Crazy Like Mike
Mike Huckabee rose to prominence seemingly out of nowhere, skyrocketing up the polls, capturing Iowa, and emerging as the presumptive frontrunner, all the while becoming a media darling — remember that Frank Rich called him the Obama of the GOP — but, as his star fades, as the phenomenon withers, as his candidacy collapses, the man is getting more and more extreme, more and more disgusting. Or, perhaps, the real Huckabee is coming out, the real Huckabee who worked to parole a convicted rapist while governor of Arkansas, the Christianist Huckabee, ignorant and stupid, the bigot, the fool.
It is desperation, perhaps, that is bringing out the real Huckabee. He may have won Iowa, but he is, in this race, a loser, and what he is doing, I think, is trying to attract the hardcore Christianist vote, more broadly the social conservative vote. Thompson and Romney have secured much of that vote, but Huckabee’s only chance of turning around his failing campaign — and it is slim, to say the least — is to out-crazy them. (And to out-good-ol’-boy them: He seems to have a certain George Allen-like fondness for the Confederate flag, even saying this: “[I]f somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we’d tell them what to do with the pole, that’s what we’d do.” Charming. And rather un-presidential, no?)
The other day, as many of you surely know by now, Huckabee declared that the Constitution should be amended “according to God’s standards,” that is, that America should be a Christianist country with Christianist laws governed by a Christianist man (and it must be a man), that is, a country governed by him and the laws of his god as he understands and enforces them. (Note: This is Christianist, not Christian. Christianism is the right-wing political ideology espoused by fanatics like Huckabee. See the excellent Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism by Michelle Goldberg.)
But what would it mean to bring the Constitution, and the country, into line with “God’s standards” (as Huckabee defines them)?
In an interview with a religious website, as reported by TPM’s Greg Sargent, Huckabee shed some light on this, as well as on some of his core beliefs (and political opinions):
QUESTIONER: Is it your goal to bring the Constitution into strict conformity with the Bible? Some people would consider that a kind of dangerous undertaking, particularly given the variety of biblical interpretations.
HUCKABEE: Well, I don’t think that’s a radical view to say we’re going to affirm marriage. I think the radical view is to say that we’re going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal. Again, once we change the definition, the door is open to change it again. I think the radical position is to make a change in what’s been historic.
Yes, that’s right. Huckabee, channeling Rick Santorum, connected homosexuality to polygamy, pedophilia, and bestiality. His view, like Santorum’s, and a common one among not just among Christianists but on the right generally, is that allowing gay marriage would be the thin end of the wedge. After that, there’s just no stopping anything and everything from being admitted into the definition of marriage — and from being sanctioned generally. Broaden the definition of marriage to include gay couples and, before long, you’ll have marital (and sexual) anarchy.
Have I mentioned that Huckabee is ignorant and stupid, a bigot and a fool?
No wonder so many Christianists love him, failing campaign or not.
I suggested yesterday that a possible, and potentially quite formidable, GOP ticket is Romney-Huckabee (or perhaps McCain-Huckabee). Now I’m not so sure. Huckabee, who may be too crazy for the veep spot anyway, seems to be crazying himself out of consideration.
Some of the saner conservatives out there aren’t at all amused:
Andrew Sullivan: “I think of Huckabee as almost a comic vindication for those of us who have worried about the rise and rise of unopposed Christianism in the GOP. Except he’s not a joke. He could actually win this thing.” I don’t think he can, but Andrew’s point is well-taken. And, obviously, Andrew is liberal on this issue.
Stephen Bainbridge: “Mike Huckabee joins Mitt Romney on my personal list of candidates for whom I would not vote even if the only alternative is Hillary Clinton (in which case I’ll just sit home and complain).” Huckabee is basically a Christian Reconstructionist (see Goldberg’s book), “which is pretty damn scary”.
Eugene Volokh: “Huckabee seems to be deliberately trying to make an appeal to supposedly universal (at least nearly universal) traditions that go beyond just rejection of same-sex marriage. And that appeal is just factually unfounded, as his own religious histories and his own profession (as minister) should teach him.” Eugene does not comment on Huckabee’s “moral claims,” which are simply appalling.
(Michelle Malkin, who isn’t nearly as sane, just hates him for his (relatively sane) positions on immigration.)
(Cross-posted from The Reaction.)