Huntsman, the End-of-Empire Conservative

Yesterday I recorded a bloggingheads episode with the American Conservative’s Michael Brendan Doughterty, who is out with a revealing new profile of Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. Trailing currently in the polls, Huntsman has been portrayed as too moderate for today’s GOP, but Dougherty argues he is actually more conservative on taxes, abortion, and gun rights than many of his rivals. Still, though, Huntsman, as was evidenced in his recent comments about how he trusts science on evolution and global warming, reveals himself to be outside the anti-science ideology that animates candidates like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. What’s more, he seems not to buy the conservative, Gingrich-esque view of American exceptionalism, describing his hawkish critics to Dougherty this way:

They clearly haven’t felt our diminished leverage in the international marketplace because of our weak core here at home. They clearly haven’t read the history about the end of empires where you have a diminution in values, you have a society that becomes bankrupt with debt, and overreaching abroad. It’s the same three or four things that have brought an end to any empire.

While we did discuss Huntsman a good deal, Dougherty’s piece provided an excellent framework for broadening the conversation to the current state of the GOP, dominionism, science denialism, and just how much candidates should be probed about their religion. Watch: