Count me as another skeptic of the claim that Huckabee is preparing a secret army of evangelicals who wish to punish the land by helping to defeat McCain and bring about the fiery maelstrom of an Obama administration. Had Huckabee wanted to take down McCain and weaken him for a contest with Obama, he had many opportunities before this, and he would have been cheered on by a lot of conservatives in the process earlier in the year. One of the many reasons movement conservatives still dislike Huckabee so powerfully is that he helped make McCain’s nomination possible and seemed to enjoy doing it, partly because I think he was doing it to poke movement conservatives in the eye for their previous resistance to his candidacy. The people who have to worry about a long-term “Christian problem” are the movement conservatives who quite plainly told evangelicals where they could put their religion and their social conservatism. McCain may or may not win over enough social conservatives, and low turnout may hamper his efforts to get elected, but the people who are going to pay more over the long haul for snubbing and ridiculing Huckabee will not be McCain, but rather those who seemed to be appalled by what Huckabee represented. These were the people who declared that, while McCain was bad, Huckabee was unthinkable as the nominee.
The one major candidate who consistently showed respect to Huckabee, and by extension to his voters, was McCain, despite the fact that Huckabee was the greatest threat to McCain’s success down the stretch. Huckabee and his supporters have no interest in sabotaging McCain’s victory. It is Huckabee’s enemies within the movement who have every reason to hint that he is actually disloyal and will be working against the nominee. Of course, it’s possible that Novak found someone who believes that Huckabee shares his apocalyptic vision of the ’08 election, but for the reasons Ross laid out this is pretty meaningless.