Friday, December 2, 2016

Mike Huckabee

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kim davis

Kentucky couple, David Ermold and David Moore, planned on shedding light on a rural Christian county clerk who refused to give them a marriage license. They didn’t intend to create a conservative celebrity.

Ermold and Moore had heard that Kim Davis, the clerk who claimed that her religion prevented her from issuing marriages to gay couples, was declining requests—so, when they went to file their own marriage license, they made sure to record the exchange so they could document exactly what happened to them.

The result, instead, was a several-weeks-long media circus, which resulted in Davis going to jail for contempt-of-court, and then later sharing a stage with former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, who vowed to defend Christian faith. Conservatives were suddenly galvanized over gay marriage—an issue that, just months before, seemed like it had been all but decided by the Supreme Court.

In fact, things went so awry for Ermold and Moore that they regret turning Davis into a national celebrity.

“Mike Huckabee comes down and creates a martyr of Davis,” Ermold complained, in an interview with GQ—which was, obviously, not their intention. “They took her picture with her hair down in a braid, and her husband was in bib overalls, the whole thing. They staged these photo opportunities for her.

“We’re also complicit in her fame,” Moore added. “We’re the ones who filmed her originally.”

“I thought if she could see us and talk to us, maybe she would go home and think about the people she’s affecting,” Moore added. “We decided we were going to go in and document it.”

He continued, “I put [the video] up around 11 at night. The next morning, Gawker had it, and then The Advocate was running it. By the time I got up, it already had 200,000 hits.”

At which point, Davis became a national talking point.

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Kim Davis has become a notable figure for Christian conservatives–and now, it looks like two presidential candidates are fighting over who gets to claim her, to score political points.

When Davis was released from jail earlier this week, both former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas were in attendance–and seemed to fight over who got to stand next to her, and who got to claim victory for her release.

Both Huckabee and Cruz are competing for similar factions of the Republican Party in their fight to become President–namely, the Christian conservative wing.

But in the fight over Davis, Huckabee clearly came out ahead–thanks to a crafty staffer, who physically blocked Cruz from intruding on any of the photos, which were splashed across the media this week.

According to The New York Times:

“When Senator Cruz exited the jail a throng of journalists beckoned him toward their microphones, but an aide to Mr. Huckabee blocked the path of Mr. Cruz, who appeared incredulous.

“Moments later, Mr. Huckabee appeared, joined by Ms. Davis. He stuck close to her side as she approached the reporters, and again when she took the stage, and cast her fight as a choice of tyranny or religious freedom.”

Davis, the county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, had been jailed for just under a week after being found in contempt of court. Davis had refused to offer marriage licenses after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide in June. At the time she was jailed, she had already been previously told that she would have to start issuing licenses or suffer legal penalties.

She chose the latter, obviously–with the full backing of many conservatives. Including Mike Huckabee, who got plenty of photo ops with Davis, and Ted Cruz, who did not.

After her release, Davis returned to her job as the county clerk–after she agreed to let her deputies issue all marriage licenses in Rowan County. Despite the controversial nature of her stance, Davis is an elected official, meaning she can’t be fired, but must be voted out of office by the county residents.

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huckabee

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has a long history as a pro-life advocate–but now, he’s under criticism by what many people say is taking it too far.

In Paraguay, a deeply Catholic country where abortion is illegal, the government refused to allow a 10-year-old girl who was raped by her stepfather to have an abortion. Huckabee said he agreed with the South American authorities.

“Creating one problem that is horrible–let nobody be misled, a 10-year-old girl being raped is horrible–but does it solve a problem by taking the life of an innocent child?” Huckabee asked, on CNN over the weekend. “And that’s really the issue.”

He added: “Let’s not compound the tragedy by taking yet another life. When an abortion happens, there are two victims.”

“One is the child, the other is that birth mother, who often will go through extraordinary guilt years later when she begins to think through what happened, with the baby, with her,” he continued. “I just come down on the side that every life is precious. I don’t think we discount the intrinsic worth of any human being, and I don’t know where else to go with it.”

The girl in Paraguay, now 11, gave birth to a baby girl last week. Both her mother and her stepfather–the baby’s father–have been arrested.

Even many Americans who are staunchly pro-life agree that exceptions sometimes need to be made in cases of rape and incest. Huckabee is standing firm on his belief that a life is a life, and it doesn’t matter how the unborn child is conceived.

You decide: did Huckabee take his pro-life stance too far? Or is he simply being the best advocate possible for unborn babies?

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out-trump-Trump

In what Rush Limbaugh dubbed the “Trump Strategy,” Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee stood by his controversial comments from a Saturday interview with Breitbart. In the interview, Huckabee criticized the Obama administration’s Iran deal, saying “This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. He’s so naïve, he would trust the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven.”

The explicit Holocaust reference drew immediate fire from his fellow Republican candidates, as well as the Jewish Anti-Defamation League.

Huckabee stood strongly by his comments – as Limbaugh noted, “doubling down” – tweeting out “Tell Congress to do their constitutional duty & reject the Obama-Kerry #IranDeal,” followed by “Ayatollah Khamenei’s Iranian Martyr Foundation rep: “We have manufactured missiles that allow us…to replace Israel…with a big holocaust”” and “It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region.” – Ayatollah Khamenei

As Limbaugh suggested repeatedly on his Monday show, Huckabee seems to be drawing some inspiration from Donald Trump’s leadership in the polls. Trump, of course, has made repeated headlines for explosive comments directed at illegal immigrants, Hillary Clinton, other Republican candidates, John McCain, and other targets.

Repeated declarations of Trump’s demise following his incendiary rhetoric have been followed by, instead of cratering, huge gains in the primary polls. The most recent polls show Trump as the first choice among likely Republican primary voters by such a wide margin that his totals eclipse the combined numbers of Scott Walker and Jeb Bush, the next leading candidates.

Trump’s appeal is based largely on his willingness to take on the establishment and refusal to back down. The Republican base is, as Ted Cruz made clear in a fiery speech on the floor of the Senate last week, sick and tired of being told that voting Republican will change things for the better, only to see the party capitulate again to Obama and the Democrat party.

Huckabee last week was polling at a mere 3% among likely Republican primary voters. With his massive news coverage, and extensive talk time on Limbaugh’s #1 rated radio show, it would not be a surprise to see a bounce in his numbers this week.

“The fact is when the media, Washington establishment, whoever, starts acting outraged over something a public figure said… They’re doing it now with Huckabee, by the way, over what he said about the Iran deal and Israel and ovens, which is coming up,” Limbaugh said. “The conventional wisdom is that not only are the media who are reporting this to you outraged, but so are the American people en masse, that there is universal outrage — disbelief, shock and dismay — that anybody could say anything so horrible. It’s always implied that a majority of the American people also find it outrageous, and I have always doubted that.”

Proof of the long-time opinion maker’s assertion is in the aforementioned Trump poll numbers. Trump keeps going after people, keeps attacking dearly-held presumptions, keeps not apologizing, and keeps widening his lead in the polls.

Are Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz foreshadowing? Is the “Trump Strategy” about to overtake the entire GOP field?

 

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