Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just a Huckin' an' a Jivin'

I thought that America could not be more shamed than when Richard Nixon’s dirty tricks came to light and he was forced to resign. Next, I watched the entire Republican Party and their sycophants turn a private, non-political act into a scandal, spending more than a billion tax dollars…money that could have fed hungry children or increased the meagre Social Security stipend to our elderly…and dragging the office of the presidency through the mud because of a brief marital affair…I didn’t think it could get worse than that! Then, the GOP fielded a complete moron whose history was one of profligacy, alcohol abuse, cheating the government, and who displayed the intellect of an amoeba, the compassion of a rock and the ethics of a starving lion. I never believed, especially after the outcry over Clinton’s non-political moral shenanigans, that someone so morally challenged and ethically bankrupt as George W. Bush could be elected to the presidency, but thanks to as little help from his friends…and most especially the friends and appointees of his brother (governor of Florida, the state that decided the election), a brainless, clueless, bumbling moron ended up in the White House.

At that point, I didn’t think it could get worse, but the Idiot Child’s handlers fooled me: They got the moron to lie to the electorate, start a war, and then engage in some sleight-of-mouth to make the citizens believe that the war, which had swiftly become a jungle-free Vietnam, was over despite increasing casualties. Surely, the Greedy Old Party could not top this!

Well, it seems they can. After eight years of being manipulated, lied to, and having their best interests ignored by the absolute worst president ever to tarnish America’s image in the eyes of the world, Americans are finally able to vote for a replacement. Unfortunately, one of the frontrunners in the GOP appears to be an even worse version of the brain dead moron who has been sitting in the White House for the last seven years: Mike Huckabee.

From everything I have read, Huckabee is a rigid right winger who not only believes that his personal set of beliefs and prejudices should be the moral compass of the country, he believes that the individual rights of the citizens should be subordinate to those prejudices and beliefs. Herewith a recent news article about Huckabee and my thoughts on the points highlighted:

Now that he's a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, he's being asked anew about some of the views and comments he expressed in the survey by The Associated Press. Over the weekend, he said he wouldn't retract answers in which he advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased funding for finding a cure and said homosexuality could pose a public health risk — though he said today he might phrase his answers "a little differently."

So, he would soft-peddle his delivery without changing his position, a position that has no basis in fact and violates the very freedoms guaranteed by the US Constitution. How does homosexuality pose a public health risk? If I sit next to a person on a bus who has active tuberculosis, I stand a chance of catching the disease…that’s a public health risk. But homosexuality? HIV/AIDS? Not a chance.

What the man wants to do is create ghettos into which HIV+ people and homosexuals, regardless of their HIV status, thrown. Then, he opposes funding for a cure for AIDS. So, in the plainest language possible, he wants to put everyone who is HIV…babies who were born with it, women who contracted the disease from their husbands, homosexuals, people who were infected through a blood transfusion…in a place isolated from the rest of the citizens. Then, because homosexuals might pose a health risk (how? does he think homosexuality is contagious or that being homosexual automatically predisposes one to AIDS?), they get to be unwilling guests of government as well. And then, to top it all off, after all these people are isolated from the rest of the population because of either their sexual orientation or their disease status, Huckabee doesn’t want to spend any money on finding a cure for the disease.

OK…so how are these people to live? Who will care for them as their untreated disease takes them inexorably towards death? And as the disease continues to spread in the general population (you can’t identify them all, HIV doesn’t give you pus-filled vesicles on your face or purple buboes by which you can be easily identified), more and more people will be forced to leave productive jobs and enter the isolation camps, who is going to pay for their upkeep?

Wouldn’t the burden to the tax payer ultimately be less if the homosexuals and HIV+ citizens were left as they are and the government devoted serious funds to finding a cure for the scourge? But, why would a presidential candidate want to think that far ahead? Let’s just throw the faggots, diseased or not, into a ghetto and let them die of their affliction! Oh, and anybody else who contracted “their” disease, regardless of how. Moron.

Some of the words in his answers to the questionnaire are indeed strong.

Asked about gays in the military, for example, he didn't just reject the idea but added: "I believe to try to legitimize that which is inherently illegitimate would be a disgraceful act of government. I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk."

We don’t know any such thing. First of all, the fastest growing HIV+ segment of the US population are heterosexual teens. Secondly, here in sub-Saharan Africa, we know that HIV/AIDS is not a homosexual disease. If you look at the education campaigns, you find that they are universally directed to young heterosexual couples. In fact, in many of the black communities, extremely thin women are shunned as possibly being AIDS victims! Homosexuality poses no public health risk until and unless it can be proven that homosexuals can passively infect people…with anything.

Secondly, one would think that a homophobe of Huckabee’s magnitude would welcome gays in the military…even conscript them. Instead of spending boatloads of money on safety gear and expensive technological toys, just send the gay guys out to find the mines, the bombs, the sniper nests. Huckie could get them out of the general population permanently that way, save a few heterosexual soldiers lives, and a bunch of government money in the bargain.

But the reality is, why shouldn’t homosexuals serve in the military? Is there something inherent in homosexuality that causes the inaccurate aiming of a rifle? An inability to drive a tank? Or perhaps Huck fears that a gay contingent in the military would bitch and moan about the drabness of the uniforms, causing discontent among the troops? It can’t be the fear of the gay men being sexually available to the other men, could it? I mean, there are female soldiers available to the men (and getting pregnant, for crying out loud!), so it can’t be sex between the troops that has him all cranked up, can it?

It’s just his homophobia talking…and he’s so punitive in his viewpoints, so draconian in his beliefs as to what to do with homosexuals (lock them in a ghetto with HIV patients), as to make me wonder just what it is he really fears. Maybe he has these urges…

Called for the elimination of political action committees and campaign contributions from lobbyists. He also said candidates should not be allowed to receive contributions until one year before an election and said there should be limits on the amount of out-of-state money they could accept…As Arkansas governor, Huckabee formed a political action committee based in Virginia to raise money for non-federal candidates that allowed him to travel and raise his profile for a potential presidential run. The Hope for America PAC shut down earlier this year as Huckabee entered the White House race.

OK…so he can have a PAC to make himself visible enough to be able to float his name as a presidential candidate, but nobody else can. Can anybody pronounce H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E?

Said he would not support any tax increases if elected to the Senate. Huckabee's record of raising some taxes as Arkansas' governor has drawn fire from fiscal conservatives in the presidential race.

Well, he can follow Georgie’s footsteps and float the biggest budget deficit in the history of the world. You can reduce taxes to nothing as long as you are willing to increase the deficit. But it would seem Huck’s even more traditional than that…with a history of raising taxes during his governorship, he now asks us to believe that the Huckabee leopard has changed its spots. Either way, it’s a bad deal…either he is lying or he’s looking to increase Georgie’s record-breaking deficit. Perfect presidential material…a profligate or a prevaricator…or both.

When asked whether the U.S. should take any action to kill Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Huckabee replied: "The U.S. should not kill Saddam Hussein or anyone else."

Except HIV/AIDS patients, who should be quarantined and no attempts be made to find a cure for their disease.

Rejected the idea of women in combat "because of my strong traditional view that women should be treated with respect and dignity and not subject to the kinds of abuses that could occur in combat."

His strong traditional view trumps a woman’s constitutional right to self-determination? OK, so what other traditional views about women does he thinks he has a right to impose on the female half of the population? Send them home to stay barefoot, pregnant, and tied to the kitchen sink? Restrict them to “traditional” female occupations like nursing and teaching? Rescind their right to vote? One man’s “treated with respect and dignity and not subject to…abuses…” may well be seen as patronizing paternalism by the object of his “respect.” I’m flesh and bone and have a fully functioning brain…how about letting me make my own choices, Mikey?

Said living together out of wedlock "is demeaning to the highest expression of human love and commitment. I reject it as an alternate lifestyle, because it robs people of the highest possible relationship one can experience: marriage."

Huh? In a country that sees half of its marriages end in divorce, (and nobody with more than two brain cells believes that the other half are blissful), marriage is “the highest possible relationship one can experience”? Not bloody likely. People cohabit for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is a mock-marriage. Who knows why couples live together, sometimes for decades, without formalization? Whose business is it but theirs?

Said he believed no one has a constitutional right to an abortion and supported requiring minors to obtain parental consent. Huckabee also said he supported requiring doctors to discuss abortion alternatives and a waiting period...Huckabee's vocal opposition to gay marriage and abortion have attracted evangelical Christians' support and vaulted him to the top of the field in Iowa.

One of the most precious of American freedoms is the right to freely choose you own religion. But some people seem to think that, hand-in-hand with that right to choose comes a right to impose one’s own religious sensibilities on others. This is the crux of the abortion issue, believe it or not. You see, if your religion believes that personhood is bestowed at conception because the soul is infused at that moment, then you believe the product of conception, regardless of its state of development, is a person and killing it is murder. If, on the other hand, you don’t believe the soul is infused until a later time…or you don’t believe the soul even exists…then abortion is simply a medical procedure. Either way, one’s religious convictions drives the opinion, and none of us have the right to impose our religious convictions…or prohibitions…on others as it violates their religious rights.

Notifying parents of a teen’s abortion? For something that seems so right and so simple on the surface, this really is a knotty issue. The argument goes that if a parent has to be notified and consent taken for something like an appendectomy, why does an invasive surgical procedure like an abortion not require parental consent?

Well, the simple fact is, many teens don’t live in benevolent, understanding, compassionate families ala TV sitcom households. And if you have never been a teen who was legitimately afraid of her parents, then it may be difficult to wrap your mind around the fact that there really are kids out there whose safety…even lives…could be endangered by the revelation of a pregnancy. And, until a reliable crystal ball is on the marketplace, we simply have no way of knowing which teens are just exaggerating the presumed reaction of their parents and which teens literally face terrifying consequences if they tell. So, until that crystal ball is in hand, the safe choice is to allow the person who got pregnant to decide what to do about it…including whether or not to tell her parents.

Now, the subject of gay marriage is another of Mikey’s issues. Absent any intelligent debate on the matter, Americans have been herded towards the notion that there is something inherently wrong with same-gender marriages. The reason they have been fed it that it somehow threatens marriage which, in and of itself, is a ludicrous notion. If anything, gay marriage strengthens the whole concept of marriage in a time when many heterosexual couples find no reason to enter the institution. Same sex couples who marry are proclaiming to the world that the institution is desirable, not something to be shunned. Of course, Mike Homophobee may just be wanting to punish gay people by robbing gay “people of the highest possible relationship one can experience: marriage.”

But some of his earlier comments offer a harder-edged presentation of those stances than he has presented as he's tried to portray himself as a conservative who won't "scare the living daylights" out of moderates and independents…I think the model he saw that had been successful in other Southern states was this very hard right message and that's what seemed to be the most natural for him," … “He's become much smarter about successfully using language that expresses views without being hard-edged”…

Can we say “shuck and jive”? Or should that be “Huck and jive”? Cloak the truth in dissembling language but step not back from the punitive, paternalistic platform. Let’s try another applicable phrase: “control freak.”

Huckabee's 1992 comments on isolating AIDS patients run counter to a statement he released last month calling for increased federal funds to find a cure. Huckabee says the earlier remarks came at a time when there was confusion about how AIDS could be transmitted.

If I roll my eyes one more time, I’m afraid they are gonna get stuck up there. Gimme a break here…the man cannot admit he was wrong and make appropriate apologies? I was around in 1992, in fact I was working at a company that was doing research into HIV. Even then we knew that you didn’t get AIDS by sitting next to an HIV positive person on a bus!!

Can’t he just say “I was ignorant, I said stupid things in my ignorance, and I’m sorry. I’ll try to be more enlightened in the future.”? No, the gasbag has to try to rationalize and justify what he said rather than just admit he was wrong and apologize for it.

Said he had never smoked marijuana or "experimented with any illegal drug." In fact, he said he had never used any tobacco products because of "a very sensitive allergy" and would support a smoking ban in public places.

And this is important because?? I also duly note that he is careful to say he has not experimented with any illegal drug. Is this some clever dissembling to hedge against someone alleging he may have abused legal drugs? Otherwise, why bother to make such a clear distinction?

Opposed passing a law that would give workers time off to care for an ailing family member.

So, if your child is dying of leukaemia, or your wife is confined to bed rest during the last weeks of her pregnancy or your father is gasping his last from a brain tumour, tough nougies, buddy, get your nose back to that corporate grindstone or you’ll be unemployed on top of all your other troubles, right? Gee, this shows some serious compassion for the individual American, eh?

When asked about the nomination hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Huckabee said: "I watched or listened to many hours of the Thomas hearings and was firmly convinced that the preponderance of testimony backed up Clarence Thomas."

The analytical portion of his brain must have been on holiday in Thailand when Anita Hill was testifying…

Called the federal welfare system "disgraceful" and said the burden should be shifted from the federal government to local communities.

Oh, that makes all kinds of sense. So, GM or Ford pulls out of a region, taking the majority of the local jobs away. Or a major manufacturing facility sends the work overseas, closing the main source of work in an area. Or a mine is closed or some natural disaster occurs, sending the local economies into a tail spin, leaving the people hungry and unemployed and needing government assistance just to survive. Exactly where is the tax base that is supposed to fund that welfare burden?

The whole concept of a federal system is to allow richer communities to help the poorer ones, a burden which may remain constant in some areas, but inevitably fluctuates with changes in the economy and natural phenomenon. To cast such a burden back onto the local economies, which may have been flattened by a series of tornadoes or desiccated by the jobs being shipped offshore, is to further stratify the society, creating increasing layers of poor and marginalized people while allowing richer communities to increase their wealth. The milk of human kindness clearly does not flow in Mike Huckabee’s breast.

So, the question becomes, does America need another Dubya, this one with a brain and agenda of his own? And will Americans actually elect a rigid, inflexible, unfeeling control freak who will be their friend and supporter only as long as they can continue flowing tax dollars into his government? Will the Republican Party find some ethics and try to field a candidate who will actually be good for America…or will they pick the guy they think will win the presidency by fair mean of foul. I mean, it worked with Shrub, didn’t it?

Since we don’t have those crystal balls yet, only time will tell.



  1. I couldn't agree more with our assessment of George W. Bush.

    As for the current frop of US presidential hopefuls, I did some of those quizzes to find out who the good guys were (ie those who agreed with me), and the ones who came to the top were Dennis Kuchinic (or is that Kucinich?), Mike Gravel and Ron Paul.

    I'm just wondering if Jacob Zuma will turn out to be our George Bush -- he seems almost as thick.

  2. Yes...but I doubt he'll start a war with some other country and put SA into a budget deficit so big it will take generations to pay it off.

    He'll just put new meaning to the words "cronyism" and "corruption" and harvest himself a new crop of barely legal wives.


Your comments welcome! Anonymous comments are enabled as a courtesy for people who are not members of Blogger. They are not enabled to allow people to leave gratuitously rude comments, and such comments will not be published. Disagreement will not sink your comment, but disagreeable disagreement will.