Huckabee And The War

There are many curious digressions, many incoherences, and some painful writing, as Dan points out:

For too long, we have been constrained because our dependence on imported oil has forced us to support repressive regimes and conduct our foreign policy with one hand tied behind our back. I will free that hand from its oil-soaked rope and reach out to moderates in the Arab and Muslim worlds with both.

But there's also a real pitch here. Huckabee is clearly challenging neoconservatism directly, as Romney instantly grasped. His emphasis on stronger alliances, his refusal to engage in the maximalist terror war rhetoric of Giuliani, his critique of the troop levels in Iraq and the arrogance of the Bush administration: all of it is summed up on one key sentence:

Al Qaeda is a movement that must be destroyed, whereas Iran is a nation that just has to be contained.

Substantively, he offers nothing but incoherent bromides on that last point. But it seems to me an important moment when the Republican front-runner proposes containment of Iran - not regime change. Huckabee sounds closer to Obama and Paul than McCain and Giuliani. If the evangelical right moves back toward a non-interventionist foreign policy, which is where many of its adherents find themselves after Iraq, then the GOP's mosaic shifts again. And neoconservatism's future darkens.