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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Huckabee and “Baptist Liberals”

Adding his own rock to the establishment conservative assault on Huckabee, Robert Novak did a column today disclosing that the Rev. Mike has lost some Southern Baptist endorsements because he backed–or at least didn’t oppose–the “liberal” side in the fights for control of the denomination back in the 1970s and 1980s.
Maybe some Baptists do resent that Huckabee wasn’t a foot soldier in the takeover of the SBC by those favoring a centralized drive for dogmatic purity and right-wing political engagement. But calling their opponents “liberals” is highly misleading, sort of like talking about conservative Unitarians based on some intra-denominational fight. Some opponents of the takeover were simply defending Baptist traditions of state convention and congregational autonomy, and hardly any of them could be described as “liberals” in any theological, much less political, sense. So tarring (or from a more progressive perspective, crediting) Huckabee with the L-word in this context is ridiculous, and I suspect the Prince of Darkness is smart enough to know that.

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