Friday, March 4, 2011

Mr. Huckabee's Folksy Rendition of Truth

Timothy Egan wrote his usual enlightening and wonderful column in today's Times on Mike Huckabee:

I had an occasion to attend a lecture Huckabee gave in New York about a year ago. Aside from the expensively dressed New York conservatives who came to hear him, I noted a group of bluejean- and polyester-clad people who were turned away at the door for not being properly dressed, as the invitation had been firm about “casual corporate” attire. They entreated the doorman about having driven for days to come hear their hero. As the doorman jumped to open the door for me, I thought about how that group turned away probably were part of his most loyal base, though it’s just as well they were rejected as they would no doubt have been uncomfortable among the suits.

At any rate, I had prepared for the event by doing some research the night before and compiling something of a history of his record and comparing that with statements he’s been making, especially in the last few years. I took note of how Huckabee never let facts get in the way while performing his folksy approach to campaigning.

After his talk, which was about an hour of amusing anecdotes punctuated by references to the accomplishments he took credit for as governor of Arkansas, the floor was opened to questions. I never got called on, and afterward the young guy on my right told me he would not have called on me either as I looked “too serious and had an intelligent gleam in my eye.” I am not sure he meant that as a compliment, but it clued me in as to how my demeanor should be for any similar event.

Since I never got to ask my questions of Huckabee, I posed them of the people milling about me. I was quite gratified at their shock , especially when I pulled out papers, showing them the facts I had dug up, mostly at not-for-profit sites such as, Snopes, and others. Nice to have the printouts as backup. Aside from the appalling story of his release of prisoners based on nothing more than claiming to have “found God,” there were many damning incidents in his career. His lies of not raising taxes when he did so---many times, his desire to have kids in schools learn about Creationism, as if that too were science, and there was one particular question I was sorry not to have gotten to ask him: “Why, Mr. Huckabee, are you for the death penalty while at the same time you eschew the taking of life, professing to be definitively ‘pro-life’? It would seem that in Mr. Huckabee’s universe, not all life is equal.

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