Monday, January 28, 2008

Of Huckabee and Aquinas: Why Huck is not yet a Thomist (or our president)

Last year on this date, Michael Huckabee announced his quixotic quest to become president of these United States. Also on this date, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Thomas Aquinas, perhaps the greatest intellect and theological writer the world has ever known. Still, being a Baptist, it is unlikely that Mike knew much about "The Angelic Doctor" or even less likely he attached any Thomist significance to announcing his intentions on this date. And, as his candidacy appears to be coming full circle, from the low single-digit poll numbers of the summer to the great triumph of Iowa to his current 4th place ranking (if polls are to be trusted) in Florida, perhaps this is the one area in which Huckabee was lacking, the one fact that may send him packing. There was not enough Catholic intellectual support for Huckabee to discover who Aquinas was, not enough Catholic votes to put this very catholic candidate over the top.

True, it is NOT over, and as not just a Catholic Thomist, but a Notre Dame Fighting Irish Thomas, I will never concede his candidacy (and never stop leading prayers for it) until the last delegate is counted. But for Huckabee to have discovered the difference between Aquinas and Aquarius, Mike would have needed the support not only of the saintly Bobby Schindlers, but the business savvy Tom Monoghans, not just the clever Fighting Irish Thomases, but the cloutish Catholic Exchanges, not just the Christian Duncan Hunters, but the Catholic Sam Brownbacks.

We have made progress. We have seen the Baptist recite Chesterton, but we have not gotten Huckabee to study Aquinas. True, Aquinas is a little harder to grasp than the ever-quotable G.K., but the main reason we have not gotten Michael to embrace Thomas is because not enough Catholic big shots have embraced him. So, the lesson for these Catholics who did not support Huck is this; trust the Pope and Magisterium a little more, and the mainstream Catholic politicians and media moguls a little less.


Jeff Miller said...

I have thought that Mike Huckabee would greatly benefit not only from Aquinas, but natural law theory (though Thomas was a great teacher on this.)

He could have deepened his appeal if he would have been able to be eloquent using natural law arguments instead of making his arguments scripture based. This ended up using largely Evangelical language and making him look like he was using identity politics.

Tom O'Toole said...

Jeff, All true enough, but still not reason enough not to vote for him. Catholic Online's (a little late) endorsement of Huck is much closer to the Mark. (Yes, pun intended.)

Keep up the good fight!


Jeff Miller said...

Well I did vote for him yesterday in the Florida Primary because he is a true social conservative especially on issues of life. But I voted for him knowing that he is not going anywhere unless John McCain gets the nomination and chooses him as VP - though Republicans hardly ever choose a VP from somebody that ran for president in the current cycle.