The Republican presidential line up is, in a word, lame. When their most reasonable candidate is a crank like Ron Paul you know you are scraping the bottom of the barrel. So why aren't the Republican opinionators more up in arms?
Andrew Sullivan's favorite pinup is making the Republicans happy because he is running as Bill Clinton in 1992 - can't we all just get along Kumbayah schtick, backing down on major liberal positions, running to the right of his opponents, etc. His legislative record is oatmeal (when he has one at all), and he's already talking about putting Republicans into the cabinet. Republicans that the money men like and approve of. He's running a pure Borderist campaign where the big bad partisan Democrats need to reach out to the poor abused Republicans and coax them back into a nice bipartisan coalition.
The power players in the Republican party must be licking their chops over 2008. They can run Huckabee and placate the religious whack-job base but throw their money and suport behind the one Democrat who will not push for health insurance reform and who may even help them undermine Social Security a bit more. Everyone knows the Iaq withdrawal is going to happen, that it is in the plutocrats' interest for it to stop now, and that it will be run from the Pentagon, so opposing the war is not a negative with them even though it might not play well with the neocons.
The Republicans are greatly interested in bipartisanship - until the minute the elections end and they have the weakened, watered down Democratic party they need. Watch their candidates run moderate campaigns, signaling that they are ever-so-eager to put all this divisiveness behind them and work with Golden Boy Barry, in order to dilute the down-ticket effect. (On a related note, why the hell isn't Bill Richardson taking his ass back to new Mexico to compete for that Senate seat? We need to get control of the Senate, not have Bumblin' Bill tagging along as Barry's adorable VP.) Once the potential Democratic blitz is reduced to warm-n-fuzzy paeons to "hope" (Jesus H. Christ, Barry, can't you even think up your OWN campaign theme? Do you have to steal that from Bill Clinton, too?) and "change" and getting past all that nasty infighting, voters who aren't partisan and who don't understand what the stakes are - the majority - will not have any reason to take sides. In short, Barry is the Alka-Seltzer to calm down the progressive rumbling.
So, Obama/Huckabee is the Republican ticket to preventing progressive change in the US.