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Why Mike Huckabee Scares Me

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Everyone tells me I'm a dreadful, heartless conservative. But if I'm a conservative I don't know what the hell Mike Huckabee is, because not only do I not agree with him on almost any issue: his beliefs actually scare the hell out of me.

A lot of this has to do with religion. I think of myself as an open-minded atheist, in that I'm not hostile towards religion and can see the valuable contributions it has made to society. I certainly don't want to impose my beliefs on people of faith, but I expect them to show me the same courtesy in return. I think religion is a private affair between man and God. Huckabee thinks religion should be the basis of national policy.

That's my first major point of departure from Mike Huckabee. He seems to be running not only for President of the United States, but also for Supreme High Priest and Grand Inquisitor all at the same time. Two out of those three roles aren't actually authorized in the Constitution.

When he raised his hand at the debate last year to proudly reject evolution you probably knew where he was coming from. You can get a lot more details of Huckabee's philosophy of life and his view on many issues by reading his book Character Makes a Difference, in which he lays out his basic position on the separation of Church and State:

Those who believe God created humans have a different worldview from those who believe humans created God. Politics are totally directed by worldview. That is why when people say, "We ought to separate politics from religion," I say to separate the two is absolutely impossible.

This perspective is in pretty much direct opposition to the Constitution, but that's okay, because earlier this week, in the Michigan debate, Huckabee made it quite clear that he considers the Constitution an impediment to his vision of theocracy, and he'd like to do away with it.

[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it's a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards.

How he's going to square that viewpoint with swearing an oath to support and defend the Constitution if he gets sworn in as President is hard to fathom. Maybe the Bible he takes the oath on will burst into flame or something equally biblical.

Once Huckabee gets into office, he ought to have an easy job, because the usual practice of addressing specific problems is outmoded. In the new theocracy we're going to solve all the nation's problems by reading the Bible more as he explains in Character Makes a Difference:

Our problems do not result from economics or deficiencies in education. They result from the selfish decision to ignore God's standards of integrity. Standards based on anything else are relative, and relative standards are meaningless.

But fear not. God has given him the word on some specific issues. He wants to expand farm subsidies, tax businesses on the Internet, and put homosexuals in AIDS quarantine camps. And he's got a different take on marriage. Not only does he want to ban gay marriage, but he wants to make divorce illegal as he explained in a GOP debate in September of last year:

Marriage is a relationship between one man, one woman, for life … I would support strongly and lead — not just support, but lead — an effort to have a constitutional amendment to affirm marriage as between one man, one woman, for life.

This is definitely not what I want my government to be wasting its time on, or the kind of thing I want to see amended into the Constitution in the spot where the First Amendment used to be. The Constitution is the foundation of our government and ought to be treated with respect. The Bill of Rights is absolutely essential to maintaining a free society. Huckabee would like to write over them with Bible verses and that seems like a bad trade.

I have to admit that Huckabee is charming, personable, and witty. But it doesn't make oppression any better just because it comes in an appealing package. Every despot probably looked good to the people when they first yielded up power to him. An perhaps worst of all, Huckabee seems to have it in for free speech on the Internet. In his book From Hope to Higher Ground he wrote "Read the Bible more; blogs less." Now does that seem like a good idea?

To find out much more than you probably want to know about Huckabee, visit his page at On the Issues.

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About Dave Nalle

  • Roger Choate

    Right on, Dave. Hucksters like Huckabee scare me, too. A goodly number of voters have no idea what the Constitutional separation of church and state is supposed to mean. Or don’t want to know. The line is further muddied by the intrusion of religious mumble-jumble into public life, such as the Pledge of Allegiance: “…one nation, under God…” (For that matter, why do we exact a Pledge of Allegiance from citizens in the first place? Insecure national identity?)

    God is not great.

  • Harald Hardrata

    Ok. You’re an atheist that’s the only problem you have with Huckabee…we get it.

    If you think allowing the liberals to drastically alter the nature of marriage to include gays will not completely change the natgure and morality of this country….you have bigger problems than your disbelief in God!

  • Roger Choate

    Some possible intellectual confusion on your part, Harald. Atheists don’t believe in a god. But that’s not what I said. I said that God is not great.

  • Leon

    The Constitution says this regarding “seperation of church and state”…
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
    So for all you athiests scared of a man who believes in God and has faith in God this should spare you from any fears that Huckabee as President would force his beliefs on you or me.
    The same Constitution doesnt say that a Person of great faith cant be in Government or use the Morality that is derived from the Bible. Try as you might to say otherwise, Morality is all from Biblical teaching…like the 10 Commandments. God has also written these on the hearts of us all as his word says.
    Those who dont believe in God in essence make themselves a god….athiests…

  • Roger Choate

    More intellectual confusion, this time from Leon: “all of you atheists”….I didn’t say I was an atheist. I said that God is not great, She really isn’t. This could well be the position of an agnostic, who is not the same creature as an atheist.

    Returning, finally, to Dave’s point: God has given the huckster the Word on some specific issues. She’s told Huck to expand farm subsidies, tax businesses on the internet and put homosexuals in AIDS quarantine camps.

  • Leon

    Concerning who ever it is that thinks I am intellectually confused, not saying any names. In my first coment on this blog, I was referring to Dave Nalle who wrote the Blog(article) and admitted he is an athiest. And further to any other who happens to read this and is an athiest.

    Speaking of confusion, the whole world is confused. Any who deny the Word deceive themselves.
    I hope I am not “Personally attacked” for my opinion again. After all anything anyone says is always thier own opinion. And in the end there is only one Truth, because if there are multiple truths then none are true just by the very definition of truth…”Veritas”

  • http://www.my-virtual-income.com Christopher Rose

    Well, I certainly think you are intellectually confused, Leon. Firstly, you can’t even spell atheist correctly but setting that aside, you appear to have decided what the truth is without any evidence at all to support your conjecture. THAT is intellectual confusion and dishonesty of the lowest calibre.

  • Roger Choate

    Hi Leon – You weren’t being “personally attacked.” It was suggested that you are contributing to intellectual confusion, which isn’t the same thing at all.

    I’m sure that Huckabee could put himself on an intellectually moral course by agreeing to take the Oath of Office with his hand on the Bill of Rights, instead of a Bible.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I was under the impression that one of the requirements of being an atheist was that you couldn’t speel, uh splel, um spell it??? (sic)

  • STM

    Mike Huckabee just scares me, period. Especially the name, irrational as that may be.

    I just don’t think I could used to the moniker: “President Huckabee”.

    I don’t know why, but it just sounds like something out of a Huckleberry Hound cartoon.

    Any comments??

  • Lee Richards

    Excellent commentary, Dave. Why doesn’t the MSM question these positions?

    Huckabee would gladly do away with over 200 years of American constitutional law, 300 years of enlightened Biblical scholarship, and 150 years of scientific knowledge, because the “truth” has been revealed to him.

    He is either 1. absolutely correct, 2. impossibly ignorant, or 3. dangerously deluded.

    I go for some combination of #2 & #3.

    Our worst mistake would be to elect someone president who is ideologically incapable of changing his/her mind.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Nice to see Roger in the comments section.

    As for my objection to the Huckabuckster being mainly on the basis of religion, that’s not because I’m atheistical, but because he basis his policies entirely on religion. I didn’t take it to that basis, he did.

    And as Roger pointed out I did mention various issues where he has distinctly non-conservative positions. So I object to him BOTH on the grounds of religious distortion of national policy and his fascination with big government.

    Dave

  • Arch Conservative

    As a very socially and fiscally conservative Republican Huckabee sacres me because the guy would probably pick Jesus as his veep and then spend us all into an oblivion.

    I passed on this ignorant gomer pyle looking mofo and I will have to pass on him again if he wins my party’s nomination.

  • Arch Conservative

    That should read “I passed on this ignorant gomer pyle looking mofo in the NH primary and I will have to pass on him again if he wins my party’s nomination.”

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Thankfully I think he’s not going to get the nomination, but I bet he’ll be top on everyone’s list for VP.

    Dave

  • Conservative Libertarian

    He’s not going to be on any VP list because no one else in the party likes him. There are a few million people in the U.S. who have no idea that their views (and votes for Huck) advocate an American theocracy. Ask any one of them if Iran’s theocracy makes sense and every one would look at you like you had two heads. They don’t even understand the connection or the slippery slope Huckabee represents.

  • Arch Conservative

    I don’t think Rudy or Mitt are inclined to pick either Mccain or Huckabee as their VP Dave.

  • http://hxchristian.typepad.com/metal_dad metal dad

    I am a christian, and Mike Huckabee gives me the willies. Some might characterize me as a fundamentalist because of my theological distinctives, but i purposely distance myself from the cultural baggage that marks much of christian fundamentalism in the U.S.

    No, what scares me the most about Gov. Huckabee is that he is a big-government Republican who, like many on the opposite side of the political spectrum, thinks that the federal government knows what is best for me and you and is more than willing to take your dollars to accomplish these wonderful things, in your best interests, of course. I appreciate your point of view, Dave.
    Thanks for the article.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    @ #1: For that matter, why do we exact a Pledge of Allegiance from citizens in the first place? Insecure national identity?

    I think it has something to do with a certain Mr Arnold who caused a bit of trouble a while back…

  • P.Marlowe

    Big Dave I am RIGHT there with ya on being very worried about this guy… Worse, he’s the “Barney” of political demagogs. His ability to even disarm the skeptical media is pretty amazing…

    America (like most places in the world) is always susceptible to this kind of leader… I am reminded of the one line in CASABLANCA (which I love) that always grates on me… Where Ilsa sighs (in Rick’s arms) “I don’t know… You must do the thinking for me!” (Not that I’m a PCer on ANY level but I always want to SLAP her right then and yell, “think for yourself ya TWIT!”

    I wonder though what you’ll do Dave if The Huckster wins the Rep nom?

    Marlowe

  • PMD

    I think you’re making too much of this. Your idea that religion is a private matter sounds nice in theory, but it doesn’t work out well in practice. It’s very hard to separate the values that people bring to government from their personal religious views or those that have had a deep influence on our culture. The Abolitionist and Civil Rights movements owed quite a bit to the religious convictions of those who led them. Many people derive their values from religion and they have a perfect right to be motivated by those values while serving in public office. This is NOT they same as believing that religion should be the basis of national policy.

    Your 3rd paragraph is alarmist, as is the whole article. What makes anyone think that anyone who is elected President will have the power to become some kind of dictator (theocratic or otherwise)? Do you have that little faith in our form of government and the other elected and appointed officials who make it up?

    Since when is being in favor of changing the Constitution the same as wanting to do away with it,as you imply? Were proponents of the Equal Rights Amendment against the Constitution? If you’ve studied that effort, you’re aware that the amendment process is not subject to Presidential fiat.

    It’s no secret that Huckabee is against abortion and gay marriage. So are a lot of Americans. But even as President, he will have to convince Americans and the legislature to share those values. He won’t be able to dictate them.

  • Lee Richards

    #21:
    It IS alarming that a presidential candidate openly favors a theocratic(his beliefs, naturally)approach to governing AND advocates altering the Constitution to make it possible.

    Why announce it, unless he really means to do it if elected? It’s not about his personal faith; it’s about his stated intention to make it, constitutionally, the faith of the nation.

    No, he can’t do it alone, but our recent history clearly shows that Congress can be led into anything if convinced it’ll bring in some more votes, and then can justify themselves as being on both sides at once. One or two Supreme Court justices from Pat Robertson’s law school could creatively trash the Bill Of Rights without even trying, if encouraged by a Presidential prophet who appointed them.

    Maybe you aren’t alarmed enough!

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I wonder though what you’ll do Dave if The Huckster wins the Rep nom?

    If Obama wins the Democratic nomination then I might vote for him. Otherwise I’ll just vote Libertarian as I have in every election but one since I turned 18.

    Dave

  • http://cowboyupdwt Darrell W Thomas

    IF YOU CANT SAY SOMETHING NICE,DONT SAY ANYTHING AT ALL. PLEASE BE ADULTS. WHEN YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE OR QUOTING, TELL THE WHOLE TRUTH,NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH SO HELP YOU GOD. IS THAT ONE OF THE PRINCIPALS THIS COUNTRY WAS BUILT ON. NOT EVERY ONE IS GOING TO AGREE WITH A CANIDATES POINT OF VIEW,BUT YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF TO TELL THE WHOLE TRUTH. INTEGRITY,I WISH AMERICANS HAD IT THE WAY OUR PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS DID. DO YOU KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE COMITMENT IT TAKES TO HAVE INTEGRITY?

  • PMD

    #22
    I’m not alarmed because I know the difference between advocating a theocracy and what people like Huckabee are talking about. Huck is only being explicit about the source of his values. Would be nice if more politicians tried to do the same thing. But he’s not going to bring about a theocracy in this country any more than Jimmy Carter did. If you’ve got the impression that Congress is so easily lead along by a President’s sheer will and ways you haven’t been watching politics much. Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court candidates are no picnic.

    But suppose you are right. Suppose the President has as much power as you say. If that’s true, then ANY President is dangerous and we’ve got bigger problems to be alarmed about and we should be complaining about and fixing those. But we’re not, are we? We’re only complaining about those we are at ideological odds with. The plain truth is that we don’t elect dictators in this country and you know it. Implying that a candidate we oppose is going to succeed in being one is a scare tactic, nothing more.

  • Bennett

    “What makes anyone think that anyone who is elected President will have the power to become some kind of dictator (theocratic or otherwise)?

    George W. Bush

    Do you have that little faith in our form of government and the other elected and appointed officials who make it up?”

    Sadly, yes.

  • Lee Richards

    Re #25:

    “…what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards…”

    That’s Huckabee being explicit about not only his values but what he would like to do to everyone else’s. By God, he most certainly means his Jesus-God.

    It’s blind, foolish and naive to think it can’t happen here. If facing facts is a scare tactic, it’s a beneficial one.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    It doesn’t actually matter whether we believe Huckabuckleonthebiblebelt can institute theocracy or not. The fact that he clearly would like to if given an opportunity says such terrible things about him that there’s no justification for letting him anywhere near the white house.

    Dave

  • Ron

    I have never been on this site until tonight. I have to say, that I did like Dave’s view on Mike Huckabee. For me, it gave me something else to think about, since I’m already disappointed by the entire selection of candidates. I vote for the one I think fits for the time being, not for what party they belong to. I can easily say that I do not like Huckabee and I don’t share his view on national policy, so if he’s nominated to run, then he will not get my vote. When it comes to religion, that’s a very different story for me. I have never supported the use of religious ideation in public policy, even though it’s quite common to see it happen on a daily basis. Religion, in my opinion, is a personal issue and should never be part of any law that restricts any citizen from being an “American”. If we used the ideation of “faith” for our basis in creating laws, then we would be no better off then a third-world country where crime against humanity is wildly out of control. For instance, the middle east is the most volitile place on earth habitated by man. If Mike Huckabee really believes in the bible being his answer to all the issues and problems that we “Americans” face every day, then lets send him to the middle east so he can learn a little bit about someone else’s faith and how it’s imposed upon those people.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I almost sympathize with you, Dave. But if I were you, I’d worry less about the pygmies trying to be president in your country. They’re all as cute as little chihuahuas trying to be big dogs.

    Bark! Bark! Bark!

    The only one amongst the whole bunch with the murderousness to be president has shared a president’s bed.

    I’d worry a whole lot more about how your economy is going down the toilet….

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    If Mike Huckabee really believes in the bible being his answer to all the issues and problems that we “Americans” face every day, then lets send him to the middle east so he can learn a little bit about someone else’s faith and how it’s imposed upon those people.

    Yikes. Let’s not give him any ideas.

    Dave

  • Leon

    To Dave Nalle:

    I really must have struck a nerve with you huh?

    “It doesn’t actually matter whether we believe Huckabuckleonthebiblebelt can institute theocracy or not. The fact that he clearly would like to if given an opportunity says such terrible things about him that there’s no justification for letting him anywhere near the white house.

    Dave”

    You used my name in your ranting…I feel honored.

    Did you not read the rule on this commenting section that says “Personal attacks are not allowed” in red?

    It must be horrable to live without any real hope.
    I leave you with this quote

    So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
    Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.

    Romans 1:21-22

  • Daniel Tuttle

    Amen Leon. I am a young preacher, and I would like to comment on the earlier one about doing away with over 200 years of constitutional law. Separation of church and state hasn’t even been around for 100 years, much less 2. Considering the fact that it was the Supreme Court’s solution to having more power over state legislation, I think it does need to be changed.

  • Lee Richards

    #33:
    Daniel:

    You’re right, of course. What we really need is your religious faith and dogma, or Huckabee’s, or mine, becoming law for the nation.

    It’s worked so well in many of the Muslim countries.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Leon, what user did I make a personal attack on here? Huckabee is a public figure, he’s fair game. What’s more, my ‘attack’ here consists of quotes of things HE has said. If he didn’t want to look like a theocrat, perhaps he should not have said them.

    Now Daniel. Let me ask a question. If you’re a preacher, do you regularly lie to your congregation like you lied in your comment here? Or are you just ignorant and unqualified to be a preacher altogether?

    Separation of church and state originates in the First Amendment which was written 220 years ago. It’s backed up by the writings of almost every founding father and it’s represented in every state constitution, and most of them were written well over 100 years ago too.

    Let me share with you one quote from a document passed unanimously by the Congress and signed by President John Adams just over 210 years ago:

    “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

    Any questions?

    Dave

  • Lee Richards

    #32:
    Leon:
    Quoting or appealing to some arbitrary authority is an old technique used to propagandize, and divert people from thinking for themselves.

    Huckabee would be proud of you.

  • PMD

    Has anyone bothered to look up Huckabee’s statement on faith and politics on his own web site?

    Doesn’t sound like he’s interested in theocracy to me. But he’s making something plain that some people here choose to ignore. It does no good to pretend that people’s religious beliefs are a purely private matter. In the real world that’s impossible. It does no good to pretend that only bad things come from religious convictions exercised in the public square. Great good has come from it too (on balance I think the good is greater), and great evil has been done by some of the most secular societies. Things just aren’t as simple as you would like them to be. Using religion as an excuse to suppress ideas in the public square is just as intolerant as using it to enforce them.

  • http://www.xanga.com/Banderas11/ Dominick Banderas

    This article is very unfounded and contains many false statements.

    I would encourage everybody to go to Mike Huckabee’s site or listen to the debates to find out what he really believes.. and how he has stated several times that he does not and would not force his beliefs on others.

    It would scare me more to have an atheist or someone without any morals running the country.

    Why are atheists so scared of God, anyway?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    This article is very unfounded and contains many false statements.

    What, you’re accusing Huckabee of lying about his beliefs? You think he’s a hypocrite?

    Because everything in this article is clearly sourced and comes directly from the horse’s mouth.

    Dave

  • Jonathan Scanlan

    Wow Dave, for once I find myself whole heartedly agreeing with one of your posts. Bravo.

  • Huckabee: A Man of Integrity

    Speaking of the Bible and Faith…we must not forget the words of President Abraham Lincoln (March 30, 1863).

    “…and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”

    Maybe someone should have told Mr. Lincoln about the separation of church and state…President Lincoln and Mike Huckabee = men of integrity, and sons of the Living God!

  • Jonathan Scanlan

    RE: #41

    Just because he’s abraham lincoln does not mean he’s right. Your argument is cyclic.

  • Lee Richards

    Re #38:

    It’s believers who fear God, his wrath, anger and judgement and are frightened of his punishments. Jesus’ words can scare the hell out of the faithful.

    Atheists aren’t scared of God at all.

    That answers your question; now, one for Huckabee:

    “Isn’t it arrogant, egotistical, falsely messianic, and dangerous for someone to think their human beliefs, opinions, interpretations, and value judgements about spiritual matters belong in the fundamental document of American government?”

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Lincoln did make very rousing speeches, but historians generally believe that he was an agnostic or largely indifferent to religion. He certainly wasn’t known for attending church, even if he could turn religious language to his purposes in a speech. He did once sum up his religious views. He said “When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”

    dave

  • skldfjdslk

    you make two remarks about him being against free speech (“where the first amendment used to be,” “seems to have it in for free speech on the internet” without really backing it up, i agree with the rest though

  • Irene Wagner

    LISTEN CHRISTIAN VOTERS!!! I’m a Christian, I believe the Bible from Genesis right through to the maps, and I wish you would read this pro-life pastor’s review of a book published by MOODY PRESS (as in the evangelist, Dwight L. Moody) called “Hitler’s Cross.” A lot of church-going people were fooled by Hitler, Lutheran pastor and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer being a notable exception. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling Bush or Huckabee Hitler, but I am saying Christians need to be “harmless as doves AND shrewd as serpents” just like Jesus said. Please consider what this article has to say before you vote for someone because you’ve heard he’s “God’s man for the office.”

    Dave Nalle:

    Who’s afraid of Mike Huckabee,
    Huckabee, Huckabee?
    Who’s afraid of Mike Huckabee?
    Not I, not I, not I!

    Huckabee isn’t going to ride into office on the Gospel Train the way George II did. Many stalwart members of the monolithic “Evangelical Voting Bloc” have become disillusioned with Right Wing politics. Some of them for the first time in their lives chose NOT to vote Republican in 2006, and this had a lot to do with how well the Democrats did that year.

    Yet, a certain amount of Huckaphobia is warranted, as there are many who will cast their vote for the Republican candidate whose Sunday morning looks the most like theirs. The best strategy to pull such voters away from Huckabee is NOT to get into battles about the separation of church and state–guess what, a lot of Christians want the STATE out of their CHURCH– but to suggest alternatives who might appeal to them. I know some of the concerns you have about Huckabee you also have about Ron Paul, but you have to admit Ron Paul is far less dangerous and has good libertarian ideas espoused by no other candidate in either party.

    I know you aren’t optimistic about Paul’s chances. Think “drawing away votes.”

  • Winghunter

    Ron Paul’s policies to legalize drugs and let the evil in the world do as they please is every bit as dangerous as a church state.

    Although, The Huckster wraps himself in the cloak of religion he follows that path entirely and only at his convenience.

    Know what I know; Candidate Research – Know Who You’re Voting For ( The Easy Way )

  • troll

    Irene – Paul needs to start spending his raised millions on a national pr/edu campaign asap…as I see it you guys have 4 more years to get your revolution going

  • Paul Roy

    Dave, you better pray that Chuck Norris doesn’t come looking for you for writing such an insightful piece about his boy. Oh, that’s right, atheists don’t pray. As a fiscally conservative, socially libertarian atheist myself (now that’s a mouthful), I too am frightened at the thought of a Huckabee presidency. But I am even more frightened at the thought of a Romney presidency. But I am still most frightened of all at the thought of a democrat back in office. Lord help us! Figuratively speaking, of course.

  • http://www.debtfree4ever.net Kevin S.

    When I vote, I don’t look at the candidates religion at all. Instead, I look at the issues. With that said, Huckabee is right on most issues. In fact, I just wrote an endorsement editorial for the local paper and a couple of other websites (which I own).

  • Irene Wagner

    Troll – it’s never too late to start mobilizing for ’12. Paul’s antiwar chest will get a boost from today’s mass donation to honor Ron Paul’s Civil Rights work. (An aside. The Google page decoration for MLK is adorable.)

    Rightwinger: Ron Paul is more AGAINST the way the War on Drugs is being waged (wastefully, unfairly, intrusively) than he is FOR people running around stoned, although as an MD he is far more aware of marijuana’s medical usefulness than his detractors are. Does the candidate you support have any plans to outlaw liquor? Of COURSE he/she doesn’t.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    We should do whatever we can to prevent Mike Huckabee from becoming President, if for no other reason than that four years of ever-more-inventive renamings (of which Dave’s ‘Huckabuckleonthebiblebelt’ is undisputably the best so far) are going to drive me absolutely round the bend.

  • Clavos

    “…four years of ever-more-inventive renamings (of which Dave’s ‘Huckabuckleonthebiblebelt’ is undisputably the best so far) are going to drive me absolutely round the bend.

    Yeah, that one gets my vote, too!

    But, Doc if you are “driven,” how will you know? :>)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Clav: I’m relying on you to rescue me.

    8>D~~~~

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Why are atheists so scared of God, anyway?

    They’re not. Why would someone be scared of something that doesn’t exist?

    The only beings one should justifiably be scared of (and true Christians understand this just as well as atheists, albeit for different reasons) are humans.

  • Leslie Bohn

    I learned all I need to know about Ron Paul from the New Republic’s story. Paul has put out newsletters for three decades that feature racist and homophobic ideas, as well as a silly penchant for crazy conspiracy theories. It’s hard to believe, but an unfortunate reality, that this man still has supporters.

    here’s the NRO story. Read for yourself

  • Irene Wagner

    Director of Austin’s NAACP supports Ron Paul. Can Ron Paul count on you for a donation in honor of MLK today?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I learned all I need to know about Ron Paul from the New Republic’s story. Paul has put out newsletters for three decades that feature racist and homophobic ideas, as well as a silly penchant for crazy conspiracy theories. It’s hard to believe, but an unfortunate reality, that this man still has supporters.

    To be fair, that newsletter was never published by or in any way edited by Paul. As I understand it, Lew Rockwell was solely responsible for the content. Yes, Paul should have taken his name off of it sooner – he did several years ago – but he has a habit of taking all the free exposure he can get.

    Director of Austin’s NAACP supports Ron Paul. Can Ron Paul count on you for a donation in honor of MLK today?

    Isn’t that amazing? Why that pack of statist jackals wouls support Paul is beyond me. Nelson Linder must be having some sort of psychotic breakdown.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    My fear is that McCain will pick Huck as his VP nominee, get elected and then die in office, giving us President Huck by default. Yikes.

    The Michigan debate statement about changing the Constitution to match God’s word is bone-chilling. Someone asked why the MSM isn’t covering this, but they certainly are. And even some evangelicals were made nervous by the extreme nature of those remarks.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Ms. Wagner:

    You have not addressed the hateful racist homophobic spew in Paul’s newsletters.

    I think it’s irresponsible for you to continue to advocate for him without this information, now that you’ve been alerted to its existence.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Irene Wagner (via DN)

    Irene Wagner is having some trouble with the site, so I’m posting this for her from an email she sent me:

    Has the smear campaign against Ron Paul swung into action against Lew Rockwell then?
    Those starting the new libelous charges of racism better have more than a pale
    “as I understand it” to back them up. “A ghostwriter” (listen up, Leslie) does
    not mean the same thing as “THE ghostwriter,” any more than “someone who worked
    on Paul’s ’88 presidential campaign” means the same thing as “flaming bigot.”
    Don’t run, Dave Nalle, when there’s no need to hide.

    Interesting, Dave Nalle, that you, should wonder why a member of the National
    Association for the Advancement of Colored People would support Ron Paul, in
    the same thread where I had having a discussion about Ron Paul’s criticism of
    the War on Drugs. Black people, as you may know, are very often unjustly
    profiled, and accused, victims of the overly enthusiastic Warriors on Drugs.
    The first link in my earlier comment supplied an interview with him in which he
    explains his support.

    Dave (for Irene)

  • Irene Wagner

    The penultimate comment has been approved by Irene Wagner. Thanks, Dave Nalle, for posting it, and it’s to your credit that you did even though I disagreed with you in it.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Has the smear campaign against Ron Paul swung into action against Lew Rockwell then? Those starting the new libelous charges of racism better have more than a pale “as I understand it” to back them up. “A ghostwriter” (listen up, Leslie) does not mean the same thing as “THE ghostwriter,” any more than “someone who worked
    on Paul’s ’88 presidential campaign” means the same thing as “flaming bigot.” Don’t run, Dave Nalle, when there’s no need to hide.

    Look, when this issue came up about a week ago on one of the Republican Libertarian mailing lists, the explanation being circulated was that the newsletter was basically out of Paul’s control and he’d disassociated himself from it some years ago. Paul issued a statement to that effect himself without naming names. The specific identification of Lew Rockwell as the source of the racist material associated with Paul is this open letter to Lew Rockwell.

    Interesting, Dave Nalle, that you, should wonder why a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People would support Ron Paul, in the same thread where I had having a discussion about Ron Paul’s criticism of
    the War on Drugs. Black people, as you may know, are very often unjustly profiled, and accused, victims of the overly enthusiastic Warriors on Drugs. The first link in my earlier comment supplied an interview with him in which he
    explains his support.

    All these things are true, and I agree that more African Americans ought to be libertarian leaning, but that has nothing to do with my comment. My comment was one of surprise because I happen to be familiar with this particular NAACP leader and chapter and their history of using the press and the power of government influence to pursue a rather anti-liberty agenda. I will admit that they were worse under their former leader than under Linder who’s fairly new on the job.

    dave

  • Leslie Bohn

    Please, Ms. Wagner, read the article. It details the specific racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic sentiments expressed in the Ron Paul newsletters. There are plenty, and they’re awful.

    I have no idea why anyone, much less the head of a local NAACP, would support Ron Paul. I don’t believe you will after you read the NRO story.

  • Irene Wagner

    The tale about who’s behind the “hateful homophobic racist spew” (there Leslie, I just paid attention to you) gets curiouser and curiouser, Dave Nalle. I’d be as suspicious of the opinions of someone who posts under the self-appelation of “God’s Hammer” as I am of Hucklebee’s claim to speak for God.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Having read Lew Rockwell’s site and the really nasty stuff that gets posted there, I’m inclined to find Robbins credible, but I have to say that Robbins does seem like a bit of a nut himself. The guy to ask on this would probably be Eric Dondero. He’s opposing Paul in the congressional election, but he’s a pretty reasonable guy and was working for Paul when all this was going on. I’d be inclined to believe him. I’ll see if I can get him to fill us in.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    For the record, it appears that another former Paul chief of staff confirms that Rockwell was the culprit, as discussed on the Reason magazine site.

    Dave

  • Leslie Bohn

    Pay attention to this, Ms Wagner: The Ron Paul Political Report published the following about the LA riots:

    “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began. The “poor” lined up to get their handouts … What if the checks had never arrived? No doubt the blacks would have fully privatized the welfare state through continued looting. But they were paid off and the violence subsided.”

    I hear you trying to implicate the source of the story, but I don’t hear a response to the actual charges.

  • Irene Wagner

    It’s not working, Leslie. Almost $1.75 mil so far. I’m not sure about vehemently pro-war Eric’s objectivity, Dave Nalle, but thanks for keeping your ear to the ground.

  • Leslie Bohn

    OK, Ms. Wagner:

    I understand where you are coming from now. I know why people don’t answer direct questions.

    So does anyone else know why racist, homophobic and paranoid rantings were contained for many years in various Ron Paul newsletters?

    Oh, and no resorting to confusing references to THE ghostwriter or A ghostwriter or whatever. I don’t get those.

    Mr Nalle’s link is quite damning.

  • Irene Wagner

    Leslie. I don’t know. Maybe you should ask the ghostwriter.

  • Howard

    Dave, I’m so sorry you have chosen to trash Mike Huckabee simply because he eloquently expresses faith in a God you do not know. Certainly you and your fellow atheists and homosexuals have a right to an opinion. As individuals on an earth that is one of the smaller planets in one of the smaller solar systems of a constantly expanding universe, I’m sure you need some source of comfort to your life. Has trashing an apparently good man been that rewarding?

    You have joined the non productive army of lobbyists, lawyers, accountants and their support staffs who will be forced to find productive employment when the Fair Tax becomes law. The changes to our lives resulting from this legislation will be wonderful for all of us. As a former member of that army, I can assure you they welcome your assist. They are terrified. I don’t expect you to listen, but Huckabee has addressed your fears on several occasions. Those pronouncements are available at his web site. In the meantime, I will pray for your soul, probably over your objections.

    Howard

  • Leslie Bohn

    Ms. Wagner:

    Your smug tone is amusing and says a lot.

    I can make the easy assumption from your refusal to disavow this hateful bullshit. At least I know where you and Ron Paul are coming from.

    Anti-semites, racists and homophobes make me sick.

  • http://pointlessannointed.blogspot.com/ Colin

    I’m a bit worried that his chief of staff now refers to him and his thought as Pauline! Will epistles be following?

  • Leslie Bohn

    We have 30 years of epistles. Excerpts are available here

    Warning: They’re full of hate against blacks, Jews and gays.

  • Irene Wagner

    It isn’t just Dave Nalle, Howard. There are plenty of Christians (and not just Democrats who believe in Jesus) who criticize Mike Huckabee, not because he’s a Christian but because their OWN Christianity is being called into question by (some of) his followers if they don’t support him. I can swat away, like annoying insects, accusations of racism coming from strangers on the net who level that charge against me because I support Ron Paul. It was MUCH harder for me to to discount charges of heterodoxy (for not supporting Bush and his war) coming down from the pulpit of a man whose insight into the Bible I respected.

  • Irene Wagner

    The ability to learn from the Word of God and teach it is a gift, but it can be pretty heady stuff. Some preachers can start to think that ANY notion, even a half-baked poliltical one, that comes into their heads is inspired. I was able to find another church where the pulpit is used to preach the Word of God. Period. I’m glad my faith in Jesus was strong enough to survive the period of deep disillusionment and alienation I felt before I found it

  • Irene Wagner

    Howard, here are some selections from Lew Rockwell’s website. He has quite a range of perspectives represented. Justin Raimondo, for instance, is an outspoken homosexual, and he’s nobody’s pansy, that’s for sure. Justin Raimondo on the Smear Campaign

  • Lee Richards

    Howard:

    I’m sorry you have chosen to trash Dave simply because you can’t comprehend what you read.

    Dave clearly did not criticize Huckabee for his belief in God. This article was totally about the candidate’s most definite theocratic leanings.
    You’re pounding the table rather than answering facts with facts.

    I find your careful and intentional combining of “atheists and homosexuals” to be most revealing about your predjudice, closed mind, holier-than-thou attitude, mean spirit, and judgemental belief system. Why associate two completely unrelated terms unless you a.)have a limited intellect or, b.) intend for each to denigrate the other.

    You probably think you’re sincere, which is more than I can say for Huckabee. Both of you should be ashamed for claiming to represent God.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Ms. Wagner: And here are a few more racist, anti-gay comments from Ron Paul’s newsletters:

    I miss the closet. Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.

    …carjacking. It is the hip-hop thing to do among the urban youth who play unsuspecting whites like pianos… If you have to use a gun on a youth, you should leave the scene immediately, disposing of the wiped off gun as soon as possible. Such a gun cannot, of course, be registered to you, but one bought privately (through the classifieds, for example).

  • Irene Wagner

    Leslie—why keep talking to me if I’m the sickening racist you think I am? Call up Nelson Linder, the (black) director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter in Austin, and ask him why he’s supporting Ron Paul. And then ask Nelson Linder if he has Justin Raimondo’s phone number.

    Howard, I don’t believe in shaming people into voting or not voting for candidates, and I’m not trying to do that to you. since I can’t get comments with links to post right now, I’m recommending you do a search on the writings of pastor Laurence Vance on war and Christianity. (They’re also archived at LR—I told you his range of posters was broad.) Laurence Vance is a conservative Christian who might challenge some of your political ideas, but don’t worry: you aren’t going to read ANYTHING by Laurence Vance that will hurt your faith in Jesus Christ.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Ms. Wagner:

    I’m talking to you because you’re a Ron Paul supporter and this is a forum for discussing politics.

    And when people read this (thousands do every day), they’ll see that you’ve not even addressed (or disavowed) the racist, homophobic and paranoid newsletters your candidate has published for 30 years, and they’ll come to their own conclusions about Ron Paul and his supporters.

    It also gives me another chance to link to the story detailing the hateful bullshit Ron Paul publishes.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Howard, the FairTax is the one thing about Mike Huckabee which I actually like. I think it might be worth giving a try. Huckabee would never get it passed if he were elected, but at least the attempt would generate valuable debate.

    As someone else pointed out, my objection is not to Huckabee being a Christian or holding Christian beliefs, but to his desire to enshrine those beliefs in law. And constrary to your assertion that I am ‘smearing’ Huckabee, I have to point out that I just used quotes from his own books and speeches. How can that be smearing?

    Dave

  • Howard

    Dave, I certainly don’t wish to engage in an argument with you; I know I’d lose. But you don’t realize how caustic some of your comments and opinions come across.

    “Huckabee thinks religion should be the basis of national policy.” Do you really know what Huckabee thinks?

    “He seems to be running not only for President of the United States, but also for Supreme High Priest and Grand Inquisitor all at the same time. Two out of those three roles aren’t actually authorized in the Constitution.” Sounds cute but Huckabee has stated many times he is running for the office of President.

    “Huckabee made it quite clear that he considers the Constitution an impediment to his vision of theocracy, and he’d like to do away with it.” Surely you know Huckabee was referring to amending the constitution, not eliminating it. He speaks reverently of the constitution and the necessity to protect it.

    “How he’s going to square that viewpoint with swearing an oath to support and defend the Constitution if he gets sworn in as President is hard to fathom. Maybe the Bible he takes the oath on will burst into flame or something equally biblical.” and “But fear not. God has given him the word on some specific issues.” Is that really you?

    “put homosexuals in AIDS quarantine camps.” Surely you know this comment was made at the height of the Aids epidemic when no one knew the exact cause and/or treatment. He suggested a quarantine of those infected, not a bad idea until we learned casual contact will not infect.

    “An perhaps worst of all, Huckabee seems to have it in for free speech on the Internet” Really?

    Howard

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Dave, I certainly don’t wish to engage in an argument with you; I know I’d lose. But you don’t realize how caustic some of your comments and opinions come across.

    Sure I do. I have no respect for Huckabee. I’m being sarcastic and dismissive. He’s a snakeoil salesman and a fraud and a real threat to the Constitution. Did that come across in the article?

    “Huckabee thinks religion should be the basis of national policy.” Do you really know what Huckabee thinks?

    I know what Huckabee has said and written. I agree that there’s a fair chance that he’s lying, but because I can’t read his mind all I have to go on is what he says.

    “He seems to be running not only for President of the United States, but also for Supreme High Priest and Grand Inquisitor all at the same time. Two out of those three roles aren’t actually authorized in the Constitution.” Sounds cute but Huckabee has stated many times he is running for the office of President.

    Howard. Amigo. It’s called ‘rhetoric’. You want boring, I can say the same thing in different words, but it’s still the same thing and it’s less fun.

    “Huckabee made it quite clear that he considers the Constitution an impediment to his vision of theocracy, and he’d like to do away with it.” Surely you know Huckabee was referring to amending the constitution, not eliminating it. He speaks reverently of the constitution and the necessity to protect it.

    Amending the constitution contrary to the intent of the founders is destroying the constitution.

    “put homosexuals in AIDS quarantine camps.” Surely you know this comment was made at the height of the Aids epidemic when no one knew the exact cause and/or treatment. He suggested a quarantine of those infected, not a bad idea until we learned casual contact will not infect.

    Do you have any idea how that suggestion would be greeted by gay people? Or do you care?

    “An perhaps worst of all, Huckabee seems to have it in for free speech on the Internet” Really?

    He dislikes blogs, wants to tax internet businesses and has clearly expressed his desire to shut down ‘indecency’ in every medium. Bye bye internet porn, suckers. And we know how much fundies like their gay porn.

    Dave

  • Dominick Banderas

    Dave have you even bothered to watch a Republican debate or read Mike Huckabee’s own words?
    Apparently not.
    His exact words were that he would not impose his own religious beliefs or practices on anyone else.
    If you are as open minded as you claim to be, go check it out.
    If you don’t want a man with morals to be president, just don’t vote for Mike Huckabee.. end of story. But, don’t mis-represent the man here on your website, just because he scares you.
    – Banderas

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    I get so tired of self righteous christian’s assumption that atheists are either immoral or amoral. It’s a crock. Religious true believers never think. They just respond like robots to their religious leaders without question.

    The fact is that most atheists and agnostics, for that matter are generally far more “moral” than many christians who use their “faith” as a weapon and often lie in the belief that the end justifies the means – that to lie on behalf of their god is acceptable.

    For all of you “moral” christians, read your damn commandments – something about “false witness.”

    B-tone

  • Lee Richards

    As Baritone implies, many believers try to be moral because they’ve been ordered to; many non-believers try to be moral because they think it’s the right thing to do.

    Huckabee SAYS he has an agenda: to make the Constitution more like “God’s laws”. How is that protecting it?

    Understandably, all Christians want the world to be more Christian, but the means some would use to that end–under their authority and power–are devilish.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Huckabee SAYS he has an agenda: to make the Constitution more like “God’s laws”. How is that protecting it?

    I’m sure that once the 10 amendments of the Bill of Rights have been erased and replaced with the 10 commandments the Constitution will be all better.

    Dave

  • Pablo

    On Mike Huckelberry’s beliefs:

    1. The world was made in 7 days

    Sure it was Mike

    2. God is male
    Sure she is Mike

    3. Thou shall not suffer a witch to live
    Ok Mike which witches?

    4. Women came out of of a man’s rib
    Does that mean there is a tooth fairy too Mike?

    5. God is omnipresent
    Does that mean he lives in the Devil too Mike?

    6. Hell is an everlasting place of fire and brimstone
    Sounds like a just God to me!

    7. Heaven is filled with angels
    I like Islam’s version much more

    8. Thou shalt not kill
    Ok Mike, you seem a wee bit hypocritical here

    9. Christianity is great
    Um Mike you might want to reference 600 years of torture, burning at the stake, and intolerance.

    10. Mary was a virgin
    Gee Mike I didn’t know they had artificial insemination 2000 years ago.

    11. Do unto others as you would have done unto you
    Practice what you preach Mikey

    12. The Bible is the word of God
    Funny I always thought that the Bible was written by humans,I will have to re-check my references

    13. The USA is a Christian nation
    What part of Theism don’t you understand Mike?

    The one thing that you do not appear to be a blatant hypocrite and wrong Mike, is your endorsement along with your religion as torture as a means of human creativity.

  • Baronius

    A person’s views on religion inform his views on politics. I know that’s true for me. My philosophical and religious beliefs are at my core. That doesn’t mean that I’m stupid, or incapable of questioning those religious or philosophical beliefs. I developed them over a long period, with a lot of doubts and mistakes.

    My political positions are also very important to me. But I don’t hold tax hikes, for example, to be evil in the same way I believe that murder is evil. My assessment of tax policy is based on my belief that humans have the inherent right to personal decision-making. The initial thoughts stem from an Enlightenment-influenced Judeo-Christian ethic.

    Everything I’ve seen attributed to Huckabee sounds like he means the same thing I do. His religious beliefs are at the core of who he is.

    I don’t care which God he believes in, as long as his political principles are derived from an ethic/morality that I can agree with. It’s not theocracy if everyone votes for candidates they agree with on ethics/morality. You may picture Bush to be motivated by his faith or not; you may think of him as correct or not. I think you can better understand him if you know how he thinks. I want to know what motivates a candidate so I can guess how he’d approach an unforeseen problem three years from now.

    Let’s take an example. I generally agree with Nalle. If he were running for office, I’d be inclined to vote for him based on his positions. But I’ve learned that his core beliefs are at odds with mine. Every once in a while he takes a position on an issue that is thoroughly contrary to mine. It helps to understand how a person thinks in order to choose the candidate who best represents me.

    None of this is controversial. Huckabee just says it in a way that makes people nervous. Jesse Jackson clearly stated his political views, and the religious views in which they were rooted. Good for him. Some candidates make it clear that they’re not motivated by religious beliefs, but by some philosophy or ideology. Bill Clinton ran on a platform of electability, not of beliefs. In that, he was honest. Most every candidate this election has revealed the extent to which religion affects his thinking.

  • Lee Richards

    So, Baronius, do you favor amending the Constitution so “it’s in God’s standards”, as Huckabee’s stated aim would have it?

  • Baronius

    I’d favor that each person try to make the government more in harmony with his political beliefs, shaped by his own ethical/moral beliefs.

  • Baronius

    Let me see if I can state this clearer. Huckabee’s statements can be read in two ways, as I read them or as Dave reads them. If I’m right, Huckabee is stating that his politics are derived from his personal ethics/morality. If Dave is right, Huckabee is unique in American history, and seeks to establish an American version of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He would not have been able to function as a governor (or in any role in modern society). In the absence of any proof that Dave’s interpretation is correct, I’m going to stick with mine.

  • Leslie Bohn

    It seems to me that Dave hasn’t interpreted anything at all. He thinks that when Huckabee says “what we need to do is amend the Constitution,” he means that he thinks what we need to do is amend the Constitution.

    It’s Baritone that seems to be interpreting.

  • Baronius

    Leslie – I’m Baronius.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Apologies.

  • Baronius

    No need for apologies. It’s just that Baritone’s a liberal atheist who hates Reagan. The threads won’t make much sense if you confuse us.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Again, sorry, you’re totally right. BTW, I know which one of you is which, I just wrote the wrong name. D’oh.

    If, as you say, Huckabee is trying to get across a more nuanced message (I think he is), then do you approve of his use of the “amend the Constitution” rhetoric? Wouldn’t you rather he said something more like you said? (the “(my) politics are derived from his personal ethics/morality” part)

  • Irene Wagner

    Baronius – It’s important that persons of faith (*sticks finger down throat after using that ickily PC term*) and atheists or agnostics not be intimidated into keeping silence when matters important to them up for discussion. It seems there are some pof that feel Huckabee is representing their point of view, and defending them from real or perceived threats by ath/agn, and some (most?) ath/agn who feel Huckabee is NOT representing their point of view, and they in turn feel threatened by him. I happen to be a pof who also feels that Huckabee is NOT representing my point of view. Even though I would agree with him about getting rid of partial birth abortion, I disagree strongly with him on continuing the war—they both snuff out innocent lives. I know others feel just the opposite but just as passionately, too. What to do?

    Quite truthfully, it’s hard to think of a way that the gap can be bridged so as to facilitate actual STATESMANSHIP in Washington, rather than the futile partisan and therefore prostituted debates and character assassination we’ve been witnessing. A good place to start might be for both sides of the idealogical divide to come up with campaign slogans that are less ambiguous and therefore less prone to inflammatory misinterpretation.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Irene: It’s important that persons of faith (*sticks finger down throat after using that ickily PC term*)

    Why is it icky? Isn’t it easier than saying, “It’s important that Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Mormons, Bahaiists…”?

  • Irene Wagner

    Hehe DrD. remember the “how to distinguish New Atheists from Old Atheists discussion this summer?”

  • Irene Wagner

    …AND I’ve begun misplacing punctuation marks. It’s time to go. I seem to remember a resident grammarian-nazi who was on the prowl…

  • Lee Richards

    Baronius: Huckabee’s statements can be read in two ways only if you’re substituting your words for his as you read.

    You’re interpreting, translating, or spinning what he has clearly said. You think by your creative reading of his words you’ve discovered his airy personal code of ethics and morality that piously informs his politics.

    I think he’s revealed his purely theocratic mindset, and then shown hypocrisy by his denials of it.

    How about a yes or no answer to my question in #92?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    remember the “how to distinguish New Atheists from Old Atheists discussion this summer?”

    Was that the one about whether God existed or not, or the one about whether the universe was 20 billion years or 20 minutes old?

    …AND I’ve begun misplacing punctuation marks. It’s time to go. I seem to remember a resident grammarian-nazi who was on the prowl…

    That would be Clavos.

    As far as I’m concerned – four words: Eats Shoots and Leaves.

  • Clavos

    Great book, Doc!!

  • Clavos

    And, save it were a particularly egregious offense, I would not nitpick Irene; I have too much admiration for her well written, well presented and cogently argued commentaries, even though I don’t agree with much of what she espouses.

    One should respect excellence.

  • Baronius

    Lee – no offense meant. I just can’t think of anything more to say.

    If I were giving the speech, I’d have phrased it differently. I would have talked about doing what I think is right etc., and it would have sounded wussy to the devout and probably just as nutty to the non-devout. It’s a tough subject to talk about.

    I was trying to think of a parallel on the Democratic side. “It takes a village to raise a child” is pretty close. You have to interpet the heck out of those words to come up with something non-communist. Some conservatives take that quote at face value, and say that Hillary Clinton is trying to eradicate the family as the basic unit of society. It’s obviously more shaded than that.

    Ultimately, I want the society I live in to reflect what I see as the perfect morality/ethic. If I could talk enough people into supporting a ban on abortion, I’d probably support an amendment to that effect. (More likely, I’d favor a state-by-state ban.) Does that sound theocratic?

  • Irene Wagner

    That is an excellent example, Baronius. “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.” That’s a fine proverb for the locale where it originated, a close-knit community in Africa, where everyone knew everyone else’s parents and grandparents, and everyone collectively served as in loco parentis for everyone else’s kids, without telling or doing to the kids anything that the parents wouldn’t do themselves. Even in that village though, there would have been functions reserved for the direct ancestors of the child, and no one would dare cross that sacred line.

    The federal government is way too big and unfamiliar a village to entrust any kid of mine to. “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child” scares me about as much as any slogan coming out of the Religious Right. That’s why Ron Paul seems to be a pretty safe bet for me.

  • Irene Wagner

    Clavos, you are welcome to edit my comments at any time. If fact, I think it would be helpful if you could do a mindmeld with the coComment–I get embarrassed to go back sometimes & read!

  • Baronius

    Thanks, Irene. If I thought we might elect a president who really believed that “it takes a village”, I’d be investing in gold and sanding off my fingerprints. (Even knowing what Clinton means by that, it makes me nervous.) We’re all highly attuned to the craziest possible meaning of what the other side says.

    But let me give the counter-example. When Perot was running, he would occasionally make statements about cleaning up Washington and the budget process that I couldn’t square with a sound understanding of the Constitution. He might have actually been completely wrong, tyrannical, or crazy. Or it could have been campaign rhetoric. I just couldn’t find a way to interpret his statements.

    So yeah, I guess it’s possible that when Huckabee says “God’s will” he means the voice of the dog on his mail route. But I think the odds are pretty low.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Please participate in a BC Forum presidential poll by clicking here

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I didded it already, Jet. Do I get a bun?

  • http://pointlessannointed.blogspot.com/ Colin

    Hey! I get the buns round here.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    All right, a bagel then.

  • http://pointlessannointed.blogspot.com/ Colin

    There was a bagel in Cardiff once, it was soundly beaten and sent on its way to where folk will tolerate that sort of thing!
    How do you find the religiosity of parts of America Doc – Blair had to wait till he was out of office before admitting, ‘if you say you’re religious people think you’re a nutter’, and I must admit I’m glad our politicians aren’t particularly theocratic. That said, it’s us who has the established church and NO CATHOLICS sign hanging over the throne.

  • Irene Wagner

    And sure, can anyone blame Bloody Mary for being so angry then? Well, I’m off to vote.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Well, I don’t live in a part of America where it’s all wild-eyed Bible-waving 24/7. The two main differences I see are firstly, that faith is taken for granted rather than, as in Britain, being largely seen as some kind of old-fashioned quirk.

    Secondly – and this is VERY noticeable – the affluence of churches here. Churches are putting up new and bigger buildings everywhere you look. In Britain, most churches seem to be continually holding their palms out for funds to restore their crumbling congregations and infrastructure.

    And yeah, it is a strange dichotomy that pious America does not have an established religion whereas neoheathen* Britain does.

    * I just made that word up. Clavos, do you approve?

  • STM

    Doc: “And yeah, it is a strange dichotomy that pious America does not have an established religion whereas neoheathen* Britain does”.

    Except that in modern Britain, there really is separation of church and state.

    Simply, it’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of a person’s religion – which effectively knocks that whole argument on the head.

    Interesting too that in Australia, which is still a constitutional monarchy that still has the Queen’s representative here as its head of state (but not as its head of government, which is the important bit), the protestant/Catholic divide in politics – at least among those say they are practising Christians – would be about equal across the whole spectrum of politics.

    The current Prime Minister was raised a Catholic but has since become a heathen and attends an Anglican (episcopal in America) church. The previous PM was a Methodist, and the one before a Catholic (and the man he succeeded as Labor leader was a lapsed protestant).

    Religion is only an issue here (as it now seems to be in America) if people start bringing their beliefs into the decision-making process of government, where it absolutely has no place except in so far as judeo-christian belief might form the basis of our way of life and therefore many of our institutions.

    But the Christian right (or any quite extreme Right views for that matter) has no place in that process, especially when its voice becomes powerful only because of its moneyed and powerful lobbying – which makes it an anti-democratic force (in the modern sense of democracy, not the ancient Greek meaning).

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    But the Christian right (or any quite extreme Right views for that matter) has no place in that process, especially when its voice becomes powerful only because of its moneyed and powerful lobbying – which makes it an anti-democratic force (in the modern sense of democracy, not the ancient Greek meaning).

    I don’t think those who want to establish God’s kingdom on Earth have much interest in democracy. Their state would be just that – a kingdom, with Jesus Christ as head of state and their pastors as his ministers.

  • STM

    America hands the potential for power to too many very frightening people. Time for some changes maybe to the political structure that might hand power back to the people, as first envisaged (remember?).

    It’s not working any more, sadly. The whole process has been hijacked by two big parties, lobby groups and big dollars. And where are the independents and small parties represented in Congress and the Senate, people who might, by holding a small number of places in both houses of the legislature, sometimes hold the balance of power on some of the more contentious issues and force vote by conscience?? If I can see this as an interested outside observer, why can’t most Americans?

    Is it simply that Americans are not given any understanding generally of how their system might compare to other similar systems of government, and what some of the alternative might be and how they could add to the freedoms Americans enjoy rather than take them away?

    All I can say is that rule of law continues to save America from itself, and it’s about time some of the president’s powers were axed and the notion of true separation of church and state really put into practice.

    If not, one day in the not too distant future, there won’t be any point.

  • Clavos

    “And where are the independents and small parties represented in Congress and the Senate, people who might, by holding a small number of places in both houses of the legislature, sometimes hold the balance of power on some of the more contentious issues and force vote by conscience?? If I can see this as an interested outside observer, why can’t most Americans?”

    But Stan, we haven’t had anything even close to what you describe since shortly after the Revolution. Sure, there have been smaller parties which have come and gone over the years, but we rarely have had, as the Brits do, a legislature populated by more than at most, four different factions at the same time.

    I agree that we’re not governing as well as we once did, and I can’t give you easy specifics as to why not; I think there are many factors at work in this, but my sense of it all is that at root is a Balkanization of the country, not, as you suggest, a consolidation of power into too few hands, the presidency of GWB notwithstanding.

    GWB has seized (even usurped) too much power for the Executive Branch, true. But that usurpation has become a cause celebre for both left and right; the whole country (with the exception of the few remaining Bush die hard loyalists) is very unhappy with the current state of the Constitutional balance of powers; to the point that it will be extremely unlikely that any subsequent President will be able to achieve the same degree of autonomy in the foreseeable future.

    We ain’t broken, mate; just a little dinged up.

  • STM

    Is a bit of remedial panel-beating a must, therefore?

    I’m also in agreement with Winston, the poster who did the piece on proportional representation … it really is a great recipe for political stability.

    Bushco does need to be kept in check, but what if you get someone there who is even more determined to make stuff up as they go along?

    What then?

  • Clavos

    What I was trying to say is that I think Bushco has alarmed the country enough with their shenanigans that it will be much harder, if not impossible, for another prez to pull off the same hat trick any time soon.

    The proportional representation idea has some merit, I’ll grant. It deserves thought and discussion on a national level.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’m also in agreement with Winston, the poster who did the piece on proportional representation … it really is a great recipe for political stability.

    What on earth makes you think political stability is what we need. If anything our problem is political stability verging on stagnation. We need political dynamism and variety if anything.

    Dave

  • Lee Richards

    Our main problems in governing ourselves honestly and effectively in the US stem from ignorance and indifference.

    Most Americans have little knowledge or interest in the mechanics and day-to-day functioning of government. We prefer toys, entertainment, and diversions to the boring stuff. As a nation we don’t have the political maturity–or want it– to comprehend what’s happening to our system, or have the attention span to try to fix the problems.

    And our lying politicians want to keep that indifference just the way it is, especially those with an extremist, anti-constitutional agenda.

  • http://pointlessannointed.blogspot.com/ Colin

    “Simply, it’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of a person’s religion – which effectively knocks that whole argument on the head.”

    I don’t think that’s true Stan. The Blasphemy laws here relate only to Christianity – there is much controversy about various ‘solutions’ to this ‘problem’. The racial discrimination laws only protect on the grounds of race – Sikhs are regarded as a race for these purposes I believe. We have a kind of lazy separation of church and state by apathy to be honest – the Queen is still the head of state and also the head of the Church of England (cheers for that Henry VIII) hence the no Catholics rule, a very large number of our schools are church schools – largely CofE (although from what I can gather that means little more than a prayer with morning assembly). And, as part of a new Blair initiative private businesses are being allowed to set up or sponsor their own ‘state’ schools with a certain amount of autonomy – some of these businessmen are evangelicals who may yet make evolution/creation as issue in our class rooms.

    Clavos: we do have a few parties in our Parliament, but only two who have any chance whatsoever of forming a government – and they are becoming so similar it gets hard to tell. The only other national party is the Liberal Democrats, who are the most likely coalition makers in the event of a hung Parliament. The rest are Welsh and Scottish nationalists and Northern Irish parties (though Sinn Fein still won’t take up their Westminster seats).

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    I think Lee hit upon one of the fundamental problems in the U.S., and I would suppose elsewhere as well – that being apathy. The fact is most of us do believe politics and government are mind numbingly boring. As a group Americans are more and more programmed with a 7 minute attention span – the average time between commercial breaks on the tube. We have come more and more to expect that government pretty much runs itself – that we expect its various services to be carried out largely without our input or concern. We get pissy if the streets aren’t cleared of snow in a timely manner. We’re incensed if our trash isn’t picked up as scheduled.

    I remember being struck by a news story on the tube some time ago which told how people in Beijing would pour out of their apartments after a snow fall to clear the streets with shovels. They all had asigned areas along their particular streets and also did the sidewalks and so forth. Only the streets not in residential areas were cleared by the government.

    It’s not that I particularly want to jump out of my Lazy Boy and go shovel my block, but there was something to be said about the involvement of the people in the maintenance of their space. It was said that in the spring the same people would go out and fill pot holes as well. I’ve no doubt that it was all mandated by the government. Given a choice, I’m sure a lot of those same people would lose those shovels.

    But we expect our federal, state and local governments here to provide a myriad of services. We complain about taxes, but would probably be up in arms when and if any of those services which serve or in some way pertain to ourselves were to be cut or curtailed. Put another way, it’s all right to cut the other guy’s pork, but you keep your slimey hands off mine. My pork is important. Your’s is a waste of my tax dollars. Protecting the snail darter is vital, studying cow farts is not.

    There will always be people who can stand up in a public forum and enumerate a number of sound reasons why what may seem the most ludicrous of expenditure, is important and justifiable. They may be right.

    Yet government waste owing to misguided expenditures, duplication of services, gross overpricing and just plain graft and corruption – as NBC News refers to it, “the fleecing of America” is cause for alarm and a demand for accountability. That so many get away with these kinds of waste, whether intentional or not, is in no small part owing to the aforementioned apathy of the majority of Americans. “Ah, who gives a shit? What the hell can I do about it, anyhow?”

    I don’t really have a solution to offer. Obviously, it would benefit us all if more of us were actively involved in the political process and in the day to day function of government at all levels. That the current presidential election cycle seems to have piqued the interest of a greater number of people, including more of our younger citizens is a good sign. Will more youthful voters actually come out and vote come November? Will they, as a consequence become more interested and involved in the process and follow through by maintaining that interest and involvement in the doings of government? I hope so, but fear not.

    B-tone

  • Jarod S

    You wrote, “..I think of religion as a private affair between man and God….” While there’s some small truth to that, the plain fact throughout history is that religion has never been a ‘private affair’. Political history of ANY civilization has always been intertwined with religion in some way. It’s inescapable. And look at some of the other candidates: Romney’s a Mormon, O’Bama was raised both Muslim and Catholic (two theologically opposed religions? How does that work out?), Hillary has suddenly turned up quoting the Bible. I don’t know about McCain, but I’ll bet he wishes the POW camp he was in had been run by christians.
    Let’s face it, when people want to keep their religious experience private, it probably has more to do with fear or shame than anything else, and if you’re going to be afraid or ashamed because of what someone else might think of you, what’s the point? Even if I didn’t agree with someone’s religion, I could at least commend them for having courage to stand and say, “This is what I believe. Here’s why…..”
    I don’t agree with Huckabee on everything, but his idea about making divorce illegal is actually a pretty good one. If you knew that once you were married to somone, THAT’S IT!—no going anywhere else, wouldn’t you put more consideration into whom you were marrying? People change spouses like they change cars. Besides, kids are getting tired of having to go to 4 or 5 different family get-togethers for the holidays and keeping track of who all their step-siblings are. Pain in the butt.