Mike Huckabee complains that evangelicals are getting a raw deal in the GOP: “Many of us who have been Republicans out of conviction . . . the social conservatives,” he told reporters, “were welcomed in the party as long as we sort of kept our place, but Lord help us if we ever stood forward and said we would actually like to lead the party.” Really, Mike? I don’t know if you’ve noticed it or not, but an evangelical Christian has been not only the leader of the Republican Party, but also the President of the United States, since January 20, 2001. I think a lot of us are kind of looking to go in a different direction this time around. I don’t know if you noticed in 1996, when Bob Dole – economically moderate, a defense and budget hawk, and very much a social conservative – got the party’s nomination to be the sacrificial lamb sent up against Bill Clinton. Maybe you forget that Ronald Reagan was a social conservative (admittedly, not a very activist President on that agenda, but still). “Normalcy” in the social context has been the Republican Party’s platform for at least ninety years now. Just because we haven’t elected a President who made his living collecting tithes yet does not mean that social conservatives have not been leading the party for quite some time now; quite the opposite is true. And look where a leader whose guiding vision is of social conservatism, informed by evangelical Christianity, and lacking any substantial economic or foreign policy ideology, has gotten us. I say, it’s time for a change of direction away from that wing of the party’s long reign of leadership.