This is what possible Republican candidates have been reduced to: either they pander to the least-educated, racist, conspiracy-nuts, or they simply don’t stand a chance. Mike Huckabee has recently received some flack from the left (and any sane individuals remaining on the right) for not only misrepresenting President Obama as having been raised in Kenya (Obama didn’t actually visit Kenya until he was in his 20’s), but suggesting that Obama’s time spent NOT living in the United States (he did live in Indonesia from ages 6-10) had made him un-American.
“And one thing that I do know is, his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, is very different than the average American,” claims Huckabee.
Well, it seems when called out on this, Huckabee’s spokesperson informed us that Huckabee meant to say Indonesia and not Kenya at all! A simple slip of the tongue. Great. So now that we know Obama grew up in Hawaii and lived for a short time in Indonesia and NOT Kenya, we can ask the real question: Why would Obama have issues with the Brits since they never colonized Indonesia (it was, in fact, the Dutch that took that honor)? And wouldn’t it be Americans who might take issue with the Brits since our very country was founded on a war we started to break from British rule? Isn’t that the foundation of this country?
So while Huckabee has since admitted publicly that, yes, Obama is “technically” an American, he still reserves a right to judge Obama’s “spiritual” patriotism:
“…I do think [Pres. Obama] has a different worldview and I think it’s, in part, molded out of a very different experience. Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings and, you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas.”
I don’t know what fantasy world Huckabee lives in, but I think he just insulted far more Americans than just President Obama. How many American men would you imagine have also not attended Boy Scouts? And how many American women have not attended Girl Scouts? And how popular are those rotary clubs in your community these days? Mike Huckabee is clearly far less in touch with what it means to be an American in 2011 than just about anyone else out there spouting off in public. And for the record, both the Boy Scouts and Rotary are international organizations, not exclusively American. And yes, they have Boy Scouts in Indonesia. And yes, Barack Obama was a Boy Scout there. But perhaps Huckabee feels that only the American arm of the Boy Scouts is truly honorable, and that any attempt to teach such values in a place like Jakarta, where Obama was a member, would be fruitless, even anti-American.
Values like those taught to Huckabee’s son David who, according to Newsweek, “was involved in the hanging of a stray dog at a Boy Scout camp in 1998. The incident led to the dismissal of David Huckabee, then 17, from his job as a counselor at Camp Pioneer in Hatfield, Ark.”
It has even been suggested (but not proven) that David Huckabee hanged the dog, slit it’s throat and stoned it to death.
But I suppose being a cruel and inhumane Boy Scout in America is more American than not being a Boy Scout at all. Perhaps David Huckabee is next in line for the coveted Dick Cheney Award For Humanitarian Concerns, which automatically comes with a job offer training recruits at Abu Ghraib.
But wait, there’s more! To add insult to injury, Huckabee has also managed to alienate all single mothers by lambasting Oscar winning actress Natalie Portman for being pregnant out of wedlock and “flaunting” it publicly at the Oscars.
“…one of the things that’s troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ‘Hey look, you know, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine.'”
Maybe Huckabee’s son David might want to consider hanging Ms. Portman from a tree, slitting her throat and stoning her to death.
Or, the Huckabees and others like them can just back off and start the long painful process of coming to terms with the reality that Americans come in all different shapes and sizes, hold many different beliefs, and are never, ever, going to all be like one another no matter how severely you judge them. And the America I personally feel more connected to is one inhabited by the likes of Ms. Portman. But I accept that there are men like Mike and David Huckabee out there. And they also represent what it means to be American. But they have no exclusive claim on the definition.
In the meantime, it seems a vote for Mike Huckabee might just be a vote for open intolerance and moral judgement, albeit of the American variety. Weren’t in the Boy Scouts of America? Not American. Pregnant out of wedlock? Irresponsible and immoral. Bad American. Yes, it seems the margins for being a decent American (or American at all) are very narrow in Huckabee’s book. So get ready because, liberal or conservative, you’re probably not going to make the cut.