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.
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.