Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Mike Huckabee--Authentic Crook
I just watched the rerun of last night's Colbert Report, and was treated to the spectacle of Colbert lobbing softballs at Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and current Republican presidential hopeful. Colbert led with a montage of clips showing Huckabee saying the word "authentic" over and over again. In the interview, Huckabee explained his concept of authenticity: "It's like an apple. If you cut into the apple, and it's an apple all the way to the core, that's authentic. If you cut into it and it turns out that it's plastic fruit, there's no nourishment there."
Huckabee then launched into an attack on Mitt Romney, the message being that Huckabee is an "authentic conservative," unlike Romney, who doesn't really hunt, isn't really pro-life, and presided over a state where--gasp!--homos can get married!
Colbert wasn't taking Huckabee all too seriously; he made fun of Huckabee's standing in the polls ("trailing Duncan Hunter, Sam Brownback, and six guys named Thompson"). But Huckabee's been making inroads; he scored some points in South Carolina over the weekend, and made a big splash last week in the press by calling for Attorney General Gonzalez to resign. Huckabee's become sort of a media darling--besides Colbert, he's appeared on The Daily Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and was a frequent guest on Imus. Of course he's appeared on all the Sunday morning political shows.
This has to be nipped in the bud, right now. So, let's talk about authenticity. Huckabee is a Baptist minister; as such, you might expect him to be an authentic man of peace (you know, like Jesus). Quite the contrary. Huckabee is a fanatic supporter of the war in Iraq (watch here as he paints the war in Iraq as a "struggle for existence."). He authentically believes that Armageddon is coming and that Israel must be defended at all costs. He also is a big proponent of the death penalty, with sixteen executions occurring while he was in office, including a triple header--three in one day! Is he an authentic Christian? I'll let you decide.
Huckabee's apple metaphor is more than apt, as long as you consider the apple to be rotten. Huckabee was the most corrupt governor Arkansas has had in recent memory. He accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gifts from supporters, used state aircraft for personal trips, stole furniture from the governor's mansion, and ignored admonishments from the state Ethics Commission. Besides being a crook, Huckabee was a constant embarrassment to the state. He referred to conservationists as "environmental wackos," called Arkansas a "banana republic" on the Imus show, and lived in a triple-wide mobile home on the Governor's Mansion grounds while the residence was being rennovated. His son once tortured a dog to death, with no reprisals. (Read a summary of Huckabee's tenure as Arkansas governor here.)
One would hope that the press would begin giving Huckabee a closer look, particularly if his campaign begins to pick up steam. He despises such scrutiny, frequently lashing out at the press if they dare to question his integrity or to demand accountability. His thin skin will ensure that he is unable to survive as a viable candidate; the sooner that Huckabee is exposed, the better off the country will be.