We love the lovable underdog. We were a huge underdog against the British in the Revolutionary War. We were not even a fully formed country and we beat the greatest power of the day. And ever since, we have related to scrappy, up from the bootstraps guy who takes on the big bad foe and actually wins.
Our love of the likely loser is the reason we cheer for "Rocky," "Rudy," and "The Karate Kid." It's the reason we have a cartoon character actually named "Underdog."
And our love of the underdog is on display right now in Iowa, where the national press is swooning over Mike Huckabee.
Every time I read about Mike Huckabee in the press, the stories seem breathless with exclamation points. He lost 100 pounds! He plays the electric guitar! He cares about the poor! He's from that town called Hope! He has a funny commercial with Chuck Norris! He's self-deprecating!
The media, and it is indeed filled with Democrats, has jumped at the chance to show that they love the Baptist minister candidate. It's as if the national media are shouting out to conservatives, "See? We don't think all of you are crazy. We found one of you that's funny and non-threatening, and we can say nice things, as long as he really has no chance to win."
But the media's kindness has allowed Huckabee to climb in the polls. In Iowa, Huckabee's barely spent any money, and he's polling way ahead of the Clubber Lang of the race, Rudy Giuliani, and he has nearly caught the Goliath, Mitt Romney.
But while we're all going Huckabee nuts, it would be wise to keep our heads and remember that Mike Huckabee is not, as George Will describes him, "cuddly."
Here are Mr. Huckabee's own stated views:
Energy independence within 10 years. Now, you tell me how that's going to happen, because Cuddly Mike certainly hasn't said how it'll work. The only way we can be energy independent in 10 years is if we stopping using energy. Completely.
Evolution - A Theory. Mr. Huckabee does not believe in science. He does not believe that we have evolved over time. He believes we were created, rather recently, by the Creator. Now, I know science is complicated - I myself was a horrible student in biology, chemistry, you name it. But I also know enough to know that evolution is not a theory. When people dismiss science, they truly frighten me.
Federal Sales Tax. Mr. Huckabee suggests a sales tax on everything, which may mean a tax of up to 30% on all purchases. He also proposes rebate checks to people who need them. Try to imagine the bureaucracy created by figuring out who gets a monthly check. Try to imagine a 30% tax on your trip to the market, or in the case of the HuffPo reader, a 30% tax on that J. Crew sweater.
Foreign Relations. Good luck with this one - I have no idea where Cuddly stands on any of the foreign policy issues of the day. I believe he's waiting for some Divine Intervention on Iraq, Iran and Pakistan.
Constitutional Amendment Banning Abortion. Mike said he would "absolutely" support this.
Ethics. I swear this is true: in his first campaign for Senate, as reported by Salon, Mike used campaign funds to pay his media consultant. No big deal, of course, every campaign has a media consultant. Do you know the name of Mike Huckabee's media consultant? Mike Huckabee. Yes, he paid himself. That's a new one for me.
The good news is that Cuddly Mike is not going to be elected President of the United States. The bad news is, he is looking more and more like a running mate for either Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney. When that day comes, I hope he will no longer be able to fly under the radar, and the talk of writing diet books and playing Steppenwolf songs with his band will subside.
I hope the national media will stop, look behind the laughter, and examine his actual views.
Or is an honest look at the record too much to ask from a media that has a crush on Huckabee?