In this the season of their discontent, Republican leaders are pointing the finger of blame, all the while positioning themselves to take over their battered and bruised party in 2012. So it is with Mike Huckabee. In his new book, the former Arkansas Governor, Baptist minister and Fox News host skewers presidential rival Mitt Romney and castigates leaders of the religious right who cast their lot with someone else. But while Huckabee looks forward to the future battle for the soul of the Republican Party in his latest book, it is worth remembering the culture war he advocated in past ones. And apparently, he will have soon have company in author Sarah Palin.
As Time describes, Huckabee's tome (Do The Right Thing: Inside the Movement That's Bringing Common Sense Back to America) is part political memoir, part policy prescription - and part payback. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, his rival in courting the GOP's religious right base during the primaries, is mocked as "anything but conservative until he changed the light bulbs in his chandelier in time to run for president." Aggravating matters still, Huckabee "took as a sign of total disrespect" Mitt's refusal to call and congratulate him on his victory in the Iowa caucus which ultimately derailed Romney's campaign.
According to Time, much of Huckabee's venom is directed at his ersatz Christian conservative allies who backed other candidates during the Republican primaries. He blasts Pat Robertson and Bob Jones for backing Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, respectively. Huckabee pans Gary Bauer for his "ever-changing reason to deny me his support." Lamenting "that so many people of faith had moved from being prophetic voices," Governor Huckabee unleashed his fury at the End Times Pastor John Hagee who ultimately backed McCain:
"I asked if he had prayed about this and believed this was what the Lord wanted him to do," Huckabee writes of his conversation with Hagee. "I didn't get a straight answer."
Huckabee's evident feelings of betrayal towards his fellow culture warriors on display in this new book are understandable. After all, among the first of his six books was everything they could have asked for.
In advance of a White House run, most would-be presidential candidates author the obligatory book featuring a heroic biography and bland policy prescriptions. But as David Corn reported, in 1998 Mike Huckabee instead penned a declaration of culture war in his vituperative tome, Kids Who Kill: Confronting Our Culture of Violence.
While Huckabee during the 2008 primaries claimed to be a "uniter" ("We've got to be the united people of the United States"), in 1998 he was anything but. Written the wake of a Jonesboro, Arkansas school shooting, Huckabee laid virtually of all of America's ills at the feet of everyone - and everything - he hates:
"Despite all our prosperity, pomp, and power, the vaunted American experiment in liberty seems to be disintegrating before our very eyes."
"Abortion, environmentalism, AIDS, pornography, drug abuse, and homosexual activism have fragmented and polarized our communities."
"It is now difficult to keep track of the vast array of publicly endorsed and institutionally supported aberrations - from homosexuality and pedophilia to sadomasochism and necrophilia."
Of course, Mike Huckabee's extremism hardly ends there. As I documented here, here and here, Huckabee called for the quarantine of AIDS victims, advocated a faith-based U.S. Constitution, predicted victory over Islam at the End of Times, declared wives should graciously submit to their husbands, credited God for his rise in the polls, undermined the teaching of evolution, offered faith-based pardons for prisoners, called on Americans to be "soldiers for Christ" in "God's army," equated homosexuality with bestiality, and so much more that the chattering classes reviewing Do the Right Thing will conveniently forget.
As it turns out, with his draconian social agenda, Mike Huckabee isn't alone in staking a claim to lead the Republican Party. With today's news from MSNBC of a possible $7 million deal, Huckabee is going to have some competition on the bookshelves - from Sarah Palin.
UPDATE: The Romney camp responds, calling "this type of pettiness is beneath Mike Huckabee."
(This piece is also crossposted at Perrspectives.)
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