And then the party will face a stark choice. It will be possible that Bush will have been vindicated in Iraq by this spring, so the Democrats will have failed to fail and Iraq will be spreading the word al-Qaeda is the great Satan (the word is getting out now). So will the party turn on its successful leader and a nominee who follows in his successful steps? A moderate candidate at the head of the ticket could entice enough moderates back from the Dems to make a 2008 a surprise year. Which groups actually wields more power in the GOP is an interesting question - one which will be answered in 2008.That said, I wish I felt as confident as he does.
Let's face it, the GOP, at least in Virginia, has listened to the commissar wing of the conservative movement. We have seen Mitt Romney plummet to second in Iowa not due to any fault of his own, but instead on the basis of his religion (to some extent), an appeal that Huckabee is not alone in making.
Not only that, we have heard many of the self-same people who threatened to sit out over a Giuliani nomination get all hot and bothered because folks like me are willing to sit out (at the very least) if Huckabee is selected.
For folks like Alexham at RedState (whose posts I linked to), they are now receiving the very same treatment they gave to someone who was actually going pretty far to emphasize common ground and who was NOT out to pick a fight with them.
Would I go so far as Ace of Spades and vote for the Dem if Huckabee is the nominee? Dan Riehl makes some points that I can't disagree with, particularly given the fact that Huckabee would have trumped Romney's superior resume by making an issue of his religion. And that is dangerous on several levels. Government caused enough problems trying to rectify perceived economic wrongs (Microsoft case, the Great Society, and so on). Huckabee seeks to use the government to rectify perceived cultural wrongs (which is why I suspect Jim Gilchrist gave Huckabee his endorsement). At least Republicans would fight Hillary.
And to look at the Democratic candidates, I see Obama as someone who is as much a lightweight as Huckabee, albeit he is one who hasn't really played as dirty. He also seems like the type of person who will give you a fair hearing. He'd do his best, but he would be in way over his head. If he had run for governor in 2010, and gone for the Dem nod in 2016, he'd be an unstoppable juggernaut. Hillary is calculating enough to know that any perceived weakness in the War on Terror combined with a terrorist attack will doom the Democrats for a generation, and so she won't take chances there. John Edwards is perhaps the scariest, if only because he has out-and-out pandered to the 9/11 Truthers.
I'm not a Fred Thompson person, but his character in Hunt for Red October had a great line that describes the GOP's situation: "This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it."