Mike Huckabee

Right Wing Leftovers

  • At a rally for Bob McDonnell, Mike Huckabee trotted out his line urging McDonnell supporters to deflate the tires of Democrats to keep them from going to the polls on election day.
  • Speaking Huckabee, he spoke yesterday at Rider University where he unveiled two new proposals: "He said there should be term limits for members of Congress. And he said senators should once again be elected by state legislatures, not popular vote."
  • Newt Gingrich is predicting that “if the Republicans can’t break out of being the right wing party of big government, then I think you would see a third party movement in 2012.”
  • Mark Levin is refusing to use the term "liberal," insisting instead on the term "statist" for those with whom he disagrees: "These folks are not liberals, because liberal in its classical sense is the opposite of authoritarian. They are the authoritarians — if you listen to them, they constantly speak of the government doing this and the government doing that. They are government-centric, or Statists. They represent the power of a central heavy-handed government against the people."
  • Texas Governor Rick Perry has proclaimed April as Abortion Recovery Awareness Month.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Mike Huckabee is currently traveling around Virginia raising tens of thousands of dollars for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell.
  • Speaking of Huckabee, it looks like his daily radio updates are quite popular and are about to get a big boost.
  • It looks as if Kay Bailey Hutchison's gubernatorial campaign is trying to undermine Gov. Rick Perry by using his own support from Sarah Palin against him.
  • Is Sen. John Cornyn really threatening to drag the Al Franken-Norm Coleman election out for "years"?
  • Liberty University profiles an alumni: Fox News's Shannon Bream.
  • This, amazingly, does not appear to be a joke.
  • Don Feder declares that "the New York Times' relationship with Barack Obama is similar to a famous intern's connection to former President Clinton -- minus the stained dress."
  • The American Family Association hates "Family Guy."  They also hate Pepsi.  And now they hate Pepsi for running ads during "Family Guy."
  • The Traditional Values Coalition declares that David Hamilton will have "'empathy' for the poor, child molesters, abortionists, murderers" and predicts that his "confirmation will be one more nail in the coffin of freedom in America."
  • Have you ever wanted to listen to Alan Keyes ramble on about the Constitution for two hours?  Well, now is your chance and it will only cost you $25. Of you can sign up for 28 hours of Keyes' delivered indoctrination for the bargain price of $150.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Judicial Confirmation Network takes heart in the fact that "75 percent of Senate Republicans" voted against Elena Kagan's nomination to be Solicitor General, saying it shows that if President Obama tries to make a similar appoint to the Supreme Court, "there will be a formidable GOP Senate contingent ready to take a stand to protect the Constitution and the Court."
  • Focus on the Family takes a different view: "The only thing more egregious than Obama's nominations of pro-abortion, anti-family activists to the Department of Justice is the Senate's swift confirmation of so many of them, with very few objections."
  • Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network reported a nearly 10% increase in donations in 2008, giving it $278.7 million in total revenue.
  • For some reason, the AP is running stories about Mike Huckabee comparing abortion to slavery as if this is not something he has been saying for years.
  • The Family Policy Council of West Virginia is using telemarketers to target state legislators who it accuses of blocking their efforts to get a marriage amendment on the ballot.
  • A Roman Catholic bishop in Indiana says he will boycott a pro-life banquet if RNC Chairman Michael Steele is allowed to speak.
  • Sometimes you have to wonder if there is any hook that Day Gardner will not use as an opportunity to decry abortion.
  • The Washington Times is launching it own three-hour syndicated radio program later this spring.
  • Finally, this week's installment of the Family Research Council's Washington Watch Weekly featured Rick Berman discussing EFCA.  Berman was billed as "the executive director of the Center for Union Facts," which he is ... but he is better known as a shameless corporate shill who is referred to as "Dr. Evil."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Wendy Long says President Obama promised new and higher standards for bipartisanship" on judicial nominations and says that his first nominee "does NOT count," despite the fact that the nominee’s home state Republican Senator is on board.
  • The Family Institute of Connecticut Action is demanding that Reps. Michael Lawlor and Sen. Andrew McDonald be removed from their positions as co-chairmen of the Connecticut General Assembly's Judiciary Committee because they have launched "an outrageous unconstitutional attack on religious liberty."
  • Why is it that in every article discussing the future of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the only person ever quoted as opposing it is Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness?
  • Presumably, Gordon Klingenschmitt will be heading down to Florida to make this his next crusade in his never-ending war to protect the nation's chaplains.
  • Good news: registration for this year's Values Voter Summit is now officially open.
  • Finally, Mike Huckabee writes that "if conservatives would really live according to the principles of classic conservatism, all of America would be conservative today" and, once again, takes the opportunity to criticize those who doubted the message of his presidential campaign:
  • It was especially disgusting to me to watch some of the very leaders who had smugly dismissed my candidacy for president because I had the audacity to speak out against the excesses of Wall Street and Washington as early as February 2007 now stand up and flop-sweat as they explained why they were about to support the government taking off the striped shirts of the referee and put on the jersey of a team to play the game for one team against another all in the name of "saving the markets."

... And Out Come The Wolves

It has only been a few hours since Michael Steele's GQ interview first hit the blogs, but a variety of right-wing leaders have already blasted him for his heresy on the issues of homosexuality and reproductive choice.

As we mentioned before, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Charmaine Yoest, formerly of FRC and now president of Americans United for Life, and anti-choice activist Jill Stanek had all weighed in to question his commitment to the right-wing agenda and his standing as Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

And the hits just keep on coming:

Roberta Combs, president of the Christian Coalition: "I'm a little surprised that Michael Steele, being the leader of the Republican Party, is at odds with the pro-life platform, the platform that conservative put in place... If this is his viewpoint, he has made it be known. I'm just surprised that the leader of the party is at odds with the pro-life platform."

Evangelical leader Lou Engle: "Steele's argument that abortion is a matter of "individual choice" is extremely disappointing, especially in light of past statements in which he promised to protect and defend human life. "Steele's remarks to GQ indicate that he may be confused about "choice" and the "law." The law is supposed to protect human life, not permit the taking of it. And, it can never be a "choice" for an individual to take a life."

Mike Huckabee has likewise spoken out via a post on his Huck PAC blog:

Comments attributed to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele are very troubling and despite his clarification today the party stands to lose many of its members and a great deal of its support in the trenches of grassroots politics. Since 1980, our party has been steadfast and principled in believing in the dignity and worth of every human life. We have supported a Constitutional amendment to protect life and the party has taken the position that no one individual has the supreme right to own another person in totality including the right to take that life. For Chairman Steele to even infer that taking a life is totally left up to the individual is not only a reversal of Republican policy and principle, but it's a violation of the most basic of human rights--the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. His statement today helps, but doesn't explain why he would ever say what he did in the first place.

Finally, Ken Blackwell, who's support for Steele helped put him over the top during the RNC election back in January, has issued a not-so-veiled call for him to step down:

"Chairman Steele, as the leader of America's Pro-Life conservative party, needs to re-read the Bible, the U.S. Constitution, and the 2008 GOP Platform. He then needs to get to work -- or get out of the way."

Blackwell's decision to cut himself loose from Steele is, in many ways, primarily an effort to save his own reputation.  He was the Religious Right's choice for RNC Chairman but dropped out early in the election when it was clear he wasn't going to win. He then endorsed Steele, of whom the Right was already suspicious, and set about attempting to explain his decision by saying that he had been assured that Steele fully supported the GOP platform which, as Religious Right leaders are fond of reminding everyone, was among the most right-wing platforms the party has ever had.

As Blackwell explained it:

Over breakfast on January 30, Mr. Steele and I discussed the 2008 platform. During that conversation he earnestly expressed his full support of the platform. This is a platform that is unabashedly pro-life, strongly grounded in Second Amendment freedoms, and fully embracing limited government and the rule of law.

That conservation and my perception of Mr. Steele’s authentic embrace of those principles provided me with the basis upon which I could endorse him with a clear conscience and firm conviction once I determined it was time for me to exit the race.


Principle must trump politics. I would rather endorse no one than endorse someone I feared might abandon the GOP’s values and priorities.

I supported Mr. Steele because, by energetically advocating the principles and policies in the GOP platform, he can reunite and grow the GOP once again. Republicans face daunting challenges, but by being true to our principles Republicans can be the real agents of change.

Of course, Steele's commitment to those principles is now being called into question ... as is Blackwell's judgment in supporting him, which largely explains why he was among the first to tell Steele that it might be time for him to "get out of the way."

Huckabee's Loyalists: Where Are They Now?

Since dropping out of the Republican Primary last year, Mike Huckabee has settled into a lucrative career as a television host, radio commentator, author, public speaker, and political pundit. While he is enjoying his new-found roles, his former supporters are increasingly going off the deep end.

When he was running for office, he rounded up a gaggle of second-tier Religious Right figures to serve on his Faith & Family Values Coalition and increasingly that list seems to be becoming the primary source for much of the craziness that is engulfing the movement. 

Since Huckabee’s campaign ended, Jerry Jenkins has been seen discussing whether Barack Obama is the Antichrist or merely a pre-cursor to the Antichrist; Star Parker has been heard declaring that public schools are “cesspools” designed to indoctrinate students with “anti-Christian worldviews”; Mat Staver has been proclaiming that letting gays get married will lead to a whole generation of violent criminals; Jerry Cox has been hard at work ensuring that gays cannot adopt children; Kelly Shackelford has been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars defending Sarah Palin and warning that gays are out to destroy Christian businesses; and Rick Scarborough has been complaining about the relentless persecution of Christians in America.

But nobody has gone more off the rails than Janet Porter, the co-chair of Huckabee’s coalition (though her last name was Folger at the time). Starting with her declaration that anyone who voted for Obama was going straight to hell and her prayers to God to keep him out of office and continuing through to her joining up with the Birthers and allegations that Obama’s presidency was the culmination of a decade-long Communist conspiracy, Porter has been a one-woman source of right-wing lunacy.

Just last week she declared that our nation is currently being cursed by God for electing Obama and now she is warning that a massive catastrophe is on the way. Citing Teen Challenge founder David Wilkerson, who claims that weeks before September 11th he had been warned by God that a calamity was coming and so he stayed up all night on Sept. 10th making sandwiches, Porter declares that another, even worse, catastrophe is on the way because Wilkerson has prophesied it and, as she says, “we'd be crazy not to listen” to him.

Here is Wilkerson’s warning:

For ten years I have been warning about a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires—such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago.

There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting—including Times Square, New York City. What we are experiencing now is not a recession, not even a depression. We are under God’s wrath … God is judging the raging sins of America and the nations. He is destroying the secular foundations

First, I give you a practical word I received for my own direction. If possible lay in store a thirty-day supply of non-perishable food, toiletries and other essentials. In major cities, grocery stores are emptied in an hour at the sign of an impending disaster.

As for our spiritual reaction, we have but two options. This is outlined in Psalm 11. We “flee like a bird to a mountain.” Or, as David says, “He fixed his eyes on the Lord on his throne in heaven—his eyes beholding, his eyelids testing the sons of men” (v. 4). “In the Lord I take refuge” (v. 1).

I will say to my soul: No need to run...no need to hide. This is God’s righteous work. I will behold our Lord on his throne, with his eye of tender, loving kindness watching over every step I take—trusting that he will deliver his people even through floods, fires, calamities, tests, trials of all kinds.

Unfortunately for us, Wilkerson says he does not “know when these things will come to pass,” but does know that they are coming and it is up to each of us to “do with the message as you choose.”

Most people would choose to ignore it, but not Porter:

With the election of the most pro-abortion president (and Congress) in history, there's no question that we deserve God's judgment … The bottom line is that we are economically and morally bankrupt. And it's reported that Iran now has all they need to build nukes.

So, when the guy who made the 2,000 sandwiches on Sept. 10 warns us: "AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN," I think we would do well to heed it.

So it is just worth pointing out once again: Porter was co-chair of Huckabee’s faith coalition and hailed by him in his book as "one of the main catalysts" for his success in the Republican primary.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Religious Right is acting as if President Obama has sold them out with his decision to reverse Bush's stem cell policy.
  • Want to go skeet shooting with Mike Huckabee and Duncan Hunter?  Of course you do!  And for just $250, you can.
  • Tony Perkins sees the bright side of the economic crisis and the news that religious affiliation in this country is dropping, saying that the two are linked and that "if this poll is taken next year" the outcome will be different because "as the economy goes downward, I think people are going to be driven to religion."
  • Finally, Ken Blackwell and Star Parker team up to try to explain why African Americans don't support the Republican Party:
  • Black marriage and families were not always in this sorry state. A substantial body of research shows that the breakdown followed the growth of socially intrusive big government in the 1960s - the same socially intrusive big government that the Democratic Party continues to promote today.

    But these facts are mainly discussed only in conservative intellectual circles - which are overwhelmingly white. Most blacks don’t hear it, or think about it much. The churchgoers probably know it in their bones, but they don’t act on it in the voting booth.

    Instead, the black community drowns in the message that conservatives are racists and that it’s racism that causes black poverty and lack of opportunity.

Huckabee: Everything to Everyone and Unloved By Them All

Mike Huckabee is something of an odd political animal: a Republican politician who insists the he is both a fiscal and social conservative but can't get support from either the fiscal or social conservatives in the party.

He made this point when he spoke last week at CPAC, saying that the two issues were fundamentally intertwined.  For his effort, he was rewarded with a measly seven percent of the vote in the conference's straw poll, well behind winner Mitt Romney whom he absolutely loathes and views as the incarnation of everything wrong with the Republican Party.

In his recent book, Huckabee referred to himself as "politically homeless" and didn't hesitate to lash out at the both wings of the GOP base, calling the fiscal conservatives a bunch of East Coast blue-blood snobs and the leaders of the Religious Right a bunch of sell-outs ... something that will undoubtedly not help his efforts to win them over if he decides to make another run at the White House.

But just because nobody in the Republican Party is moved his insistence that he alone represents everything the GOP claims to stand for doesn't mean he is going to stop saying it ... or criticizing those in the party who refuse to buy it:

Q: Despite you being a reasonably successful two-term governor, the Republican Party bosses didn't seem to like you or seem to appreciate your entrance onto the stage for the primaries. Why?

A: Part of it was that I had the audacity to suggest that there was a Washington-to-Wall Street axis of power that was ruining the party. Now, what I was excoriated for proves out to be that I was prophetic.

Q: In a line or two, what kind of a Republican are you?

A: I would describe myself as a "total conservative, a conscientious one." And that I believe that one doesn't separate the fiscal and social issues because they are tied together. The theme of my book was that if families and a culture start breaking down, it is going to lead to a larger government and far more expensive government.


Q: Were you at all punished by conservative Republicans for being too soft on social issues, in the sense that you were too willing to use government to address social issues?

A: I never wanted government to be the first line of defense. In fact, I think really what I got punished for was not having enough money to defend myself against the attacks of the people who had enough money to frame me in a way that was totally inaccurate. Once people started doing their own research and homework, I don't think they ever came to those conclusions.

When asked if he plans to run again, Huckabee responds that he just doesn't know but vows that, if he does, he's not going to change a thing:

I wouldn't change any positions because those are convictions. That's one of the problems I have with people who take a poll to find out what they believe this week. I think one of the reasons that I got as far as I did was because people knew that what I was saying was consistent with what I had always said and what I had always done.

Considering that that worked out so well last time, we can only hope that he follows through on the pledge.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Harry Jackson will be leading an anti-Sebelius rally next week linked to the 30th Annual Maryland March for Life.
  • Speaking of Sebelius, Catholic Advocate, which was just at the center of a controversy for questioning the Catholic commitments of several Democratic lawmakers, has unveiled Catholics Against Kathleen Sebelius.
  • The Washington Times tries to figure out who will become the next James Dobson.  The name that keeps popping up? Rick Warren.
  • Mike Huckabee will be heading to South Carolina in April to make an appearance at a rally for the Fair Tax.
  • The Family Research Council has announced promotions for Tom McClusky and Connie Mackey.
  • The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission targets the SPLC for categorizing various Religious Right groups as "hate groups."
  • Finally, the Liberty Counsel has filed its brief in the Florida adoption case, saying the "ban adoption by homosexuals" is necessary "because the best interest of children is served by placing them in homes with a mom and a dad or where there is a likelihood of a mom and a dad." I have no idea what the "likelihood of a mom and a dad" could possibly mean.

CPAC: Huckabee Stands Up for the Social Conservatives

After blasting the bank bailouts for giving taxpayer money to "the geniuses that got us into this mess," Mike Hucakbee took a swipe at all the fiscal conservative who dismissed him during the GOP primary as some sort of populist for daring to suggest that there was a "Wall Street to Washington axis of power that was out of control" and wondering when they will all apologize to him, as his warnings "seem prophetic now."

He then called out those in the conservative movement who are trying to use the GOP's recent string of electoral losses and the economic crisis to throw the social conservatives under the bus, saying that social conservative's values are the key to creating a fiscally conservative government and that the GOP "didn't lose because of social conservatives," but rather because it became the party that forgot what it stood for.

He doesn't say anything particularly radical in this clip, but it is interesting to note that, when he ran for president, Huckabee didn't get much support from the Religious Right power-brokers in Washington DC and got absolutely no support from the limited government/fiscal conservative organizations.  It looks like, as he positions himself for a possible 2012 presidential bid, Huckabee has decided that the group he most needs to win over are the social conservative leaders ... an effort that will undoubtedly be complicated by the fact that, in his last book, he spent several pages calling those leaders a bunch of sell-outs:

Sarah Posner has more on Huckabee's speech.

Huckabee Rolls Out the Robo-Calls

Yesterday, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported that Mike Huckabee is working hard to hold on to the influence he gained during the Republican primary via his political action committee, Huck PAC.  Unfortunately, Huckabee's popularity with grassroots conservatives has not necessarily been translating into significant funding, and so Huck PAC is focusing, at the moment, on building up an army of volunteers:

The former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate this week will boost his political action committee's effort to string together a nationwide web of grass-roots organizers.

That network, with foundation-laying parties set for more than 120 homes Thursday night, is meant to push conservative causes forward and to fight much of the work supported by a similar - and larger - coalition topped by President Barack Obama.


Looking ahead, Huckabee's outfit appears ready to focus less on dollar signs than on door knockers. During his presidential run, Huckabee surprised the political world by stretching his low-budget campaign into a second-place showing, with much of his support swelling up from evangelical Christians and those who favor a national sales tax.

So far, that combination of light wallets and devout followers seems to be propping up Huck PAC.

The PAC has been outpaced both in fundraising and in direct candidate support by that of Romney ... Romney's Free and Strong America PAC, begun roughly at the same time as Huckabee's, spread more than $230,000 to 80 congressional candidates last year. Huckabee spent about $49,000 to support political causes last year, including 30 candidates ranging from Republican presidential nominee John McCain to an Iowa state legislative hopeful.  

Given his relatively small fundraising totals, perhaps what Huckabee needs to generate some cash for his PAC is some new controversial issue he can start hammering away on in order to scare up donations, kind of like he tried to do a few weeks ago with the stimulus bill. 

Maybe something like the Freedom of Choice Act ... and as Marc Ambinder reports, that seems to be exactly what he's doing:

Ex-AR Gov. Mike Huckabee has recorded an automated telephone call warning pro-lifers that Democrats and President Obama plan to eliminate all state and federal laws restricting abortion. The calls have been reported in Virginia and Washington State. The caller identification traces the origin of the recording to a Northern Virginia telephone number, 703-263-0488; that number is used by FiSERV, Inc. an automated call center used by conservative groups. Huckabee's statement refers to the Freedom of Choice Act, which President Obama has promised to sign into law, although it has not yet been introduced in the new Congress. Proponents say the law would simply codify the regime that Roe v. Wade allows and would reduce abortions; opponents insist that it's not constitutional and would effectively reduce the latitude that states have to restrict abortion. A spokesperson for Huckabee's PAC did not return an e-mail seeking comment.

You've got to hand it to Huckabee; for all his talk of bringing a new message to the Republican Party, he sure does have a knack for trotting out the standard right-wing tropes whenever he needs to raise some money or remind everyone that he is still around.

Update: We have been informed by FiSERV that they were not the originator of this call:

In fact, Fiserv was not the originator of those calls, nor are we an automated call center or a telemarketer. Fiserv is the leading technology company for the financial services industry.

We operated a data center in Virginia using that number for incoming calls, but last year we sold that business, and no longer own that number. When we contacted the phone carrier about why our name was still on the caller ID, they said the number is now used by ccAdvertising, who may be conducting the Robocalls. The carrier is working to remove the Fiserv name, as it is not correct.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Concerned Women for America, Operation Rescue, and the Christian Defense Coalition are already opposing the idea that Gov. Kathleen Sebelius might be Obama's nominee to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.
  • Speaking of CWA, they are also opposing efforts to add sexual orientation to South Dakota's hate crime laws, saying "What about obese people or short people or bald-headed men?"
  • The Pacific Justice Institute is suing a California school district for allegedly forcing a twelve year old girl to take a pregnancy test, an accusation the school vehemently denies.
  • Gordon Klingenschmitt continues his crusade to defend police chaplains in Virginia Virginia who want to pray in Jesus’ name, delivering thousands of petitions to Gov. Tim Kaine.
  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been chosen to delivers the national Republican response to President Barack Obama's first speech to Congress.
  • The National Republican Trust PAC is threatening to finance primary challenges to any of the Republicans who vote for the stimulus bill - so far, that is only three and, of those three, only Sen. Arlen Specter is up for re-election in 2010.
  • Mike Huckabee says everyone needs a good Christian education because "greed caused the collapse not only of our economic system but of our ethical system."
  • Finally, Alan Keyes apparently has a blog called Loyal To Liberty where he likens himself to Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill and proclaims:
  • I have an ominous feeling about the years ahead. With Obama, we have crossed the line that separates civil politics from civil war disguised as politics. Occupying the White House is a man known for his support and association with people for whom that line appears never to have existed. I predict that American politics as we have known it is gone. And unless we Americans wake up, more than civil politics will end up dead.

Et Tu, Hucakbee?

We can add Concerned Women for America and Faith 2 Action to our list of right-wing groups seeking to make hay out of the entirely non-controversial provision in the stimulus legislation, as both have had representatives of the Liberty Counsel on their radio programs in recent days to proclaim that the provision will “promote religious discrimination.”

And joining them is Mike Huckabee, who is using the “controversy” to raise money for his Vertical Politics Institute:

The dust is settling on the "bipartisan" stimulus bill and one thing is clear: it is anti-religious … Why would Democrats add this provision about religion into a spending bill that they say is "urgently needed" to help our economy?

The answer is troubling and predictable. For all of the talk about bipartisanship, this Congress is blatantly liberal. Emily's List, radical environmental groups, etc. all have a seat at the decision making table in Washington these days. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are in charge and they are working with an equally "progressive" President Obama (remember his voting record is more liberal than Ted Kennedy!).

Republicans and conservatives must rally against their agenda and propose new ideas ourselves.

This is the opening round of the Democrats' campaign for BIG government. We cannot afford to sit round one out, because if we do, they will only become more emboldened and their grab for power more audacious and damaging to our country and our freedoms.

Please make an immediate contribution of $10 or more today.

And then forward this email to 10 friends. Too much is at stake for Republicans to sit this one out on the sidelines. Your contribution will be invested into our ongoing efforts to educate voters about our ideas.

Interestingly, Huckabee didn’t have much to say about this last week, when the whole farce was rolling along, but now that it is over, he’s using it to raise donations.  

Of course, hopping into the right-wing culture war in order to raise money whenever it suits his needs seems to be standard operating procedure for him.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Yesterday we posted a video from Rob Schenck reporting that Focus on the Family's new chief lobbyist, Tim Goeglein, would be working out of Faith and Action's offices.  Maybe Schenck said too much, because the video has now been yanked.
  • Rick Scarborough is not happy with efforts to do away with the moment of silence in Texas schools, saying "my prayer is that kids will have sense enough to know they need help from above."
  • Elaine Donnelly continues her one-woman crusade to save Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
  • Utah Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka opposes efforts to grant rights to domestic partners, saying "We're not going to fall into that trap. I don't want to take my chances."
  • Mike Huckabee has got nothing on Bobby Jindal.
  • Apparently, Barack Obama mentioned non-believers in his remarks today at the National Prayer Breakfast.  Will the Right freak-out again?
  • Just a reminder that while the Religious Right doesn't like gays and abortion, they have a much wider agenda which includes things like fighting alcohol sales on Sundays.
  • Finally, Richard Cizik has been laying low ever since losing his job with the National Association of Evangelicals, but he re-surfaced yesterday when he delivered thousands of petitions to the President and Congressional leaders calling on them to "act quickly to ensure the future of our planet and generations to come."

Did Huckabee Doom Saltsman?

Chip Saltsman was always a long-shot for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee and probably didn't help himself much by trying to woo RNC members by distributing a CD featuring the offensive "Barack the Magic Negro" song and then blaming the whole thing on the media.

But, as it turns out, there might have been other factors at work - namely, the support of Mike Huckabee, who came out with an early and strong endorsement of his former campaign manager and, in doing so, quite possibly doomed his hopes, as Marc Ambinder explains:

Tennessean Chip Saltsman's bid was clipped early on when former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee began to make calls on his behalf. As there is no frontrunner for the 2012 nomination - not even Sarah Palin merits that designation - the committee doesn't want to endorse a chairman who is beholden to a particular candidate.

And now that the election is coming down to the wire, Hotline On Call is reporting that Saltsman might not even manage to make it onto the ballot and appears to have all but given up:

Sources say Chip Saltsman, former chairman of Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign, is unlikely to meet the threshold to get on the ballot for Republican National Committee chairman. Rules require each candidate to be endorsed by the majority, or two of three members, of three state delegations. He hasn't been spotted at the committee meeting at the Capital Hilton either.

On Call also reports that supporters of Ken Blackwell, the designated choice of the Religious Right, are already being approached by different candidates' campaigns seeking their support on the assumption that Blackwell will go down early once the voting begins, with one insider saying "He's roadkill."

Mike Huckabee: Affably Anti-Gay

A.J. Jacobs has a interesting profile of Mike Huckabee in Esquire on how this funny and seemingly nice former presidential candidate is, at heart, a militantly anti-gay culture warrior. 

Jacobs reports that Huckabee is utterly charming and the "most likable politician I've ever met" ... until he joins Huckabee for a book-signing and fundraiser for the right-wing New Jersey Family Policy Council where the theme is "no compromise on gay marriage" and Huckabee proclaims that gays getting married will lead to polygamy and bestiality and likens homosexuality to alcoholism:

We say the Pledge of Allegiance. We eat our chicken and baby carrots. We listen to a series of speeches with phrases like "swamp of moral decay" and "assault on the sacred institution of marriage." One man says that given the choice between winning the White House and winning the three anti-gay-marriage propositions, he'd choose to lose the White House ...

Later, I tell Huckabee that I once reported on a group of gay evangelical Christians — admittedly, a tiny group. They argue that homosexuality is not a biblical sin. Yes, Leviticus bans men lying down with other men, but that ban refers to pagan sex rituals. Jesus would not have a problem with committed, loving same-sex relationships.

Huckabee is not impressed. "How convenient. How very convenient to just put the Bible into a chronological time zone," he answers. Huckabee says gay people can do what they want in their private lives. But gay marriage?

"The problem with changing the definition of marriage is that once you cross that line, then there's no stopping," he explains. He tells me that when he spoke recently in Japan, there was an American student there who objected to his views on gay marriage. "This was right in the middle of what was going on in west Texas, and I thought, Okay, how can we say that what those polygamists in west Texas are doing is wrong if we allow same-sex marriage? Who are you to tell them that that man can't have fifteen wives? [The student said] 'Well, it's not the same!' And I said, 'Okay, well, here's another one: bestiality. Now I know you're going to have a problem,' and he just went berserk on that. But there was recently an actual news story where a man wanted to marry his animal. . . . I think it was a sheep."

Huckabee says he doesn't know if homosexuality is inborn, but he believes you can control the behavior. He compares homosexuality to obesity or alcoholism: "Some people have a predisposition to alcoholism. Does that mean they're not responsible for getting drunk? No."

I give him the liberal line: Being gay is so integral to a person's identity that it's not a choice, that it's like being African-American.

"I'm especially offended by that," he answers immediately. "Because blackness is an inescapable quality. Black is not a behavior. There's no behavior to black. What you can say is that whatever disposition, it's a choice. A lot of people are celibate. When people enter the priesthood, they make a choice to subjugate certain behaviors and/or feelings. It's not that they don't have them; it's that they choose not to act on them."

He talks about how he saw a news clip from a Palm Springs rally of a woman holding a cross, being accosted by gay-rights protesters who grabbed the cross out of her hands. "I watch these guys, and they're all about love and tolerance until they lose."

In Huckabee's world, gay people are the oppressors and conservative Christians are the victims.

The piece is full of interesting tidbits, like the fact that Huckabee was apparently unaware that this country has never had a Jewish president and makes a point of noting that Sarah Palin's disastrous interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric were in no way "unfair," saying "Katie Couric was extraordinarily gentle, even helpful. [Palin] just . . . I don't know what happened. I can't explain it. It was not a good interview. I'm being charitable."

As they say, read the whole thing.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Mike Huckabee welcomed Ann Coulter to his television program and things got a little tense, with Huckabee demanding to know if she though he was stupid before Huckabee was humiliatingly reduced to defending his conservative credentials by proclaiming that he is "definitely not pro-sodomy"

  • The Catholic League is not happy that Eugene Robinson has been chosen to participate in inaugural events.
  • Steve Benen catches Elaine Donnelly fundamentally misunderstanding the meaning of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
  • Joseph Farah warns that "America is being judged" because there is a "lack of discernment about the eternal and unchanging laws of God" and that "this path leads only to destruction."
  • The National Review calls upon Barack Obama to re-nominate some Bush judges as an act of bipartisanship and Quin Hillyer sees it as evidence of a "groundswell."
  • Don Feder lists the "Best and Worst Developments Affecting the Family in 2008." The worst development? "The Election of Barack Obama." The best? "Sarah Palin, Pro-life Woman Is Vice Presidential Nominee."

Huckabee Clarifies: I Hate Romney, Not Mormons

During the Republican primary, many Mitt Romney supporters came to resent Mike Huckabee for promoting “a religious test for office” by highlighting his Christian faith in order to raise questions about Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith and thereby secure the support of anti-Mormon voters.

The effort did not go unnoticed by Mormons in Utah who came to loathe him and now he is trying to make amends, telling Utah radio host David Wright that he has nothing but love for Mormons:

When "11 words were completely misconstrued" when spoken about the LDS religion in a long New York Times profile of him, Huckabee said he "immediately" apologized publicly to Romney and church members in general.

Huckabee said there is no religious test in running for office. "I defend Mormons running for office."

He said when he saw the backlash against the LDS Church following the bitter Proposition 8 race in California last November, he was one of the first to say "I was gratified and proud" to see the church stand up for what it believes in.

Saying he may visit Utah soon, he added: "It pains me" that some people think he has said "bad things" about the LDS Church. "It simply is not true."

Utahns' "misinformation (about him) were part of the presidential campaign -- and I wrote my book (to set the record straight) because that is totally not who I am. Utah is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and I want to go there and not have eggs and rotten vegetables thrown at me."

But, of course, he still hates Romney:

Huckabee admitted that he saw a "different Romney" than the man he knew as a fellow GOP governor. (Romney served one term as governor of Massachusetts.)

During the presidential primary campaign Romney "was not the Mitt I knew," Huckabee said. "You could ask all the guys" who ran in the GOP primaries, said Huckabee, and they would agree that backstage, in public debates and campaigning, Romney acted differently than when he was governor or otherwise out of an intra-party race.

Huckabee said that Romney's "attitude and atmosphere" around him was perhaps caused because "he was surrounded by people who gave him very bad advice" during Romney's presidential run.

"Boy, do I ever know" that he is not well-liked in Utah, said Huckabee. But, he added, "I have never said anything unkind about Mormons."

Of course, back when he was running, he and his allies where quick to assert that any attack on him was really an attack on his Christian faith, but apparently Huckabee’s own attacks on Romney and insinuations about Romney’s faith were in no way to be conceived as attacks on Mormonism.

Huckabee’s mantra seems to be “hate the Mormon, love the Mormons.”

How Large is Vision America?

Last year we noted that Vision America claimed to have sent out ten million emails in one day in support of Mike Huckabee during the GOP primary, which seemed hard to believe considering that a powerhouse organization like MoveOn only claims 3.2 million members.

But they are sticking with their story - according to a recent "Rick Scarborough Report," the organization claims to have more than 1 million subscribers:

As the end of the year approaches, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who receives this Report and prays for our efforts. Because we now have over 1,000,000 subscribers, I am certain some will forward this email to friends who do not typically read our reports so let me rehearse who I am and what I do, and most importantly, why.

How could that possibly be true?  Even by fringe right-wing group standards, Vision America is among the smallest and fringiest.  I follow VA as closely as I follow influential groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council and yet if you were to ask me what they actually do, I'd be hard-pressed to tell you. They rarely issue press releases or hold events and almost never generate any press coverage, even by their own admission.

Could this tiny organization, which always seems to be in desperate need of money, really have more than a million subscribers?  That just seems beyond belief - I just can't imagine that there are a million people in this country who would sign up to receive Scarborough's rambling emails, which are full of hyperbole and nonsense: 

I believe that America is facing the gravest challenge since the Second World War, and one that will forever change the course of this great nation if Christians do not experience a renewed commitment to freedom and understanding of the role of God in government.


I am not hopeless, but I do believe that Christians and other god-fearing Americans must be willing to confront what Barrack Hussein Obama has made clear will be the most radical pro-abortion and pro-homosexual big government administration ever. We still have friends in Congress, but we must mobilize millions of Americans to stand with them and let them know we are here to pray and to act!


And now we are hearing of plans to take the financial crisis this country is facing and using it as the gateway to nationalizing enormous chunks of the American economy, moving us down the road to European style socialism. One of the foundational principles of the Declaration of Independence was the inalienable right to pursue happiness. With nationalized healthcare, no health care professional will ever be included in that right again, and you will see an erosion of the greatest healthcare system the world has ever known.

Who knows?  Maybe there really are a million people out there just waiting for Vision America to mobilize them to action.  I doubt it, but if that is the case, one has to wonder just why the organization has seemingly been unable to accomplish anything at all. 

Right Wing Leftovers

I'm thinking of starting a new semi-regular feature consisting of some of the things I see during the day that don't necessarily warrant a post of their own but are still worth noting. 

For instance, here is Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin offering up his take on the best and worst things of 2008 - among his "worst" is something that'll get no argument from us:

In addition to the mainstream media, and worthless talk show hosts such as Sean Hannity, I must include the majority of so-called leaders within the Religious Right as making my "worst" list for 2008. I include James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Tony Perkins on this list.

For all intents and purposes, the Religious Right has become nothing more than a gaggle of glorified hacks for the Republican Party. They have sacrificed virtually every principle worth defending. For the sake of sitting at the king's table, or not losing financial support from brain-dead contributors, these men have sold the cause of freedom and constitutional government down the river. Their mindless support for John McCain was inexcusable and embarrassing! In so doing, they have lost all credibility.

Elsewhere, Phyllis Schlafly laments that America is losing its "common national identity" and has a rather odd solution to remedy it:

We should celebrate and honor our nation's heroes, starting with George Washington. Federal law clearly specifies that the name of the "legal public holiday" on the third Monday in February is "Washington's Birthday."

Americans should refuse to buy the calendars that wrongly label this February holiday as "Presidents Day." This calendar mischief is very offensive because there are quite a few presidents who are not worthy of a special "day."

As for Mike Huckabee, he's still traveling the country and delivering speeches at his favorite venue - church:

An ordained Baptist minister, Mike Huckabee was right at home Tuesday night at the pulpit of Community Bible Church.

The former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate was the guest of honor at the church's annual Men's Wildlife Supper, an event that drew an all-male audience of more than 3,500 to the church on Parris Island Gateway.

After dining on a free buffet of alligator tail, wild boar and venison, the crowd packed the church's auditorium as Huckabee delivered an impassioned 45-minute speech with the feel of a Sunday sermon.

"There's a lot of anxiety in the world right now with the economy, and no one is really sure what's going to happen," he said. "I don't know what's going to happen in 2009, but no matter what happens with the economy, God is still God."

Finally, I don't really have anything to say about this graphic from a recent Family Research Council Washington Update other than to say that I think they might be getting a little paranoid:

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Mike Huckabee Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Wednesday 08/24/2011, 3:34pm
A campaign spearheaded by LGBT rights and women’s rights groups Change.org and AllOut.org, encouraging companies to drop their ties to the Charity Give Back Group (formerly the Christian Values Network), unsurprisingly has the Religious Right up in arms. The CGBG “operates a sort of online mall, donating a portion of each purchase to religious nonprofits,” Michelle Goldberg explains. “Among them are conservative organizations like Focus on the Family, The Family Research Council, Promise Keepers, and a number of anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers.” The... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/15/2011, 1:09pm
During last week's Republican presidential debate, Michele Bachmann was asked by Washington Examiner’s Byron York about her past statement that she ended up studying tax law even though she "hates taxes" and never had a desire for it" but did so because wives "are to be submissive to your husband" and so she "was going to be faithful to what I felt God was calling me to do through my husband." In her response and since, Bachmann has been trying to claim that being "submissive" merely means that she and her husband "respect each... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/08/2011, 2:06pm
As we have said time and time and time again, David Barton may be a lot of things, but he is not a historian. Of course, that has not stopping people like Mike Huckabee from routinely hailing Barton as "the single best historian in America today." So I imagine it will come as quite a surprise to the Religious Right to learn that Barton does not consider himself to be a historian, as he explained on an episode of "Face to Face" with Oral Roberts University President Mark Rutland: Barton: I really kind of do a whole lot of all of it, but I don't consider myself a... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/05/2011, 3:04pm
Republican leaders including Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry like to trumpet the work of pseudo-historian David Barton despite his long record of blatant dishonesty and anti-gay bigotry. Back in January, Barton and WallBuilders Live co-host Rick Green denied the existence of bullying against LGBT youth and said that anti-bullying laws represented “homosexual indoctrination.” On today’s program, Barton continued to press his extreme views that students are becoming gay because of “indoctrination,” citing a discredited far-right... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 08/02/2011, 1:33pm
OnThe 700 Club with Pat Robertson today, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said that he decided against running for president partly because the Republican base is too “unrealistic.” Robertson, who endorsed Rudy Giuliani in 2008, asked Huckabee if he passed on a second presidential campaign in order to pursue his new career as a Fox News commentator and the head of a line of conservative history videos, which he was promoting on the show. Huckabee responded, “I felt like the atmosphere right now is so toxic and part of it is that I think that many people in my party,... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 07/21/2011, 5:33pm
Things are not looking good for Rick Perry, since only one other governor (Sam Brownback) looks like he will be attending his prayer rally. On a related note, the ACLU wants to know if public tax dollars are being used in any way in putting on Perry's prayer event. Never forget that Mike Huckabee has a long memory ... and can be very petty. Jesse Lee Peterson says the NAACP is a "political pawn of the liberal-elite, white, racist Democratic Party and not really for the people."  Which is hilarious if you know anything about Jesse Lee Peterson... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 07/06/2011, 2:19pm
In 2009, Janet Porter of Faith 2 Action organized a right-wing conference in St. Louis called "How To Take Back America" that was co-sponsored by the likes of WorldNetDaily, The American Family Association, Vision America, Liberty Counsel, and WallBuilders.  The keynote speakers at the conference were Mike Huckabee and Rep. Michele Bachmann. The line-up at this conference was so radical that we put together a report on the participants which gave special attention to the truly fringe views espouse by Porter:  It is probably impossible to overstate the extremism and lunacy... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/05/2011, 5:00pm
Linda Harvey of Mission America interviewed Gary Glenn, the head of the American Family Association’s Michigan chapter, during her radio show on how the Religious Right should respond to gay rights victories. Glenn, a prominent activist that Mike Huckabee calls his “very special friend,” warned that companies should be wary of hiring lesbian and gay employees because of what Glenn calls the “severe medical consequences” of being gay. Approvingly, Harvey argued that employers should take note that gays lives unstable lives and added, “I would not think of a... MORE >