Huck is a Schmuck

Choice quotes from Ariel Levy’s New Yorker profile on Mike Huckabee, which has a terrifying title if the answer is “yes”, “Prodigal Son: Is the Wayward Republican Mike Huckabee now his party’s best hope?”:

On Palestine:

In fact, Huckabee does not believe that Palestinian is a legitimate nationality. “I have to be careful saying this, because people get really upset—there’s really no such thing as a Palestinian,” Huckabee told a rabbi in Wellesley, Massachusetts, at a kosher breakfast on the campaign trail in 2008. “That’s been a political tool to try to force land away from Israel.”

In a lead up to a discussion of “homosexuality” and abortion:

Huckabee firmly believes that here on planet Earth, however, there should be only one set of guidelines. In several of his seven books, he tells a story about the time his young son John Mark baked a cake. The boy didn’t know what a “dash” of salt was, so he added a cup to the batter, and the cake was inedible. This, Huckabee asserts, is what happens when human beings come up with their own measures of right and wrong, instead of following the Bible’s.

And here’s that “homosexuality” and abortion quote.  Please make sure to re-read the final sentence of this quote at least twice.:

“Consider homosexuality,” he writes. “Until recently, who would have dared to suggest that the practice should be accepted on equal footing with heterosexuality, to be thought of as a personal decision and nothing more?” Abortion is another example; he has said that his horror at “the holocaust of liberalized abortion” helped motivate him to leave the ministry and pursue a career in politics. When he was governor of Arkansas, Huckabee blocked Medicaid funding for an abortion that a retarded teen-ager wanted to have after she was raped by her stepfather.

Because we all know that gay marriage is a silly, funny thing that Huckabee totally and completely doesn’t support, he can easily joke about it like it doesn’t mean anything to actual people with actual lives.  Oh, and Helen Thomas is ugly, so ugly that the idea of an affair with her would turn Huckabee gay.  He really is funny:

I joked with him once that I would write about his (fictitious) affair with Nancy Pelosi. He e-mailed back, “The only thing worse than a torrid affair with sweet, sweet Nancy would be a torrid affair with Helen Thomas. If those were my only options, I’d probably be FOR same-sex marriage!”

But am not sure what to do about this next quote because I – gasp!- agree with him:

In defiance of libertarian laissez-faire, Huckabee has extended his Christian vision to include the poor. “If there are a certain number of kids from single-parent homes who aren’t going to school and don’t have health care, you can say that’s not government’s job,” Huckabee told me. “Well, sweet and fine! But you know what? If the kid’s sitting outside the door of the hospital choking with asthma, do I sit there and say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t think, philosophically, government should get involved’? I’d much rather the kid get help than I sit around and say I’m so pure in my ideology.”

Because it’s always good to remind us that puppies and children aren’t the same, or something:

As governor of Arkansas, Huckabee successfully championed laws that prevented gay people from becoming foster parents and banned gay adoptions. “Children are not puppies—this is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out how does this work,” Huckabee told a student journalist at the College of New Jersey in April. “You don’t go ahead and accommodate every behavioral pattern that is against the ideal. That would be like saying, ‘Well, there are a lot of people who like to use drugs, so let’s go ahead and accommodate those who want to use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them.’ ” These comments proved unpopular.

Oh, those homosexuals:

But Huckabee doesn’t just want to leave things the way they are; he wants to change the Constitution to specifically prohibit gay people from getting married. He has called homosexuality “sinful and unnatural” and is fond of amusing audiences with the witticism “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

And that damn “ick factor” that should be used whenever we are discussing civil rights:

I asked him to explain his rationale for opposing gay rights. “I do believe that God created male and female and intended for marriage to be the relationship of the two opposite sexes,” he said. “Male and female are biologically compatible to have a relationship. We can get into the ick factor, but the fact is two men in a relationship, two women in a relationship, biologically, that doesn’t work the same.”

I have to quote the entire next section because it’s important to see what he says about gay marriage and at what points he chooses to laugh while talking about it:

I asked him if he had any arguments that didn’t have to do with God or ickiness. “There are some pretty startling studies that show if you want to end poverty it’s not education and race, it’s monogamous marriage,” he said. “Many studies show that children who grow up in a healthy environment where they have both a mother and a father figure have both a healthier outlook and a different perspective from kids who don’t have the presence of both.”

In fact, a twenty-five-year study recently published by the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that children brought up by lesbians were better adjusted than their peers. And, of course, nobody has been able to study how kids fare with married gay parents. “You know why?” Huckabee said. “Because no culture in the history of mankind has ever tried to redefine marriage.”

But in the Old Testament polygamy was commonplace. The early Christians considered marriage an arrangement for those without the self-discipline to live in chastity, as Christ did. Marriage was not deemed a sacrament by the Church until the twelfth century. And, before 1967, marriage was defined in much of the United States as a relationship between a man and a woman of the same race.

Regardless of the past, wouldn’t Huckabee be curious to know whether allowing gay people to marry had a positive or negative effect on children and society?

“No, not really. Why would I be?” he said, and laughed.

Oh, Huckabee.  Let’s hope against hope that there is a better conservative out there.

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