Creep of the Week: Mike Huckabee

By | 2007-12-13T09:00:00-04:00 December 13th, 2007|Opinions|

As the race to the White House heats up, it’s inevitable that candidates will have their pasts drudged up and held up for scrutiny.
Take former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, for example. At the outset of the campaign he seemed like a long shot. After all, his competition included what, initially, seemed to be the trifecta of GOP frontrunners: John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.
Who woulda thunk that McCain, Giuliani, and Romney would manage to derail their campaigns allowing Mike “The Little Engine That Could” to plow full steam ahead to catch up in the polls.
What’s his secret? Well, from what I can tell, he seems like a nice guy and doesn’t come across as a pandering hypocrite. After two terms of the Bush regime, it’s no wonder voters have lowered their standards so all a guy has to do to get their vote is to not seem like a duplicitous asshole.
What seems to be getting lost in translation is how far out of the mainstream Huckabee’s beliefs are.
Take, for example, Huckabee’s answer to a question about AIDS on a 1992 Associated Press questionnaire.
“If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague,” Huckabee wrote. “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.”
He also claimed too many federal dollars were being allocated to AIDS and said celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Madonna banging the drum for more funds should reach into their own pockets if they were so concerned about it.
But a lot can change in 15 years. I mean, surely if Huckabee were presented with these comments today he would refute them, right?
Um, no. Huckabee told the AP Dec. 8 that his comments came at a time when “the AIDS crisis was just that – a crisis. We didn’t know exactly all the details of how extensive it was going to be. There was just a real panic in this country. If I were making those same comments today, I might make them a little differently.”
But not much differently. “Medical protocol typically says that if you have a disease for which there is no cure, and you are uncertain about the transmission of it, then the first thing you do is that you quarantine or isolate carriers,” Huckabee said.
Granted, by 1992 it was common knowledge that AIDS was not contagious via common public conduct. A lot had been learned about the disease in the past decade. Unfortunately, some people still thought of AIDS as a gay disease.
In 1992 Huckabee also said, “I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk.”
So can right-wing ideologues.

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