Mike Huckabee continues to gain support in polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Florida, with some polls putting him in a dead heat for first place. Apparently, people are impressed by Huckabee’s quick wit and his “nice guy” façade. Several liberal and moderate commentators have proclaimed Huckabee the most acceptable candidate among the Republicans. (It should be noted—that’s not saying much.)
But just how “acceptable” is Huckabee? Perhaps we could judge Huckabee by the celebrity endorsements he has garnered. Huckabee was endorsed by professional wrestler “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Flair is known for his borderline racist, over-the-top character in the WWE, but, although he’s had brushes with the law, Flair is probably reasonably harmless. Huckabee might accept his endorsement just for the kitsch value.
Among the first to endorse the Huckster was Ted Nugent. The draft-dodging chicken hawk is a homophobic racist who threatened on stage to kill Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. This is the kind of person who thinks it’s a good idea for Huckabee to be president.
Huckabee didn’t solicit Nugent’s support, and as far as I can tell, hasn’t exactly embraced the endorsement, although he’s made no effort to distance himself from Nugent. The same can’t be said for his endorsement by Chuck Norris. Norris, best known for his martial arts movies and his horrible TV show Walker, Texas Ranger, not only has endorsed Huckabee, but was featured in Huckabee’s first TV ad. The ad was a take-off on the Chuck Norris Joke meme that has fostered dozens of websites; it ridicules Norris’ tough-guy image. What’s the harm? Norris is able to poke fun at himself, as is Huckabee. Isn’t this an indication that he (Huckabee, not Norris) would make a great president?
Norris is not just a harmless TV karate guy. He is a columnist for WorldNetDaily, the goofy wing-nut website that makes Fox News look like the New York Times. Recent articles on WorldNetDaily include a shocking expose on a mall train that takes kids to Victoria’s Secret, and a report on a sheriff fighting against the liberal war on Christmas, and ads that offer a 23-cent cure for heart disease and (for five bucks) a video that proves that Darwinism lead to the Holocaust. Norris himself is responsible for articles proclaiming America a Christian nation and that the Bible should be taught in public schools. In other words, Norris is a true right-wing nut case.
Maybe we could overlook Huckabee’s association with Norris as a fun, funny way to garner attention—maybe Huck doesn’t believe all that crazy shit on the WorldNetDaily site. But it’s more difficult to ignore Huckabee’s latest endorsement. Jerry Falwell, Jr. (son of that Jerry Falwell) said that Huckabee was his choice, and would have been his father’s choice. This endorsement from beyond the grave should be the most disturbing to rational folks. Falwell Sr. once stated, “The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country,” and "AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals....AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals." He also famously claimed that one of the Teletubbies was gay and that the 9/11 attacks were God’s retribution for lesbians and feminists in America. If we can believe the younger Falwell, the man who made these pronouncements thought that Huckabee would make a dandy president.