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Former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
When Mike Huckabee thinks of the ideal legislator, he doesn't require a whole lot. No, he's not interested in someone who bases policy considerations around ugly things like "thought," "feelings," or even those hideous "personal experiences." Why in the world would thinking and feeling be helpful to a person making laws that affect actual people?

Instead, Mike Huckabee wants his legislators to use an "objective standard" when weighing in on policy. And by objective standard, Mike Huckabee means his own perverted, Arkansas-bred version of fundamentalist Christianity:

“I have great sympathy and extraordinary admiration for Sen. Portman. I consider him a friend and I value his work in the Senate and think he’s a great person. The mistake is that we sometimes base our public policy decisions on how we feel, how we think, maybe even some personal experiences, and we don’t regard a lot of these issues from the standpoint of an objective standard.

“Let me explain what I mean by that. If we have subjective standards, that means that we’re willing to move our standards based on the prevailing whims of culture. Politicians have an obligation to be thermostats, not just thermometers. They’re not simply to reflect the temperature of the room, or the culture, as it were. They’re to set the standards for law, for what’s right, for what’s wrong, understanding that not everybody’s going to agree with it."

In reaction to the GOP's politically expedient softening on the issue of gay marriage, Huckabee warned that abandoning the party's bigoted platform plank would lead to "los[ing] a large part of their base." The evangelicals, he says, will "take a walk" if prominent party members do an about face on equality.

I just have one question: where are you going to go?

Mike Huckabee and his worshipers are cut out of the same cloth. Beneath the cloak of nice, loving Christianity, there lives an insidiousness that's intertwined in the fabric of his fundamentalist brand of religion and his political leanings. The authoritarianism that draws people to people like Mike Huckabee is alive and well in the Republican party. Huckabee's "base" encompasses a rabid group of people who champion the causes of white Christian supremacy, and it's full of folks who believe that women are subservient. It's a refuge for racists who are constantly re-fighting the Civil War.

Mike Huckabee's base, almost by definition, includes people who eschew critical thought. And it's dripping with people who believe that the only thing better than prayer for preventing school violence is flooding the classroom with more guns. In order to give authority to someone like Mike Huckabee, you have to live in a world where answers are given to you and the flames of fear are stoked by mentions of the dangerousness of the "other."

So where are you and your people going to go, Mike Huckabee? Are you going to start your own party to trumpet all of your hideous beliefs in addition to staunch insistence on the false notion of "traditional" marriage?

Somehow I don't think that's going to happen, because the only way people like Mike Huckabee gain power is through the Republican Party. The GOP needs the evangelical base, but the people who hold power over evangelicals need the GOP even more. If not for his control over a large voting block, Mike Huckabee would be little more than a loud, obnoxious bigot from Arkansas.

I hope Mike Huckabee is right, and I hope in future elections, Mike Huckabee runs for president pulling down 14% of the vote whilst running for the Evangelical Party. Something tells me, though, that the evangelical movement has become so intertwined with the hatred and backwardness of the Republican Party that a chasm isn't even possible.


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