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Shocking: We see world differently than Mike Huckabee

by Jeremy Hooper

Mike Huckabee has a book to sell.  Mike Huckabee has to fire up fire and brimstone social conservatives 1_61_320_huckabee_bioif he is to have a political future.  Mike Huckabee has a "culture war" to keep alive if he wants to be seen as influential.  With all of those "have to dos" undoubtedly in mind, the onetime GOP presidential hopeful sat down with Focus on the Family for an old school attempt to keep the house that Schlafly, Dobson, and Falwell built from going into foreclosure.  Here are two gay-centric bits from the ensuing chat. 

On his divided party and why so many "traditional conservatives" went for Obama, Huckster had this to say:

We started getting mushy and really lost our way and became a party divided. And more importantly, we started dismiss(ing) the pro-life group and dismissed those who believe in traditional marriage as sort of a fringe group. We’re not fringe. We represent the mainstream and the heart of America.

If you look at a map of the election, what you see is the overwhelming geography footprint of this country voted for John McCain. The urban areas went for Barack Obama, but a vast majority of (the country took) more of a traditional-value approach.

Except, of course, that the majority of voters did, in fact, pull the lever for B. Obama.  No matter the geographic distribution, he still won the popular by almost ten million votes.  Maybe these urban dwellers aren't the "right kind" of Americans, an idea that Sarah Palin revved up and that Huckabee now seems fond of backing.  But as best we can tell, these voters were all real, true, living and breathing Americans.  So how can anyone seriously argue that "a vast majority of (the country took) more of a traditional-value approach."  A majority went for the Democratic nominee.  Period.

As for the those who push for things like marriage inequality?  Well yes, the hard truth for social conservatives is that they are ever more rapidly becoming the fringe.  Mike won't believe that, because he simply can't.  Focus on the Family staffers won't admit it, because they enjoy employment.  But anyone who's paying attention to the writing on the wall realizes that with every eighteenth birthday, America becomes a more gay-accepting nation.  And with the GOP in an intense period of reflection following the absolute worst presidency in modern history and a series of crushing losses, the party leaders would be illogical if they weren't raising serious questions about the "pro-family" brand that has so thoroughly divided this nation. 

Moving on: In the FOF sit down, Mike issues this warning to the incoming President:

I hope Barack Obama, from a standpoint of political pragmatism, will see that the dumbest thing he can do is to go in and grab the steering wheel from George Bush and make a sharp left turn. If he does that, I think there will be an enormous backlash from the American people — much like we saw in Bill Clinton’s first year when he pushed things like gays in the military and tax increases, and "Hillary Care" and the health department. Those kind of things are not going to go over well.

So if the first thing Barack Obama does is to try to overturn executive orders that protected unborn children and push a same-sex "marriage" agenda … those are the kind of things that’ll have a strong pushback from the American people.

And again, this is Mike focusing only on HIS America.  The people who made Clinton's first year a living hell were the conservative Republicans, and we've already see signs that they are just chomping at the bit to do the same to Obama.  With William Jefferson's early days, we saw how much this socially conservative crew loves to kick and scream in hopes that the noise machine will prevent a new Democratic president from getting anything done.  To us, Huckabee's sentiment reads like a modern-day forshpeis -- a "warning shot"-like appetizer from a man who is, debatably, now in charge of steering the "values voters" ship.

However, lots of things have changed since 1993.  America largely voted for hope and change this time around, and so one could logically argue that same ol', same ol' politics would lead to far more of a pushback than would a fresh new perspective.  Because let's face it: At this point, how can just about anyone argue that staying anything close to Dubya's worn course would be a good idea?!  We think even Laura and Jenna might be with us on that one!! 

Sure Mike's peeps will rage if Don't Ask, Don't Tell falls, reproductive freedom is protected, and the stagnant nation seems to actually progress.  But let's be honest: They're going to rage if the incoming president so much as waves with his left hand!  Much of the rest of this country, the one that voted Obama into office in majority numbers, cannot wait to see a smart, articulate, hopeful man help pull this country out of the depressing fog that led this great ship so dangerously astray.  The hard right turn left us scared, divided, at war, economically unstable, and unpopular with much of the world.  So to flat-out reject any sort of leftward renavigation is not only unfair: It's obscene! 

And if we're wrong about all this?  Well, we'll just hold out hope that the Huckabee/Palin "ex-gay" camp will have hot running water by the time we're forcibly enrolled there in 2013.

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Your thoughts

"We represent the mainstream and the heart of America."
I thought Chevrolet was the "heart of America"
Well, if they are the "heart" why are'nt they helping GM with their financial troubles? They seem to be good at raising money, maybe they can demonize Smartcars, after all they do look a little possesed.

Posted by: Bob Miller | Dec 12, 2008 11:58:41 PM

Hey, I say more power to him! If Palin/Huckabee (pHuckabee??) wants to campaign to that 90% of the geography (much of which is in Alaska, for that matter) then let him. That part of the country has maybe 30% of the population, and they probably got 70% of those votes.

Those voters want their theocracy so that they can impose their hatred as laws, but they amount to so few of the voters that it doesn't matter. Let him have 'em. Oh WAIT! They already do have them. And, no one gives a FRAK!

That, plus the fact that by the next election, a large portion of that "Theocratic Party" will be six feet under, serving as worm food.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Dec 13, 2008 3:24:08 AM

Gee, Huck, I didn't know real-estate got the vote.

Posted by: Lynn David | Dec 13, 2008 3:54:19 AM

Loved your "They're going to rage if the incoming president so much as waves with his left hand!" comment.

Since President-elect Obama is left-handed the religious wrong will constantly have their knickers in a twist.

Time to fasten the seat belts.....it's gonna be a fun-filled ride.

Posted by: DiAnne | Dec 13, 2008 1:30:40 PM

Yet it wasn't just conservative Republicans that pushed DADT through, Jeremy, it was also conservative Democrats. Remember Seante Majority Leader Sam Nunn? Congress was controlled by Dems in 1993 and a majority of Senate Dems, as well as a large number of House Dems, joined the their Republican colleagues in voting for the ban. Bill Clinton cowardly caved and signed it into law.

What is interesting about this debate now is that the terrain appears to have changed. We now have a president who at least says he'll sign a repeal and a majority party that says it will give it to him to do so. Yet there are still conservatives in both parties so the outcome isn't clear yet. More hopeful than ever before, but still tricky.

Posted by: John | Dec 13, 2008 5:41:34 PM

John: Uhm, but this post is not really about DADT. The part to which I think you're referring is how conservative Republicans, in general, made life a living hell for Clinton in the early days (and thereafter).

But yes, if we were having the DADT conversation, I would certainly go with you on a "more than just Republicans" journey. Absolutely.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Dec 13, 2008 7:12:00 PM

I have very little sympathy for Clinton given how he cut us loose for political expediency. I was in the service in 1993 and remember very well how it all played out. I will not ever forgive him for what he did. Add Sam Nunn to this as well. Him and his shipboard "investigations". He's dead to me too. It's one thing to face an opponent you know who is against you, quite another to have a supposed "friend" slip the knife into you when you aren't looking.

As for the Huckster, he's such a pathetic joke that he's hardly worth commenting on. Some social cons may get a tingly feeling when he speaks but enough Republicans loathe him that he would definitely split the GOP if he wormed his way into a nomination.

Posted by: John | Dec 13, 2008 10:14:51 PM

Wow. does anyone actually pay attention to this gym anymore? Hasn't he pretty much discredited himself?

Posted by: Saskplanner | Dec 13, 2008 10:36:20 PM

I guess if you were in the military it was a big deal. But I always agreed with the Clintons' political calculation to make the deal on dadt but go to the mat for health care. They were able to create a compromise to at least try to protect military folk. And to me, medical care for all Americans is a tad more important than a five star general doing the triple snap on national television. Especially considering our own community's need for health care.

Posted by: WillBFair | Dec 14, 2008 10:36:29 AM

Will you say the same if Obama does likewise? Perhaps toss ENDA under the bus for a super social program? How about the Matthew Shepard Act? Uniting American Families Act? As I remember it, Clinton got nowhere on health care so he didn't even get that as a consolation prize for tossing us under the bus.

As for DADT "protecting" gay military folks, that's absurd and despite his claims otherwise he damn well knew it. Discharges went up after DADT, not down, and the codification of the ban only made things far worse for gays in the military. For all the comparisons between the struggle for full gay rights and the Civil Rights Movement, however imperfect, have we learned nothing? Truman's order to desegregate the military helped lay the seed. It's very difficult for most Americans to tolerate for long treating a vet poorly because of a difference some perceive as being a mark of inferiority. Lift the ban against gays in the military and you'll start seeing the same pattern of movement in our favor, probably faster.

Posted by: John | Dec 14, 2008 10:48:32 PM

huckabee is the best argument for legal abortion there is.

Posted by: TheRadicalRealist | Dec 15, 2008 6:58:52 PM

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