How dangerous is Mike Huckabee? and the Random Ten
Salon has an interview up with Mike Huckabee, and I'm a little torn by it. Part of me wants to believe that no serious person could look at him as Presidential material, low as that bar has fallen in the last seven years, and then I remember that our media covers the Britney Spears saga with the same intensity that they did the Kennedy assassination and a little piece of me dies inside.
Huckabee's "charm" comes in part from his folksy, "I'm like Bill Clinton but I keep my dick in my pants" Southern affability. And he appeals on that "I'm no smarter than you, so I lean on God" attitude that King George the Lesser affected but never quite got correct, in part because Huckabee believes it, while Dubya was acting in his smarmy frat-boy style.
Here's an example of what I mean. Leave aside for the moment his inconsistency on prosecuting women who have abortions; here's part of his answer to a question about the morning after pill (emergency contraception) and the abortion pill count as abortions:
Anything that ends the life after it has been fertilized to me is problematic, because it is a life at that point. At that particular stage, some people say, "When does it become a life?" The very people who hammer me all the time about saying I am unscientific, I would say, well, the science is that it is a life. There is only one kind of life. It's a human life. It may not be as developed as it would be two or three or four months from then. But that's what it is.
For starters, Huckabee wouldn't know "the science" if it stepped up and slapped him in the face. He doesn't believe in evolution, and when cornered on that question, often defaults to a lame joke about the monkeys in Congress or says what he prefers to believe given options. It's not precisely clear whether Huckabee understands that the majority of fertilized eggs never implant, and are therefore no more alive than the career of the Bay City Rollers, but it doesn't matter, because the people to whom Huckabee most appeals don't understand that. They're working from their gut, and that's the part of the body Huckabee is trying to sell to. He won't win a brain debate, but he just might get you in the soft spot just above the colon.
I'd like to think that after 7 years of gut-level governance from a President who claimed to see a soul in former KGB agent turned Supreme Leader Vladimir Putin, that an approach like Huckabee's would be dead on arrival, and Huckabee may be experiencing his moment of glory right now, months before the Iowa caucuses. I don't think that, even if he wins Iowa in a surprise, that he'll be the nominee--he doesn't have the money to compete in the flurry of states that follow--but early success could easily make him a VP candidate, and he didn't rule out running with someone who hadn't always shared his values.
Side note: can we stop referring to Rudy Giuliani as pro-choice and pro-gay rights? He may have been those things at one time, in order to get elected in New York City, but it's pretty clear that he's as opportunistic as Romney or McCain when it comes to changing his opinions to where the electorate is.
I guess it would be a stretch to say that I'm scared of Huckabee as a candidate, but I learned long ago to never underestimate the power of people to make bad calls on politicians.
Here's the Random Ten. You know what to do.
1. Four-Eyed Girl--Rhett Miller
2. Moody--Nouvelle Vague
3. Close to You--Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
4. Let's Talk Dirty in Hawaiian--John Prine
5. West End Girls--Pet Shop Boys
6. Satan Is My Motor--cake
7. Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean--Susan Tedeschi
8. Three Blind Mice--Katherine Whalen
9. Transmitting Live From Mars--De La Soul
10. A Movie Script Ending--Death Cab For Cutie
So what's on your lists for this week?