Mike Huckabee says he is making a big announcement tonight on Fox News, the former home of his television talk show, which is leaving many to speculate that he will throw his hat into the presidential race.
Huckabee has made repeated campaign-like stops in Iowa and a top Iowa political operative launched has a “super PAC” to help a potential Huckabee campaign. The former Arkansas governor is also slated to speak next Saturday at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition 2015 Spring Kickoff along with other declared and likely GOP presidential candidates.
Whether or not Huckabee decides to launch another presidential campaign, the self-proclaimed ambassador of “Bubba-ville” is sure to remain a force in Republican politics.
Although Huckabee has never made it very far in his presidential ambitions, his national media platform and popularity in the Religious Right have made him influential in pushing his party further to the fringe including LGBT equality, birth control and the separation of church and state.
1) Extreme Opposition To Gay Rights
During an unsuccessful campaign for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1992, Huckabee argued that “homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle” that can “pose a dangerous public health risk,” asserting that the government should make sure that people with HIV/AIDs are “isolated from the general population.” Huckabee stood by his remarks when he was asked about his comments during his last presidential bid.
Huckabee has since emerged as a consistent source of anti-gay bias, likening gay rights to Nazism; comparing gay people to alcoholics and people who have sex with sheep; attacking the presence of gay people in television commercials and professional sports; demanding the reinstitution of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; and urging states to simply ignore court rulings on gay rights.
2) Contraception Plan Hypocrisy
Huckabee waded into the legal fight over whether the government can mandate that insurance plans cover contraceptives by becoming one of the most outspoken defenders of Hobby Lobby, the craft company that dropped its own coverage of contraceptive drugs in order to sue the government.
Not only did Huckabee erroneously refer to such drugs as “tax-funded abortion pills,” but he even claimed — without a shred of evidence — that the Obama administration was trying to force “business owners to pay for employees’ abortions.” He launched a Hobby Lobby “buycott” day to support the company, disparaging the government for “thinking it’s God and trying to act like it” and imposing a “tyranny” that reminded him of “why the American revolution started.”
The former governor criticized Democratic supporters of the contraceptive coverage plan for thinking that women must depend on “Uncle Sugar” for “providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido.”
Of course, Huckabee conveniently ignored the fact that, as governor of Arkansas, he signed a contraceptive coverage mandate much more sweeping than the federal version, as it even affected church-affiliated groups.
3) Huckabee’s School Shootings Solution
Huckabee even connected his hostility to the contraception insurance mandate to the Sandy Hook school shooting, saying that the insurance policy was a sign that America has kicked God “out of our culture and marched him off the public square.” Therefore, Huckabee said, people shouldn’t “express our surprise” when a school shooting occurs.
“We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools,” Huckabee told Fox News on the day of the Sandy Hook massacre. “Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”
Huckabee’s advice to public schools seeking to prevent shootings? Organize chapel services and Bible readings.
4) Pushing The Persecution Myth
Huckabee is under the impression that the rights of Christians are under assault in the U.S., insisting that the government “will protect the rights of almost any religion except Christians.”
According to Huckabee, President Obama has made sure that his administration does “everything possible to accommodate Muslims” — who “enjoy special rights and privileges” in America – while at the same time “stomping all over Christians.”
When Bill Maher asked Huckabee to explain his “persecution complex,” the evidence he produced was the portrayal of Christian characters in “television shows and movies.”
5) Advertising Quack Cures
While Huckabee is angry with how the entertainment industry treats conservative Christians, he seems to have no problem with sending his overwhelmingly conservative Christian email subscribers sponsored content from quack doctors and conspiracy theorists. Huckabee has used his email list to advertise bogus cures to diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer (the latter a cure allegedly gleaned from the 859th page of an ancient Bible).
Huckabee himself once appeared in an advertisement promoting the pseudo-scientific diabetes treatment, although we still aren’t sure if he ever bought into the messages he sponsored from a notorious financial fraudster peddling survival food and investment advice.