Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oh honey, hush!

It's 2010, which means that we're getting into the time when people planning a presidential run for 2012 are souping up their jaws. One such is Mike Huckabee, who's diving in with signature witticisms like this.
"The only thing worse than a torrid affair with sweet, sweet Nancy would be a torrid affair with Helen Thomas. If those were my only options, I'd probably be FOR same-sex marriage!"

Careful what you commit to, there. If you want to get with a pretty guy, it's gonna cost you.

Huckabee ran aground in the last election because conservative true believers saw him as a big spender, even a liberal in righties' clothing. So now he's trying to put that all behind him by cozying up to the hard social right and embracing a fairly Kahanist foreign policy.

Huckabee was a Baptist minister before he went into politics, but, like Boone and most of the other people in their group, he is crazy about Israel and extremely enthusiastic about Jews. “I worship a Jew!” Huckabee said. “I have a lot of Jewish friends, and they’re kind of, like, ‘You evangelicals love Israel more than we do.’ I’m, like, ‘Do you not get it? If there weren’t a Jewish faith, there wouldn’t be a Christian faith!’ ” In recent weeks, Huckabee has defended the Israeli attack on a Turkish flotilla headed for Gaza, in which nine people were killed. He does not support a two-state solution, or, at least, as he told numerous reporters in the course of the trip, “not on the same piece of real estate”—which is to say he thinks that coming up with a place for the Palestinians ought to be an Arab problem. In fact, Huckabee does not believe that Palestinian is a legitimate nationality. “I have to be careful saying this, because people get really upset—there’s really no such thing as a Palestinian,” Huckabee told a rabbi in Wellesley, Massachusetts, at a kosher breakfast on the campaign trail in 2008. “That’s been a political tool to try to force land away from Israel.” In a speech to the Knesset on our trip, Huckabee said, “I promise you, you do not have a better friend on earth than Christians around the world, who know where we have come from and know who we must remain allies and friends with.” The members of his tour group who were seated in the audience applauded vigorously; several rose to their feet and shouted, “Amen!”

Given the shrinkage of the Republican big tent, this is what you can expect from primary hopefuls. How much value does it add to Huckabee as a candidate, though? Christian Zionists aren't really shopping for a political party. At this point they're pretty well married to the GOP. The right flank of Jewish Zionists may favor Democrats in some Congressional elections--there's certainly no shortage of Likud-leaning Democrats to choose from--but heavily favor Republicans in national elections.

But if the Republican nominee is someone who's fully aboard the "there are no Palestinians" train, that just reminds Muslim voters and those who don't hate them that as lame as he can be, Barack Obama is really the only choice if you want even-handedness in Mideast politics. And Muslims in the US used to be part of the Republican coalition, as one might expect from a group largely made up of entrepeneurs.

At the end of the day, though, no one gives them much thought. Not in the political mainstream. I guess we'll see how that works out.


susan said...

If they'd just admit up front that partisan politics are circuses for the masses while the real business of attempted world domination is handled by the big boys upstairs everybody would know who to yell at. Maybe most people already do :-)

Ben said...

Eh. Some do and some don't, I guess.