Talk Radio

08.09.12

If You're Not Angry, You're a RINO!

huckabee-radio
Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee speaks to supporters at a Super Tuesday watch party on February 5, 2007, at the Clear Channel Metroplex in Little Rock, Arkansas. Besides (Rick Gershon/Getty Images)

Ben Adler takes a look at Mike Huckabee's new radio show in The Nation. Two things stand out. First, that Huckabee has more class and manners than many other talk radio hosts:

I met with Huckabee for an interview at the hotel where he stays regularly in New York, just down the street from the Fox studio. (His granting an interview to The Nation illustrates his willingness to engage. By contrast, popular conservative radio host Mark Levin responded to an e-mail query for this article by writing, “I despise the Nation. Don’t waste my time.”)

Secondly, that Mike Huckabee's good manners and reasonable attitude make him a pariah in the eyes of other conservatives:

Ironically, some right-wingers make the same mistake as the mainstream journalists they revile by confusing Huckabee’s demeanor with his policy stances. “Huckabee tanking against Limbaugh. Why? People don’t want kinder, gentler - want stronger, tougher,” tweeted Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the American Family Association and host of a radio show on its network. Fischer linked to an article in The American Spectator that gleefully celebrated Huckabee’s supposed humbling at Limbaugh’s hands. The author, Jeffrey Lord, derided Huckabee as a moderate and his show “RINO [Republican In Name Only] Radio.”

For some, the best indicator of your conservative values is how loudly you shout and how much you scream. Huckabee's situation is actually very similar to a problem Jon Huntsman faced when he ran for president. Substantively, Huntsman was a very conservative governor but because he did stoop to name-calling and radical accusations, he never caught fire with the conservative base.