Jon Huntsman may be in the wrong party. At the GOP CPAC panel convened in Florida this month he said in part:
I believe in science – including as it relates to evolution and climate change. I believe in civil unions, though I also support traditional marriage. I believe immigration is a human as well as an economic issue, and that children of illegal immigrants shouldn’t be punished for the sins of their parents. …
This is consistent with other remarks Huntsman has made. And what has he gotten for this refreshing embrace of reality? In a recent CNN poll of likely Republican Primary voters (.pdf), Huntsman came in at 1%, dead last, and was beaten by three to one or more by Someone Else and No One.
Mr. Huntsman’s head is in the right place, but where does he go from there? We can assume being a Mormon he’s not onboad with turning America into a Dominionist theocracy. If we take away the hatred of science, gay rights, and immigration, if he so much as hints at the facts of recent history unambigeously demonstrating that tax cuts for the rich and deregulation have failed to improve the budget deficit and the economy, and if we even remove needless show wars, what exactly is left that falls under the conservative umbrella these days? Outside of Obama bashing and a few related splinter conspiracy claims pitched by grifters and lunatics, that’s pretty much it. Which is why it’s so hard to see how Huntsman — and by proxy science and general sanity — wins, places, or shows in any race or primary among Republican voters.