PEG 2.0

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Huntsman Backs Away From GOP "Communist" Jab

Huntsman is turning into exactly the kind of politician I feared he might turn into. Is he running for President of Tom Friedman?

I mean, the “those blogs” remark. Come on. (He accused Zeke Miller of taking his remarks out of context, and it turns out he didn’t. And I’m influenced by the fact that I knew Miller when he worked at Business Insider and I know him as a very talented reporter.)

I supported Huntsman wholeheartedly because he’s smart and competent has a moderate temperament but a conservative record, not because I wanted a Bloomberg Republican.

The weird thing is that the things he’s talking about are horrible populist tropes of the kind that should horrify him, like term limits for legislators (look how that’s worked out for California) and refusing to pay Congress until they balance the budget (WTF? The result wouldn’t be a balanced budget (which is probably not desirable anyway), it would just be a Congress of rich people). Campaign finance reform, well, you can have that argument, but no one’s going to get a hard-on for that one.

As for his fake outrage that he’s getting shut down by the GOP for talking about a Third Party (another stupid idea)…there is a presidential campaign on, Governor. No political party accepts being shat on during a presidential campaign. It’s not because the GOP doesn’t accept the scientific consensus on evolution and global warming.

Don’t get me wrong, I can sympathize with what he’s doing: the Party treated him like shit and if I were in his shoes I’d probably be taking shots too. He shouldn’t be a doormat.

My previous narrative of Huntsman was, basically, a more presidential Mitch Daniels: a man of strong conservative beliefs but ruthlessly competent and with an inclusive temperament. Now I’m starting to get a narrative of him as a guy who was conservative in Utah for the same reason Mitt was a liberal in Massachusetts, which is to get elected. I don’t (yet) get the impression of Huntsman as a guy who has absolutely no core beliefs like Mitt, but but as a guy who tends to default to the core beliefs of his Davos Man milieu.

I wish Huntsman would take Reihan’s advice instead of becoming a talking-head sniper. I even more wish that he wouldn’t become a standard bearer of a new Rockefeller wing, but that he would become a standard bearer of a new Reform Republican wing along Grand New Party lines.

I guess that dream’s never gonna live.