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Still Another 10 Moments in Mike Huckabee's Extremism

September 29, 2009

During the 2008 presidential campaign, I documented 10, then 10 more and yet another 10 moments in the extremism of Mike Huckabee. Now, fresh off his victory in the straw poll at the so-called Values Voters Summit, the one-time Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor turned Fox News host called for the United States to leave the United Nations. Following his use of the late Ted Kennedy to fight mythical "death panels" and his tacit endorsement of ethic cleansing in the Middle East, the 2012 White House hopeful's latest statements can mean only one thing.
It's time for still another 10 moments in the extremism of Mike Huckabee:
31. Huckabee Calls for the U.S. to Leave the UN
32. Huckabee Uses Ted Kennedy to Push Death Panels Myth
33. Huckabee Warns of "Union of American Socialist Republics"
34. Huckabee Says Governors Should Ignore Court Rulings
35. Huckabee Sees "Hand of God" in Prop 8 Victory
36. Huckabee Claims Civil Rights of Gays Not Being Violated
37. Huckabee Opposes Two-State Solution in Middle East
38. Huckabee Calls for Abolition of IRS and Putting Politics in the Pulpit
39. Huckabee Parrots GOP's "Club Gitmo" Talking Point
40. Huckabee Headlines Electromagnetic Pulse Conference
31. Huckabee Calls for the U.S. to Leave the UN
The United Nations has been a favorite right-wing punching bag for generations, the bogeyman of Birchers and Birthers alike. At this weekend's "How to Take Back America" shindig (an event which featured sessions such as "How to Recognize Living under Nazis & Communists"), Mike Huckabee added his name to the list.
Looking to top John Bolton's hypothetical about lopping off 10 floors of the United Nations building, Huckabee called for casting the whole institution into the sea. To a standing ovation, Huckabee declared:

"It's time to get a jackhammer and to simply chip that part of New York City. Let it float into the East River, never to be seen again."

32. Huckabee Uses Ted Kennedy to Push Death Panels Myth
In their ever-escalating effort to derail health care reform, Republicans from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to Obama's ersatz negotiating partner Chuck Grassley warned of mythical government "death panels" which would "pull the plug on grandma."
To make his version of the case, Governor Huckabee turned to the example of the late Senator Kennedy. Just moments after criticizing Democrats for defying "good taste" by claiming "Congress must hurry and pass the health care reform bill and do it in his memory," Huckabee announced:

"It was President Obama himself who suggested that seniors who don't have as long to live might want to just consider taking a pain pill instead of getting an expensive operation to cure them. Yet when Sen. Kennedy was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at 77, did he give up on life and go home to take pain pills and die? Of course not. He freely did what most of us would do. He chose an expensive operation and painful follow up treatments."

33. Huckabee Warns of "Union of American Socialist Republics"
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican nominee John McCain was among the few in his party generally refraining from branding Barack Obama a socialist, a communist or worse. But as he made clear in February, Mike Huckabee stands with the frothing at the mouth tea bagger army of Glenn Beck.
Huckabee's version of the Red Scare came at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February:

"The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics may be dead," said Huckabee, "but a Union of American Socialist Republics is being born." Democrats, according to Huckabee, were packing 40 years of pet projects like "health care rationing" into spending bills. "Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff."

34. Huckabee Says Governors Should Ignore Court Rulings
During the 2008 campaign, Governor Huckabee famously called for a faith-based Constitution "so it's in God's standards." But when it comes to his belief in basic constitutional principles like checks and the balances between the three branches of government, not so much.
In an August 25, 2008 interview with CNS, Huckabee insisted that governors Romney and Schwarzenegger "should not have complied with decisions by their state supreme courts that ordered legal recognition of same-sex marriages." Echoing the segregationists of old, Huckabee declared:

"You know, it's interesting, the California decision as well as the Massachusetts decision, I don't think should ever have been implemented by the governors, Schwarzenegger and Romney. They were both decisions that the governors simply could have said the court has said that we have to do it, but let them enforce it. Because those were administrative decisions that had to put that in place and there was no mandate...I would not have done that."

35. Huckabee Sees "Hand of God" in Prop 8 Victory
On more than one occasion, Mike Huckabee credited divine intervention for his political triumphs. So it should come as no surprise that Huckabee similarly saw the hand of God behind the success of California's Proposition 8, a ballot measure which banned same-sex marriages in the Golden State.
During his "Rediscovering God in America" lecture in June at the Rock Church in Hampton Roads, Virginia, Huckabee testified to God's role in furthering both the American Revolution and Huckabee's own reactionary social policies. As the Virginia Pilot recounted:

"The notion that we are just one of many among equals is nonsense," Huckabee said. The United States is a "blessed" nation, he said, calling American revolutionaries' defeat of the British empire "a miracle from God's hand."

The same kind of miracle, he said, led California voters to approve Proposition 8, which overturned a state law legalizing same-sex marriages.

Voters "did it because some things are right and some things are wrong and they had to make a stand."

(Last November, Huckabee told right-wing radio's Bill Bennett that Prop 8 did not ban same-sex marriage. "That's not what those efforts did," he said, adding, "They affirmed what is. They did not prohibit something.")
36. Huckabee Claims Civil Rights of Gays Not Being Violated
Mike Huckabee's crowing over Proposition 8 is in keeping with his long record of antipathy towards gay Americans. After all, Huckabee in the past had called for the quarantine of AIDS victims and equated homosexuality with pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia.
But as he made clear in November on ABC's The View, Huckabee defended his views on marriage equality by insisting "It's a different set of rights" for gay Americans:

"But here is the difference. Bull Connor was hosing people down in the streets of Alabama. John Lewis got his skull cracked on the Selma bridge."

37. Huckabee Opposes Two-State Solution in Middle East
During the 2008 campaign, the End-Times Pastor and founder of Christians United for Israel John Hagee emerged as a vocal opponent of any concessions to Palestinians in the cause of Middle East peace. But as the controversial John McCain endorser faded from view, Mike Huckabee has taken his place in advocating Armageddon as American foreign policy.
As it turns out, Huckabee doesn't merely oppose the consensus around a two-state solution in the Middle East. (As he put it last year, "The two-state solution is no solution, but will cause only problems.") In Israel to support extremist Meir Kahane acolyte Dov Hikind to raise funds to expand Israeli settlements, Huckabee in August in essence backed de facto ethic cleansing as the answer to Palestinian aspirations for a national homeland - somewhere else:

"The question is should the Palestinians have a place to call their own? Yes, I have no problem with that. Should it be in the middle of the Jewish homeland? That's what I think has to be honestly assessed as virtually unrealistic."

38. Huckabee Calls for Abolition of IRS and Putting Politics in the Pulpit
Mike Huckabee long ago declared his support for ending the income tax and abolishing the IRS and instead shifting to a wildly irresponsible - and regressive consumption tax. But as he made clear at the Values Voters Summit, one of the fringe benefits (literally) of his backing of the so-called Fair Tax is enabling pastors to preach politics from the pulpit without fear of losing their churches' tax exempt status:

"If we are really serious about fixing the economy, it's about high time we talked about the repeal of the 16th amendment get rid of the income tax and the IRS, enact the Fair Tax and tell the IRS that since you don't exist anymore, you won't be able to intimidate pastors and Christian people across this country by threatening them with some tax penalty as a result of their speaking out in their Constitutional First Amendment right for freedom of speech and freedom of religion."

39. Huckabee Parrots GOP's "Club Gitmo" Talking Point
From John Boehner and Jeff Sessions to John Ensign and Duncan Hunter, the leading lights of the Republican Party have defended the Bush administration's regime of detainee torture by presenting Guantanamo Bay as the equivalent of Club Med. As he showed in December 2007, Mike Huckabee could be counted among the propagators of the Club Gitmo myth:

"The inmates there were getting a whole lot better treatment than my prisoners in Arkansas. In fact, we left saying, 'I hope our guys don't see this. They'll all want to be transferred to Guantanamo.' If anything, it's too nice."

At this month's Values Voters Summit, Huckabee returned to his theme, arguing, "Here we are gutting the integrity of the CIA and calling them liars, while at the same time treating suspected terrorists like rock stars and giving them refuge in Bermuda."
40. Huckabee Headlines Electromagnetic Pulse Conference
Earlier this year, Newt Gingrich raised eyebrows by citing a novel as proof the United States needed missile defense systems to prevent Iran and North Korea from launching an electromagnetic pulse attack to disable the American electric grid and communications. Now, the neocon crowd's "scientifically valid," but "not strategically realistic" scenario of devastating nuclear cloudbursts is part and parcel of the Huckabee worldview.
On September 10, Governor Huckabee the keynote speaker on day two of the EMPACT America conference on the threat from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks. At the event sponsored by food and beverage maker Steuben Foods, Huckabee warned his audience about the usual suspects. Citing his experience in dealing with devastating ice storms that left his home state of Arkansas without power for 21 days:

Huckabee agreed with Dr. Fritz Ermarth, former chairman of the National Intelligence Council, who told the attendees on Wednesday the greatest threat of an EMP attack would likely come from so-called rogue states like Iran or North Korea or from a terrorist network like al-Qaida.

Recalling the unpredicted terrorist attacks of 9/11, Huckabee said, "The greatest threat we face today is the naiveté about the threat of our enemies. Any country who has the capacity to explode a nuclear device is a threat."

For more details on the 30 previous moments in the extremism of Mike Huckabee, see:

  • "Top 10 Moments in Mike Huckabee's Extremism"
  • "10 More Moments in Mike Huckabee's Extremism"
  • "Yet Another 10 Moments in Mike Huckabee's Extremism"
  • UPDATE 1: The Satirical Political Report explains Huckabee's opposition to the United Nations and foreigners speaking in tongues.
    UPDATE 2: In the comments, One Second After author, frequent Gingrich co-author and EMPACT conference attendee William Forstchen defends his novel and the need to respond to the EMP threat. The New Republic's Michael Crowley and ThinkProgress have more background on EMP (which nuclear weapons and arms control expert Joe Cirincione agrees "is real") and the controversial leap by Huckabee, Gingrich, Gaffney et al that missile defense and pre-emptive strikes against North Korea and Iran (rather than infrastructure preparation and other lower-cost countermeasures) are required to counter it.
    Regardless, Forstchen mischaracterizes this piece by mistakenly claiming it argues "being concerned about EMP is somehow an act of extremism." It does not. What this blog does regard as "utter foolishness" is the assertion by Newt Gingrich (and now apparently seconded by Mike Huckabee) that the potential EMP threat "is why I have said publicly that I favor taking out Iranian and North Korean missiles on their sites."

    10 comments on “Still Another 10 Moments in Mike Huckabee's Extremism”

    1. Quick question and comment since you were not at the EMP conference....
      If Huckaby said that drinking water is a good thing, would you stop drinking water? The conference which highlighted the "scientifically valid," ...scenario of devastating nuclear cloudbursts" was only part of the story. The other was the newly issued warnings by NASA and NOAA about the effects of a 100 year solar storm that is just as serious as an EMP attack and 100% likely over time. In this case, the east coast could suffer a year long black out with a 4-10 year recovery.
      This is not a neo-con issue; it is clearly multipartisan. It just happens that hardening the vulnerable infrastructure solves both problems at the same time.
      The conference solution orientation was primarily focused on local government and private sector activities led as much or more by democrats than conservative republicans.
      So, let's not miss an opportunity to create the unity the country needs around an issue that ought not be co-opted by one extreme or another. More importantly, let's not let political elitists draw our attention away from protecting the weak and the poor from the various Katrina's of the future. For more info, just Google NASA or NOAA and solar storm articles from the last few months.

    2. I attended the conference on EMP held last month at Niagara Falls, NY. I was one of nearly 1200 in attendance. Included in the roster of those attending were hundreds of top scientists and engineers who have studied this issue for years, some coming from as far as Europe, South Korea and Pakistan. In short it was an audience that could be highly critical of someone not working from a platform of solid scientific fact regarding the issue of EMP, be it solar or nuclear generated. I did not hear one single critical statement regarding Governor Huckabee’s well grounded presentation. In contrast, you base your attack quote on the statement of a lone journalist, without any background in the sciences, who wrote an attack and smear article about Newt Gingrich in New Republic. When this journalist was repeatedly challenged with the facts, he did not have the courage, or even the common decency to reply, having already moved on to his next target. I find it amazing that you quote him as have others on the Left as some sort of authority when he is not.
      I do have a personal reason to respond to your baseless attack as well. I am the author of “the novel” on EMP, “One Second After,” which Newt cited. The use of novels to convey clear evidence, be it scientific or regarding social issues has a long tradition, from the warnings of Orwell, to the passionate work of Harper Lee, and Remarque’s protest against war. I darn not compare myself to them in terms of literary talent, but I do maintain that my novel, Newt’s warning, and Huckabee’s warnings are indeed realistic. All three of us firmly maintain that this is not a partisan issue, it is an American issue regarding our safety and perhaps our survival. An EMP event will most definitely not discriminate between liberal or conservative, or selectively kill based upon, race, gender, religion, red state or blue etc. It will be deadly for all of us.
      If you should doubt this, may I suggest calling up the office of Congressman Bennie Thompson, (D. MS), by every definition a liberal Democrat and ask him why he has so gallantly reached across the aisle to Republicans and co sponsored H.R. 2195 to start hardening our infrastructure against the threat of EMP. Or simply go on line, run a google or wikipedia search, study the issue for an hour, and you will realize the utter foolishness presented on this site that being concerned about EMP is somehow an act of extremism.
      William R. Forstchen Ph.D. Author of “One Second After”

    3. Gerry,
      It might be instructive for your readers to look at the recent US Congressional Reports on the subject of EMP and their comments about the potentially devastating impact on our country. The reports present warnings diametrically opposed to the uninformed views of so many.
      Joe Child

    4. infrastructure vs missile defense note:
      The EMP conference at Niagara attracted people with a broad range of political persuasions. There were a number who thought missile defense is smart and others who would disagree. Your comment on "infrastructure preparation and other lower-cost countermeasures... required to counter it" was exactly the focus of the conference. You would have loved to have been there to experience that emphasis from people on all sides of the political and defense policy issue... The only disappointment for you may have been that most there were citizens and local officials who were concerned about preparing and protecting their infrastructure and might not consider defense issues their highest priority or special interest. Those with a strong defense interest, including Governor Huckabee and those favoring missile defense, agreed that preparation and lower-cost hardening countermeasures was the proper focus of the conference.

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    Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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