J.G., Mike Huckabee, I think, is confused as to his audience if he is indeed pursuing the presidency in 2012 and not book sales and TV ratings. Certainly, a conservative can raise her profile, get on the short list for a New York Times column, up her bookings on MSM outlets, and get plaudits from the Left blogosphere by bashing conservatives, especially social conservatives. And to stay in the news she’ll have to become increasingly insulting, bigoted and outlandish. But that isn’t going to get the support or the respect of fellow Republicans. (Eventually liberals will tire of the act too, but that’s another issue.)
Similarly, Huckabee’s bashing of Republican opponents will get noticed by the MSM in their obligatory “Republican Food Fight!” columns. But once again, it doesn’t gain points with or much interest the GOP base. Republicans are mad at the people (e.g. President Bush, Congressional Republicans, McCain staffers) who, they believe, led their party over a cliff. But I sense no desire to eviscerate future leaders, especially ones who are contributing to the current debate on substantives issues, as Mitt Romney is.
Huckabee is a savvy enough fellow to know this. So perhaps his sights are set on book sales and ratings rather than a political future. If that’s the case, he’s doing a splendid job of self-promotion–and proving once again why that was always his strong suit.