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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Strange Days

by tristero

Back in '04, right around the time Judge Roy Moore was forced off the bench during the Ten Commandments nonsense, there were rumors he would run for president on a third party. I wrote a snarky blogpost urging that he do just that, as he would siphon votes away from the Republicans. Dave Neiwert, who really knows what he's talking about when it comes to the dangers of rightwing extremism of all kinds set me straight:
Liberals may cheer Moore on because he can do to Bush what Nader did to Gore...

However, this may be a case of getting what we ask for. Moore's candidacy not only could expand the Constitution Party's reach, it could bring its extremist brand of politics into even closer contact with the broader conservative mainstream -- and all that implies...

Republicans are obviously hoping Moore doesn't run. Democrats, if they're wise, should hope the same. The monster that would result might not be worth the short-term gain.
In other words, religious extremists and rightwing nutjobs should have no place in American national politics. While their candidacies may be doomed, there lie monsters.

Which brings us to the genuinely repellent topic of Michael Huckabee. The fact that he won the Iowa caucus chills me to the bone. This is a ruthless, ignorant, and dangerously opportunistic fanatic who is so unqualified for the presidency that no one in the media should have returned his calls. And they still shouldn't.

This is a man so bereft of character he actively worked to free a serial rapist, a seriously deranged sociopath who had also been directly involved in a brutal murder. And why did Huckabee proactively seek Wayne Dumond's freedom? For one reason only: Because his release had become a rightwing cause celebre. Sure enough, soon after Huckabee's efforts succeeded in returning Dumond to the outside world, Dumond raped and murdered at least one, if not two women.

Huckabee's championing of Dumond's release - Huckabee never read the court documents or appeals from Dumond's victims - is enough to demonstrate that he has neither the judgment or moral character to be a dog catcher, let alone president. But since then, Huckabee has made it his business repeatedly to lie about his involvement in Dumond's release - which would never have happened without his efforts. So let's not mince words here:

Huckabee is hardly a better candidate for president than Wayne Dumond himself would be, if he were still alive.

It is said in his defense that Huckabee has only slept with one woman since he married (and for all I know, maybe his whole life). He doesn't drink, and he doesn't smoke and he reads the Bible. In other words, Huckabee meets the minimum standards to be a fundamentalist Christian preacher, even if these qualifications are mostly honored in the breech. But whether one finds such behavior laudable or pathetically stunted, they are irrelevant. They are hardly positive character traits for a US president. Sober judgment, however, is. But Huckabee has none. Integrity is. But Huckabee has none.

As if this wasn't enough, Huckabee has absolutely no experience whatsoever in foreign policy and no genuine curiousity about it. His idea of an expert upon which to lean is John Bolton, a man as unhinged as Huckabee's earlier adviser, Steve Dunleavy. Dunleavy, who no one has accused of leading a life deprived of Demon Rum, was one of Huckabee's main sources for exculpatory information on Dumond, which turned out to be - you saw this coming, I'm sure - utterly bogus.

Furthermore, Huckabee is a religious bigot. He's not merely trying to entice Bible thumpers and their sheep to vote for him. Through his rhetoric, he deliberately assigns second-class citizenship to millions of Americans who don't practice his specific religion - be they Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, Buddhist, atheist, agnostic, secular, or simply in a mainstream denomination he deems "too liberal."

Of course, Huckabee doesn't believe in evolution, but that's not just because he's a scientific ignoramus. It's because Huckabee doesn't believe in anything except his own will to power, a delusional narcissism so powerful he mistakes it for the will of God. He is a vicious, unprincipled man; the stories of his ruthlessness when governor of Arkansas are legion.

In short, Huckabee's a dangerously awful candidate, certainly at least as bad as Giuliani. The sooner he is defeated and returned to obscurity the better.