Shake, Rattle and Roil the Grand Ol’ Coalition - New York Times
The Enduring Strength of Huckabee - Andrew Sullivan
Holy Huck, Straight out of Flannery O'Connor - Oh, Dave
Meet the Press transcript, Dec 30, 2007 - MSNBC
do you want an ex-baptist preacher for president?
Huckabee has an interesting reply when Meet the Press' Tim Russert asks him about his pastor past:
MR. RUSSERT: But where does this leave non-Christians?
GOV. HUCKABEE: Oh, it leaves them right in the middle of America. I think the Judeo-Christian background of this country is one that respects people not only of faith, but it respects people who don't have faith. The, the key issue of real faith is that it never can be forced on someone. And never would I want to use the government institutions to impose mine or anybody else's faith or to restrict. I think the First Amendment, Tim, is explicitly clear. Government should be restricted, not faith, government. And government's restriction is on two fronts: one, it's not to prefer one faith over another; and the second, it's not to prohibit the practice of somebody's religion, period.
MR. RUSSERT: So you'd have no problem appointing atheists to your Cabinet?
GOV. HUCKABEE: No, I wouldn't have any problem at all appointing atheists. I probably had some working for me as governor. You know, I think you got to realize if people want--say, "Well, you were a pastor," but I was a governor 10 1/2 years. I have more executive experience running a government. I was actually in a government position longer than I was a pastor. And if people want to know how I would blend these issues, the best way to look at it is how I served as a governor. I didn't ever propose a bill that we would remove the capitol dome of Arkansas and replace it with a steeple. You know, we didn't do tent revivals on the grounds of the capitol. But my faith is important to me. I try to be more descriptive of it. I just don't want to run from it and act like it's not important. It drives my views on everything from the environment to poverty to disease to hunger. Issues, frankly, I think the Republicans need to take a greater leadership role in. And as a Republican, but as a Christian, I would want to make sure that we're speaking out on some of these issues that I think we've been lacking in as a party and as, as a nation. [emphasis mine]
my question is, where does the separation between political animal and person of faith begin? if, as Huckabee puts it, faith is an intrinsic part of him, how can he separate that faith from future political decisions, made for a pluralistic society? Huckabee says that his evangelical past leaves non-Christians in the middle of America; i think that's fairly astute. it leaves them surrounded by a government led by an evangelical Christian and a citizenry that believes in the literal truth of the Rapture for the most part. if you were a non-Christian wouldn't you feel a little heebie-jeebie?
the attacks on huckabee from his own party are interesting, too. the times article mentions folks like limbaugh calling Huckabee a fake Republican because of his populist stances on poverty and i have to admit that i always feel sort of good about whatever makes limbaugh get his drawers in a bunch. but then i remember this is a Republican candidate we're talking about. his likeability, speechifying and surprisingly holistic views on education and poverty aside, he's still the man who's the most dangerous to a woman's reproductive freedom. again, from Meet the Press:
MR. RUSSERT: And what would happen to doctors or women who participated in abortion?
GOV. HUCKABEE: It's always the, the point of trying to say, "Are you going to criminalize it?" That's not the issue.
MR. RUSSERT: Well, if it, if it's illegal, it would be.
GOV. HUCKABEE: It would be. And I think you don't punish the woman, first of all, because it's not about--I consider her a victim, not a, not a criminal. You would...
MR. RUSSERT: But you would punish the doctor.
GOV. HUCKABEE: I think if a doctor knowingly took the life of an unborn child for money, and that's why he was doing it, yeah, I think you would, you would find some way to sanction that doctor. I don't know that you'd put him in prison, but there's something to me untoward about a person who has committed himself to healing people and to making people alive who would take money to take an innocent life and to make that life dead. There's something that just doesn't ring true about the purpose of medical practice when the first rule of the Hippocratic Oath is "First, do no harm." Well, if you take the life and suction out the pieces of an unborn child for no reason than its inconvenience to the mother, I don't think you've lived up to your Hippocratic Oath of doing no harm. [emphasis mine]
like his fellow social conservatives who shudder at the thought of women controlling their own fertility, Huck stops short of saying that those women should be thrown in prison. instead, he displays his unconscious devaluing of women by calling us victims. we aren't agents in the decisions we make about our fertility, but objects at the mercy of inveigling doctors or 'inconvenience.' whether his ideas stem from his faith or just a good old lack of trust in women's autonomy, they don't bode well for women's issues; do i want this man as president, wielding the power to appoint supreme court judges?
not so much.