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Mike Huckabee Will Not Be President

Mike Huckabee

Nora Caplan-Bricker contends that, “Mike Huckabee Could Be President—If Only He Wanted It.” She provides little evidence of the former, while concentrating on the latter.

Six years as a right-wing media host have not corroded the folksy charisma and self-deprecating wit that were hallmarks of his political persona. The man can charm.

There are Republican kingmakers prepared to bank on just that. When Huckabee ran for president in 2008, the former Arkansas governor and Southern Baptist preacher beat expectations by winning the Iowa caucuses and finishing second in the overall delegate count. He passed on another run two years ago, when race-watchers thought the nomination was within his reach. But the 2016 election might present his best opening yet. Chris Christie is tarred by Bridgegate (etc., etc.). Scott Walker could wind up similarly tarnished by a slow-motion scandal of his own, involving public workers dispatched on campaign tasks. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are … Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. Meanwhile, early indicators suggest an appetite for Huckabee and his brand of conservative populism: This winter, at least four polls put him at the head of the primary pack—two of them even before Christie’s reputation tanked. The GOP strategists who told me they are urging Huckabee to run recalled how as governor he once earned more than 30 percent of the African American vote in Arkansas, where he also defended social services for immigrants. Huckabee, in this analysis, is the candidate who could bring back the party’s big tent. They hope to convince him to make another go.

Which might prove tempting for Huckabee, if not for the actual campaigning part. At a safe remove from filing deadlines, he has been happily granting interviews to reporters (including this one) to discuss his options. The process of running for office, though, is something “I actually dread,” he has said. And he’s not exactly clearing his schedule. This spring, he is slated to launch an ambitious, conservative-leaning news site called the Huckabee Post. A “major publisher” just bought his twelfth book. Other arms of Huckabee’s octopodian brand include animated American history DVDs and an annual guided tour of Israel, which for a base price of $4,999 offers travelers a “spiritual” experience and “special musical guests,” according to mikehuckabee.com.

“I’d hate to walk away from any of it,” Huckabee says.

So, basically, Huckabee is charming and has name recognition with the Republican base. It’s a start, I guess, but a long way from there to winning the nomination, much less beating the Democratic nominee, whom most presume will be Hillary Clinton, in the general election.

Caplan-Bricker reminds us that Huckabee won Iowa and finished second in the delegate count in 2008. She neglects to mention that the winner of the Iowa Caucuses almost never goes on to win the Republican nomination; John McCain, who won the nomination easily that year, came in fourth. And Huckabee only amassed so many delegates because he remained in the race as a spoiler long after Mitt Romney and others dropped out, conceding that McCain’s nomination was inevitable.

What’s particularly interesting to me is the notion that Huckabee would be the “big tent” candidate. Certainly, that’s not the impression I had of him six years ago was that he was kind of a kook. He was the Christian Right’s stalking horse in a campaign otherwise dominated by two moderate candidates from outside the social conservative wing, McCain and Romney.  At the time of his concession, I observed,

He’s a personable fellow who went a long way with very little money, a weak organization, and zero Establishment support. But there was no time in this race when it was plausible that he’d be the nominee. He won Iowa as the “anybody but Mitt Romney” candidate in a contest McCain, Giuliani, and others skipped. He didn’t win again until garbage time, when he was running as “the conservative alternative” to a man who had all but sewn up the nomination.

Huckabee will not win the nomination in 2012. Or 2016. Or 2020. He’d easily win a Senate seat from Arkansas if he changes his mind. But he’s not going to be elected president.

Huckabee has done nothing to cause me to rethink that assessment. He’s the guy who blamed the Shady Hook massacre on “taking God out of schools” and claims Barack Obama grew up in Kenya. It’s going to take a might weak field, indeed, for Huckabee to win it.

And, as Caplan-Bricker points out in the piece, that assumes he’s got the fire in the belly to run at all. It seems that he’s gotten quite accustomed to making the big bucks at Fox.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Me Me Me Me says:

    Huckabee used to be a Baptist minister. I’ve often wondered when and how Jesus got in touch with to let him know that he no longer had to tend His flock; it was OK to move to Manhattan and start making the serious bucks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  2. John D'Geek says:

    Agreed. Huckabee is quite personable, on the rare occasion I have listened to him he was easier on the ears than most political hosts. But he’s a bit far out there for most conservatives, including myself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Other arms of Huckabee’s octopodian brand

    OT but I had to look that up. For something that doesn’t even appear to be a word, it got 979 hits on google.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @John D’Geek: Yeah, he seems like a genuinely nice guy with some really out there beliefs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  5. gVOR08 says:

    This is interesting only in that with the hydrogen leaking out of Christie, Rubio having stepped in immigration reform, Ryan having the stink of failure in ’12, Walker being Scott who?, and Bush being a Bush; I have no idea who the establishment candidate is. If a clear choice doesn’t emerge, it’s possible Huckabee or some other clown car candidate could luck into the nomination. They’ll pick somebody. Then if Hillary gets hit by a bus two years from October (why are we even talking about this?), we could see a President Huckabee, or whoever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  6. Tillman says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Further OT. Beautiful word that doesn’t get enough usage is “irreligious.” “Atheist” has a bad cultural connotation (for whatever reason) and only covers a specific slice of nonbelief. “Irreligious” flows off the tongue better and hits all the bases in its meaning.

    The speculation on whether Huckabee is going to run or not is misplaced. There is a clear indicator here: if he starts losing weight, he’s going to run. (Or is it the other way around…)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. Me Me Me Me says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Yeah, he seems like a genuinely nice guy with some really out there beliefs.

    Nice guy? In 2008 he was startled by a load noise and his very first instinct was to make a “joke” about someone assassinating Obama.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/17/us/politics/17huckabee.html?fta=y&_r=0

    He thinks women use birth control because they are sluts.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/23/1271977/-Huckabee-makes-racist-sexist-statements-at-RNC-Winter-Meeting

    He pals around with white supremicists, including accepting a speaking invitation from the “Council of Conservative Citizens” whose charter says: “We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/mike-huckabees-white-supr_b_82263.html

    He says Obama grew up in Kenya and therefore has a troubling world view because Mau Mau.
    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2011/03/01/huckabee-obama-grew-up-in-kenya/177033

    Seriously – he’s just as big an ass as the rest of them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  8. Me Me Me Me says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Yeah, he seems like a genuinely nice guy with some really out there beliefs.

    Nice guy? In 2008 he was startled by a load noise and his very first instinct was to make a “joke” about someone assassinating Obama.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/17/us/politics/17huckabee.html?fta=y&_r=0

    He thinks women use birth control because they are sluts.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/23/1271977/-Huckabee-makes-racist-sexist-statements-at-RNC-Winter-Meeting

    He pals around with white supremicists, including accepting a speaking invitation from the “Council of Conservative Citizens” whose charter says: “We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/mike-huckabees-white-supr_b_82263.html

    He says Obama grew up in Kenya and therefore has a troubling world view because Mau Mau.
    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2011/03/01/huckabee-obama-grew-up-in-kenya/177033

    Seriously – he’s just as big a jerk as the rest of them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Me Me Me Me says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Yeah, he seems like a genuinely nice guy with some really out there beliefs.

    Nice guy? In 2008 he was startled by a load noise and his very first instinct was to make a “joke” about someone assassinating Obama.

    He thinks women use birth control because they are sluts who can’t control their libidos.

    He pals around with white supremacists, including accepting a speaking invitation from the “Council of Conservative Citizens” whose charter says: “We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people”

    He says Obama grew up in Kenya and therefore has a troubling world view because Mau Mau.

    Seriously – he’s just as big a jerk as the rest of them.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  10. Me Me Me Me says:

    Walker being Scott who?

    For the Establishment, this is a feature, not a bug: they can dress him up anyway they want.

    The real problem with the idea of Scott Walker for President is that the economy of Wisconsin has suffered markedly during his Administration. It is a fact that can be readily proved by comparing Wisconsin to all the other states in the region. It trails the entire pack in almost any metric you can think of: private sector job creating, state GDP growth, new business start-ups, surveys of business climate, etc.

    I realize that Republican primary voters aren’t very interested in objective reality and facts, but he would get slaughtered in the general election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tillman:“Irreligious”, I like that. Unfortunately the definition seems to be getting muddied up by people’s use of it. While Merriam Webster says it is,

    1: neglectful of religion : lacking religious emotions, doctrines, or practices
    2: indicating lack of religion

    The google page has an oft repeated contradiction. The headline definition says,

    1. indifferent or hostile to religion.

    ‘Indifferent’ is quite different from ‘hostile’ and a word can (should?) not mean both. As an avowed non-believer who, while indifferent to religion is hostile to attempts to force me to live as the religious think I should, I will stick with ‘dyslexic atheist’.

    Dog is dead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  12. MarkedMan says:

    I think James is confusing “nice” and “charming”. Huckabee is the latter, not the former. And while I agree that Huckabee is unlikely to be the nominee, I believe “charming” is more essential for the run. In fact, when I think of perceived nice guys who weren’t charming that ran for the presidency I think Gore, Romney, Kerry, Dukakis. To win, you gotta be either a right bastard(Nixon) or charming (Reagan, JFK), preferably both (LBJ, FDR).

    It’s why I worry about Hillary. She comes across as earnest, not charming. Andrew Sullivan’s fever dreams pitch her as a real bastard but I don’t see it in her public face.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  13. @Me Me Me Me:

    Don’t forgot about letting a convicted serial rapist out of prison on parole, in violation of state law, so he could murder two women.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  14. Rob in CT says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Faking sincerity, as it were.

    The Huckster is a nasty piece of work, but he manages to come across otherwise, apparently.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Me Me Me Me:

    Nice guy? In 2008 he was startled by a load noise and his very first instinct was to make a “joke” about someone assassinating Obama.

    You know how many times I have heard liberals making such jokes about conservatives? It is only notable because Huckabee is a ‘public figure’ (whatever that means). As to the rest, you are citing some of his ‘out there beliefs, all of which are very good reasons to never vote for the guy. However, in my life, I have come across many people who sincerely hold such…. loathsome, if you like, beliefs. I have also found them to be pleasant enough people with whom I can enjoy day to day interactions.

    I have found that subjecting everyone to my own personal purity test takes a certain amount of joy out of my day to day existence. I would guess you disagree.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  16. Oh, I forgot about the guy, Maurice Clemmons, who Huckabee commuted the sentence of for multiple accounts of assault and battery, burglary of a state trooper’s house and the theft of a firearm, felony assault on a bailiff, etc., who went on to murder four police officers in Washington.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  17. Mu says:

    Huckabee would be such a hoot on the national campaign trail. As fire and brimstone southern baptist preacher he must have left a trail of statements that make Akin and Mourdoch look like middle schoolers. The “daily Huckabee” tweet anybody?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  18. Me Me Me Me says:

    OzarkHillbilly, I presented concrete examples that dispel the “Hucakabee is a nice guy” myth. That is not “subjecting him to my own personal purity test”.

    Here’s the thing: all these examples you claim of liberals joking about assassinating conservatives: wouldn’t they tend to indicate to you that all those liberals making those jokes (assuming they actually exist) are not nice guys?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  19. beth says:

    @Mu: That is the problem with being a media personality running for office. Huckabee needs to be throwing more and more red meat to the base in order to keep them tuning in to his radio and tv shows. Great for his pocketbook, bad for a general election. I bet he chooses his pocketbook.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. gVOR08 says:

    @Tillman:

    Beautiful word that doesn’t get enough usage is “irreligious.”

    My brother, the Reverend Bruce, and his associates refer to people like me as “unchurched”. I’ve taken to referring to people like Huckabee as “overchurched”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  21. Andre Kenji says:

    @Timothy Watson: There is ANOTHER dude:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_DuMond

    Michael Dukakis on steroids.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Pinky says:

    @Me Me Me Me:

    He thinks women use birth control because they are sluts who can’t control their libidos.

    That’s false. You’re either lying about Huckabee or you haven’t read past the TPM headlines.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  23. Rafer Janders says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    However, in my life, I have come across many people who sincerely hold such…. loathsome, if you like, beliefs. I have also found them to be pleasant enough people with whom I can enjoy day to day interactions.

    I used to know a lot of older men in Germany who’d been Nazis in the Third Reich or Communists in East Germany. Many of them were lovely and charming with a twinkle in their eye and a ready pat on the back for me — but they’d also willingly served loathsome totalitarian states. Which do you think matters more, the fact that they were nice one on one, or the fact that they did evil things to millions of people?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  24. Rafer Janders says:

    @Pinky:

    Mike Huckabee: “If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it. Let’s take that discussion all across America.”

    I don’t know, to me it certainly reads as if Huckabee is making a direct connection between a woman needing birth control and being unable to control her libido.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0

  25. Rafer Janders says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I mean, you take the exact same control of birth control pills whether you’re having sex once a day or once a year. It’s not like condoms, where the more sex you have the more you use. “Libido” doesn’t enter it at all, so why does he believe there’s any causal connection?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  26. Rafer Janders says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    However, in my life, I have come across many people who sincerely hold such…. loathsome, if you like, beliefs. I have also found them to be pleasant enough people with whom I can enjoy day to day interactions.

    Mike Huckabee doesn’t just hold loathsome beliefs. He also acts on them, and works very hard to make those loathsome beliefs governing policy for hundreds of millions of Americans. It’s a bit of a cop-out to ignore the intended effects of his actions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  27. CSK says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Wasn’t it Limbaugh who started that when he called Sandra Fluke a slut and demanded she post a porn video? He, too, seemed unaware that no matter how often a woman has sex, she still has to take the pill on the same schedule.

    And…did anyone ask Limbaugh to provide a sex video when he got busted with a Viagra prescription in a different name coming back from Costa Rica? Not that I’d want to see it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  28. Franklin says:

    @Rafer Janders: That quote is funny. The liberal in me sees the insult “cannot control their libido” while the conservative in me sees the mitigating clause “without the help of the government.”

    If those were prepared remarks, I think he was making two points instead of just one. One of the points is for the so-cons, the other is for the fi-cons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. Tillman says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    ‘Indifferent’ is quite different from ‘hostile’ and a word can (should?) not mean both.

    Like I said, covers all bases.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  30. Tillman says:

    All Huckabee would have to do is start adopting Joe Biden’s answer to the question of abortion and adapt it for his various religiously-influenced views (paraphrased): “I don’t personally condone it, but I don’t believe my faith should limit others’ choices.” Could lock up the socons with his past platform and ensure the libertarians he’s not going to be the source of overt morality legislation.

    Sure, he’d lose the Dominionist vote, but just how many of those are there anyway?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  31. C. Clavin says:

    @Pinky:
    Hmm…looks like Rafer has you there.
    @Rafer Janders:
    So I’ll just assume you will change your opinion based on the facts in evidence.
    Or not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  32. Moosebreath says:

    @Tillman:

    “Could lock up the socons with his past platform”

    Then he’d be viewed by many as an obvious flip-flopper. He’d also have a hard time keeping the so-con vote, given that there will be plenty of people in the Republican primary saying no abortion under any circumstances. Doing what you say might be the worst of both worlds for him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  33. gVOR08 says:

    @Tillman:

    Sure, he’d lose the Dominionist vote, but just how many of those are there anyway?

    Given their secrecy, who knows.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  34. Pinky says:

    @Rafer Janders: A direct connection, in the sense of saying the exact opposite. Unless you think that Huckabee meant to say that “Democrats treat women like they need government birth control because of their out-of-control libido…and so do I”. I’d like to see how you made that leap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  35. Pinky says:

    At the risk of repeating myself, let’s go through this again.

    “If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.”

    What do you think that means? That women are helpless servants of government and their libidos, but the Democrats were wrong to tell them that? That women are helpless servants of their libidos, but shouldn’t be getting their birth control from government? I mean, really, how can you honestly say that that sentence is some kind of endorsement of the notion that women are or should be dependent on government for their birth control because of their lack of libido control? Has anything Huckabee ever said made you think that he sees women that way? Do you think he’d describe women that way and put it in the mouths of Democrats if he wanted to depict that way of thinking in a positive light? Do you think a Baptist Republican is pro-casual sex and/or pro-Uncle Sugar?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  36. grumpy realist says:

    @Pinky: Huckabee certainly gives the impression he’s obsessed by women’s sexual desire in that statement….

    Besides which, it’s an awfully obvious straw man.

    When conservatives stop acting as if they want to control women’s sexual activity, then we might give them the benefit of the doubt–until then, fuggettabahtit. They don’t deserve that charitable interpretation.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  37. Rick DeMent says:

    I think that Huckabee look way too much like Frank Underwood to go very far at this point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  38. Pinky says:

    @grumpy realist: So, you’re not going to give his argument a fair hearing unless he changes sides to agree with you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  39. Pinky says:

    @grumpy realist: Oh, and if it’s an obvious straw man, then you’re saying it’s obvious, which would mean that it’s obvious that Me Me and Rafer are misusing it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  40. MarkedMan says:

    Pinky has a point

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  41. beth says:

    @Pinky: That statement’s offensive to women..period. Doesn’t need a whole lot of interpretation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  42. Tillman says:

    @Pinky: His argument is nonsensical since, as others have pointed out, birth control has uses beyond preventing reproduction. He is the one introducing the idea that birth control would be taken to rein in a woman’s libido, or to prevent the consequences thereof.

    To repeat, the insinuation in his statement, removed from anything concerning government’s role, is that birth control is used to “control the libido or the reproductive system.” That’s what people are taking issue with. His past as a Southern Baptist minister and the kind of position they take on female issues does not only inform his statement but contextualizes it in a way you are somehow missing.

    To whit, he could have left out any mention of libido or reproductive systems, and focused on women needing the government to receive medication. He didn’t do that. Instead, he emphasized that [erroneous] implication.

    @MarkedMan: He has the narrowest of points.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  43. Me Me Me Me says:

    Pinky: Huckabee said that women who use birth control do so because they can’t control their libido. Plain and simple.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  44. Tillman says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Then he’d be viewed by many as an obvious flip-flopper. He’d also have a hard time keeping the so-con vote, given that there will be plenty of people in the Republican primary saying no abortion under any circumstances.

    First, the obvious flip-flopper received the Republican nomination last time. I think they can swallow flip-flopping. Second, as with Romney, the socons will probably assume he’s lying for the general.

    It’s the same situation Obama has with the progressive faction of his base. He throws out small hooks to keep them in the fold and voting. Huckabee could do similar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  45. Pinky says:

    @Tillman: No. That’s not the insinuation at all. Just like if I asked if you stopped beating your wife, that may be a fair insinuation that you beat your wife, or it may be an unfair insinuation that you beat your wife, but it’s not an insinuation that I beat my wife.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  46. Pinky says:

    @Me Me Me Me: You said that women who use birth control do so because they can’t control their libido, too. So did I just now. But that doesn’t mean that either of us believes it. In fact, we meant the opposite. So did Huckabee.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  47. Tillman says:

    @Pinky: …I don’t follow. So he’s not saying women take birth control to control their libidos by saying Democrats are telling women that they can’t control their libidos without a monthly birth control prescription paid for by the government.

    Could you give another example? I seem to have gone cross-eyed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  48. Me Me Me Me says:

    If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.

    Clearly Huckabee believes that birth control is needed because these women cannot control their libido. His complaint is that they are going to use insurance to pay for it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  49. CB says:

    @Pinky:

    You’re getting kind of…obtuse as this thread goes on. Unfortunate. I want you to stick around.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  50. Kylopod says:

    She neglects to mention that the winner of the Iowa Caucuses almost never goes on to win the Republican nomination

    Almost never? Dole won Iowa in ’96. So did W. in 2000. Santorum technically turned out to be the winner in 2012, but he was essentially tied with Romney. In other words, judging from the last four competitive Republican cycles, it’s practically a toss-up whether the winner in Iowa goes on to win the nomination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  51. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    Clearly Huckabee believes that birth control is needed because these women cannot control their libido. His complaint is that they are going to use insurance to pay for it.

    There are two levels here. On the firsz one Pinky is correct. It’s a strawman but not misogynistic. On the second level, however, there is a strong undercurrent.

    On the first level the statement basically reads: “I believe woman can control their sexuality without birth control. If you think women actually need birth control you insult them”. That’s not so bad even if it leaves out the most obvious option (Woman don’t need but want birth control).

    However if you stop and think about this for a moment, you realize that actually 90%+ of all woman use birth control. By his logic this strongly suggests that they must be sluts since otherwise they could do easily without.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  52. Pinky says:

    @Tillman: Actually, I think you’ve got it. But if you want another example, ok:

    If you get sick in America, this is what the Republicans want you to do. If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: “Die quickly.” That’s right.

    Was Rep. Grayson saying:
    (a) he wants people to die quickly
    (b) Republicans are good
    (c) Republicans are bad
    (d) he doesn’t like sick people

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  53. Mikey says:

    What Huckabee said was pretty simple, actually. He means Democrats insult women by implying women can’t make their own reproductive decisions without the help of government.

    What’s really ironic is how Republicans like Huckabee can say something like this, and then turn around the next second and demand government assert control over women’s reproductive decisions.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  54. Moosebreath says:

    @Tillman:

    “First, the obvious flip-flopper received the Republican nomination last time. I think they can swallow flip-flopping. Second, as with Romney, the socons will probably assume he’s lying for the general.”

    The problem with your logic is that Romney flipped to make himself more palatable for the primary, so the primary voters bought it. Huckabee would have to flip to make himself less palatable for the primary, which is harder for them to buy.

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  55. Me Me Me Me says:

    @Pinky:

    Huckabee attributes these two actions to Democrats:

    1) they insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control
    2) they insult the women of America by making them believe that they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government.

    Obviously, one is familiar with the concept that birth control is a way of controlling the reproductive system.

    But what on earth is the basis of that claim that birth control has something to do with control of ones libido?

    The connection between birth control and libido is a belief that Huckabee actually holds – it is not something he is attributing to Democrats.

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  56. Pinky says:

    @Me Me Me Me: Nonsense. Just admit you stretched too far on this one. You want to dislike Huckabee, dislike him for real things. Don’t make stuff up.

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  57. CB says:

    @Pinky:

    Actually, I came into this thread ready to say I kind of appreciated the Huckster, despite sharing next to nothing in common with the man. I had Ozark’s opinion. It’s how he appeals to a certain brand of centrist media figure. But recognizing the difference between ‘charming’ and ‘decent’ turns out to be pretty key. His folksy charm hides a fundamentalist politics with which I would never be able to reconcile. I’m sure I’d say the same of a lot of Democrats, too, given the evidence.

    And not to beat a dead horse’s libido, but I don’t see how you can read that as anything but a statement coming from a position of ignorance. I think Tillman nailed it when he said the insinuation alone, that BC impacts libido, tips his hand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  58. ernieyeball says:

    @Pinky: Just admit you stretched too far on this one

    And remember “we can’t effectively communicate with each other if we’re constantly having to define our terms in each conversation for clarity’s sake.”
    Like the film clip claims “I suggest you don’t worry about this sort of thing and just enjoy yourself…”

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  59. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:

    I mean, really, how can you honestly say that that sentence is some kind of endorsement of the notion that women are or should be dependent on government for their birth control because of their lack of libido control? Has anything Huckabee ever said made you think that he sees women that way? Do you think he’d describe women that way and put it in the mouths of Democrats if he wanted to depict that way of thinking in a positive light? Do you think a Baptist Republican is pro-casual sex and/or pro-Uncle Sugar?

    He is saying that women who use birth control do so because they cannot control their libido. It plays on the same theme Rush was on, that women who use birth control are sluts and they don’t want the government supporting that sluttiness. His insinuation is that Democrats, by supporting insurance coverage of birth control, are saying that the women they offer it to are morally inferior and are also weak because they need the government to get them their get out of sex free pills. It isn’t particularly surprising coming from a southern baptist minister.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  60. Grewgills says:

    @CB: @Me Me Me Me:
    Huckabee isn’t insinuating that birth control effects libido. He is saying it’s use is evidence of an out of control libido. Good girls don’t need birth control and good people don’t want to pay for bad girls bad choices.

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  61. Mikey says:

    @Grewgills: Except Huckabee didn’t differentiate between single and married women. Even a Baptist minister is entirely fine with married women using birth control.

    It’s a pretty common sentiment in conservative circles that “Democrats want to run your life” and Huckabee’s statement is a clumsy manifestation of that. He’s saying Democrats are asserting women can’t make reproductive decisions without the government’s help.

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  62. Rick DeMent says:

    What bothers me isn’t the food fight how Huckabee feels about woman and their self control, but the hypocrisy in pretending that the birth control mandate somehow enfeebles woman from making choices over their reproductive system while at the very same time supporting efforts to take away their choice over reproducing by restricting abortion.

    Here is the fact, widespread availability of contraceptives, be they oral or otherwise, is the cheapest most effective way of imposing the massive eventual cost of unwanted children on society as a whole. These pointless arguments over “Uncle Sugar” simply obfuscates that fact.

    Further every single politician be they conservative or liberal favors “Uncle Sugar” policies. Conservatives can’t even bring themselves to close the carried interest loophole because, presumably, the job creators just can’t seem to proved enough liquidity to the markets without out a big ‘ol dose surgery lovein’ from their weird uncle. Woman simply are too stupid to understand the consequences of abortion without “Uncle Sugar” shoving a trans-vaginal probe up their lady parts (…and I could go on).

    Point is that taking away all barriers to obtaining safe and effective contraception is a unmitigated bargain over the long haul and will save us all billions and reduce abortions. Arguing over what “Uncle Sugar” should pay for in this case is angels dancing on the head of a pin.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 1

  63. Mikey says:

    @Rick DeMent: Nailed it.

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  64. beth says:

    And today we hear that in a speech this week Huckabee said that the same reasoning that leads women to have an abortion could be used to kill old people who have beome inconvenient.

    It says something that I can’t decide if his inflammatory statements are designed to boost his numbers so he can run or signal that he doesn’t want to run.

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  65. Rick DeMent says:

    “killing people who have become inconvenient” or in other words spinning the millennia old practice of hospice care into something bad.

    The idea that we should embrace a moral imperative to warehouse people on heart lung machines and perform expensive operation on 85 year olds in order to extent their life span by a few months is only something that only a MBA in charge of sales in the medical industrial complex could have come up with. Beginning and end of life issues are pretty grey and those that claim to know, absolutely, when things should start and end based on the musings of Bedouin sheep herders from three thousand years ago are so full of moonshine that discuss the issue an further with them is akin to explaining to a 4 year old why bed time is what it is.

    These issues are complex and ultimately squishy around the edges but what is absolutely clear is that a 20 week old fetus is has no more claim on constitutional rights then my dog and 85 year old comatose stroke victims should be allowed to pass with dignity and peace.

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  66. Pinky says:

    @beth: Philosophically, he’s right. Historically, he’s right too. When we pull back on human rights, we start to judge whether a person should be allowed to live based on inconvenience. We’re seeing this happen in Europe, and we’ve seen it happen historically (for example, in the sixth century in the other direction). If you’ve never run across this argument before, you couldn’t have done much reading on the subject.

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  67. Pinky says:

    Wow, how about that, Rick just demonstrated my argument better than I could. In fact, if I made a caricature of a person who promoted abortion and euthanasia for the same reason, it’d be him. (Except I wouldn’t have made him anti-religious too, because that’d be too heavy-handed.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  68. Rick DeMent says:

    @Pinky:

    Except that your argument is non-sense. cultures across the ages have keep the old and dying comfortable as the wait for the inevitability of death and have terminated pregnancies for pretty much the same reason. A 20 weak old fetus in not in any recognizable way “living” nor is a 85 year old, unconscious man being keep alive on a heart lung machine. If the sheer ability of being able to oxygenate blood is your definition of “life’ then you can have it.

    You claim the moral high ground based not on science but on the mysticism of Bedouin sheep herders who thought the world was flat. If you can give me one decent argument about how keeping a 85 year old unconscious man being alive on a heart lung machine serves anyone other then the really big hospital corporation of america or him or society then enlighten us all.

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  69. Pinky says:

    @Rick DeMent: Every life-or-death decision is based on a moral choice, whether it be pulling the plug on an 85-year-old or shooting someone in a war. There is no scientific argument in favor or against any of those things. There are only value judgments.

    Science can inform our choices, though. It can tell us that a 20-week-old fetus has a functioning human brain and heart and its own unique genetic code and if nature takes its course, it’ll become an independent being. It can tell us that an unconscious 85-year-old on a ventilator will in all likelihood, if nature takes its course, die without the ventilator. Reason can tell us what is likely to happen if an army is or isn’t stopped, a cancer patient is or isn’t treated, a homeless person is or isn’t fed. A moral code tells us what to do with that information. My moral code says to help others the best I can and to not actively end a life except out of self-defense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  70. Pinky says:

    @Rick DeMent: And as for the idea that all civilizations have taken great care of the old or dying, and have provided abortions, well that’s just wrong. Societies tend to either value life at the beginning, middle, and end, or not value it.

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  71. Grewgills says:

    @Mikey:

    Even a Baptist minister is entirely fine with married women using birth control.

    Not necessarily.

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  72. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:

    When we pull back on human rights, we start to judge whether a person should be allowed to live based on inconvenience. We’re seeing this happen in Europe, and we’ve seen it happen historically (for example, in the sixth century in the other direction).

    Labeling giving women control over their reproductive choices and giving the elderly control of their end of life decisions as pulling back on human rights requires a pretty blinkered vision of human rights. To do that while fighting tooth and nail against universal health care and most social welfare programs requires more cognitive dissonance than I am capable of.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  73. Mikey says:

    @Grewgills: There are a few who feel that way, but they’re a small minority among Protestants. I’ve seen nothing from Huckabee that indicates he opposes contraception within a marriage.

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  74. stonetools says:

    @beth:

    Sometimes you have to wonder if the REpublican polititixcans making these statements knw any women.

    Could me in as one of those convinced that Huckabee by implication is saying :

    “Good women don’t need birth control because they can just squelch their sexual desire and not have sex. Only bad women who can’t control the lusts of the flesh and be chaste need that gumint mandated birth control, and us good folk shouldn’t have to pay for that.”

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  75. Pinky says:

    @stonetools: Hey, don’t make fun of Polititixcans. He was a great Aztec warrior.

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  76. Tillman says:

    @Pinky: I’m going to point you at Ebenezer_Arvigenius for this one and for the Huckabee statement. Like I said, you have the narrowest of points: Huckabee never outright stated, as a belief he holds, that women use birth control to tame their libidos, or that they are weak-willed enough sex-wise that they need birth control to continue living carefree. He didn’t say any of that. But he did mention it, unnecessarily, in the midst of trying to make another point. Grayson wasn’t saying any of the choices you offer: he was saying the Republicans didn’t have a healthcare plan. Theatrically, to put it mildly, and in a manner I don’t agree with. (One of the many reasons I don’t like him despite sharing some of his political views.)

    You can have your narrow point. I believe, similarly, in judging people by what they say, not what people think they say. Lord knows I’ve been accused of some crazy views based on poor word choice. But to my knowledge Huckabee’s clarifications to date have focused on sidestepping these particular word choices and implications rather than addressing them.* In fact, when he talked about it on Megyn Kelly’s show, he said:

    (~5:00ish) I’m not opposed to women having access to it. I’m opposed to Democrats treating women as though they somehow are incapable of being able to function unless the Democrats, and particularly the government, come to rescue them.

    Remember that what he believes the Democrats are rescuing women from are untamed libidos. Kelly brings up the other medical uses of birth control, he acknowledges they exist. At the time he made the speech, though, he had to hit his talking point, and he chose what can easily be seen as a culture war signifier. A signifier that was unnecessary to making his broader point about “needing government to rescue people.” He does not claim he misspoke.

    * He claims anyone who grew up in the South would know the phrase “Uncle Sugar” as a combination of Uncle Sam and sugardaddy. You don’t get much more southern than my family (we just celebrated an uncle-in-law’s eightieth birthday with a party in a church and a bluegrass band playing, barbecue all around) and I’d never heard that phrase.

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  77. beth says:

    @stonetools: I don’t really care what Huckabee thinks about women or their sexuality. Some of what bothers me about his statement is the implication that women are so stupid the government can make them believe anything. It’s akin to that old Republican chestnut that Democrats are waging a war on black women and black babies through abortions. As far as I know, no one is grabbing anyone off the streets and forcing them to have abortions. As far as the rest of it, I get my prescriptions from my gynocologist – not Uncle Sugar. I get my prescription once a year – not every month. And whether I get it for debilitating cramps, heavy flows or just because I want to f**k every man I see, that’s between me and my doctor. Not my employer, and certainly not Mike Huckabee. And the same goes for women on government medical plans. They have the same rights to privacy that I have.

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  78. Tillman says:

    @Moosebreath: You have a point, but I still think he could pull it off. I’m not saying he’d get all the socons. I’m saying he’d get enough along with the libertarians. He has a really good resume for attracting socons, and the libertarians would appreciate having some bones thrown their way. He really wouldn’t have to shift all that much.

    Then again, I still get starry-eyed at the fable which is the Huckabee/Palin ticket. (Or Palin/Huckabee.)

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  79. Rick DeMent says:

    @Pinky:

    Every life-or-death decision is based on a moral choice, whether it be pulling the plug on an 85-year-old or shooting someone in a war. There is no scientific argument in favor or against any of those things. There are only value judgments.

    You act as if “morality” is some sort of absolute, and that has never been demonstrated to be true, I can site cultures that have expressions of “compassion” that would seem very different from current prevailing attitudes that range from putting the elderly on an ice float to infanticide in order to save the tribe which have no connection whatsoever to their moral value of life, quite the contrary, the only difference is their focus on the survival of the group vs. the individual.

    The issue of the “value” of life has always been, down through the ages, a value judgment within the context of the larger society and can be rather alluvial. The very idea that there is one constant and “correct” view betrays a complete lack of any understanding of culture, history, and anthropology in general. Even in contemporary society you can find very different viewpoints. The Japanese have a morality that is informed by a history of living on a relatively small island. Your view of life’s value would seem provincial and downright suicidal to them.

    It can tell us that a 20-week-old fetus has a functioning human brain and heart and its own unique genetic code

    The brain does not exhibit anything other then basic unconscious motor functions until at least 24 weeks, and the heart is nothing more then a pulse rhythm synchronous with the mother. But even still, this is beside the point, we are talking about assigning constitutional rights to an entity that is less self aware then my dog. Your argument boils down to, make public policy based on my religious feelings about how we should think about life. And don’t get me wrong, feel free to follow that path if it makes you sleep better and by all means teach those values to your kids. But just know that those values are not written in stone and never will be, don’t even try to say that my view is somehow less valid then yours.

    In my entire life I have never ever heard anyone say, “please for god sake if I am ever in situation where I’m being keep alive buy tubes and breathing machines please for the love of god do not ever pull the plug”. But yet this seems to be the position of every person who has appointed themselves the vanguard of how we should all think about beginning and end of life issues.

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  80. stonetools says:

    @Pinky:

    Heh, good one. I’m on the run, so I’m not spell checking like I should.

    @beth:

    Well, you see, that’s the thing. These politicans seem quite incurious about how women’s bodies work or the facts of how and why contraceptive drugs work. You ‘d think they would do a little homework before holding forth on a sensitive topic like this. You’d think they would ask why women take these drugs, when and how often women need to take them and whether they have uses other than for contraception. But NOOO!
    They just spout whatever nonsense they’re heard or what confirms their prejudices.

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  81. Mikey says:

    @Rick DeMent: My grandmother died in 2008, age 97. She was in relatively good health until the last couple years of her life, but declined pretty quickly (physically–mentally she was always tack-sharp) and had trouble getting around.

    One day she got a respiratory infection, something that you or I would have dealt with, but at 97 those things are frequently fatal. She collapsed and my uncle (her caretaker) called 911. She was revived, somewhat, at the hospital, but unable to breathe on her own. So they sedated her and put in a breathing tube, through her mouth (no chance at that point to do a trache tube, I guess).

    My wife, son, and I drove to Staten Island to say our goodbyes. What’s the big debate? Whether or not Grandma would live if they took the tube out. Half a big Italian family saying “leave it in,” half saying “take it out.” Holy crap.

    It was a nice visit, as far as the family went, but I don’t know if Grandma knew anyone was there. She opened her eyes once, when I was talking to my cousin and we laughed. Was she aware, or was it just a reflex? Who knows? We left after a couple days, and it was a few more days before all the legal stuff was in place to remove the tube.

    They took the tube out, she never took a breath on her own. I wasn’t too surprised, but it’s still sad, you know?

    Anyway…21 days she was like that. Even after the family agreed to remove the tube, the legal crap dragged on for days and days. Her body retained fluids, her hands looked like balloons. It was awful. “Back in the day” she’d have passed away in her home. She should have.

    Who benefited? Certainly not her. Not us. I suppose the hospital got paid, but even the medical staff was upset it took so long.

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  82. mattbernius says:

    @Pinky:

    Societies tend to either value life at the beginning, middle, and end, or not value it.

    As others have commented, this is a patently false premise — especially when it comes to life at the beginning.

    The fact is that in many pre-industrial cultures and among the lower classes in early-industrial cultures, including many that engaged in elder and ancestor worship, children were often not as valued as they are today — simply because a large number of them did not survive into adulthood. And beyond folk methods for inducing abortion, in many cultures infanticide was practiced essentially as a post-birth form of abortion.

    Advances in pediatrics, coupled with the introduction of birth control, has led to the modern valuing of children.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  83. Pinky says:

    @Rick DeMent: That’s not what I said. In fact, a lot of what I said was the opposite.

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  84. Grewgills says:

    @Mikey:
    It is a minority view among all protestants, but it has been gaining ground for a while with Southern Baptists and the article I linked was from the Southern Baptist Conference website. Huck is or was a Southern Baptist minister.

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  85. Mikey says:

    @Grewgills: Regardless of the positions of other Southern Baptists, Huckabee has stated he does not oppose the use of birth control (in the Fox News interview Tillman posted @here, at 4:38 he says “I am not opposed to women having contraceptives or birth control”).

    He was simply trying–and mostly failing–to articulate a common conservative trope with his birth control remark to the RNC.

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  86. grumpy realist says:

    @Pinky: That fetus also happens to be getting all of its nourishment from another human being, I point out. Someone that is already breathing, thinking, and IS an already existing human being. Why don’t you worry about their rights as well?

    When you allow us to take fetii out of women’s bellies and shove them into your own belly, then we can talk about “right to life.” Until then, you’re simply wanting to impose the cost of your moral believes (“but it’s a BAYBEE from conception!”) on people who may not believe the same way you do.

    You want it to “have life”, you can bloody well carry it yourself.

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  87. Tillman says:

    @grumpy realist: That particular argument’s never held much water with me since a newborn child isn’t really capable of surviving on its own either (it’s only marginally better at it than a fetus), but we’d call a negligent mother a criminal if the child died from malnourishment.

    Hell, there are full-grown adults incapable of feeding themselves without their parents’ help.

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  88. Tillman says:

    @Rick DeMent:

    But even still, this is beside the point, we are talking about assigning constitutional rights to an entity that is less self aware then my dog.

    Do four year olds have constitutional rights? This might be half-remembered BS, but I recall reading that dogs are roughly as intelligent as four year olds.

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  89. Pinky says:

    @stonetools: Yeah, sorry. Heh. I’ve just been reading about Nezahualcoyotl, the Poet-King of Texcoco, and you set me up for a once-in-a-lifetime gag. No way I’m strong enough to walk away from that one.

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  90. MarkedMan says:

    @Mikey: I have also had experience with tough decisions on family members at the end of life. My father probably lived on in increasing senility for two more years than he should have. At the end, he spent all of his time trying to get out of “this house and get back to my own”, although he had lived there for 50 years. He kept demanding my mother go away and he needed to leave the house to look for his real wife. Two years before all this he had a bad bout of pneumonia, a disease that used to be known as the “angel of death” for the elderly. He was already in serious physical and mental decline, but we called 911. And that is the hardest thing – when someone is in distress you call 911. You get the hospital and the doctors involved. And hospitals exist to get people back on their feet. You don’t bring your car to an autoshop and then get mad they tried to fix it and we shouldn’t blame hospitals because we bought our elderly in and they did everything they could to keep them alive. But we don’t have any alternative. In fact Palin’s death panel BS has delayed our society dealing with this by a decade or more.

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  91. Pinky says:

    @grumpy realist: We’ve been over this before. I can’t carry a fetus. Nothing I can do about that. I also can’t be a fetus anymore. I also can’t be Japanese, but I can vote against internment.

    As to your other point, of course I worry about women’s rights. That’s not the question. The question is whether the fetus as a developing person has a right to life which supercedes the mother’s freedom to end that life. As a default, I support a person’s right to live. I realize that’s not an easy call, and I don’t have to bear (heh) the consequences of it, but there’s no way I can support the alternative.

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  92. ernieyeball says:

    @Tillman:..I recall reading that dogs are roughly as intelligent as four year olds.

    That must be a very ruff comparison.
    Here is a story of a 2 year old child that could use a cell phone.
    I don’t see how any dog will ever consciously do that.
    http://gizmodo.com/5853835/2-year-old-girl-saves-her-moms-life-by-making-a-phone-call

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  93. ernieyeball says:

    @Pinky: I can’t carry a fetus

    So whenever your future world of abortions illegal in all cases comes about are you going to outlaw wire coat hangers so women will not self abort? Are you going to submit all pregnant women to ultrasound vaginal searches at airports when they leave the country so they will not go somewhere and get a hopefully SAFE and LEGAL abortion?

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  94. Mikey says:

    @MarkedMan: My father also suffered from dementia (Pick’s disease) but was in general good health physically. However, he had a couple of incidents–I can’t think of anything else to call them–when he went into hypothermia. Not from being outside or doing anything, his body temperature just dropped into the high 80s, he would become sluggish and disoriented with slurred speech. Very strange. He’d go to the hospital, they’d fail to figure out what was causing it, after a couple days he’d be back to normal and go home. We basically told the doctors “if he needs antibiotics, give him those, but if he crashes, do not resuscitate.” And in a couple days he’d be smiling and flirting with the nurses.

    He ended up passing away in his sleep, at home. We were all thankful he didn’t have to deal with all the stuff his mother had to.

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  95. stonetools says:

    @Pinky:

    It’s cool, buddy. Get you back next time ;-).

    I can’t carry a fetus

    Isn’t that the point, really ? I ( and as far as I know, no man would stand for the government making medical decisions concerning the internals of my body. Why should I be making a medical dicision concerning the internals of any woman’s body? Why should I be forcing a woman to a bear a child that she doesn’t want to ? Moreover, most of the forced birth people typically vote to limit benefits going to mothers forced to bring those children to term, stigmatizing them as “welfare queens” . How do you justify that stance? I am genuinely curious, BTW. I know I can’t justify it based on any concept of morality, other than the idea that we need to punish the mother for daring to engage in pre-marital sex.

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  96. Pinky says:

    @stonetools: The internals of her body house another body. Weird, but true. Your right to swing your fist (or your coat hanger) ends at the other guy’s face. Disagreement about the optimal level and structure of assistance isn’t disagreement about the existence of assistance.

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  97. Mr. Coffee says:

    @Pinky: Do you want to prosecute women who have abortions for murder?

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  98. MarkedMan says:

    This is all futile. If I understand Pinky correctly he believes life begins at conception. i.e. that a a sperm and an egg, joined, are equivalent to a newborn baby. We can assume bad intentions for his belief, but why? Even if he does have bad intentions (and I’m not saying that is so), there are certainly others with pristine intentions that believe the same thing. The point is that Pinky’s position is not the only point of view out there, there are others, including myself, that don’t believe that at all. And not just a little bit, we think it is nonsense.

    But if I did believe it, I wouldn’t succumb to arguments that took into account the mothers rights. If I believed that a glob of cells was morally equivalent to a living, breathing child, I wouldn’t hesitate for an instant. I would fight for their right to exist despite the hardship it might cause their mother. Painting Pinky as unfeeling or inconsistent is just wrong, because if I believed what he believed, I would think him a hero.

    The legitimate argument against Pinky’s position is that a couple of cells are not equivalent to a baby. That if we say “life begins at conception” because cells are alive, well, it means I kill thousands of lives every time I scratch my bum.

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  99. Tillman says:

    @MarkedMan: Aww, but if we go philosophical on this, someone’s bound to make us start thinking of nations as organisms with us as individual cells, and then the planet turns into its own organism that can’t have a legal abortion. Can’t we just have elections and simmering resentment for each other? It hurts my head less.

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  100. Pinky says:

    @MarkedMan: Thanks. If your bum cells had independent genetic code, and turned into babies naturally, then I’d have to rethink things. A lot of things. Not that I have a lot of fixed thoughts about your bum, mind you, but I would be surprised if you had bum babies.

    Are the first cells of a fetus equivalent to a newborn? Not exactly equivalent. But one of the strongest anti-abortion arguments I’ve heard is the analogy of the demolition site. If you’re about to bring down a building with explosives, and you see some movement in a window, what would you do? Would you blow up the building anyway, or would you send in a crew one last time, just to double-check whether there might be someone inside? We err on the side of life. We’d rather accidentally save the “life” of a blowing curtain than accidentally end the life of a person.

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  101. grumpy realist says:

    @Tillman: Yes, but the newborn can be handed over to someone else to take care of. And we don’t get upset at all at women who do this. (modulo the adoptees rights’ groups, who seem to think they have a god-given right to a Disney childhood) We just don’t want the women to leave the newborns lying around in trashcans.

    I’m simply advocating that we do the same thing with fetii. The woman doesn’t want it and volunteers to give it up. You want to take care of it, you can carry it in your tummy. The fact that this will require a lot of medical intervention and you taking hormones every day–so what? If it’s that important to you, then you’d be willing to do it….

    The fact that the pro-lifers aren’t working towards this sort of medical intervention and the uterine replicator shows they aren’t really interested in saving lives. They just want to use women as brood-mares.

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  102. Pinky says:

    @grumpy realist: Your argument is more with reality than with pro-lifers.

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  103. grumpy realist says:

    @Pinky: we don’t have forced organ donation in this country. Period. Even if it is necessary to save someone else’s life.

    The fact that birth IS in fact a bright line under law is refected in the fact that as soon as the infant is born there is absolutely no requirement that the parent donate any part of his/her body to save the infant, even if it is as something as harmless as a blood donation and even if that blood donation is absolutely necessary for the infant’s life. It would be nice if they donated, but as soon as that newborn is considered a separate individual–no, you cannot mandate the donation of blood or any tissue from the parent.

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  104. Pinky says:

    @grumpy realist: OK, so one law matches another law. That doesn’t undermine or bolster any argument.

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  105. stonetools says:

    @Pinky:

    Disagreement about the optimal level and structure of assistance isn’t disagreement about the existence of assistance

    So you can’t justify that stance. Good to know.
    As for the unborn child, I see you have no problem whatsover volunteering the mother to bear the cost of taking the baby to term and raising it herself AT NO COST TO YOU. How generous of you to put all the costs of your moral choice on someone else. Is there a word worse than hypocrisy for this?

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  106. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:
    Simultaneously wanting to force more women to carry to term and wanting to cut social welfare, particularly natal and prenatal care is not morally consistent.

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  107. stonetools says:

    @MarkedMan:

    But if I did believe it, I wouldn’t succumb to arguments that took into account the mothers rights. If I believed that a glob of cells was morally equivalent to a living, breathing child, I wouldn’t hesitate for an instant. I would fight for their right to exist despite the hardship it might cause their mother. Painting Pinky as unfeeling or inconsistent is just wrong, because if I believed what he believed, I would think him a hero

    Yeah, but how serious is he about the right if he won’t lift a finger to help protect the life he cares for so much by supporting the bearer of that life. Frankly, not serious at all, IMO. After all, if the mother gets inferior prenatal care, she may miscarry, killing the fetus just as dead as if the mother aborted it. Post partum, the child would starve the death if mother does not have the means to feed it. Pinky seems blithely unconcerned about that. His sole focus is on forcng the mother to bring it to term. Well, it takes a great deal more than that to keep a child alive, both before and after birth.

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  108. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:

    But one of the strongest anti-abortion arguments I’ve heard is the analogy of the demolition site.

    One of the strongest hypothetical cases that shows virtually no one actually believes that an embryo is the equivalent of a human child is the IVF story.
    You are in an IVF clinic and it is rapidly burning to the ground. In one corner is an infant in a crib. In another corner is a large ice chest with 100 embryos. You have time to save one or the other. Which one do you save?

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  109. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:

    Would you blow up the building anyway, or would you send in a crew one last time, just to double-check whether there might be someone inside? We err on the side of life. We’d rather accidentally save the “life” of a blowing curtain than accidentally end the life of a person.

    The thing is, that analogy is very often not consistently applied. If you oppose abortion and support the death penalty, you are not consistently applying this analogy.

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  110. beth says:

    @Mr. Coffee: You think you’ll get an answer? Curious how easy it is to spew about hypothetical situations but when it comes to real life…..well, things get sticky don’t they? If a clump of cells is indeed a life that must be saved, then why not the death penalty for women who get an abortion and for the doctors who help them? I’d like one of these forced birthers to just one day stand up and admit what they really want. Maybe even propose it in a law – maybe that would settle the issue once and for all.

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  111. Pinky says:

    @Grewgills: That’s why I said they weren’t equivalent.

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  112. Pinky says:

    @stonetools: As I said, I’m not talking about ending social assistance.

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  113. Mr. Coffee says:

    @beth:..You think you’ll get an answer?

    I think human life begins before conception. The sperm and the egg that made me were not dead before my folks took a roll in the hay some time in the Spring of 1947. Neither were the countless sperms and eggs they tried to join to make somebody in the 7 years after they were married before I was born in Jan ’48. They told me they had applied for adoption when they found out my mom was pregnant.
    The way I see it human life begins when women begin to make eggs and in men when they can manufacture sperm. (I can remember getting erections at a very young age but I suspect this was an empty cannon.)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFgo9J_MRng

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  114. Pinky says:

    @Mr. Coffee: The sperm and egg have half a set of chromosomes. If nature takes its course, they produce nothing without fertilization. The egg leaves the body, and the sperm either leave the body or are reabsorbed. I know you’re being facetious here, but you’ve got to realize that there’s a difference between a kidney and a kid (I know, I should say between a kidney cell and a fertilized egg, but I loved the phrasing).

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  115. B and B says:

    @beth:..well, things get sticky don’t they?

    “Hey Beavis. Guess where her hand’s been.”

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  116. Mr. Coffee says:

    @Pinky: I am not being flippant. So you are telling me that human sperm and human eggs are not alive (factually incorrect) or not human or what?
    By the way do you want to prosecute women who self abort for murder?

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  117. grumpy realist says:

    @Pinky: so what?

    It seems to me it is very CONVEEENIENT for you to have a definition of life where all the burden and toil is dumped on another living human being who may NOT have the same definition of “life” as you do and you can walk away from the hardship your moral system imposes on those of us who happen to have wombs.

    I don’t believe that something is “alive” until it demonstrates it has brain waves. Why in the heck should I be forced to practice a lifestyle according to YOUR religious beliefs, not mine?!

    As said: if it’s a baby to you, then YOU carry in it your belly.

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  118. Mr. Coffee says:

    @Pinky: If nature takes its course, they produce nothing without fertilization.

    When humans have sexual intercourse and do conceive this is not nature taking it’s course? What is it then?

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  119. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. And if you’re arguing that we should adhere to your theory of life because the “human from conception” axiom is a “stronger moral assumption”….

    ….then I don’t see why the vegans can’t force us all to take on vegan diets. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

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  120. Pinky says:

    @Mr. Coffee:

    By the way do you want to prosecute women who self abort for murder?

    No. Why would you think that? It seems like over half this thread has been people replying to things they think I said, or caricatures of things they think I said. People aren’t usually this bad. It goes back to Rafer. I think people are just making assumptions rather than reading and considering what the other person says. I’m sure I do the same thing, but at this point we’re all just spinning our wheels. Have a good weekend, all.

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  121. Rafer Janders says:

    @Pinky:

    People aren’t usually this bad. It goes back to Rafer.

    It goes back to me accurately quoting what Huckabee said?

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  122. Rafer Janders says:

    @Pinky:

    No. Why would you think that?

    Well, honestly, why wouldn’t you think that? If the fetus is alive, and if, therefore, the woman who knowingly aborts a fetus causes its death, why wouldn’t you want to prosecute her for murder? If it’s not murder, what is it?

    As an example, assume (a) a woman who aborts a fetus at three months, and (b) a woman who carries a baby to term, gives birth, and then bashes the baby’s head in two days after its born. Surely you think the woman in (b) is guilty of murder — but if you think that a fetus is as much alive as a baby, then why don’t you think the woman in (a) is equally guilty of murder?

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  123. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:
    I included this as a counterpoint to your analogy because many on the pro-life/anti-choice side are there because of a religious conviction that an embryo, a fetus, an infant, and an adult are all equally persons. If you accept that they are not equivalent, then it follows that the mother is deserving of more protections than the fetus. Then you have to have an ethically consistent argument that takes into account the rights of the mother. What is missing in most pro-life/anti-choice arguments is an accounting for the rights of the mother and for care of the fetus then infant. I’m not pinning all of this on you because I don’t know where you stand on WIC or state sponsored pre-natal care, but all too often those that oppose abortion also oppose aid to mothers and the fetuses they carry. There is tremendous sturm and drang over the rights of the babies that suddenly ends when they are born. That, moreso than what you have specifically stated in this thread, is what I think people are reacting against. Without knowing your position of several other issues I can’t say whether or not that is fair to you.

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  124. Mr. Coffee says:

    @Pinky:..Why would you think that? ..I think people are just making assumptions…

    I do not think that…I am not making assumptions. I am asking a question. If abortion is to be illegal there will be punishments for violating the law. Who is to be prosecuted and what is your proposed retribution for those convicted?

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  125. Andre Kenji says:

    I´m opposed to abortion, because I don´t think that a fetus/baby is a problem SOLELY for the Mother. Babies are an important resource, and they should receive support from everybody, from dads to the society as a whole.

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  126. Rick DeMent says:

    @Tillman:

    Do four year olds have constitutional rights? This might be half-remembered BS, but I recall reading that dogs are roughly as intelligent as four year olds.

    Who said anything about intelligence? Your side is claiming that a fetus without any brain waves other than stem cell motor functions should be granted the same constitutional rights as a born human. Worse then that many on your (general)side seem to be saying that the moment egg meets sperm that should be granted constitutional rights.

    Let me tell you something right now, right this very second, there is a child somewhere in east africa that is dying for lack of a bit of food or some clean water. You could stop it, right now you could send a few hundred dollars to save a life. Why aren’t you doing that? Why aren’t you sending every red cent you can, save for what it would cost to keep you in a subsistence level existence to save as many people as you can. After all people are dying simply because it’s inconvenient for you to give up your 1st world middle class lifestyle. Are you saying that the government should come along and force you to? CHILDREN ARE DYING!!!! Or are you going to equivocate on flimsy distinction between positive and negative action and say “that’s different”?

    I’ll tell you why your not, because you only believe what you believe in the context of a 1st world middle class world view where we have the luxury to argue about angels dancing on the head of a pin or if life begins at conception or implantation, take your pick, both argument are of exactly the same import. I’m talking about the impact on society, public policy, and what we call a life (or a “baby” since forced birthers tend to prefer the cute and cuddly imagery when discussing such things). There is also the issue of, at what point does having a baby endanger your health or life more then delivering it?

    Fact is that the mystical thinkers can’t even decide if life begin at conception or implantation. Science tell us that it happens somewhere around 20 – 25 weeks. Some argue this should be the standard. The point is that whatever that point is argument over it isn’t new, and as it happens the level of treatment of people in general goes up and comes down, and this question will never be settled. The law is all about pickling some arbitrary line to accomodat the concerns of different points of view and that’s why assigning constitutional right to a fetus is simply not an enforceable course of action.

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  127. Linda says:

    @Me Me Me Me:

    These silly and weak attacks on Governor Huckabee are just further proof he WILL be the Republican nominee and our next president. He is fully vetted and THIS is ALL you can find on him? Id put him up against ANY Democratic nominee. Governor Huckabee has cross-party lines appeal, much the same as Ronald Reagan. Even a Democrat can recognize a common-sense leader with impeccable integrity.

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  128. Tillman says:

    @Rick DeMent: I’m so glad you decided to aim that comment at me, since doing that makes it a giant smoking gun for what Pinky was complaining about earlier.

    First off, I’m pro-choice, so your assumptions about what I think are wildly inaccurate. Just because I criticized a particular argument of grumpy’s doesn’t suddenly make me the pro-lifer clinging to vague pseudoreligious doctrine as justification for social policy. Second, you do understand I was joking about the connection of constitutional rights and fetuses, right? If anything, I was implying that you don’t get constitutional rights until you’re four, something most people would be appalled at.

    Third, way to regurgitate a Peter Singer book or every Christian Children’s Fund commercial ever aired. Your moralizing wouldn’t do much to persuade. I think I said in another thread that most social conservatives toeing the hard line on [it was homosexuality in that thread, but in this one it will be] abortion think they’re living in Sodom & Gomorrah, and will get nuked by God for not speaking up about all the [it was sodomy then but now it's] abortion. You can’t allude to kids dying of hunger in Africa to get them to legalize abortion here through the magic of moral equivalency.

    Fourth, can we start arguing with each other, and not with the caricatures of each other’s “sides” that we’ve formed so keenly in our minds? Jesus Christ.

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  129. Tillman says:

    @Andre Kenji: Now see, that’s a good anti-abortion argument. Babies are a resource, literally, since they form the bedrock of generational redistributive entitlements for elderly people through their labor. It’s also a good argument for further social spending to keep babies from having sh!tty lives since, again, it’s an investment on the state’s part that that baby will grow up to be a productive laborer.

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  130. Mr. Coffee says:

    @Prophetess Linda: These silly and weak attacks on Governor Huckabee are just further proof he WILL be the Republican nominee and our next president.

    Looks like you are qualified to predict the future. So help us all understand exactly what Hucleberry meant at the CPAP Convention when he stated:

    “I know there’s a God. And I know that this nation would not exist had He not been the midwife of its birth. And I know that this nation exists by the providence of His hand and if this nation forgets our God, then God will have every right to forget about us,”

    …then God will have every right to forget about us.
    Maybe it’s just me but this sounds like a threat.
    Mr. Huck is going to sic God on us if we all don’t practice his religion? Please Prophetess Linda, tell us what this means.

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  131. wr says:

    @Pinky: “As to your other point, of course I worry about women’s rights.”

    Yes. If your party doesn’t get its way, they may get to keep some of them. Lots to worry about there.

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  132. Me Me Me Me says:

    @Linda:

    These silly and weak attacks on Governor Huckabee are just further proof he WILL be the Republican nominee and our next president. He is fully vetted and THIS is ALL you can find on him? Id put him up against ANY Democratic nominee. Governor Huckabee has cross-party lines appeal, much the same as Ronald Reagan. Even a Democrat can recognize a common-sense leader with impeccable integrity.

    Is that satire?

    Regarding the peccableness of Huckabee’s integrity: when and how did Jesus get in touch with him to tell him he was no longer called to be a Baptist Minister, he was free to move the Manhattan and work as an entertainer?

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  133. wr says:

    @Linda: “Even a Democrat can recognize a common-sense leader with impeccable integrity.”

    Yes, but we’re talking about Mike Huckabee.

    Believe it or not, most Democrats do not equate “common sense” with “the Bible is literally true, Adam and Eve rode around on dinosaurs, and the government has the right to regulate your sex life.”

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  134. ernieyeball says:

    Will someone who supports making abortion illegal please post up a draft of the legislation to bring this about.
    Please be sure to note who will be prosecuted and what the punishment will be for those who violate the law.

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