477141989_046cc44d94_m.jpgI don’t know about anyone else, but to say I’m loving watching the Village Republicans panic over Huckabee is a huge freaking understatement. Krauthammer and Nooner have already weighed in. Now George Will and Novakula join in the fun today.

First, they both weirdly compare Huck to Nixon.

Sez Will:

On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee’s role in the ’70s Show involves blending Jimmy Carter’s ostentatious piety with Nixon’s knack for oblique nastiness.

Sez Novakula:

Huckabee can come across as either a Reagan or a Nixon.

Come on, guys. You write for the same damn paper. You could’ve at least staggered your "Huck as Slippery Dick" takes a few days apart, for maximum effect.

Anyway, Novakula wants us all to know that the Southern Baptists really don’t like Huckabee, and that he’s not really, deep down, a conservative.

More than personality explains why not all his Baptist brethren have signed on the dotted line for Huckabee. He did not join the "conservative resurgence" that successfully rebelled against liberals in the Southern Baptist Convention a generation ago.

Translation: Even though Huck was working Reagan campaign events in 1980 he was too liberal for the SBC, which probably means he let it slip in a moment of weakness that he thought emancipation might not be such a bad idea.

Novak’s whole point seems to be that, because one Judge Paul Presser, an SBC leader, has endorsed Fred Thompson, that itself means Southern Baptists don’t support Huckabee, and therefore, neither will evangelicals.

Pressler told me: "I would never do anything to hurt him." But he did not go so far as endorsing Huckabee for president, and that sends a strong message to conservative evangelicals.

That is some weak-ass tea, Novakula. Talk about wishful thinking.

Cue Will:

‘Don’t Mormons,’ he [Huckabee] asked in an innocent voice, ‘believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?’ " Imagine someone asking "in an innocent voice" this: "Don’t Jews use the blood of gentile children to make matzoh for Passover?"

Wow, over the top. What Huckabee did was float a theologically correct though embarrassing aspect of the Mormon Church in mixed company. It was akin to saying, "Don’t Catholics eat Jesus’ body?" or "Don’t Orthodox Jews pray, ‘Thank God I’m not a woman’?" It’s a smear that plays to evangelical bigotry, yes. But to compare that to dealing in medieval anti-Semitic cannibalistic myths? Yikes.

Will continues:

Huckabee’s campaign actually is what Rudy Giuliani’s candidacy is misdescribed as being — a comprehensive apostasy against core Republican beliefs.

Er, that would be true, George, if this were 1976. But Huck is a perfect, top-of-the-line, George W. Bush Republican, the guy you endorsed in 2000 and 2004. And your party has won elections precisely because of people like Huck for the past 27 years.

Don’t you think it’s a little rude to pretend you don’t know them, now that they’re embarrassing you at the country club?