Mike Huckabee

Huckabee's Anti-Romney Tome

As I mentioned yesterday, I am currently in the process of reading Mike Huckabee's latest book and, having made it through 150 pages of his 216 page epic, I take issue with Huck's own assessment of the reviews saying that it seems bizarrely focused on former rival Mitt Romney:

The book, released yesterday, has stirred some controversy in the media over its apparent swipes at his former rival for the GOP nomination, Mitt Romney. In several instances in the book, Huckabee charged Romney for being out of touch with voters and for flip-flopping on certain issues. In an example from a debate where Romney was asked about how to help the economy, Huckabee writes that Romney was more focused on reciting lines about his business expertise than on helping the average American.

...

Huckabee reassured attendees of the book signing that there’s more to the book than the rehashing of an old beef with Romney. “It’s a very, very small part of the book,” he said. “It’s really not about the past or about the other people in the party. It’s about the future of the party, [which] starts with being true, authentic conservatives with clarity in our convictions.”

Let me just say this: as I was reading his book, I started to become distracted by just how frequently Romney's name appeared in the text, so I counted them all up - in the first 101 pages, the word "Romney" appears at least 60 times. In fact, in the first 21 pages, "Romney" appears 25 times.

And, for the record, in not one of those instances is Huckabee saying anything positive about him.

With the exception of Tommy Thompson, Huckabee doesn't really have anything positive to say about any of his other rivals; not even John McCain. But it is his visceral hatred of Romney and all that he represents that is the one unifying theme of his book.

It’s Only Discrimination if Skulls Are Cracked

Mike Huckabee has been on quite a roll lately.  While he’s out hawking his latest book, he’s also been weighing in on the issue of Prop. 8’s passage in California.  

Yesterday, he told “The View” that gays haven’t really been seeing their rights violated because they haven’t been getting the skulls cracked:

HUCKABEE: It’s a different set of rights. People who are homosexuals should have every right in terms of their civil rights, to be employed, to do anything they want. But that’s not really the issue. I know you talked about it and I think you got into it a little bit early on. But when we’re talking about a redefinition of an institution, that’s different than individual civil rights.

BEHAR: Well, segregation was an institution, too, in a way. It was right there on the books.

HUCKABEE: 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.

And today he told Bill Bennett that Prop. 8 didn’t actually take away anyone’s rights at all:

HUCKABEE: The very people who voted for Barack Obama in California…also voted to sustain traditional marriage. I refuse to use the term, “ban same-sex marriage.” That’s not what those efforts did. They affirmed what is. They did not prohibit something. They simply affirmed something that which has and forever has existed.

Of course, as Think Progress pointed out, that is exactly what Prop. 8 did – it was right there in the description of the amendment: “Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.”

The Fictional President Huckabee

This summer, Douglas MacKinnon released a novel entitled “The Apocalypse Directive” in which a fundamentalist US President uses his office to try to destroy the enemies of Christianity and bring about the apocalypse.  Roll Call offered this summary:   

Set in the near future, the novel centers on Ian Campbell, the deputy chief of staff to President Shelby Robertson, a religious zealot whose presidential decisions are based solely on his extreme view of Christianity. Campbell doesn’t share those beliefs; he’s a former Navy SEAL who’s jaded by the whole business of organized religion.

But to get the coveted White House gig, Campbell tricks Robertson into believing he shares the president’s religious views. Soon, Robertson is welcoming Campbell into a secret group calling themselves the “Christian Ambassadors,” whose goal is to advance the cause of Christianity and destroy those who oppose it.

Campbell soon learns that Robertson and his crew, made up of top military men and other government officials, are planning to launch a full-scale nuclear war to rid the earth of nonbelievers. Still fooling Robertson, Campbell is put in charge of a secret bunker built to provide a place for the Ambassadors to hide out during the slaughter, and he uses his new role to get more details on Robertson’s deadly plan before it is too late.

The use of the last name Robertson for this fictional president was undoubtedly intentional … but it turns out that it wasn’t actually a Pat Robertson presidency that MacKinnon was afraid of, it’s a Mike Huckabee one:

While doing publicity for my new novel “The Apocalypse Directive,” a number of interviewers asked me who served as the inspiration for the Evangelical President of the United States who professes to speak directly to God and so twists his Christian faith, that he is preparing to carry out the most heinous act known to humankind?  Other than stressing that it was not George W. Bush, I mostly left the question unanswered as I moved on to the next subject.

Mike Huckabee’s renewed, juvenile, and un-Christian written assault on former rival Mitt Romney compels me to admit that it was he who served as the inspiration for the evil character.

I should probably point out as well that MacKinnon is not exactly some wild-eyed liberal:

Douglas MacKinnon was a press secretary to former Senator Bob Dole. He was also a writer for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and a special assistant for policy and communications in the Defense Department.

The Georgia Renewal Project

I wrote a post last year noting that the Right-Wing had a lot of different groups under which they pressed the agenda.  On top of their own organizations, a lot of right-wing leaders are also involved in umbrella organizations like the Arlington Group and the Council for National Policy.  There are also various state-level organziations like the "Patriot Pastors" movement and the "Restoration Projects" that are active in places like Texas and Ohio. 

And then there are things like the Iowa Renewal Project, where Mike Huckabee hobnobbed with various right-wing leaders as he rallied to win the Iowa primary.   Apparently there is also one in Georiga as well, which is slated to host Gov. Sonny Perdue, Daivd Barton, Mat Staver and other for a luncheon next week:

Georgia Renewal Project

Cordially invites you to participate in its Pastors' Policy Briefing Luncheon

Rediscovering God in America

With Special Guests

The Honorable Sonny Perdue
Governor of Georgia

and

Historian David Barton
WallBuilders

Who will be accompanied by

The Honorable Bob McEwen
Dr. Mat Staver
and other guest speakers

To be held at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel
2450 Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339
on Tuesday, November 25, 2008.

11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Registration begins at 11:00 AM.

There will be a reception prior to the luncheon beginning at 11:00 AM.

The luncheon is complimentary and will be provided by the Georgia Renewal Project.

CWA's Beverly LaHaye also seems to be involved, as she is issuing her own invitations to the event.

I have to admit that, as someone who follows this stuff for a living, even I am routinely confused by sheer number of different organizations that have different names, yet all seem to contain the same handful of Religious Right leaders. 

Huckabee, Still Bitter About Hagee, Lashes Out At the Right

During his presidential campaign, one of Mike Huckabee’s signature traits was his willingness to publicly complain and whine about some supposed conspiracy among the nation’s Religious Right powerbrokers to refuse to support his candidacy.  And even though the campaign is over and Huckabee now has a lucrative new career on television and radio, it looks like he still hasn’t gotten over it, according to Time’s Michael Scherer who has gotten an early look at his new book:    

Many conservative Christian leaders, who never backed Huckabee despite their holding very similar stances on social issues, are spared neither the rod nor the lash. Huckabee writes of Gary Bauer, the conservative Christian leader and former presidential candidate, as having an "ever-changing reason to deny me his support." Of one private meeting with Bauer, Huckabee says, "it was like playing Whac-a-Mole at the arcade — whatever issue I addressed, another one surfaced as a 'problem' that made my candidacy unacceptable." He accuses Bauer of putting the issue of national security before bedrock social issues like the sanctity of life and traditional marriage.

Huckabee describes other elders of the social conservative movement, many of whom meet in private as part of an organization called the Arlington Group, as "more enamored with the process, the political strategies, and the party hierarchy than with the simple principles that had originally motivated the Founders." Later Huckabee writes, "I lamented that so many people of faith had moved from being prophetic voices — like Naaman, confronting King David in his sin and saying, 'Though art the man!'— to being voices of patronage, and saying to those in power, 'You da' man!' "

He calls out Pat Robertson, the Virginia-based televangelist, and Dr. Bob Jones III, chancellor of Bob Jones University in South Carolina, for endorsing Rudy Giuliani and Romney, respectively. He also has words for the Texas-based Rev. John Hagee, who endorsed the more moderate John McCain in the primaries, as someone who was drawn to the eventual Republican nominee because of the lure of power. Huckabee speaks to Hagee by phone before the McCain endorsement, while the former Arkansas governor is preparing for a spot on Saturday Night Live. "I asked if he had prayed about this and believed this was what the Lord wanted him to do," Huckabee writes of his conversation with Hagee. "I didn't get a straight answer." Months later, McCain rejected Hagee's endorsement because of controversial remarks the pastor had made about biblical interpretations.

So Huckabee is calling Hagee a sell-out for backing McCain instead of him, even knowing that McCain was eventually forced to disassociate himself from him because of Hagee’s outrageous views?  Doesn’t it seem odd that instead of thinking that maybe he dodged a bullet by not getting Hagee’s support, Huckabee is still mad about it?

Of course, Hagee’s support for Huckabee probably wouldn’t have been especially noteworthy since his ultra-right-wing views were no different than those esposed by his other supporters like on Don Wildmon, Janet Porter, Rick Scarborough, and Tim and Beverly LaHaye.

But considering that Huckabee is mulling over a future presidential run, it seems a little counterproductive to start badmouthing the very people from whom he’ll need support the next time around, especially since their lack of support this time was what helped to doom his campaign.

Huckabee: King of All Media

In addition to being a former governor and presidential candidate, author, blogger, pundit, and television host, Mike Huckabee is now set to start appearing regularly on the radio early next year:

ABC Radio Networks announced today that it has signed former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee to its extensive roster of news/talk talent. The Huckabee Report will be broadcast weekday mornings and afternoons and provide listeners with the top news stories of the day while also drawing on Huckabee's experiences as a former governor and presidential candidate. The short form news features will launch on Jan. 5, 2009.

"It's truly an honor to add someone of Governor Huckabee's stature to our portfolio," said Jim Robinson, President of ABC Radio Networks. "His perspective on the day's leading issues and events as they relate to American culture and policies is sure to resonate with radio audiences looking for the latest headlines mixed with a bit of humor and common sense. This partnership has tremendous potential and will be a key win for our affiliates in the coming year."

The Nonpartisan Values Voters

I just wrote a post about the traditional claim from Religious Right leaders and activists that their votes are beholden to God and not tied to any one particular party.  It's an obvious fraud, as demonstrated by the fact that they'd rather vote for Satan than a Democrat, but it's what they have to say to convince themselves that they are somehow more principled than your run-of-the-mill partisan voter.

In my last post, I didn't provide any concrete examples of this contradiction because it is frankly so prevalent that I didn't think it really needed any.  But then I came across this article that perfectly sums up exactly what I was taking about:

From wall to wall, each pew was full on the Sunday before Election Day at Thomas Road Baptist Church.

“It is Election Day on Tuesday. We as Christians and we as Americans- this is something that we have been paying attention to,” said Pastor Jonathan Falwell.

Falwell introduced a friend, former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee – who the pastor previously endorsed. Huckabee, known as a conservative Republican, says he wants people to vote Christian.

“I would never use a pulpit of the church to try to tell people to vote Democrat or Republican or which candidate. That’s something they have to decide on their own conscience. But I never would hesitate to say vote on your principles,” Huckabee said.

He said parties are not as important and church members we talked to agree.

“Dr. Fallwell [says] don’t vote Republican, don’t vote Democrat, vote Christian. That’s how I voted,” said Linley Harrison.

If you just read that part, you'd think there might actually be something to this right-wing claim that they vote on their Christian principles regardless of party affiliation.  But then you read the rest of the article and find out that the church was passing out pro-McCain voting guides from the American Family Association and had McCain surrogates in attendance who were making the case for him:

The church passed out flyers from the American Family Association that listed key issues and whether McCain or Obama support or oppose them. Many in the congregation say it is Republicans like Huckabee who support the issues most crucial to them.

...

One of John McCain’s fellow POW’s during the Vietnam War was also at the service. Orson Swindle has been friends with John McCain now for 37 years. He was by his side in captivity, and now he’s helping in the campaign ... Two more of McCain’s fellow POW’s were also at the service.

The Rise of Lou Engel

Sarah Posner has a good piece up at Religion Dispatches on Lou Engle, founder of The Call, and his recent branching out from this militant anti-abortion proselytizing and into the marriage debate and the upcoming election. 

Engle, as Posner explains, is best known for his efforts to turns hordes of young men and women into warriors for Christ and “raise up of an army of spiritual warriors for revival” and is becoming something of a regular figure in the political Religious Right movement, appearing with notable figures such as Tony Perkins and Mike Huckabee before and during his recent “The Call” rally in Washington, DC:

The Call’s advisory board is stacked with prominent Pentecostal and charismatic preachers, leading figures in the controversial apostolic movement, which is elevating a new generation of self-appointed prophets and apostles, African-American and Latino religious leaders, charismatic publishing giant Stephen Strang, and religious right leaders like Perkins, Harry Jackson, and Gary Bauer.

The religious right political leadership’s keen interest in Engle was evident at The Call held on the National Mall in August. The day before the event, the public relations firm Shirley Bannister introduced Engle, flanked by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and former Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, at a press conference just a few blocks from the White House. Perkins, one of the most visible political leaders on the religious right, noted Engle’s influence on young evangelicals, who he claimed were even more conservative on abortion than their parents, though he cited no surveys or polls to support the claim.

Engle, per his custom, likened his crusade against abortion to Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement. He rocked back and forth, as though davening, preached against Roe v. Wade, and shouted, as the crowd prayed and spoke in tongues, “this is a Passover Day for America. Today, we plead the blood of Jesus on the doorpost!” Purity covenants, requiring abstention from even thinking about sex outside of marriage, were distributed. Participants were urged to consecrate themselves, to be ready for the moment when Jesus “is going to rule over Washington, DC and the world.”

“Repentance and revival cannot start in the building behind me,” said Huckabee, his back to the Capitol, “until it starts in the temple inside me.”

But when he’s not leading day-long rallies such as this or the anti-gay marriage one scheduled at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium this weekend, Engle and his army can be found at International House of Prayer he co-founded in Kansas City where they direct their prayers toward things like remaking the US Supreme Court … and rather successfully at that, according to Engle: 

Engle unabashedly credits prayer for George W. Bush’s presidency and his subsequent appointment of Supreme Court Justices who upheld the ban on so-called “partial birth abortion.” “The praying church deals with the demonic realm, so that God raises up one and brings down the other,” Engle said in a recent video on The Call’s web site, explaining how prayer proved victorious over satanic forces in the spiritual warfare of an election, adding, “I directly attribute [Bush’s election] to the prayers of the saints.”

Young people at his House of Prayer, said Engle, had been praying about judges for three years when Sandra Day O’Connor retired and William Rehnquist died. As if to prove to his acolytes that their prayer and fasting is not in vain, Engle maintains that their prayers and prophecies shaped the Supreme Court. “One of the young ladies had a dream,” Engle asserted, “that a man named John Roberts would be the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.” He beams with pride. “Don’t you think those kids were baptized with confidence? Their prayers, I believe, were literally moving a king to appoint a justice who has now led a court that has banned partial birth abortion. Don’t tell me prayer doesn’t shape a nation.”

The Rise of Lou Engle

Sarah Posner has a good piece up at Religion Dispatches on Lou Engle, founder of The Call, and his recent branching out from this militant anti-abortion proselytizing and into the marriage debate and the upcoming election. 

Engle, as Posner explains, is best known for his efforts to turns hordes of young men and women into warriors for Christ and “raise up of an army of spiritual warriors for revival” and is becoming something of a regular figure in the political Religious Right movement, appearing with notable figures such as Tony Perkins and Mike Huckabee before and during his recent “The Call” rally in Washington, DC:

The Call’s advisory board is stacked with prominent Pentecostal and charismatic preachers, leading figures in the controversial apostolic movement, which is elevating a new generation of self-appointed prophets and apostles, African-American and Latino religious leaders, charismatic publishing giant Stephen Strang, and religious right leaders like Perkins, Harry Jackson, and Gary Bauer.

The religious right political leadership’s keen interest in Engle was evident at The Call held on the National Mall in August. The day before the event, the public relations firm Shirley Bannister introduced Engle, flanked by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and former Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, at a press conference just a few blocks from the White House. Perkins, one of the most visible political leaders on the religious right, noted Engle’s influence on young evangelicals, who he claimed were even more conservative on abortion than their parents, though he cited no surveys or polls to support the claim.

Engle, per his custom, likened his crusade against abortion to Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement. He rocked back and forth, as though davening, preached against Roe v. Wade, and shouted, as the crowd prayed and spoke in tongues, “this is a Passover Day for America. Today, we plead the blood of Jesus on the doorpost!” Purity covenants, requiring abstention from even thinking about sex outside of marriage, were distributed. Participants were urged to consecrate themselves, to be ready for the moment when Jesus “is going to rule over Washington, DC and the world.”

“Repentance and revival cannot start in the building behind me,” said Huckabee, his back to the Capitol, “until it starts in the temple inside me.”

But when he’s not leading day-long rallies such as this or the anti-gay marriage one scheduled at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium this weekend, Engle and his army can be found at International House of Prayer he co-founded in Kansas City where they direct their prayers toward things like remaking the US Supreme Court … and rather successfully at that, according to Engle: 

Engle unabashedly credits prayer for George W. Bush’s presidency and his subsequent appointment of Supreme Court Justices who upheld the ban on so-called “partial birth abortion.” “The praying church deals with the demonic realm, so that God raises up one and brings down the other,” Engle said in a recent video on The Call’s web site, explaining how prayer proved victorious over satanic forces in the spiritual warfare of an election, adding, “I directly attribute [Bush’s election] to the prayers of the saints.”

Young people at his House of Prayer, said Engle, had been praying about judges for three years when Sandra Day O’Connor retired and William Rehnquist died. As if to prove to his acolytes that their prayer and fasting is not in vain, Engle maintains that their prayers and prophecies shaped the Supreme Court. “One of the young ladies had a dream,” Engle asserted, “that a man named John Roberts would be the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.” He beams with pride. “Don’t you think those kids were baptized with confidence? Their prayers, I believe, were literally moving a king to appoint a justice who has now led a court that has banned partial birth abortion. Don’t tell me prayer doesn’t shape a nation.”

Huckabee Already Preparing for 2012

Over the weekend, Mike Huckabee attended a fundraiser for a couple of Republican candidates in Louisiana during which he urged those in attendance to get on their knees and thank God if John McCain wins … and get on their knees and pray if Barack Obama wins: 

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a minister, couldn’t resist a reference to prayer as he addressed a Republican crowd here Sunday during a fund-raiser to benefit party nominee U.S. Sen. John McCain.

“If Sen. McCain wins, we should get on our knees and thank the Lord,” said Huckabee, who was hosted by Squire Creek Country Club developer James Davison and 5th District U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander. “If Sen. Obama wins, we’ll need to get on our knees and pray even harder.”

He was also asked about his future presidential aspirations and said he couldn’t rule it out:

Huckabee didn’t rule out another run at the White House. “It’s hard to say,” he said when asked about his future role in the national party. “I honestly don’t know.”

That makes sense, especially considering that his PAC is currently offering “Huck” bumper stickers to its donors:

Want to annoy Barack Obama and the Democrats? Support Huck PAC and our conservative candidates with a contribution of $10 or more and we will send you our new Huck PAC "HUCK" bumper sticker.

It’s rather odd that Huckabee is offering stickers featuring his own name just a week before John McCain appears poised to lose this election.  Purely coincidence, I’m sure.

Dan Gilgoff has this image:

Narrowing the Agenda, Expanding the Mailing List

Just a few weeks ago we were noting that, during the GOP primary, we kept hearing about the emergence of a "new evangelical" movement, led by the likes of Mike Hucakabee, that cared about issues beyond the standard anti-gay, anti-abortion right-wing agenda. We then noted that, when it comes to crunch time, people like Huckabee inevitably revert to form by playing the “God, guns, and gays” card in an effort to bolster the GOP’s electoral chances.

Now, with the election only two weeks away, Huckabee seems to be narrowing the agenda even further and is currently seeking 100,000 signatures for his new “Sanctity of Life” petition:   

I have no doubt that the Democrats' ideas are totally wrong for America and many of their plans would take us the opposite direction from where America needs to go.

Led by Senator Obama, the Majority of the Democrat Party in the House and Senate support the most liberal and indefensible positions on abortion, including a refusal to support a ban on the most vile form of all, partial birth abortion. Led by Senator Obama these Democrats are actively pushing for what the anti-life forces euphemistically call "reproductive rights."

Against them, we must rally every American that seeks to protect and cherish life. I urge you to sign the Petition below and ask your friends and family to do the same.

Frankly, this smacks mainly of an effort by Huckabee to do little more than boost his own mailing list … perhaps as he begins to start thinking about his own 2012 presidential campaign.

Jindal Looks Ahead to 2012

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was always near the top of the Right’s wish list when it came to potential running mates for John McCain. That “honor” went to Sarah Palin and now that Palin and McCain seem headed for defeat, it looks like Jindal is preparing for his own run in 2012:  

Jindal, the Louisiana governor widely seen as a Republican rising star, will keynote a high-profile Christian conservative fundraising dinner next month in Iowa, his office confirms.

Jindal will speak at the Iowa Family Policy Center's “Celebrating the Family” banquet in suburban Des Moines on November 22nd, according to his spokeswoman, Melissa Sellers.  While in the state, he also may to go to Cedar Rapids to see some of those areas impacted by the summer floods.   Jindal, of course, has led his state's recovery from Katrina since being elected in 2007.

It will be Jindal's first visit to Iowa, Sellers said.

The trip is a reminder that, even with a presidential election looming, caucus politics is never far away in the Hawkeye State.

The Christian conservative organization is led by Chuck Hurley, a well-known activist who first backed Sam Brownback before switching over to Mike Huckabee in this year's GOP nomination battle. 

Their flyer touting Jindal's speech features quotes from conservative luminaries.  "The next Ronald Reagan," says Rush Limbaugh.

Of course, Mike Huckabee has also hinted that he plans to run again, so it looks like next time around the Right will have a couple of true believers to pick from.  Frankly, I think that is a battle that Jindal wins especially in light of the fact that, as Kevin Drum says, Sarah Palin is nothing but a one-hit wonder.

When In Doubt, Go With God, Guns, and Gays

During the GOP primary, we kept hearing about the emergence of a "new evangelical" movement that cared about issues beyond the standard anti-gay, anti-abortion right-wing agenda and were repeatedly told that Mike Huckabee was the most high profile example of this new type of leader.  

As we pointed out then, and have continued to point out, that was a dramatic oversimplification and fundamentally misleading.  Because, when you get down to it, people like Mike Huckabee are in fact fully aligned with the traditional Religious Right agenda and, as Dan Gilgoff smartly notices, inevitably revert to form when it comes crunch time:

Remember back to the Republican primaries, when Mike Huckabee campaigned as a new kind of evangelical candidate, adding issues like the environment, education, and poverty to the hot-button agenda of God, guns, and gays?

That big-tent Huck seems to be in much shorter supply now. An email the Arkansas governor just sent out soliciting donations for his political action committee--whose beneficiaries include John McCain and Sarah Palin--asks fors $5 for each of these five red meat issues:

1. Protection of Human Life 2. Traditional Marriage 3. Tax policy that doesn't punish people for working, but rewards them 4. 2nd amendment rights 5. Supreme Court and Federal Court judge selection

So much for all those professed concerns about poverty, the environment, and human rights. 

DeLay Backs Huckabee for 2012

Mike Huckabee may be content to busy himself with his TV show for now, but that doesn’t mean he’s giving up the idea of running for president again in the future.  Just last week, he declared that he’d consider another run because "My experience in no way embittered me” – and if he decides to run again in 2012, it looks like he’ll have the support of Tom DeLay:

Tom DeLay was a supporter of Mike Huckabee in the Republican primaries, and likes his chances for the party's nomination in 2012 if John McCain loses in November, despite disagreeing with the former Arkansas governor on a number of issues.

"I've known Huckabee for 30 years," DeLay, the former House majority leader from Texas, told PolitickerCA.com. "I know what kind of man he is, how strong he is. I didn't agree with him on global warming, but I can overlook that knowing what a great man he is."

"I think that because of the kind of person he is, people like him," DeLay said. "If he weren't so populist, I think the conservatives would rally around him."

Huckabee encountered significant opposition during his campaign from various conservative groups, including the Club for Growth, which invested heavily in negative advertising against his candidacy.

DeLay said that he doesn't think Huckabee will be satisfied with his new job at Fox News, and hinted that the former governor was interested in running for president again if McCain loses. "He's looking ahead," DeLay said. "He's going to be out there helping build the party. He's going to be around.

On the Cover of the Rolling Stone

One of Mike Huckabee's not-so-hidden talents was skill on the electric bass. Unfortunately for him, his muscial career didn't pan out so he was forced to find another line of work behind the pulpit and eventually in public office.  But that doesn't mean he had to give up his dream of appearing on the cover of music magazines:

Huck TV To Debut This Weekend

In his latest blog post, Mike Huckabee announces that his new program on Fox is scheduled to debut sometime this weekend:

My show with Fox is schedule to debut this coming weekend, but due to the debate Friday night, there is still some question as to the first airing. The show will tape on Saturday in NY. More details on the show as we know more. Hope you will all tune in when the time comes!

Sarah Palin: Mike Huckabee’s Biggest Nightmare

Last week, we were noting with amazement how Sarah Palin went from complete unknown to de facto leader of the right-wing movement in a matter of weeks:

Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly, conservative cause prompter Richard Viguerie and Free Congress Foundation President Paul M. Weyrich - all considered movement founders - each gave The Times the same two-word answer to the question about the emerging leader of the right: "Sarah Palin."

"None of the above names - Romney, Gingrich, Huckabee, DeLay - will be the conservative movement's leader in the coming years," Mr. Viguerie said. "Governor Palin's VP nomination is huge. It changes conservative, Republican and American politics for the next 20 years."

Of course, this raises an interesting prospect for what happens to Mike Huckabee in 2012 if John McCain loses this year:  

The former Arkansas governor emerged as one of Palin’s most vocal defenders when he spoke shortly before she took the stage at the Republican National Convention earlier this month.

But depending on how this election shapes up, they could end up political rivals for a future presidential bid with narratives that overlap and appeal to the same constituency.

“I think in a lot of ways, they’re pretty similar figures,” said Jay Barth, a political scientist at Hendrix College in Conway. “Their kind of personal style has some similarities to it. I think she really does cut into his turf significantly.”

Palin’s pick as John McCain’s running mate energized evangelicals, especially those who had been worried that he would choose a running mate who would support abortion rights. She’s also sided with the majority evangelical view in opposing gay marriage and expressing a desire to see creationism discussed alongside evolution in schools.

Those positions cut into Huckabee’s base of support among evangelicals, who were attracted to the Southern Baptist minister for his conservative stance on social issues. And, with a quick wit, Huckabee was able to make up for the lack of name recognition with an ability to grab the limelight.

But Palin—who’s selling herself as a “hockey mom” who hunts moose—is now dominating that limelight. If McCain loses in November, she could become the next in line for the GOP.

Back when he was running for the nomination, Huckabee saw Mitt Romney as the biggest threat to his efforts to secure his position as the Right’s favorite candidate and was absolutely merciless in attacking him, and while he might be willing to take a back seat to Palin at the moment in order to help John McCain’s campaign, he probably won’t be so deferential down the line if he finds himself in a face-to-face showdown with Palin for the Right’s support.

Right-Wing Legal Group Comes to Palin’s Defense

The AP reports that “five Republican state lawmakers filed suit Tuesday to end the bipartisan investigation into Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's” role in the “Troopergate” scandal and buried near the bottom of the article is this little tidbit of information:

"There is no nonpartisan reason to complete this investigation until after the election," said Anchorage attorney Kevin G. Clarkson. "We just want to take the politics out of it and bring fairness back into it."

Clarkson said he and a nonprofit legal firm in Texas, Liberty Legal Institute, were donating their work on the suit.

If the name of Clarkson sounds familiar, it’s because he showed up in a post from a few weeks ago explaining how, back in 2006, he personally assured Focus on the Family that Palin shared their views – and he’d know since he was providing legal counsel to her on the Alaska Supreme Court’s ruling regarding benefits for partners of state employees:

Clarkson explained that it was a convoluted process that led to the veto. Acting as legal counsel, Clarkson advised Palin to veto the bill that he said, because of confusing legislative machinations and existing court challenges, would've had the opposite effect and locked in benefits for all couples.

Clarkson said he had to explain the whole decision to Focus on the Family to put minds at ease.

Clarkson appears to be something of a free-lance right-wing lawyer, as in the earlier article he was listed as affiliated with the Alliance Defense Fund and is now listed as working with the Liberty Legal Institute, which just so happens to be run by Kelly Shackelford who was an early backer of Mike Huckabee and was recently hobnobbing with Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer and James Dobson on Dobson’s radio program where they cooed over Palin and Shackelford detailed his role in drafting “the strongest pro-life platform ever in the history of the [Republican] party."

God Created Marriage, Not "Party A" and "Party B"

Mike Huckabee gets active in the Proposition 8 campaign - on the “yes” side, naturally – and explains that the “purpose of marriage is not for you to be happy:”

Changing the definition of marriage would be like making Mona Lisa blond or touching up her smile, former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Sunday morning in Newbury Park.

The former Arkansas governor and Southern Baptist preacher spoke from the pulpit of Calvary Chapel Thousand Oaks in two services focused on Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. He told about 1,000 people that marriage was created and defined by God, just as the Mona Lisa was created by Leonardo da Vinci.

"God doesn't want me to take my brush and paint over his masterpiece," he said … "The purpose of marriage is not for you to be happy," Huckabee said. "The purpose of marriage is so God can teach us how to love, like he loves us."

Speaking of couples who are not happy about the current state of marriage in California,

Last month, Rachel Bird exchanged vows with Gideon Codding in a church wedding in front of family and friends. As far as Bird is concerned, she is a bride.

To the state of California, however, she is either "Party A" or "Party B."

Those are the terms that have replaced "bride" and "groom" on the state's new gender-neutral marriage licenses. And to Bird and Codding, that is unacceptable.

"We are traditionalists – we just want to be called bride and groom," said Bird, 25, who works part time for her father's church. "Those words have been used for generations and now they just changed them."

Bird says her crusade is “personal – not religious,” but she getting solid support from her father, Doug Bird, pastor of Roseville's Abundant Life Fellowship, who is now sending out letters to his congregation and fellow pastors urging them to join the fight:  "I would encourage you to refuse to sign marriage licenses with 'Party A' and 'Party B. If ever there was a time for the people of the United States to stand up and let their voices be heard – this is that time."

Why exactly is Bird so upset about the change?

"We just feel that our rights have been violated," she said.

To some, the couple's stand may seem frivolous. But others believe "bride" and "groom" are terms that are too important for the state to set aside.

"Those who support (same-sex marriage) say it has no impact on heterosexuals," said Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute. "This debunks that argument."

So there you go:  treating gays equally must be stopped in the name of protecting the more important rights of straight people to be referred to as “bride” and “groom” on their legal paperwork.

A Star is Born

You have to admit that it is rather amazing that an unknown, one-term governor of a sparsely populated state can not only be tapped as a major ticket vice-presidential candidate but can, in doing so, simultaneously become the new de facto leader of the conservative movement:

Gov. Sarah Palin has seemingly overnight become the leading candidate for future leader of the conservative movement in the nation - regardless of whether she and running mate Sen. John McCain capture the White House in November.

Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin, the governor of Alaska, were invited to address this weekend's Values Voters Summit in Washington but are expected to be no-shows, leaving only Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich as two of the biggest political names scheduled to address the conclave of social conservatives.

Yet, neither the former Massachusetts governor nor the former House speaker tops the list of people conservatives are talking up as the next top leader of their movement.

Asked who that leader would be, Mr. Gingrich gave The Washington Times a two-word answer: "Sarah Palin."

Even more amazing is that Palin, with almost no discernable record of actually pushing or accomplishing anything on the Right Wing's agenda during her short time in office, has somehow managed to displace proven right-wing stalwarts like Tony Perkins and Mike Huckabee as the new leader of the movement: 

[Tony] Perkins has his admirers, but he and Mr. Romney look almost puny going up against Mrs. Palin - at least for now.

"The movement has a reasonably strong bench but no clearly identified leader coming from that bench right now," said Let Freedom Ring President Colin Hanna. "Tony Perkins is as close to being that next generation of leader as anyone."

Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly, conservative cause prompter Richard Viguerie and Free Congress Foundation President Paul M. Weyrich - all considered movement founders - each gave The Times the same two-word answer to the question about the emerging leader of the right: "Sarah Palin."

"None of the above names - Romney, Gingrich, Huckabee, DeLay - will be the conservative movement's leader in the coming years," Mr. Viguerie said. "Governor Palin's VP nomination is huge. It changes conservative, Republican and American politics for the next 20 years."

Perkins and Huckabee have dedicated nearly their entire political careers to advancing the conservative agenda and yet, in the span of two weeks, have seen their rightful positions at the movement's forefront entirely usurped by someone who, just two weeks ago, nobody had ever heard of.  

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Mike Huckabee Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 04/11/2011, 2:06pm
Janet Porter continues to nab more endorsements for her extreme “Heartbeat bill,” the Ohio legislation which would criminalize most abortions, as she announced at The Awakening that Mike Huckabee has endorsed her bill. Porter, who brought in two fetuses to testify on behalf of the bill in the State House, was able to get the legislation out of committee by just one vote after Ohio Right to Life Society criticized the bill as plainly unconstitutional. Along with Huckabee, Porter said that Republican Rep. Steve Chabot and potential Senate candidates Josh Mandel and Ken Blackwell... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 04/07/2011, 2:54pm
As we noted earlier, Jon Stewart and Mike Huckabee had an extended discussion on last night's "The Daily Show" about David Barton and the entire Religious Right agenda to claim that the United States is and always ought to be a Christian nation governed by Biblical principles.  In the third clip, Huckabee claimed that Stewart was "an incredible exaggerator" on this issue, which was rooted in needless fear about their intentions. Given that much of this discussion was rooted in Huckabee's praise for, and defense of, Barton, I wanted to stress the point that Barton... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 04/07/2011, 8:39am
A few weeks back, we captured video of Mike Huckabee being introduced by David Barton at the Rediscover God in America conference in Iowa, during which asserted that he wished every American would be forced - at gunpoint - to listen to Barton's teachings. Last night, Huckabee appeared on "The Daily Show" and Jon Stewart ended up dedicating nearly the entire interview to questioning Huckabee about his support for and praise of Barton and his pseudo-history: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 04/04/2011, 2:14pm
As we have been noting for nearly a year now, a theology known as "Seven Mountains" has been slowly creeping its way into "mainstream" Religious Right activism.  Beginning with Janet Porter's "May Day for America" prayer rally on the National Mall last year, this Dominionist theology has become increasingly common place in Religious Right events, ranging from the National Day of Prayer events to Jim Garlow's "Pray and Act" 2010 election effort. As we have explained before, Seven Mountains dominionism seeks to place Christians in control... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 03/25/2011, 10:30am
Mike Huckabee tells the audience at the Rediscover God in America conference that America is in a battle of good against evil and needs "spiritual warriors" who will not allow the nation to fall "to the hands of those who would enslave us." God created the United States and only God can destroy it, and so it is up to pastors to mobilize their congregations to stand for righteousness, even if it is unpopular ... like Iowans did in removing three judges from the state Supreme Court for recognizing marriage equality: MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 03/25/2011, 9:15am
David Barton introduced Mike Huckabee at the Rediscover God In America conference, praising him as the epitome of the "Black Robe Regiment" mentality of seeking to apply the Bible to every aspect of the culture.  Huckabee, in turn, repaid the compliments to Barton, calling him one of the most effective communicators in America and wishing that every American would be forced, at gunpoint, to listen to every Barton broadcast: MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/22/2011, 10:29am
Mike Huckabee tells the AFA's OneNewsNow that he supports reinstating Don't Ask, Don't Tell:  Mike Huckabee says he would support legislation aimed at reinstating the 1993 law that prohibits homosexuals from serving openly in the military. In January former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said if he were to become president in two years, he would work to reinstate the prohibition of open homosexual service. Now former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, another potential GOP presidential hopeful, tells OneNewsNow that he, too, would support re-imposing the ban. "I would -- because... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 03/22/2011, 8:26am
Michele Bachmann History: New Hampshire politicians take jabs at Bachmann's history blunder (Politico, 3/17). 2012: Deep roots in conservative movement bolster her campaign prospects (TNR, 3/17). Haley Barbour Campaign: Expanding campaign and presence in early state (NYT, 3/22). Mississippi: State taxpayers paid for $300,000 of his out-of-state traveling costs (Clarion Ledger, 3/21). Foreign Affairs: Calls for reducing troop level in Afghanistan (CBS News, 3/16). Mitch Daniels Book: Signs book deal with conservative publisher (AP, 3/21). 2012: Wife raises doubts about potential run (... MORE >