Favorite

Talking the talk 

Can presidential candidate Mike Huckabee rouse the conservative base necessary to win the Republican nomination without scaring away the moderates who decide elections?

He’s trying, in the fashion favored by a political adviser, Dick Morris, who’s served both Huckabee and Bill Clinton.

The third-way Huckabee spoke last week at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit in Washington. Council head James Dobson told one reporter that he hoped the session would inspire a base not sufficiently energized to elect Republicans this year. The Republican Party is, after all, God’s Own Party.

In that setting, you have to give Huckabee a few points. According to the account by Aaron Sadler of Stephens Media, the governor urged the group, despite disagreement on many issues, “to ally with feminists, gay-rights advocates and labor unions to attack social problems”

Huckabee said feminists might enlist in a fight against pornography; same-sex marriage proponents could fight the spread of AIDS, and unions could work to improve wages and working conditions.

According to Stephens Media, Huckabee’s brotherly love outreach puzzled some of the good Christians, including Donald Wildmon. He’s the Mississippi preacher who boycotts anybody kindly toward gays and whose outfit helped rid Arkansas Governor’s School of an excerpt from “Angels in America.”

“I don’t know where we’d sit down in the room with [homosexuals] and iron out an AIDS policy,” Wildmon said of Huckabee’s proposals. “This is fine in theory. I just don’t have any examples of it in real life.”

At least part of Huckabee’s pitch was about image (read: voter appeal). “What we may do is help them to realize that we’re not demons. We don’t have horns and pitchforks and tails,” Huckabee told Stephens Media. Well, yeah. But will gay people feel comfortable joining hands with a person who makes jokes at their expense in almost the same breath? Because, of course, Huckabee had to toss some red meat to this crowd. On marriage said Huckabee: “Until Moses comes down with two stone tablets from Brokeback Mountain saying he’s changed the rules, let’s keep it like it is.”

A gauge of Huckabee’s sincerity is to ask him if he’d employ a gay person who lived in a committed relationship. Or if he’d employ a woman who was an active member of Planned Parenthood and publicly endorsed abortion rights.

If this was a Sister Souljah moment for Huckabee, it fell flat with the press. Most coverage lumped Huckabee among a number of politicians seen as catering to the crowd. A blogger for American Prospect, a liberal publication, noted that Huckabee’s call for cross-cultural partnerships got tepid response. Then the blogger commented:

“It was only toward the end of the speech, when Huckabee finished off his appeal for the welfare of children by calling on the audience to imagine ‘what we could do if instead of paying half their income in taxes, but gave a dime of every dollar to their church or charitable organization,’ that it became apparent what Huckabee’s real game was: speak the language of compassion while resolutely opposing any governmental action to address those in need. He even miraculously spun the government’s incompetence in dealing with Hurricane Katrina to that end. The audience, clearly relieved, gave Huckabee an enthusiastic standing ovation.”

Huckabee speak out of both sides of his mouth? Do tell.


Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Sunday and another open line

    Got anything for the open line?
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • But what about the Clintons? Last refuge of Trump, New York Times

    Trying to compare Donald Trump's reaction to the Russia investigation with Bill Clinton's dealings with Kenneth Starr should be a non-starter if the facts mattered. But these days — and to the New York Times — it ain't necessarily so.
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • Football is king, Bentonville edition

    Good analysis in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette of an unannounced Bentonville School Board vote last week to put $2 million into a football stadium for West High School despite board assurances in last May's tax election that no money would go to a football stadium.
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Bootstraps for me, not thee

    Mean spirit, hypocrisy and misinformation abound among the rump minority threatening to wreck state government rather than allow passage of the state Medicaid appropriation if it continues to include the Obamacare-funded expansion of health insurance coverage for working poor.
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Trump: The Obama of 2016?

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, launched an assault on Boozman Monday morning rich with irony and opportunity.
    • May 5, 2016
  • Double-talk

    A couple of instances of doublespeak cropped up in Little Rock over the weekend.
    • Jun 29, 2017

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • We're No. 1! in vote suppression

    It's not often that Arkansas can claim national leadership, so give Secretary of State Mark Martin credit for something.

    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Bangin' in LR

    About 2:30 a.m. Saturday, with the Power Ultra Lounge downtown jammed for a rap show by Finese2Tymes (Ricky Hampton of Memphis), gunfire broke out. Before it was over, 25 people had been wounded by gunfire and three others injured in the rush for safety.
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another Jesus

    • IBS, were you there in Benghazi to personally witness all of Hillary's blunders like you…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • If God felt it necessary to replace the ten commandments, he could do it like…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Football for UA Little Rock

    • He's BSC. Students and tuition-paying parents should be VERY vocal that a football program won't…

    • on July 23, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation