Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Huckster

Of course all politicians play politics: in other news, water is wet, and the sky high.

And I admit Huckabee has done some things that make him, on the surface, appear attractive. His behavior during Katrina beat the holy crap out of George III's, for instance. My father, who has gone to his speeches, speaks highly of his ability to think on his feet. Apparently he has lost weight and believes in exercise. He doesn't smoke. Also, he doesn't dodge: when he is asked a question, he does answer it: so there's that.

On the other hand: his answers reveal what appears to me to be the fundamental flaw in his character.

I've been grading essays from my freshmen this week -- these aren't their papers, which they get to work on all semester, these are in-class essay sets, which they have fifty minutes to write. More revealing, in other words.

I've got half a dozen, um, how will I put it? Spiritually less-evolved students. Not deep thinkers, this lot.

I don't mean conservative, either, because that's not the issue -- I do have conservative students who do think, in this same class, who wrote me good essays.

No, I mean the inability to see where they aren't doing the job. So, for instance, one student is explaining why the student is a Republican: telling me it is because of his education. He took American Government in high school, see, and he was raised in his church. Those two experiences taught him that those on the Left wanted to take away everyone's guns and like abortions. Since he knows abortion kills babies and likes to hunt, he is a Republican.

The other essays were more or less as sophisticated as this gentleman's.

Huckabee's arguments remind me of those put together by these students. He ingests talking points; not only does he ingest them, he seems to believe them. Then he acts as though those talking points aren't just crap propaganda put out by some idiot (cough Rush cough) to knock up his ratings, but in fact some kind of truth about the world.

Well, this wouldn't matter if he were hanging out at the corner bar playing pool, spitting tobacco, spouting this crap to his buds. But he ain't. He's running for president. And coming up hard on the outside, I might add. And this is the sort of thing in his head:

''It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents.''

When asked about AIDS research in 1992, Huckabee complained that AIDS research received an unfair share of federal dollars when compared to cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Also in the wide-ranging AP questionnaire in 1992, Huckabee said, ''I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk.''

''What people do in the privacy of their own lives as adults is their business,'' Huckabee said. ''If they bring it into the public square and ask me as a taxpayer to support it or to endorse it, then it becomes a matter of public discussion and discourse.''

(In the NYT on Saturday

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Huckabee has that Southern Baptist preacher thing going for him. He says ridiculous things, then backs them up with an air of sincerity, belief, passion, tears, or whatever it takes to mask his statements with the exact amount of emotion required to discourage his audience from wondering if they've just been lied to, or played.

My brother has it down so perfectly and is such a favorite with our churchy parents (despite being a pretty deep pile of horseshit) that I wonder if he missed his calling. --L