On the Republican side, there are two worlds, or perhaps three, colliding, and when worlds collide, destruction ensues. Washington media types still have their man-crush on Sen. John McCain, who coddles the horrendous Joe Lieberman. The establishment wants Romney uber alles. The voters, at least in Iowa, voted for Huckabee. The result - which should have been predicted - is the kind of frothing howls of rage that one usually sees reserved for Bill Clinton. Perhaps the fact that Huckabee is kind of the anti-Clinton is part of it, but I think most of the lefty blogs commenting on the phenomenon of all the Hucka-hatred get it right. He is the perfect distillation of the past quarter century of Republican politics, but outside the control of the money folks and Washington-based party establishment. Therefore, he is a threat.
Huckabee's rhetoric is often described as "populist". Actually, it is the kind of thing one often heard from McCarthy-supporters back in the fifties. These are the petit bourgeoisie, never completely secure in their socio-economic status, threatened by government over-regulation on the one hand, and a society that seems to dismiss their contributions on the other. They are, to use an over-used term in our current political climate, proto-fascists. They are the same class that supported Mussolini in Italy, Hitler in Germany, and, make them ultra-montane Catholics rather than fundamentalist Protestants, Franco in Spain. Populism is a left-wing phenomenon; the kind of economic and social policy supported by Huckabee is based in resentment and fear, rather than a desire for social improvement.
If Huckabee does well in New Hampshire (it is a sign of Republican fear that there are indications McCain might get support from establishment types, should Romney seriously falter and Huckabee seriously surge there), I think the Republican slow-motion train wreck only speeds up.
It's popcorn time, folks.