Huck must love stuff like this. To borrow an unfortunate phrase from Tony Snow, the more he can make himself a martyr to the “war on God,” the more he becomes a protest vote for Christians who feel their beliefs aren’t properly respected. That’s what the Journal was getting at this morning in floating the idea of an evangelical boycott if Huck loses. If I were his campaign director, I’d be quietly circulating this through the appropriate Christian channels.

[W]hat Article VI does not do, and was never intended to do, is deny me the right to say, as loudly as I may choose, that I will on no account vote for a smirking hick like Mike Huckabee, who is an unusually stupid primate but who does not have the elementary intelligence to recognize the fact that this is what he is. My right to say and believe that is already guaranteed to me by the First Amendment. And the right of Huckabee to win the election and fill the White House with morons like himself is unaffected by my expression of an opinion…

Isn’t it amazing how self-pitying and self-aggrandizing the religious freaks in this country are? It’s not enough that they can make straight-faced professions of “faith” at election times and impose their language on everything from the Pledge of Allegiance to the currency. It’s not enough that they can claim tax exemption and even subsidy for anything “faith-based.” It’s that when they are even slightly criticized for their absurd opinions, they can squeal as if being martyred and act as if they are truly being persecuted.

Question: Would Hitch secretly like to see Huck get the nomination? As president, he would be to atheists what Bush is to the nutroots. A Huckabee candidacy could potentially also do wonders for reducing the religious influence within the GOP, as plenty of non-religious conservatives will balk if the party crowns a guy who’s suspect on every issue except one. It’d be a dose of strong medicine for the Dobsonites who’ve threatened to walk away from virtually every other candidate: Here, run your guy in the general and see how you do without us for a change. With the GOP facing long odds anyway and Huck expected by many to be an especially “easy kill,” the climate’s as favorable as it’ll ever be to administer some of that medicine.

In spite of all that I’m guessing Hitch does not support the Huck nomination, for the simple reason that he takes the war seriously and can’t be too encouraged at the prospect of a Democratic president waging aggressive peace. I wonder who he does support, then. McCain, probably.