Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Stupid Politics

Poor Mike Huckabee! As he merrily goes on his way of running to be the President of born-again America, the mean old media keeps insisting on asking him how deeply he has drunk the Kool-Aid:

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a Southern Baptist preacher who has surged in Iowa with evangelical Christian support, bristled Tuesday when asked if creationism should be taught in public schools.

Huckabee -- who raised his hand at a debate last May when asked which candidates disbelieved the theory of evolution -- asked this time why there is such a fascination with his beliefs.
I don't know ... maybe it has something to do with this:

He appeared with more than 60 Iowa pastors endorsing him at a news conference Tuesday, including best-selling author Tim LaHaye of "Left Behind" fame and his wife, Beverly. Also endorsing him was Chuck Hurley, an influential Iowa conservative who had backed Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, a conservative who quit the race in October.

LaHaye called Huckabee "the most electable candidate who shares our commitment." ...

"Faith doesn't just influence me. It really defines me. I don't have to wake up every day wondering what do I need to believe," Huckabee says in the ad. "Let us never sacrifice our principles for anybody's politics. Not now, not ever."
In other words, it is a question to help us decide if we want a know-nothing Apocalypse-believing yahoo with his finger on a button marked "push to end civilization."

There is also the question of how much Huckabee knows about the Federal Government (or is willing to -- gasp -- lie about his intent for it):

[H]e expressed frustration that he is asked about it so often, arguing with the questioner that it ultimately doesn't matter what his personal views are.

"That's an irrelevant question to ask me -- I'm happy to answer what I believe, but what I believe is not what's going to be taught in 50 different states," Huckabee said. "Education is a state function. The more state it is, and the less federal it is, the better off we are."
Is he intending to abolish the Department of Education and do away with the billions of dollars the Federal government sends to the states for education? If so, he isn't talking about it. There is some mealy-mouthed business about making sure there is "a clear distinction between the federal role in assisting and empowering states and in usurping the right of states to carry out the education programs for their students" that lacks a drop of specificity. But, despite that, he nonetheless is promising "to provide our children what I call the "Weapons of Mass Instruction" - art and music," so I guess that's an exception to not meddling in the role of the states. In other words, it's all gobbledygook designed to let whatever right-wing anti-education group fill in its own code-words while providing a substance-free fuzzy feel-good sop to assuage the conscience of those in his natural constituency who still have a faint appreciation for education. Thus, the question is also designed to see just how honest you are, Governor.

But, finally, its most important role is to help us gauge just how stupid you are.

If anything good has come out of the Bush administration, it may be an increased public awareness that, sometimes, a person's religious beliefs really do matter in the political arena. I'm not saying that no Christian, Muslim, etc., should be elected to public office. I am saying that the public should get the information required to determine whether a candidate understands and respects such key issues as separation of church and state. If a candidate of faith respects secularism, I'm fine with that. If a candidate undermines secularism in shared, public space, I will not tolerate it.

If candidates don't want their privately held beliefs to become campaign issues, then they would serve themselves best by keeping those beliefs private. They cannot exploit their beliefs when it benefits them to do so, then cry foul when others inquire about those beliefs.
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