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Mike Huckabee, the silver-tongued, jovial Baptist preacher now best known for losing weight, charmed the crowd gathered in Washington over Rosh Hashanah weekend by dog whistling coded racist messages that wowed folks in the ballroom. No wonder he took the straw poll that, in the final analysis, is representative of absolutely nothing.

The so-called "Values Voters" held their annual hate-in and what a surprise: Mike Huckabee won the straw poll of presidential contenders, taking 148 of the 500 votes cast, a whopping 28%.

Huckabee, the silver-tongued, jovial Baptist preacher now best known for losing weight, charmed the crowd gathered in Washington over Rosh Hashanah weekend – Shanatova, en shallah to all – by dog whistling coded racist messages that wowed folks in the ballroom.

This is nothing new for Huckabee, who’s trying desperately to be the GOP’s Great White Hope in 2012 now that Sarah Palin has become a caricature of herself. As Max Blumenthal pointed out in The Nation during last year’s Republican presidential primary season, Huckabee borrowed a page from George Bush’s 2000 primary playbook that short-circuited John McCain’s surging campaign. Blumental reported how far Huckabee was willing to go:

As South Carolina's Republican primary election draws nearer, Mike Huckabee has ratcheted up his appeals to the racial nationalism of white evangelicals.

"You don't like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag," the former Arkansas governor told a Myrtle Beach crowd on January 17, referring to the Confederate flag. "If somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell them what to do with the pole. That's what we'd do."

Appealing to white racists is old hat for Huckabee.

Long before he was a nationally-known politician, Huckabee carefully nurtured a relationship with America's largest white supremacist group, the Council of Conservative Citizens. The extent of Huckabee's relationship with the racist group is unclear but he accepted an invitation to speak at the group's annual conference in 1993 and delivered a videotaped address that was "extremely well received by the audience," according to reports at the time.

No wonder he took the straw poll that, in the final analysis, is representative of absolutely nothing.

Whose Values?

Exactly whose values do the voters gathered in DC think they represent?

Certainly not mine. I consider myself a "values voter," which is why I gleefully cast my ballot for Barack Obama last November. His values reflect the best of what America is supposed to be all about.

Oh, wait. The "Value Voters" summit didn’t even pretend to be about my values because I’m not a right wing fundamentalist who thinks the earth is 8,000 years old and America was really founded as a Christian theocracy. That’s probably why I didn’t see any black or brown faces in crowd shots, nor folks named Schwartz or Lopez as registered delegates. Nor were any of the opening prayers offered by Imans.

A few actual American values were overlooked on the weekend.

Nowhere on the agenda was there mention of discussing Sen. David Vitter wearing diapers with a hooker or his name on the DC Madame’s list. Nothing was said about Sen. John Ensign’s dalliances or gifts to his mistress and her family. How about Sen. Mike Enzi, who admitted having an affair with a female staff member? What about Gov. Mark Sanford’s hikes on the Appalachian Trail with his Latin Lover, sometimes at taxpayer expense?

How come nobody spent time discussing the righteousness of 20,000 people in the US dying each year because they lacked access to health care? Why didn’t anyone raise the very Christian value issue of helping 1-million Americans forced into bankruptcy by medical expenses? Where was talk about the values of the money changers in Wall St. temples grabbing seven-to-nine figure bonuses as they destroyed the lives and economic security of tens of millions of their fellow citizens? Who brought up the values that should be used to fight to poverty, hunger, homelessness and helping those who are without hope?

There was plenty of time to bash big government and an African-American President but no time to deal with the real issues confronting the nation.

Originally posted to Charley James on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 07:25 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Given the challenges facing us (6+ / 0-)

    I really, really hope America doesn't elect a conservative fundamentalist Baptist preacher as our next president.

    That would not be good.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 07:32:02 AM PDT

    •  especially not one w/ Huckabee's economic record (5+ / 0-)

      Huckabee has a horrible economic record which should disqualify him from any sane person's vote.  

      But, of course, we're not talking about sane people... we're talking about Republicans.  And today's Republicans are nothing but theocrats.  That's the only reason Sarah Palin had any popularity at all; they don't look at anything but a candidate's "faith," and stupidly assume some "god" will take care of everything else.

      Funny how that didn't work out for Bush...

      "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

      by Front Toward Enemy on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 07:47:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Huckabee actually worries me... (4+ / 0-)

      You don't know how many people I know (I live in semi-conservative town) who voted for Obama because they were sick of the GOP, but think Huckabee's a great guy.  But that's not what is scary.  I know a few Democrats who think he is not that bad, and is pretty likeable.

      I've even seen comments after his appearances on Jon Stewart from people who are (supposed) Democrats saying that while they disagree with him, they like him.

      He's not as polarizing as Palin, and he has much more charm than Romney.  I really think he's the best chance the GOP has of taking back the white house in 2012.

      Does anybody else think so?  I haven't followed him much ever since the GOP primary last year, so I don't know if I'm missing something here and my concern is unfounded.  I've read that corporations don't like him because of his tax policies, so he might not have the same monetary support as the other GOP hopefuls - but who knows...  this might actually be a good thing in 2012.  He seems like he could whip up the populist vote better than the rest of them; he is winning the values voters hands down.

      Talk me down?

      "If these Republicans can't stand up to Rush, how can they stand up to the Iranians?" - Redmond Barry

      by xsonogall on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 07:50:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Huckabee did himself in (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AllanTBG, wonderful world, xsonogall

        during the primaries when he stated he would like to see the Constitution more closely follow the Bible.  Pure campaign gold for any opponent he faces.  Just play the tape.

        ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

        by Kristina40 on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 07:55:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Worried, Yes; But Not Overly Concerned (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Raven, wonderful world, xsonogall

        In order to win the Republican nomination, Huckabee will have to move very far to the right as the only tactic to get through the primaries.

        In the process, he'll be on public display in a way that's not as glib as an appearance on The Daily Show. So, yes, I worry about Huckabee but I'm not overly concerned.

        Charley James The Progressive Curmudgeon

        by Charley James on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 07:55:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True (0+ / 0-)

          Though I feel like he's the kind of person who can sell poison and make the buyer think it's a milkshake...  He'll be spouting wingnut rhetoric with a smile.

          "If these Republicans can't stand up to Rush, how can they stand up to the Iranians?" - Redmond Barry

          by xsonogall on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 06:27:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  There's plenty during his governorship (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dinazina, esquimaux, xsonogall

        to create the (quite true) perception that he is corrupt. He solicited 'gifts' from companies and people doing business with the state. He took things from the governor's mansion when he left. There's plenty of evidence that the payments for 'renovations' to the mansion while he lived there were done by people to whom he owed favors. His wife's unsuccessful run for Secretary of State pissed off a lot of people because the Huckabees acted like it was an insult that she had to run at all. He also emptied the state's 'emergency fund' of $500,000 to wipe state computers' hard drives before he left.

        Add to that his public statement that the Constitution should be rewritten along Biblical principles, his friendships with people like Hagee and Robertson, his belief in Biblical inerrancy and that the world is only 6000 yrs a family life that makes the Palins look like the Donna Reed Show.

        The ads write themselves.

        "No, it's all right," said the prospective diner. "The slugs have formed a defensive ring." -- Moving Pictures. Terry Pratchett.

        by wonderful world on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 07:59:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not clear what I meant (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I meant that the renovations to the Gov's mansion were done by people to whom the Huckster owed favors...not that the payments were from those people.

          Sorry...I get mad and my writing goes to hell.

          "No, it's all right," said the prospective diner. "The slugs have formed a defensive ring." -- Moving Pictures. Terry Pratchett.

          by wonderful world on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 08:01:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Can't talk you down.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I saw and commented on the same thing during the Iowa caucuses.  It was - and is - scary.  He is trained to exhort and convince.  That's what preachers do.  The "Aw shucks!" facade makes him seem normal, likable. Yup, dangerous....

        -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

        by luckylizard on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 11:08:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Schmuckabee's biggest liability (4+ / 0-)

    will be his affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention.

    Something tells me that 40-something career women aren't going to like hearing that Schmuckabee wanted them back in the kitchen. Neither will they like that Schmuckabee believes they should submit to their husbands.

  •  I just finished reading Quiverful (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, martydd, luckylizard

    Which though not well written or very informative did give me a little peek into the most conservative part of Christianity. Those are some scary people. While I've been thinking that these folks hark back to the Civil War and a return to the racial inequities of 1850, they sound more like a cross between colonial Tories who think this whole getting rid of the king thing was a bad idea and a medieval clerical class who thinks the Magna Carta was a bad idea. For all that they hate Catholicism, I think they world like to see a return to a world where the church had power over secular governments, provided they were the ones who held that power.

    Should we allow a private option?

    by Toon on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 08:09:53 AM PDT

  •  While the confederate flag IS a dog whistle... (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think invoking it automatically makes the invoker a racist.  There is such a thing as playing to the audience.  If this makes Huckabee a racist, then Dr. Dean is a racist too, and I don't think he is.

    When I read about "dog whistling coded racist messages," I was expecting something a lot more than a reference to the Confederate flag.

    •  But that is just it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It doesn't really matter if Huckabee is a racist or not.  He's willing to play on a symbol of racism while campaigning.  

      Dean's appeal was class based, and very different, as he clarified:

      Dean also released his own statement to clarify his comments.

      "I want people with Confederate flags on their trucks to put down those flags and vote Democratic," he said in the statement.

      "We have working white families in the South voting for tax cuts for the richest one percent while their children remain with no health care," said Dean. "The dividing of working people by race has been a cornerstone of Republican politics for the last three decades. For my fellow Democratic opponents to sink to this level is really tragic. The only way we're going to beat George Bush is if Southern white working families and African-American working families come together under the Democratic tent, as they did under FDR."

      From your own link.  

      Huckabee is defending attacks on the flag from "outsiders."  

    •  There Was More ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux, Virginia mom

      ... than a reference to the Confederate flag. I also wrote about his chuminess with Council of Conservative Citizens, an avowedly white supremacist group and, as Alex82 just noted, Dr. Dean's reference to the Confederate flag was in a very different context.

      Charley James The Progressive Curmudgeon

      by Charley James on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 08:25:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Palin/Huckleberry in 2012 (0+ / 0-)

    Sounds like the "perfect ticket" for 'birthers, 'baggers and facist wingnut loons.
    No brains, but plenty of bull.

  •  "Value" voters (0+ / 0-)

    value the status quo.  Which is white patriarchy.  

    They're entitled, by God, to maintain the system which has been good to them.  That's the only "value" they hold dear.

    My dogs think I'm smart and pretty.

    by martydd on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 08:58:10 AM PDT

  •  These people are painting themselves (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Virginia mom

    further and further into a corner. But Democrats aren't doing a good enough job of making clear exactly how kooky they are.

    Don't tell me about the "new politics" if you're an asshole.

    by Ms Johnson on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 09:03:26 AM PDT

  •  Sarah Palin is back! (0+ / 0-)

    Doing her homework

    I would stake everything that have on her transforming herself into the next front runner

    ...there's a rose in the fisted glove and the eagle flies with the dove - Stephen Stills

    by NuttyProf on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 09:54:56 AM PDT

    •  But-you can't fix stupid. (0+ / 0-)

      She can spend a fortune on clothes, ect.-but she does not seem interested in or capable of making herself smarter.

      Let tyrants fear.-Queen Elizabeth I

      by Virginia mom on Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 11:19:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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