Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee got the biggest laugh of the GOP debate, no contest, with a joke about Republican spending: "We've had Congress that's spent money like Edwards at a beauty shop." The Fox moderators actually had to wait out the crushing waves of applause from the audience before asking their next question. So today John Derbyshire, nobody's liberal, says Huckabee went over the line.
I never thought I'd be tempted to use the word "mean-spirited," but I am here. This is Coulter territory, Mike — it's marked out, like a minefield. Stay away.
It was a hell of a departure for Huckabee, whose distinguishing characteristic in the campaign thus far was a Muppet-esque likeability and softness. And it's a little ironic because the only reason Huckabee is a minor national figure—why he's in the race and not some other recent Southern governor with the latest Roget's Big Book o' Country Homilies—is that he famously lost more than a hundred pounds. Huckabee's got as much or more mileage from the media focus on politicians' looks than the Dorian Gray of North Carolina.