Huckabee: Bhutto Did Not Graciously Submit to Woman's Role
The assassination of Benazir Bhutto has given the White House hopefuls of both parties ample opportunities for grandstanding. While Hillary Clinton predictably played up her past relationship with Bhutto, John McCain touted his foreign policy experience. The co-chair of New Hampshire's Veterans for Rudy Giuliani declared his candidate would chase Muslims "back to their caves." But for the most disturbing - and ironic - reaction, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is in a class by himself.
Bhutto was killed, Huckabee suggested, because she posed a threat to the fundamentalist vision of the role of women. That vision, it turns out, is not far from his own.
In Iowa on Friday, Huckabee with no apparent sense of irony offered his analysis of the forces that led to Bhutto's doom. As the Huffington Post reported:
Huckabee called Bhutto's death a tragedy, but he suggested she had been a threat to Islamic fundamentalists. "An educated, sophisticated, strong, capable woman leader -- that does pose a threat to those who don't believe that women should be given that platform and that level of equality," Huckabee said.
Americans could be forgiven for their confusion. Huckabee, after all, has made it clear that he himself is one of those "don't believe that women should be given that platform and that level of equality." As I noted previously, in 1998 then Governor Huckabee was one of 131 signatories on a full page ad in USA Today which praised the Southern Baptist Convention, for among other things, its defense of traditional marriage and the subservient position of women. The ad declared:
"You are right because you called husbands to sacrificially love and lead their wives.
You are right because you called wives to graciously submit to their husband's sacrificial leadership.
More importantly, you are right because your statement is based on biblical truth."
Sadly, Huckabee's outrages in the wake of the Bhutto assassination don't end there. On Thursday, the GOP frontrunner again confirmed his foreign policy neophyte status by stating the U.S. needs to consider "what impact does it have on whether or not there's going to be martial law continuing in Pakistan." Reprising his ignorance of the Iran NIE, Huckabee seemed blissfully unaware that Pervez Musharraf lifted martial law restrictions in Pakistan two weeks ago. On Friday, Huckabee suggested that the attack on Bhutto in Rawalpindi, Pakistan required the profiling of Pakistanis coming to the United States:
"We ought to have an immediate, very clear monitoring of our borders and particularly to make sure if there's any unusual activity of Pakistanis coming into the country."
Even as Benazir Bhutto was laid to rest in Pakistan, the U.S. and Musharraf government claimed the assassination was the work of extremists. As Perrspectives documented here and here, Mike Huckabee should know one when he sees one.
UPDATE: Ignoring the old dictum that when in a hole, one should stop digging, the Huckabee campaign continued to embarrass itself in the wake of the Bhutto assassination. After first offering his "apologies" rather his sympathies to the Pakistani people, Governor Huckabee failed geography 101 in placing Afghanistan to the east of Pakistan. In his defense, a Huckabee aide admitted his man has "no foreign policy credentials."