The Huntsman Gambit - Ross Douthat - NYTimes.com
I agree, but with this big caveat: When Paul feuded with Giuliani over foreign policy four years ago, he was separating himself from the pack on an issue that actually mattered, both to the Republican electorate and to the country as a whole. Whereas by casting himself as the candidate of capital-S Science, touting his belief in evolution and global warming, Huntsman is staking out maverick-y positions on issues that matter far more to media-intelligentsia types than to most American voters. Given that this is a recession election, not a culture war election, a candidate trying to successfully brand himself as a “different kind of Republican” would be far better off breaking with conservative orthodoxy on an economic issue — by calling for looser money, maybe, or attacking the totally unpersuasive right-wing conceit that we need to raise taxes on the American working class. Instead, Huntsman is toeing the party line on pocketbook matters, and picking fights on boutique issues that are at best tangentially related to the major controversies of the Great Recession.