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The Problem With The Coming Attacks On Huckabee

Both the New York Times and Washington Post have stories out today foreshadowing the coming attacks on Mike Huckabee. Clearly, one prominent line of attack will be that Huckabee is basically a pro-life liberal--liberal on taxes, immigration, government-spending, etc. (Mitt Romney greenlighted this claim at last Wednesday's debate.)

It may be an effective critique, but there's at least one big problem with it: Republicans have spent much of the last generation arguing that social issues in general, and abortion in particular, are pretty close to a litmus test for whether or not you're a conservative. (Try to tell a loyal Republican that there are pro-life, religious Democrats, and he or she will tell you those Democrats are a fraud.)  

Given that we've all been conditioned to assume the opposite, it's going to be tricky to argue that a gun-shooting former preacher who opposes abortion and gay marriage is a liberal, however much truth there might be in that statement.  

--Noam Scheiber