Former Arkansas GOP Gov. Mike Huckabee, currently a Fox News talk show host, ripped the media this weekend, claiming that journalism has been reduced to “ink-stained drivel that smeared the pages of paper and the people who attempted to read it.”
“I’m sad to report today a death of a good friend to all of us…..Journalism,” Huckabee wrote in a post on his political action committee’s blog. “The once esteemed 4th estate of our nation and the protector of our freedoms and a watchdog of our rights has passed away after a long struggle with a crippling and debilitating disease of acute dishonesty aggravated by advanced laziness and the loss of brain function.”
“Journalism once proudly patrolled our society and sought to tell us the stories that informed and sometimes inspired us,” the former Republican presidential candidate wrote. “They also presented the news that would irritate us—and the irritation was not over the delivery, but the content as corruption and misdeeds were revealed.”
Okay, so far, so good…
On Van Jones, Huckabee said that when the former Obama adviser was “caught with bright red lips making outrageous statements about Republicans, police officers, and it being discovered of his belonging to numerous radical groups, the media was incapable of so much as a notice of his record and only mentioned him at the time of his resignation.”
Um… “caught with bright red lips”? Really?
“Journalism had grown increasingly dependent on spin-doctor spoon feeding and the circular and insular quoting of other journalists instead of attempting to locate and quote actual first person sources,” Huckabee added. “No memorial is planned as the practitioners of propaganda seem to be unaware that they have passed away and continue to publish anyway.”
And I’m back to agreeing again.
It’s still amazing to me that anyone could seriously believe that the problem with the media is that it tilts too far left. Would that it were so.
“We need fiscal sanity in government,” Huckabee writes. “Congress is truly spending like John Edwards in a beauty shop (sorry I couldn’t resist.)”
Hahaha! Edwards is a great big sissy!
I thought Huckabee was supposed to be branding himself as one of the few Republicans who’s actually a decent, likable guy who can appeal to people outside the mean-spirited conservative base. And yet here he is, trying to be Ann Coulter Lite, taking shots at a guy who’s pretty much completely irrelevant now. Stay classy, Huck!
Yes, that’s right – Mike Huckabee finds the idea of an assassination attempt on Barack Obama amusing. I’m sure Jesus made assassination jokes all the time too.
But hey, at least he doesn’t think Jews have “dead souls” and that the Holocaust was actually a good thing:
In his 2006 book “Jerusalem Countdown”, [notorious McCain endorser Pastor John] Hagee proposed that anti-Semitism, and thus the Holocaust, was the fault of Jews themselves – the result of an age old divine curse incurred by the ancient Hebrews through worshiping idols and passed, down the ages, to all Jews now alive….
In the following audio sermon, which I have put into a video [and that includes other viciously anti-Jewish statement from John Hagee], Hagee says:
– Jews are not “spiritually alive”.I have a copy of John Hagee’s “Prophecy Study Bible”, which makes quite clear Hagee is talking about all Jews now living – whom Hagee singles out, from among all other non-Christians on Earth, to note that they specifically do not have living souls. Indeed, Hagee says the souls of all Jews now living are dead. Dead souls. McCain endorser John hagee says Jews have dead souls.
– Hitler and the Nazis were sent by God, to chase Jews back to the land of Israel. Because that’s where God intends them to be. So, the Holocaust was a gruesomely inefficient system of divine “persuasion”, and Hitler and the Nazis were doing “God’s work”. But Hagee also depicts this divine ethnic cleansing imperative as a future project: it will happen [see bolded section of transcription, below].
– In Hagee’s 2006 “Jerusalem Countdown”, Hagee says anti-Semitism, and the Holocaust, were and are the fault of Jews – a divine curse for worshiping idols.
Shorter Hagee: Ethnic cleanliness is next to godliness.
Ya know, if there ever is a Rapture which comes and takes all the right-wing fundamentalists away, they won’t be heading in the direction that they expect.
The big loser in South Carolina was, in fact, talk radio: a medium that has unmistakably collapsed in terms of impact, influence and credibility because of its hysterical and one-dimensional involvement in the GOP nomination fight.
For more than a month, the leading conservative talkers in the country have broadcast identical messages in an effort to demonize Mike Huckabee and John McCain. If you’ve tuned in at all to Rush, Sean, Savage, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, and two dozen others you’ve heard a consistent drum beat of hostility toward Mac and Huck. […]
In other words, the talk radio jihad against Mac and Huck hasn’t destroyed or even visibly damaged those candidates. But it has damaged, and may help destroy, talk radio.
Medved’s observation can be witnessed in Limbaugh’s recent discourse about the leading Republican presidential candidates. Yesterday, Limbaugh said, “I can see possibly not supporting a Republican nominee,” adding that “it’s gonna come down to which guy do we dislike the least. And that’s not necessarily good.”
Yet I can’t help but think that maybe it’s not so much that Medved genuinely fears for the credibility and well-being of right-wing talk radio, so much as he’s just a really big McCain fan.
The United States Constitution never uses the word “God” or makes mention of any religion, drawing its sole authority from “We the People.” However, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee thinks it’s time to put an end to that.
“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”
When Willie Geist reported Huckabee’s opinion on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski was almost speechless, and even Joe Scarborough couldn’t immediately find much to say beyond calling it “interesting,”
Scarborough finally suggested that while he believes “evangelicals should be able to talk politics … some might find that statement very troubling, that we’re going to change the Constitution to be in line with the Bible. And that’s all I’m going to say.”
Jeez. He just proudly announced that he’s a Dominionist. Fantastic.
Hey, remember when Huckabee got that serial rapist paroled because he claimed to have found Jesus and Huck had all this compassion for him, and the guy immediately went out and raped and killed a woman, and probably two? Well, what happens if someone genuinely gets religion, but it’s the wrong one?
Frankie Parker was also a prisoner when Mike Huckabee became governor. And Frankie Parker was guilty; no one says otherwise. In 1984, under the influence of drugs and alcohol, he killed his former in-laws and held his ex-wife hostage. He was sentenced to be executed, and after years of hearings and appeals and stays, the execution was scheduled for September 17, 1996….
…One day, while Parker was in solitary confinement, he asked for a Bible. The Bible was the only book prisoners in solitary were allowed to read. A guard – possibly thinking this would be a nice joke – tossed him a copy of the Dhammapada instead. Frankie found Buddhism.
A Zen priest gave Parker jukai, which is something like confirmation as a Buddhist. Several prominent Tibetan masters visited him. Prominent American Zen teachers, including Philip Kapleau and Robert Aitken, wrote letters on behalf of Parker. According to the New York Times, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Mother Theresa both wrote to Governor Huckabee urging him to commute Parker’s death sentence and let him serve life in prison.
And do you know what the Rev. Mr. Huckabee did? He moved Parker’s execution date from September 17 to August 8 so he would be executed six weeks sooner. And he was.
Now there’s some compassionate Christian convertavism for you, eh? As ellroon says, “Doesn’t this story remind you of someone we know?”
I think there’s some kind of minimum threshold for evil that you have to meet before you can run for president as a Republican… and it’s really freakin’ high, like, almost Hannibal Lecter high.
I’ll be curious to see whether the media ever suggests that Huckabee’s economic populism played into his victory at all, or if it’s all faith ‘n’ folksiness. My guess is that the establishment narrative will be reluctant to acknowledge that there’s a deep hunger for economic fairness. I was hoping that Edwards would win to really drive this point home (not that anyone would notice), but he did place a solid second despite being massively outspent.
Well, it looks like some conservatives have taken note, if only because admitting the alternative is even worse. Bobo Brooks yesterday:
On the Republican side, my message is: Be not afraid. Some people are going to tell you that Mike Huckabee’s victory last night in Iowa represents a triumph for the creationist crusaders. Wrong.
Huckabee understands how middle-class anxiety is really lived….
A conservatism that loves capitalism but distrusts capitalists is not hard to imagine either. Adam Smith felt this way. A conservatism that pays attention to people making less than $50,000 a year is the only conservatism worth defending.
Of course, being the out-of-touch wanker that he is, Brooks frames Huckabee’s message as a concern for family cohesion rather than a desire for economic justice. But if he acknowledged that, then he probably wouldn’t be able to say this:
[Obama has] made John Edwards, with his angry cries that “corporate greed is killing your children’s future,” seem old-fashioned. Edwards’s political career is probably over.
So, yeah, economic populism is sooo over. Unless it’s coming from Republicans, in which case it’s The Next Big Thing. But I digress.
During a discussion today on the results of last night’s Iowa caucuses, Fox News’s Neil Cavuto ran a chyron asking: “Did populism win and America lose in Iowa?”
Niiice. Still, it’s better than admitting that the religious right has finally found a candidate of their very own instead of letting the GOP establishment dupe them into supporting some corporate neocon shill who knows how to speak Evangelese.
Yes, I know I suggested that Huck’s economic populism was a factor in his success, but based on the Iowa exit polls, I think I got it dead wrong. 60% of IA Republican caucus-goers described themselves as born-agains or evangelicals, and 46% of them voted for Huckabee (which works out to 27% of the Republican vote, out of his 34% overall total). 19% voted for Mitt, 11% for Fred, 10% each for Paul and McCain, and 2%(!) for Rudy.
That looks like pretty strong evangelical support to me. I’m surprised at just how much support Mitt got, but maybe his landmark “I’m just like you: I want to ban all the same stuff, and I agree that atheists have no place in the public discourse” speech worked, or maybe he just picked up the pro-corporate evangelical vote.
Okay, so Obama and Huckabee won, Edwards came in second, and Dodd showed so poorly that he dropped out. My thoughts:
o Not sure how significant this is, but the most charismatic candidates on each side won. This could be partially a function of the whole “retail politics” thing, where Huck & Obama had the opportunity to personally charm lots of voters on an individual basis.
o I’ll be curious to see whether the media ever suggests that Huckabee’s economic populism played into his victory at all, or if it’s all faith ‘n’ folksiness. My guess is that the establishment narrative will be reluctant to acknowledge that there’s a deep hunger for economic fairness. I was hoping that Edwards would win to really drive this point home (not that anyone would notice), but he did place a solid second despite being massively outspent.
o I was really hoping Dodd would do better. I thought he was the only presidential candidate to demonstrate Actual Leadership by taking a stand against telecom immunity when no-one else could be bothered. It’s shameful and depressing that his courage translated into zero support.
…Obama won because he did something many campaigns have claimed they would do in the past, but never until now had never actually accomplished: he turned out young voters and new voters in record-smashing numbers. This has long been the holy grail of progressive politics, and until now no one had been able to pull it off. Well, Obama pulled it off. That is a remarkable an historic accomplishment. That is why he won.
If he could deliver that same kind of energized youth and new voter turnout in November, then not only would he be almost certain to win the election, but he would also give a huge assist to other Democratic candidates on the state and local ballots.
…Obama hasn’t really embraced us. He’s gone his own way. And that explains why, in the end, the blogosphere broke heavily for John Edwards.
No, I don’t mean people turned their back on Obama because he didn’t pay the proper respect to the blogosphere. That isn’t what happened. Obama didn’t embrace our way of doing things. Worse, he began to use rhetoric we had spent energy to debunk. He went even further. He tossed aside one of our central insights…an insight won through hard experience: we cannot compromise with the Republican Party…we must smash them.
Perhaps because his wife is such an avid reader of blogs, Edwards’ campaign tapped right into our zeitgeist. He came out with our insight front and center. You want Edwards’ message? Here it is: ‘Fuck David Broder, fuck Joe Klein, fuck Chris Matthews, fuck FOX News, fuck Tim Russert, fuck Mitch McConnell, fuck Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Big Defense. We don’t need them. They won’t negotiate in good faith. They’re stacking the deck against us. And we can beat them by telling the truth and getting organized.’ That’s Edwards’ message, and that is the message we have internalized both through our successes and our failures.
What’s funny is that Obama is saying many of the same things, in his own way. The policy differences between Edwards and Obama are minimal. But Obama’s tone deaf to the blogosphere. And, as a result, the blogosphere didn’t trust him. Take Armando:
…we do not criticize Obama’s political style on aesthetic grounds; we criticize his style because we think it will not work to actually EFFECT CHANGE. We believe that despite his being touted as the change candidate, his political style is the one LEAST likely to achieve progressive policy change.
His ‘style’ will be ineffective. Why did so many of us conclude this? It’s because we have watched Tom Daschle, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi try to negotiate with the Republicans (in the minority, the majority, no matter) and it does not work. We have watched the Dems talk tough and then back down time and time again. We’re done with conciliation and we don’t believe bipartisanship is possible without first crushing the Republican Party down to a stump.
…More than anything, I want Edwards’ style to be vindicated. I want partisanship and combativeness to be rewarded. And I want Clinton/Lieberman/Ford/Carper/Carville/Begala/Penn to lose.
What’s the value of a candidate who wins election handily, and then proceeds to be conciliatory and ineffectual as a president, even with a favorable Congress behind him? And what will that do to the Democratic “brand,” which is already pretty well tarred with the collaborator brush?
Also, bear in mind that a presidential campaign is just about the only time when the media will reliably report on what a Democrat is saying. I would much rather that that Democrat were the one making a powerful case against the status quo of economic equality and Republican corruption.
For what it’s worth, now that Dodd’s gone, I’m switching my endorsement to Edwards.
Okay, so…� Remember that negative anti-Romney ad Huckabee made a big show of not airing?� The one that his campaign had in Total Security Lockdown so that copies of it wouldn’t leak out?
Well, we didn’t run the ad, Sean. What we did–we pulled it. I knew that if we said we had made one and didn’t reveal that it existed there would have been the cynicism of the reporters that had said “Oh, you really didn’t have one”, but we did. And I don’t know how you obtained that copy because we didn’t give it to anybody. We had a box of CD’s of em, we gave then to no one. We showed it in that room, for those reporters and the only way they could have gotten it would be to tape it—I guess off a camera from the screen…
The ad Huckabee said he decided not to run has now appeared at least three times in Iowa anyway. It accuses Romney of being “dishonest” but shades the facts in the process.
According to the Campaign Media Analysis Group of TNS Media intelligence, the ad appeared Dec. 31 on WHBF-TV and KLJB-TV in Davenport and on KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids. The ad ran once on each station. We will update this count as data for later dates becomes available. When we contacted the Huckabee campaign for an explanation, a representative expressed surprise to hear the ad had been on the air. We’ll update this with any explanation we receive from the campaign.
Well, since the Huckabee campaign has kept those CDs Under Total Security Lockdown and hasn’t given them out to anybody, there’s only one possible explanation: Those TV stations must have obtained bootleg copies from cameramen who filmed the ad when it was screened at Huckabee’s press conference, and then they went ahead and aired the bootlegs on their own initiative and at their own expense.
Now here’s an NYT blog post by Tim Egan calling the Republican establishment out for oh-so-subtly dismissing Huckabee as an ignorant low-class hick… while simultaneously doing the same thing himself. (Dude, you have got to get over the squirrel thing.)
Mr. Huckabee on Wednesday professed his support for the striking television writers union just a few hours before he was expected to board a plane for a taping of the “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno where he will face a vocal picket line of striking writers.
Mr. Leno’s program is returning to the air for the first time since the strike began on Nov. 5. Speaking to reporters, Mr. Huckabee said he was unaware that he would be crossing a picket line and believed that the program had reached a special agreement with the union.
Although crossing picket lines might not be unusual for most Republican candidates, Mr. Huckabee has waged an unusual populist campaign on economic issues, stressing his empathy with the anxieties of working people. On Wednesday, he said he identified with the striking television workers as an author himself and believed they deserved a share of the proceeds from the sale of their work.
Mr. Huckabee’s lack of knowledge about the picket lines outside the Leno show are the latest in a string of missteps that have underscored the ad hoc nature of his campaign. Last week, he made a series of small misstatements about Pakistan that raised questions about his fluency with foreign affairs and raised eyebrows by suggesting that the situation in Pakistan could lead to special scrutiny of Pakistanis at the borders in the interest of national security.
Mike Huckabee went on Hannity & Colmes to try and beat down the alleged controversy he caused by showing a group of reporters an attack ad on Romney that he had made but then decided not to run because he’s so pure—though he played it for them anyway—so he could say he didn’t—
“If a man’s this dishonest to obtain a job—then he’ll be dishonest on the job,” Mike Huckabee from the ad that never ran.
Huckabee: Well, we didn’t run the ad, Sean. What we did–we pulled it. I knew that if we said we had made one and didn’t reveal that it existed there would have been the cynicism of the reporters that had said “Oh, you really didn’t have one”, but we did. And I don’t know how you obtained that copy because we didn’t give it to anybody. We had a box of CD’s of em, we gave then to no one. We showed it in that room, for those reporters and the only way they could have gotten it would be to tape it—I guess off a camera from the screen…
Colmes: I want to know if you stand by the words of that ad? Do you stand by the words in the ad?
Huckabee: I never retracted the words, but I pulled the ad because I felt like that it is the tone and the spirit of the ad that we need…. I made it very clear that when you say things about an opponent’s record that aren’t true or say things about your own record which aren’t true, I don’t know how else you call that…dishonest…
Back to you, Mitt. Huckabee just called you a liar and unfit for office to your face. The copy on H&C just fell from the sky….He actually has the nerve to say that if he didn’t show the attack ad then he would have been attacked for hiding it. I mean, how many Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s should he be required to say as penance for this nonsense?
And it’s a nasty ad for sure. Listen, you only get criticized for your actions—not something you produced but then didn’t run. If his conscience was bothering him so much then all he had to do was shelve it in silence. If any reporter got wind of it, just admit it existed and be done with it. The Preacher is probably trying to get as much publicity on the ad as possible because then he doesn’t have to shell out the Romney bucks to air it.
Wow, I was not aware that dishonesty was now a disqualifier for a Republican presidential candidate; hell, I thought it was a prerequisite.
You have to love how Huck wants to have it both ways, propagating a hit piece on Romney as a way of showing off how not-negative he is. This is just the kind of unapologetic, in-your-face up-is-downism that the GOP just loves.
Maybe Mitt’s problem isn’t that he’s dishonest, but rather that he’s just not as slick at it as Huckabee. (“I have no idea how every media outlet in the country obtained a copy of this ad that was so terrible that I didn’t want anyone to see it – I’ll get my security team on that right away, and I promise to fire whoever is responsible. And by “fire,” of course I mean “promote.”)
I apologize, I just realized that the tone of this post is awfully negative, so please just forget you ever read it. And be sure to tell your friends about all the mean things I said, so that they’ll know to avoid it.
John posted a story from The Huckster’s hunting trip earlier this week, and now details of a disturbing incident that occurred that day are starting to come out. Apparently, Huckabee was asked by one of the reporters following him that day why he didn’t invite Dick Cheney along for the hunting trip and he joked, because he wanted to “survive all the way through this.” But, near the end of the hunt, as a pheasant got up and flew toward the onlooking reporters, Huckabee and his fellow hunters turned toward them, aimed and fired their guns right over their heads — a cardinal sin of hunting.
Around 9:30 a.m., before the rest of the candidates were set to spend the day crisscrossing the Hawkeye State, Huckabee took an hour and a half to hunt pheasant in Osceola, about an hour’s drive from Des Moines.
…Flanked by about a dozen reporters, he wore a microphone from CNN as he went shooting, with Dude, his 3-year-old bird dog, and Chip Saltzman, his campaign manager, at his side.
In the first 30 minutes, Huckabee, Saltzman and a friend shot three birds. Their last shot flew over the heads of reporters, one of whom cried out: “Oh my God! Oh my God! Don’t shoot. This is traumatizing.”Read on…
As someone who almost lost a close family member in a hunting accident, this kind of mindless and ignorant behavior enrages me. In what can only be considered a huge gaffe by Huckabee, abandoning proper safety procedures and putting the lives of others at risk — just to show off in front of reporters — shows a profound lack of judgment on his part. This man wants to be our president and have control over our nuclear weapons. Don’t we get enough of this kind of behavior from our current president?
I mean, how can you not think that there’s some kind of barely concealed undercurrent of hostility there? Maybe that’s why the press is so in the tank for the Republicans – they literally fear for their lives.
1 commentDecember 28th, 2007 at 10:50pmPosted by Eli
Hey, remember what a great uplifting story it was about how Mike Huckabee went on a special liquid diet and lost 110 lbs. in just one year? Well, um, about that…
It has been rumored that Huckabee’s weight loss was due not to diet and exercise but to gastric bypass (bariatric) surgery. This blog seeks to examine the evidence that is publicly available, to determine whether weight loss from diet/exercise or bariatric surgery is more likely. Because evidence such as witnesses, money trail, etc are lacking, the analysis is primarily medical. The principle used is the Law of Parsimony, a medical application of Occam’s Razor, in which the validity of a diagnosis is gauged by the degree to which it explains all the clinical findings, without the need to add further diagnoses.
The findings are as follows:
Huckabee’s vague history of diet/exercise doesn’t adequately explain his astonishing result.
Massive and persistent weight loss with bariatric surgery is about 100x more common than with diet/exercise.
Bariatric surgery has a highly characteristic weight loss pattern that Huckabee’s weight loss record fits exactly for rapidity, amount and maintenance. This pattern is not at all like that of diet/exercise.
Huckabee demonstrates changes in physical appearance that appear bariatric both in general and the specific (hair loss and skin changes).
His particular diet habits are tellingly bariatric.
Just prior to his rapid weight loss he took an unusual vacation with a furtive itinerary and end date which provided a plausible window for a private hospitalization and recovery.
While running marathons Huckabee is shown carrying that energy supplementation, that is both expected of, and associated with, bariatric marathoners.
The lack of any identified witnesses to the bariatric surgery/hospitalization is adequately explained by medical privacy ethical standards as well as the rigor of Federal HIPAA privacy regulations.
In applying the above mentioned Law of Parsimony, it is evident that the one explanation of bariatric surgery readily, even exactly, satisfies every clinical finding.
Diet/exercise alone is not sufficient to explain the findings; its use as a explanation depends on first compiling a series of highly improbable findings (rapid, massive weight loss), and then introducing new conditions and diagnoses (e.g. rare hernias, hair loss). Making the clinical finding fit bariatric surgery is as effortless as diet/exercise is labored.
This is, in fact, only a summary – the complete case with the specifics behind each bullet point can be found here. For what it’s worth, the blogger is a Republican worried about Huckabee winning the primary and being exposed in the general.
I saw a couple of items in the past couple of days that, shall we say, gave me pause. The first one was about Romney ramping up attack ads against Huckabee (and what an ugly sectarian grudge match that’s shaping up to be), but no mention of Wayne Dumond. I kinda thought that the Republican presidential candidates would be falling all over themselves to “Willie Horton” Huckabee, especially now that he’s looking like more and more of a threat, but it just hasn’t happened.
Which makes me wonder: Is it because Huckabee wrangling the parole of a serial rapist over the objections of his victims and their families just isn’t that big a deal to the supposedly law-and-order Republican base? Is it because Dumond is white and therefore not Scary Boogeyman material? Is it because Dumond raped a Clinton relative, meaning that he was only in prison as part of the Vast Insidious Clinton Conspiracy? Or even if he really was guilty and even if he did rape and kill at least one woman and probably another, it was still a good thing because it was a poke in the Clenis’s eye?
Admittedly, I’m speculating. But after the smears and dirty tricks Dubya’s primary campaign used against McCain in 2000, and Huckabee’s question about whether Mormons think Satan is Jesus’ brother, it’s hard for me to believe that Republicans have any sense of restraint when it comes to primary contests. Which is why I think Romney has calculated that Republican voters wouldn’t consider Huckabee’s role in Dumond’s parole to be a bad thing.
The second item is about the wingnut reaction to the Crazy Minuteman Guy’s endorsement of Huckabee:
I can’t express to you all how little sense this makes. It’s baffling, like so much else associated with Mike Huckabee lately. The only thing more bizarre would have been if Gilchrist had endorsed McCain. How does the founder of the Minutemen endorse Huckabee? What parallel universe have we fallen into that this is happening? I mean, Gilchrist essentially has to ignore everything that the man said or did regarding immigration for the last decade. Apparently the take-away lesson is that shameless pandering works. Before much longer maybe Huckabee will land Tancredo’s endorsement.
So think about that for a moment. Huckabee picks up an endorsement from a right-wing racist nutcase, and the wingnutosphere reaction is not, “OMG, what is Huckabee thinking, getting an endorsement from such a repulsive kook?”, but rather, “OMG, what is Gilchrist thinking? Huckabee is totally unworthy of his valuable endorsement!”
To riff on Bill O’Reilly’s idea, it’s as if Rudy got an endorsement from the ghost of Jeffrey Dahmer, and the wingnuts went ballistic that Dahmer would endorse someone who kills and eats people so infrequently.
So yeah, I think their values system might be just a teensy bit messed up.
Enemy Of Context Michael Luo strikes again! Blue Texan has been beating Luo up for repeatedly failing to mention Romney’s statement about not having a Muslim in his cabinet in the multiple stories he’s written about Romney’s pleas for religious tolerance. When Blue Texan has called him on it, Luo’s excuse is the same every time: Not enough time, and not enough space. For something that could be addressed in a single sentence.
Now Luo has written a story about Mike Huckabee’s creepy AIDS ideas (quarantine the dangerous perverted gays!) and the pressure that he exerted on the Arkansas parole board to release convicted rapist Wayne Dumond. All well and good, and I’m glad to see some mainstream coverage of this, but Luo inexplicably fails to mention that Dumond raped several women, and many of them (or their relatives) wrote to Huckabee begging him not to release Dumond because he would surely rape again, and maybe even kill (he ended up doing both).
Without this added information, it’s a lot easier to sympathize with Huckabee’s side of the story, that maybe Dumond was just this hapless guy who got railroaded for a crime he didn’t commit, or that he had reformed and was no longer a danger. Luo makes Huckabee’s actions look like an error of gullibility or compassion rather than a fuck-you to the rape victims… or to the women of Arkansas in general.
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said it was “heartbreaking” that the deaths of women killed by a convicted rapist who was released from prison after Huckabee supported his parole had become politicized.
On Wednesday, the mother of the woman the convict later murdered pledged to campaign against the former Arkansas governor.
“There are families who are truly, understandably and reasonably, grief stricken,” Huckabee told CNN. “And for people to now politicize these deaths and to try to make a political case out of it rather than to simply understand that a system failed and that we ought to extend our grief and heartfelt sorrow to these families, I just regret politics is reduced to that.”
Yes, it’s absolutely heartbreaking. Almost as heartbreaking as, say, the actual rapes and murders themselves. Almost, but not quite.
I especially like how he says that “a system failed,” like he had no part in it. Like he didn’t personally break the system by pressuring the parole board to release Dumond. The “system” failed because Huckabee meddled with it, and he refuses to take responsibility for it, refuses to admit that maybe, just maybe, he made a tragic mistake based on political calculation.
I won’t stoop to calling that “heartbreaking” – not when more appropriate words like “disgusting” and “despicable” are available.
3 commentsDecember 7th, 2007 at 07:20amPosted by Eli
He could go on about how governing is a tough job and sometimes you make the wrong call, or about how us ignorant commoners don’t understand how little influence governors actually have over parole boards, or he could even fall back on his US Attorney background and explain how little concrete evidence there was to prove that Dumond was a serial rapist, and any governor with a conscience would have done the exact same thing.
Or he could be Law & Order Rudy and just tear Huck a new one. Kornacki (and others) suggest that Huckabee might be angling to be Rudy’s running mate – but does Rudy want Huckabee as his veep? It probably is the smart play, but that doesn’t mean Rudy will do it. I’m kinda hoping he picks Bernie Kerik…
It’s been a rough couple of days for the Huckster. First he shows himself to be utterly unserious on the most important foreign policy matters, and now the Wayne Dumond scandal has just gotten a whole lot worse:
As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee aggressively pushed for the early release of a convicted rapist despite being warned by numerous women that the convict had sexually assaulted them or their family members, and would likely strike again. The convict went on to rape and murder at least one other woman.
Confidential Arkansas state government records, including letters from these women, obtained by the Huffington Post and revealed publicly for the first time, directly contradict the version of events now being put forward by Huckabee.
While on the campaign trail, Huckabee has claimed that he supported the 1999 release of Wayne Dumond because, at the time, he had no good reason to believe that the man represented a further threat to the public. Thanks to Huckabee’s intervention, conducted in concert with a right-wing tabloid campaign on Dumond’s behalf, Dumond was let out of prison 25 years before his sentence would have ended.
“There’s nothing any of us could ever do,” Huckabee said Sunday on CNN when asked to reflect on the horrific outcome caused by the prisoner’s release. “None of us could’ve predicted what [Dumond] could’ve done when he got out.”
But the confidential files obtained by the Huffington Post show that Huckabee was provided letters from several women who had been sexually assaulted by Dumond and who indeed predicted that he would rape again – and perhaps murder – if released.
In a letter that has never before been made public, one of Dumond’s victims warned: “I feel that if he is released it is only a matter of time before he commits another crime and fear that he will not leave a witness to testify against him the next time.” Before Dumond was granted parole at Huckabee’s urging, records show that Huckabee’s office received a copy of this letter from Arkansas’ parole board.
The woman later wrote directly to Huckabee about having been raped by Dumond. In a letter obtained by the Huffington Post, she said that Dumond had raped her while holding a butcher knife to her throat, and while her then-3-year-old daughter lay in bed next to her. Also included in the files sent to Huckabee’s office was a police report in which Dumond confessed to the rape. Dumond was not charged in that particular case because he later refused to sign the confession and because the woman was afraid to press charges.
[See the full letters sent to Huckabee’s office here.]
Huckabee kept these and other documents secret because they were politically damaging, according to a former aide who worked for him in Arkansas. The aide has made the records available to the Huffington Post, deeply troubled by Huckabee’s repeated claims that he had no reason to believe Dumond would commit other violent crimes upon his release from prison. The aide also believes that Huckabee, for political reasons, has deliberately attempted to cover up his knowledge of Dumond’s other sexual assaults.
In 1996, as a newly elected governor who had received strong support from the Christian right, Huckabee was under intense pressure from conservative activists to pardon Dumond or commute his sentence. The activists claimed that Dumond’s initial imprisonment and various other travails were due to the fact that Ashley Stevens, the high school cheerleader he had raped, was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton, and the daughter of a major Clinton campaign contributor.
The case for Dumond’s innocence was championed in Arkansas by Jay Cole, a Baptist minister and radio host who was a close friend of the Huckabee family. It also became a cause for New York Post columnist Steve Dunleavy, who repeatedly argued for Dumond’s release, calling his conviction “a travesty of justice.” On Sept. 21, 1999, Dunleavy wrote a column headlined “Clinton’s Biggest Crime – Left Innocent Man In Jail For 14 Years”:
“Dumond, now 52, was given conditional parole yesterday in Arkansas after having being sentenced to 50 years in jail for the rape of Clinton’s cousin,” Dunleavy wrote. “That rape never happened.”
A subsequent Dunleavy column quoted Huckabee saying: “There is grave doubt to the circumstances of this reported crime.”
After Dumond’s release from prison in September 1999, he moved to Smithville, Missouri, where he raped and suffocated to death a 39-year-old woman named Carol Sue Shields. Dumond was subsequently convicted and sentenced to life in prison for that rape and murder.
But Dumond’s arrest for those crimes in June 2001 came too late for 23-year-old Sara Andrasek of Platte County, Missouri. Dumond allegedly raped and murdered her just one day before his arrest for raping and murdering Shields. Prior to the attack, Andrasek and her husband had learned that she was pregnant with their first child.
Also, John Aravosis is… displeased with Huckabee’s claim that he “felt sorry” for Dumond, which really is kind of an extraordinary thing to say about a brutal serial rapist and soon-to-be murderer. Especially when he knew that the rape Dumond was in prison for was far from an isolated incident.
In a sane and rational country, these two days would be enough to decisively end Huckabee’s presidential campaign. In this country, they might be nothing more than a minor blip.
Best case would be if Republican primary voters cheerfully overlook Huckabee’s ineptitude and moral phoniness… but no-one else does.
3 commentsDecember 5th, 2007 at 11:57amPosted by Eli
At a Republican Governors Association Dinner in 2004, Huckabee took the stage and began to deliver remarks when his cell phone rang. He took the phone out of his pocket and proceeded to have a conversation with God about President Bush’s reelection:
HUCKABEE: Hello? I’m sorry. I’m right in the middle of an event. It’s who? It’s God? On the phone for me? How did he get my number? Oh, God has everybody’s number. OK? Yes, I’ll hold.
Huckabee then engaged in a 3-minute back-and-forth exchange with God, in which Huckabee asserted that God was with the Republicans and President Bush:
We’re behind [Bush], yes, sir, we sure are. Yes, sir, we know you don’t take sides in the election. But, if you did, we kind of think you’d hang in there with us, Lord, we really do.
Huckabee then ended his conversation and walked off the stage to roaring applause.
I find this spectacularly creepy, unfunny, and inappropriate. Republicans found it brilliant.
(Transcript and Matt Taibbi commentary at the Think Progress link)
1 commentNovember 29th, 2007 at 10:46pmPosted by Eli