Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Company He Keeps

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” fa├žade. 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.

9 comments:

TheVillageIdiot said...

John, It is very interesting that in your comments about your governor you talk about people not taking his campaign seriously. Back in the day, we in California had a mediocre actor (who was president of the Screen Actors Guild) become more active in a statewide conservative effort to change the usually liberal leanings of our state. I remember hearing people talking about how remote the chances of this charming, good looking but basically shallow guy becoming a force in California politics. Geez, if we had only known . . . .
25 years later, another good looking actor got involved in a recall campaign against a Democratic Governor (unfortunately the Governor was mediocre also). And again we said "It's impossible for a guy that inexperienced to succeed, no matter how much money and spin he puts into it. We're just not that foolish.
I think, after watching him in the debates last night, we should be very nervous about a guy like Huckabee, Very Nervous.
"All animals are equal, Some animals are more equal than others".

JohnMcG said...

So we shouldn't vote for Huckabee because some stupid people endorse him?

Or because one of his supporters writes for a publication that puts out nutty articles?

I'm quite sure every candidate has nuts among his supporters.

Archaeopteryx said...

Hi McG--

It would be one thing if Huckabee didn't embrace the endorsements of the Norrisses and Falwells (living or dead). But he does, and he has aimed himself squarely in the direction of their followers. I'll stand by this: If Jerry Falwell thinks a man would make a good president, that's the easiest disqualification that can be made.

Keifus said...

Sigh. I'm just kind of disappointed about Chuck Norris.

JohnMcG said...

http://volokh.com/posts/1196438813.shtml

In order to win, every candidate, every candidate, is going to need support from some unsavory folks.

Catnapping said...

God. What worries me about this...is the press. They liked GW...cuz he seemed like such a nice guy. His persona was sooo easy-going, while Gore was so uncomfortable in his own skin.

If the press takes a liking to Huckabee, we're screwed. They won't bother to point out what a POS he is. Look at all the crap they let go on good ol' GW.

Claude Scales said...

I share the misgivings of thevillagidiot and catnapping. Particularly disturbing to me is the obscure former Arkansas governor precedent. What an unsplendid irony if he were to get the nomination and then defeat Hillary.

Off topic: Arch, I'm sure you must be following this disturbing story.

Archaeopteryx said...

Claude, I have been watching that story. It's not as rare a situation as one might think--there are whispers that something similar happened in my home state.

steve said...

Yes, this is worrying indeed. I'm loving this blog btw--gotta link it to mine.