance and sheer incompetence. Senator Gregg soon figured him out and backed away as fast as he could. A Clinton or a JFK would attract bi-partisan support.

        • Demosthenes

          Isn’t there a difference between being appointed to a Cabinet post, where one is a representative of the administration’s policies directly…and being appointed to an ambassadorship, where one is a representative of the country?

          Having said that — Pej, we’re talking about a guy who did support the stimulus (albeit with reservations) and did support cap-and-trade. Are those not some serious misjudgments on his part?

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            Whether one is a Cabinet member, or an ambassador, one represents the country. As for Huntsman on the stimulus, he wanted more tax cuts. On cap-and-trade, I disagree with him, but the only President I would agree with fully is President Yousefzadeh.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/4SZNTV3MEY2RHUML7TOB7J52SQ John

    I used to think that you were anything but an an establishment elitist, Pej, but I see now that that’s precisely what you are, and candidates of that stripe cannot beat Barack Obama. That said, Palin can’t win a general election against Barack Obama, but neither can Huntsman. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t know as much about American politics as they think they do.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/4SZNTV3MEY2RHUML7TOB7J52SQ John

    I used to think that you were anything but an an establishment elitist, Pej, but I see now that that’s precisely what you are, and candidates of that stripe cannot beat Barack Obama. That said, Palin can’t win a general election against Barack Obama, but neither can Huntsman. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t know as much about American politics as they think they do.

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      “Establishment elitist”! Bring me my smelling salts!

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/4SZNTV3MEY2RHUML7TOB7J52SQ John

        Joke all you like, but I know you know it’s true. You’re just like a coastal liberal, except all your ideas don’t suck. You think you’re a better person than, say, Palin, for example, simply by virtue of how many degrees you have. Of course, it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that you’re among what the Instapundit labels, “credentialed, not educated.”

        • Pejman Yousefzadeh

          Well, in my defense, I am educated enough to know the difference between disagreements (which I have no problem with), and insults (which I don’t have to tolerate). Your comment fell in the latter category, and indicates that beyond insults, you have nothing of value to share. Perhaps “not credentialed, and not educated” describes you best. In any event, bye.

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