Mike Huckabee And The Mystery Of The Destroyed Hard Drives

Why did then-Governor Mike Huckabee's office destroy all its office hard drives shortly before leaving office?

Somewhat missed amidst all the coverage of the budget talks, Libya, and the Japan earthquake, was an interesting revelation about Mike Huckabee’s final days in office as Governor of Arkansas:

There’s a Mike Huckabee mystery that won’t go away.

Send a public records request seeking documents from his 12-year stint as Arkansas governor, as Mother Jones did recently, and an eyebrow-raising reply will come back: The records are unavailable, and the computer hard drives that once contained them were erased and physically destroyed by the Huckabee administration as the governor prepared to leave office and launch a presidential bid.

In 2007, during Huckabee’s campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, the issue of the eradicated hard drives surfaced briefly, but it was never fully examined, and key questions remain. Why had Huckabee gone to such great lengths to wipe out his own records? What ever happened to a backup collection that was provided to a Huckabee aide?

To say it surfaced briefly in 2007 is, I think, an understatement. I followed the 2008 Presidential campaign fairly well, and I can honestly say that I don’t recall this story coming up at all. We heard about Huckabee’s flip-flops on taxes. We heard about his pardon of a murdered who subsequently murdered police officers in Seattle, Washington. But this story? It certainly didn’t get widespread coverage  in the national media, and it certainly seems to deserve it.

Here we are once again on the precipece of another Presidential campaign, with Huckabee now the seeming frontrunner in the race for the GOP nomination, and still anyone who wants to find information that should be publicly available from the twelve years he served as Governor runs into a brick wall:

In February, Mother Jones wrote to the office of Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe seeking access to a variety of records concerning his predecessor’s tenure, including Huckabee’s travel records, calendars, call logs, and emails. Beebe’s chief legal counsel, Tim Gauger, replied in a letter that “former Governor Huckabee did not leave behind any hard-copies of the types of documents you seek. Moreover, at that time, all of the computers used by former Governor Huckabee and his staff had already been removed from the office and, as we understand it, the hard-drives in those computers had already been ‘cleaned’ and physically destroyed.”

He added, “In short, our office does not possess, does not have access to, and is not the custodian of any of the records you seek.”

According a memo [PDF] obtained during the course of a lawsuit filed under Arkansas’s version of the Freedom Of Information Act, it was confirmed that all the hard drives were in fact destroyed and, interestingly, that a backup copy of all the data on those drives was given to Brenda Turner, Huckabee’s last Chief Of Staff as Governor, who now lives in Arkansas selling Christian-themed greeting cards.  \

So, what could have been on these hard drives? Well, that’s hard to say of course, but there are plenty of possibilities:

The records could provide details on any number of unsettled controversies involving a governor that faced at least 15 ethics complaints concerning, among other things: his failure to report gifts and outside income, his alleged use of state funds and resources for political and personal purposes, and the pardon of a convicted murderer and rapist who went on to kill again once released.

A former high-ranking Arkansas Republican who was once close to Huckabee and who requested anonymity told Mother Jones that the destruction of the hard drives puzzled him. “I don’t know what that was about, if they had things to hide or not,” he says. But, he adds, the episode fits with Huckabee’s general reticence when it comes to public disclosure. “Huckabee just absolutely doesn’t trust anybody. In my experience, if you don’t trust people, it’s because you’re not trustworthy. We see the world through our own eyes.”

Huckabee’s aversion to public disclosure extends beyond his gubernatorial papers. He and his handlers have also taken steps to block access to videotapes of his sermons, spanning his 12 years as a Southern Baptist minister before he entered politics. During the 2008 campaign, Mother Jones reported that Huckabee’s campaign had refused to make the sermons public—and that, according to an official at one of the churches he’d led, much of the archival material relating to Huckabee’s tenure had been destroyed.

It sounds positively Nixonian, actually. A man so paranoid and secretive that he literally destroys the evidence of his past.

Now, I have no idea if the destruction of the hard drives was legal. Under Federal Law, it clearly wouldn’t be; the Presidential Records Act essentially requires every pieces of paper, every message, every email created in the West Wing be preserved and turned over to the National Archives. These documents end up being shared with Presidential Libraries, but except for purely personal communication, there isn’t a piece of paper that crosses the President’s desk that doesn’t become the property of the United States Government. Destroying hard drives at the end of a Presidential Administration would be unthinkable, at least before the information contained on them was properly archived.

Huckabee responded to the allegations last week by saying there’s nothing to them. But, with his personal papers gone to a university that has yet to make them public after four years and the hard drives destroyed, we really only have his word on that one. There may be nothing here, but when you’re destroying hard drives people are going to raise their eyebrows.

 

 

 

 

 

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Southern Hoosier says:

    It sounds positively Nixonian, actually. A man so paranoid and secretive that he literally destroys the evidence of his past.

    Sounds like Obama as well. A lot of public figures like to hide or rewrite their pasts.

  2. Chad S says:

    The only reason you destroy records is because what’s in them is worse than the story of destroying the records.

  3. Southern Hoosier says:

    Chad S says: Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 11:24
    The only reason you destroy records is because what’s in them is worse than the story of destroying the records.

    Nixon learned, the coverup is worse than the crime.

  4. anjin-san says:

    Sounds like Obama as well. A lot of public figures like to hide or rewrite their pasts.

    Except Huck did it for real, and Obama did it in a wingnut delusion.

  5. reid says:

    I was just going to post about the howling that would result if Obama (or any Democrat, really) did this, and it turns out Southern Hoosier has already started. Please don’t let this turn into another idiotic birther thread….

  6. Southern Hoosier says:

    reid says: Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 12:19
    I was just going to post about the howling that would result if Obama (or any Democrat, really) did this, and it turns out Southern Hoosier has already started. Please don’t let this turn into another idiotic birther thread….

    Actually I was thinkinkg more along the lines of Comrade Obama’s book Dreams from My Father written by Richard Ayres, where Obama creates the myth about his childhood. I was also thinking of his college transcripts.

    Instead of turning this into a birther tread, people can go here.
    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/a-handy-dandy-guide-to-refuting-every-argument-made-by-a-birther/#comments

  7. michael reynolds says:

    Oh Lord God another wingnut obstructing intelligent discussion. Isn’t there a Glenn Beck message board for people like you?

  8. anjin-san says:

    Here we see conservative “personal responsibility” at work. When a conservative shirks responsibility, you simply start an Obama rant. Simple.

    Look Hoosier, we are going to concede. Obama is black. You win. Now go away.

  9. Pete says:

    C’mon guys and gals, it’s obvious Huck was destroying evidence of his dalliances with Juanita Broderick and his complicity in the murder of Vince Foster. There are rumors that Chavez was born in Arkansas.

  10. steve says:

    The sermons should be released if he runs for president. Those are essentially public speeches which should tell us something about how he really thinks.

    Steve

  11. Southern Hoosier says:

    michael reynolds says: Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 12:50
    Oh Lord God another wingnut obstructing intelligent discussion. Isn’t there a Glenn Beck message board for people like you?

    I know the drill, anyone that dares to question anything about Comrade Obama, The Great One, is a racist, stupid, ignorant, a nut, etc. Comrade Obama is one of the greatest sacred cow in America.

  12. Southern Hoosier says:

    I guess some of you are upset with me for criticizing Nixon, right?

    Southern Hoosier says: Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 11:59
    Nixon learned, the coverup is worse than the crime.

  13. michael reynolds says:

    Southern:

    It’s not about Obama, it’s about standards of proof, logic, and on the flip side paranoia and the eternal quest for some secret, revealed knowledge.

    Let me shortcut this for you: in the entire history of the world there’s only been one really successful conspiracy. The conspiracy to get nincompoops to waste their time and everyone else’s on looking for conspiracies.

    You are not the wise owl who sees through all deception to some occult inner truth. There is no occult inner truth. And you’re not wise. You get sold a bill of goods that flatters your inflated opinion of yourself and then you’re irritated when rational people roll their eyes at you and excuse themselves from your company.

  14. Anon says:

    I know the drill, anyone that dares to question anything about Comrade Obama, The Great One, is a racist, stupid, ignorant, a nut, etc.

    Uh, no. Question his policies, leadership, and effectiveness all you want. I might still call you ignorant and stupid 🙂 , but not a nut and not a racist.

  15. Southern Hoosier says:

    michael reynolds says: Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 13:31 There is no occult inner truth

    Yes, there is. There are scared cows and Obama is one of them.

  16. anjin-san says:

    Yes, there is. There are scared cows and Obama is one of them.

    In the mind of Pee Wee Herman perhaps…

  17. Anon says:

    There are scared cows and Obama is one of them.

    Okay, so call him a socialist if you want, but calling him a fearful bovine is just going to far.

  18. ponce says:

    The press gives Huckabee a break because he’s “a nice guy.”

  19. michael reynolds says:

    Hoosier:

    And you have been chosen to receive this secret knowledge. Because you’re Harry Potter.

    Right.

  20. Rock says:

    Meanwhile, congressional committees are having a hell of a time getting information of any kind from various departments of the Barack Hooligan Obama Administration and the White House headquarters of their vast criminal enterprise. I suspect that shredders deep in the bowels of the government are working overtime enough to make Oliver North proud.

  21. reid says:

    Pretty damning words, Rock, for not having a “shred” (ha ha) of evidence for any of it.

  22. Rock says:

    Carol Browner, former White House Guru in the Obama Administration and former head of the EPA is known for erasing evidence requested under FOIA. When she left the Obama Team in January 2011 there is no telling what evidence she might have hidden or eliminated.

    PA held in contempt over documents.

    Judge Lamberth had issued a protective order on Jan. 19, 2001, the day before the Clinton administration ended, instructing the EPA to preserve all documents that might be relevant to a Freedom of Information Act request by Landmark for documents about the agency’s contacts with outside groups.

    Browner had testified she asked a technician to delete her computer files the same day Lamberth ordered them preserved.

    The former EPA administrator said she usually didn’t use her computer for work or e-mail, hadn’t been notified about the court order, and had wanted to remove some computer games her son had installed on her work computer.

    Browner’s attorney, Robert Trout, said his client had wanted to ensure her work computer was appropriately formatted for her successor in the Bush administration.

    She threw her son under the bus and that’s like saying the dog ate my paperwork.

  23. Wiley Stoner says:

    Anjin, if Obama’s hiding is a wingnut illusion. What grades did Obama get at Columbia? You are an f ing idiot and a liar.

  24. michael reynolds says:

    Can a sane person explain to me why these loons want Obama’s grades?

  25. wr says:

    Well, they want his “long form birth certificate” because they’re convinced that it will list his religion as Musim, even though real birth certificates don’t list religions. So who knows what they hope to find in his college grades…

  26. Southern Hoosier says:

    There is no need to send me off to the reeducation camp. I understand what I said that was wrong.

    Southern Hoosier says: Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 11:12

    It sounds positively Nixonian, actually. A man so paranoid and secretive that he literally destroys the evidence of his past.

    Sounds like Obama as well. A lot of public figures like to hide or rewrite their pasts.

    I said that Comrade Obama was like other public figures and he had dark things in his past like other men. It was wrong of me to even bring it up. I realize now that Comrade Obama is like no other public figure since Christ. His whole life is shining and open.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LqbrJGct4o

  27. michael reynolds says:

    Too late, Hoosier, we’re totally calling for the black helicopters to take you away to the re-education camp. Your only possible protection is to get into the crawl space beneath your trailer and clutch your guns tightly to your chest.

    If you don’t save yourself we’ll have turned you into a negro by the end of the day.

  28. michael reynolds says:

    Thwack thwack thwack thwack. . .

    Here come the choppers now, Hoosier! Lock and load!

    Oh, my God! It’s Bill Ayers himself! And he’s got Sean Penn and an array of Hollywood liberals with him.

    Is that Morgan Freeman calling to you over the loudpseaker?

    Don’t surrender, Hoosier! Don’t let them take your sister wives away!

  29. michael reynolds says:

    Wiley! You go get help! Get in your pick-up and round up all the fat, beared white guys you can find. Tell them to grab their guns and rush to Hoosier’s aid.

    Go! Be the new Paul Revere!

    Oh, the humanity. Oh, the tragedy. My country tis of thee . . . sob . . . sweet land of BAM! BAM! BAM!

    Nooooooo!

    Get up, Hoosier. Come on, you’ll be okay . . . sob. . . get up. . . your country needs you to save it from liberals and negroes.

    Use the emergency apocalypse supplies Glenn Beck sold you.

  30. michael reynolds says:

    Fools! I told you Obama only got a B minus in his intro to European History class!

    I warned you! A B minuuuuuuuuuus!

    Okay, that’s it. Gotta get back to actual work.

  31. PJ says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Can a sane person explain to me why these loons want Obama’s grades?

    They think that they will show that he’s listed as a foreign (in this case Indonesian) student…

  32. Southern Hoosier says:

    michael reynolds says: Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 16:02

    Can a sane person explain to me why these loons want Obama’s grades?

    I may not be too sane, but Gore, Bush,and Kerry have all made their grades public. People are just wondering why Comrade Obama hasn’t done the same. Unlike Pres Clinton, who bragged about being a Rhodes Scholar, Comrade Obama is a very modest man which may be the reason he hasn’t made his grades public.
    http://www.insidepolitics.org/heard/heard32300.html

  33. Jay Tea says:

    If this helps to scuttle Huckabee’s presidential ambitions, I’m kinda OK with that.

    If we could only get that kind of scrutiny applied to Obama’s Illinois legislative records… or his academic records…

    I’d like to see Huckabee’s sermons. I doubt they’d be as entertaining as those of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s, however.

    J.

  34. Southern Hoosier says:

    michael reynolds says: Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 16:13
    If you don’t save yourself we’ll have turned you into a negro by the end of the day

    If that happens my neighborhood will loose their token white guy.

  35. Southern Hoosier says:

    Jay Tea says: Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 16:33
    I’d like to see Huckabee’s sermons. I doubt they’d be as entertaining as those of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s, however.

    If you like Rev Wright, you’ll love this guy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuEc-nFULY8

  36. Gulliver says:

    Huckabee’s last Chief Of Staff as Governor, who now lives in Arkansas selling Christian-themed greeting cards.

    What, exactly does this have to do with the story you are weaving?

    Mataconis once again fails miserably to pretend he writes unbiased articles or posts. Extremely lame to feel the need to add this detail – if it is even accurate.

  37. Jay Tea says:

    On the other hand, Southern, that’ll put you on the path to becoming a “Magic Negro…”

    J.

  38. ponce says:

    Hoosier shows us why George “Macaca” Allen thinks the time is ripe for another run at public office.

    There’s a lot of crackers out there.

  39. Jay Tea says:

    Southern, I said he was “entertaining.” And that guy… he seems to have some issues, too, but not as entertaining as Wright.

    J.

  40. Southern Hoosier says:

    Jay Tea says: Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 16:33
    If this helps to scuttle Huckabee’s presidential ambitions, I’m kinda OK with that.

    Huckabee is not going to run.

    Rep. Michele Bachmann has hired Wes Enos, who served as Mike Huckabee’s political director for the former governor’s winning Iowa caucus campaign, The Hill reports. “The hiring of Enos is also another sign that Huckabee won’t make a run at the presidency in 2012. His former Iowa campaign manager, Eric Woolson, is already on board as an adviser to former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.”

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/04/05/6411126-2012-on-social-media

  41. Southern Hoosier says:

    Jay Tea says: Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 16:54

    Southern, I said he was “entertaining.” And that guy… he seems to have some issues, too, but not as entertaining as Wright.

    I guess it is more entertaining to see a Black man dump on America than it is to see a Black man dump on Comrade Obama.

  42. Southern Hoosier says:

    Jay Tea says:Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 16:49

    On the other hand, Southern, that’ll put you on the path to becoming a “Magic Negro…

    ”In American cinema, the magical negro or magical African-American friend, is a supporting stock character who, by use of special insight or powers, helps the white protagonist.[1] The word negro, now considered by many as archaic and sometimes offensive, is used intentionally to suggest that the archetype is a racial throwback, an update of the “Sambo” and “Noble savage” stereotypes.[2]

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

    If I did become Black I would be like the Watermelon Man.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066550/

  43. wr says:

    Gulliver — Why should Doug write unbiased posts? He’s not the AP and this isn’t the New York Times. This is a blog. If his lack of objectivity bothers you so much, go read something else.

  44. Gulliver says:

    I don’t care about lack of objectivity – just don’t try and come across as having an objective opinion. If Mataconis is an opinion writer then he needs to honest about only presenting one side of the facts – particularly if representing only one side leads to a narrative which is tailored to promote Mataconis’ views – rather than hard facts about valid concerns.

  45. Julie says:
  46. wr says:

    Gulliver — Doug doesn’t have to do anything, especially not to make you happy. This is his blog. (Well, he’s one of the main contributors.) He owes you absolutely nothing. Again, if you don’t like the blog, go somewhere else. But these orders to write the way you want him to write, and your warnings that other blogs have noticed him, are laughable.

    You pay nothing to read this blog. You pay nothing to comment. And that’s exactly what any of the writers here owe you — nothing.

  47. jukeboxgrad says:

    southern:

    Gore, Bush,and Kerry have all made their grades public.

    Not exactly. Kerry released his transcript, but not until after he lost. Gore and Bush never “made their grades public.” Their transcripts were leaked. You cited this article:

    http://www.insidepolitics.org/heard/heard32300.html

    It says this:

    Confidential college transcripts and test scores obtained by the Washington Post reveal that neither presidential candidate, George W. Bush nor Al Gore, were shining students during their college days at Yale and Harvard, respectively.

    What do you think “obtained by the Washington Post” means? It means this: ‘leaked.’

    More information about the non-release of the Bush and Gore transcripts can be found via here:

    http://volokh.com/2010/11/02/election-night-open-thread/#comment-1037207

    This many recent major-party candidates or presidents have “made their grades public:” zero. Likewise for birth certificates (aside from Obama). The irony of the Obama birth certificate is that Obama is the only recent major-party candidate or president who has released his birth certificate.

  48. tom p says:

    The irony of the Obama birth certificate is that Obama is the only recent major-party candidate or president who has released his birth certificate.

    jukeboxgrad: NOT!!! It is a certificate of live birth… which anyone can get quite easily w/o ever showing any kind of identification, (and no doctor has ever come forward to say HE WAS PRESENT AT THE 2’ND COMING OF THE LORD!!!)

    THE 2ND COMING…. I would quote you Yeats, but I am tired just now and it would be completely over the heads of the wingnuts here….

    Why bother?

  49. wr says:

    Um, Tom P? Your claim that “anyone can get quite easily w/o showing any kind of ID” a COLB doesn’t say anything about whether or not it’s real. Let’s say Tom P calls the state of Hawaii, says he BHO, born on this date, and he wants his birth certificate. So they check the files and send him a COLB based on what they have. Now Tom P has a copy of BHO’s certificate — but it doesn’t mean the certificate isn’t real.

  50. wr says:

    Boy, the Huckabee fans must be really scared of what the Huckster is hiding. They were desperate to change the subject away to Obama…

  51. michael reynolds says:

    Once again, if we would just let these people use the N-word they’d be happy, and they could stop the bullsh*t about birth certificates.

    It’s very simple: Obama can’t be a real American because he’s black.

    That is the beginning, middle and end of what these imbeciles are saying.

  52. Gulliver says:

    Once again, if we would just let these people use the N-word they’d be happy

    No… if you would just let these people use the N-word, they would be liberals. Only liberals (like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton) use that word anymore… and it’s always excused if they do it.

    Just your standard hypocrisy and projection here by Reynolds.

  53. jukeboxgrad says:

    Only liberals (like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton) use that word anymore

    Yup, that’s why it’s so easy to find so many examples of what you claim does not exist:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=obama+nigger

  54. jukeboxgrad says:

    Only liberals (like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton) use that word anymore

    Yup, that’s why it’s so easy to find so many examples of what you claim does not exist:

    http://bit.ly/gMuADz

  55. Ben Wolf says:

    Fascinating. A post on Mike Huckabee’s “nowhere man” routine results in a full-court press against Barak Obama. The Republican base really is made up of obsessive-compulsive psychotics.

  56. michael reynolds says:

    The Birthers are nothing but unreconstructed racists and those who are cynically exploiting racism. That’s what it’s been from the start. And I’m tired of pretending otherwise.

    But they’re too gutless to admit it. Which makes them not just racists but hypocritical and cowardly ones to boot.

    This is the sickness at the heart of the so-called conservative movement in this country.

    I do NOT mean by this that conservatives are racists. I would absolutely deny that people like Joyner or Mataconis are in any way, shape or form racist. For that matter, Huckabee has notably refused to hook up with these sickos.

    But hiding like a virus down in the cells of conservatism are these creatures who eat away at the core of decent, principled conservatism. The GOP has knowingly used these people to win elections, and until they expel these scum from their party the party will continue to carry the stain of the southern strategy and this, its latest iteration.

    I think people like the writers for this blog have tried. And others in the conservative sphere have tried. But the GOP still has a fatal addiction to winning at all costs and the party and the movement have allowed these vermin to thrive.

    The GOP has lost the black and hispanic and youth votes because of these people. They’ve lost the future of their party to these people. For the sake of their party and the sake of the country the GOP has got to stop playing games and deal clearly and unambiguously with their bigot problem.

  57. jukeboxgrad says:

    the GOP has got to stop playing games and deal clearly and unambiguously with their bigot problem.

    That’s going to be hard for them to do:

    “George W. Bush is appealing as a leader to those Americans who harbor greater anti-black prejudice.” … ” … racial prejudice predicts voting. Republicans are supported by whites with prejudice against blacks. If people say, ‘This takes me aback,’ they are ignoring a huge volume of research.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/29/AR2006012900642_pf.html

    And this is why the 2008 GOP convention was only 1.5% black:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/03/AR2008090303962.html

    I don’t see this changing much anytime soon.

  58. anjin-san says:

    It’s very simple: Obama can’t be a real American because he’s black.

    If Obama was a janitor, I think most conservatives would have no problem saying he is a real American, though the true bottom feeders, jwest, bithead and gulliver and the remaining rockets scientists would probably even choke on that. I think the name “Barack Hussien Obama” far exceeds their rather limited imaginations.

    Personally, even 2+ years out, knowing that a black guy with an African name is President still puts a smile on my face.

  59. epistorese says:

    First, how did an article about Mike Huckabee and missing hard drives become another thread about Obama? Is there anything in the right-wing universe that ISN”T about Obama?

    Second, somewhere among the criminations and recriminations about Obama being from Indonesia or Kenya, a closet Marxist, an out-of-the-closet Marxist, and/or a carefully designed android sent as the front line intelligence gatherer for an invasion by the planet Zoltar (good luck with that intelligence thing, BTW) a little noticed fact about the original story was revealed. Arkansas law holds that the records of any administration seem to belong to the governor of that administration. Doesn’t seem logical to me. but that gets back to an old joke about the difference between Arkansas and a banana republic. In any event, the fact that Huckabee chose to shred all evidence of his administration is apparently his right by law. The staff at Mother Jones may be insensed if they wish to be, but there is no conspiracy here, at least from a legal standpoint. Whether to vote for a guy who leaves no trace of his administration is something we are all free to decide on our own, but his choice is exactly that–HIS choice. To connote ill intentions from what he was legally entitled to do is churlish, but probably not beneath the audience of this blog, sad to say.

  60. Jay Tea says:

    michael, your race card was maxed out a long, long time ago. Time to cut it up.

    I understand you have considerable white guilt issues, but you really need to stop projecting them on everyone else. It’s not helpful for your long-term recovery prospects.

    Plus, it’s a sign of your inherent intellectual laziness. You don’t have to address the valid criticisms of Obama if you can get away with simply smearing the critics when the questions get a little too difficult. Your deflection had its entertainment value when it was a novelty, but it wore out its welcome ages ago.

    At this point, the most offensive racism here is yours — that Obama should not be held to the same standards as other politicians simply because he’s black. Well, technically, half-black, but I only bring that up because you are so darned obsessed with that most trivial aspect.

    He’s made more wrong steps in barely two years of office than Carter did in four. He’s shown an appalling ignorance and/or contempt for the Constitution than a former Constitutional law lecturer should. He’s never held any position of responsibility or authority in his life before this one, and seems to believe that simply being as intelligent as he has been told his whole life is more than enough to overcome his lack of experience. In short, he has no clue how to carry out the office to which he has aspired to all his life, and refuses to even consider that the single common element in all his problems is… him.

    And yes, on top of all that, he’s (half) black, which means… exactly nothing, but you seem to want to make certain it’s mentioned at every opportunity, so there it is.

    But back to Huckabee… his defense seems to be “the data was duplicated and archived before the drives were destroyed, in accordance to state law in regards to the proper procedures for replacing computers.” Seems fairly easy to verify, if anyone actually cares enough to check.

    Which I don’t.

    J.

  61. PositiveMojo says:

    Come on guys – get a brain. This story about Mike Huckabee is totally false. Most folks leaving comments sound like people gossiping over the back fence. Pretty foolish when the liberals still have control of the White House and Senate and have thrown away a trillion of your dollars on a stimulus package that didn’t work. You guys need to focus on the real problems and fight the right battle.

    Here’s a link to the truth – that is – if you’re interested in the truth. Maybe spreading lies is more fun….
    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/04/05/huckabee-slams-mother-jones-over-missing-documents-story

  62. jukeboxgrad says:

    the most offensive racism here is yours — that Obama should not be held to the same standards as other politicians simply because he’s black

    That’s funny, since as far as I know a birth certificate was not demanded or received from any prior president (with the possible exception of Reagan, who presented his only after leaving office).

    So if Obama was “held to the same standards as other politicians” no one would ever have asked for a birth certificate.

  63. wr says:

    Jay Tea — Just because people have called you racist a lot, doesn’t mean you stopped being one. This “your race card is worn out” nonsense is just that.

  64. michael reynolds says:

    It’s not about Obama’s policy. It’s about racists who simply cannot tolerate a black face in the White House looking for anything — no matter how often debunked, no matter how devoid of even the tiniest shred of truth — to mark Obama as alien, not like us, un-American.

    100% of the birther thing is racism. End of story.

  65. Jay Tea says:

    wr, I’ve been called a lot of things. Racist, militant Christian, xenophobe, sexist, anti-abortion extremist, fascist, and a bunch of other things. Usually by assholes who have nothing to back it up but “you say some things that racists have also said,” like “Obama is a bad president.”

    Which brings up you and michael, who seem to think that anyone who criticizes Obama is doing so based on his race.

    You call me a racist with no supporting evidence. So I reject it with the same amount of substance.

    And in michael’s case, I point out his own racist beliefs — that Obama should be exempt from criticism, with that exemption based solely on his race. michael sees racism in any Obama criticism because he can’t get past Obama’s race, and projects that on everyone else. Since michael is obsessed with race, he assumes that everyone else is. And through his distorted prism, since he’s so absolutely and purely non-racist, everyone who disagrees with him is a racist.

    You, on the other hand, have no intellectual pretensions or convoluted explanations for your behavior. You’re just an asshole.

    J.

  66. wr says:

    Thanks, Jay Tea. But here’s a hint — anyone who is so obsessed with race that they have to correct everyone about exactly what percentage of Obama is African-American clearly has serious racial issues. We don’t talk about octaroons anymore. Maybe your little Klavern hasn’t noticed.

  67. mantis says:

    Jay Tea defends the birthers against charges of racism because he’s one of them. He’ll claim he’s not, but he just likes to have it both ways. He constantly repeats their long-since debunked lies, while denigrating them at the same time. If you point this out to him, he runs away and comes back to repeat their lies again another day.

    He also lies about what others say here, even though we can all look and see who’s really lying:

    Which brings up you and michael, who seem to think that anyone who criticizes Obama is doing so based on his race.

    You call me a racist with no supporting evidence.

    He called birthers racist, Jay, not you. You keep telling me you’re not a birther, but I guess since you take personal offense, you must be.

    And in michael’s case, I point out his own racist beliefs — that Obama should be exempt from criticism

    Where has Michael said such a thing? You’re a very bad and obvious liar.

    You, on the other hand, have no intellectual pretensions or convoluted explanations for your behavior. You’re just an asshole.

    Pot. Kettle.

  68. Barry says:

    epistorese: “To connote ill intentions from what he was legally entitled to do is churlish, but probably not beneath the audience of this blog, sad to say.”

    No, it’s not churlish. Just becaue what he’s done is legal doesn’t mean that it’s right, and it doesn’t mean that reasonable conclusions can’t be drawn from his behavior.

  69. Julie H. says:

    One does not need a hard drive on Gov. Huckabee, as he has ALWAYS been honest about his past record, as well as on all his present positions!!!

  70. Jay Tea says:

    Yeah, mantis, I’m a crypto-birther. That’s why every single time I’ve addressed them — usually directly — I’ve made a point of trashing them, insulting them, slamming them, ridiculing them, and threatening to ban them. It’s all part of some grand plot of mine to… um… OK, I’m a little fuzzy on that part, but I’m certain it’s important.

    And you say right-wingers are conspiracy nuts?

    It appears that michael did try to constrain himself to limiting his standard “raaaaacist” slam to the birthers; it was wr who chose to extend it. But I have to give credit for guts to jukeboxgrad, who actually used the word “nigger” instead of hiding behind “the n-word.”

    By the way, I’m on record for getting royally pissed when some Iranian government jerk chose to call Obama a nigger. I oppose that on several grounds — it’s an ugly word, and tends to generate more sympathy for him than anything else, and allows asshats like Michael and wr to tar all Obama critics as racist.

    But I’d like to see the word used more often — solely to dilute its power. By reducing it to “the n-word,” the word we all know but dare not speak, we imbue it with power that it should not have. I’d like to see us get to the point where it isn’t the type of word to trigger rage and shame, but just a shrug and a dismissal of the speaker with a “whatever, asshole.” Those who fetishize it and talk around it just add to its unwarranted power.

    Earlier, I said that Huckabee’s defense from these accusations should be easily verifiable to anyone who cared enough, but I didn’t. Considering how many people were eager to completely dump the topic of Huckabee for yet another flare-up of Obama BS, I think it’s clear that no one else cares that much about the Huckabee issue, either. (I at least felt self-conscious enough about it to toss in a token Huckabee reference in pretty much every comment I made…)

    J.

  71. mantis says:

    Yeah, mantis, I’m a crypto-birther. That’s why every single time I’ve addressed them — usually directly — I’ve made a point of trashing them, insulting them, slamming them, ridiculing them, and threatening to ban them.

    Yet you repeat their little myths verbatim, and when it’s pointed out to you what you are saying is demonstrably false, you ignore it and repeat them again later. Birther, pseudo-birther, crypto-birther, neo-birther. Doesn’t really matter what you call it, you’re full of shit.

  72. mantis says:

    Considering how many people were eager to completely dump the topic of Huckabee for yet another flare-up of Obama BS, I think it’s clear that no one else cares that much about the Huckabee issue, either.

    Yes, yes, fine. Arkansas has goofy records laws, basically letting the former governors handle them as they see fit. The university has his, and they’ll probably be available someday. If they are dragging their feet on his account, I haven’t seen any evidence of it. From where I stand, Huckabee didn’t do anything illegal or much different from what any other governor would do in his place, especially one looking to run for president. No politician ever gets a boost from what’s in their records. It’s all downside beyond the transparency gambit, and most voters don’t really care much about that (unless they’re told to care constantly for years by their preferred media, about something like, say….a birth certificate?). So they keep them private as long as the law allows. Arkansas happens to leave it mostly to the governors to decide. Don’t like it? Move to Arkansas and get their laws changed. I’ll pass.

  73. Jay Tea says:

    mantis, the birthers despise me worse than they do you — they figure I should be on their side, so I’m a “heretic” for trashing them and telling them to STFU.

    What frosts you, I suspect, is that I’m more effective at shutting them down than you ever could wish to be. Hell, you probably resent my trying to shut them down — you LIKE having them around as whipping boys to flog the rest of us Obama critics over.

    You ever taken them on, mantis? You ever gone toe-to-toe (well, pixel-to-pixel) with the birthers, argued with them, read their arguments and told them, directly and forcefully and downright rudely, what you think of them?

    I have. On at least three different occasions.

    You? You love them. They make things easy for you. Kind of like how I love the asshats at Organizing For America, because I can lay every single asshatted thing they do right at Obama’s feet, because they operate the http://www.barackobama.com domain name — he lets them literally act in his name. If they gave up the domain, I’d actually miss them. But yeah, you like having them around.

    Which is one of the many reasons I’ve fought against them, and will continue to do so.

    J.

  74. mantis says:

    What frosts you, I suspect, is that I’m more effective at shutting them down than you ever could wish to be.

    I don’t really read your blog, Jay. What annoys me, as I have now explained to you half a dozen times at least, is you traffic in birther lies. That is the long and the short of it. Can’t make it any plainer.

    Hell, you probably resent my trying to shut them down — you LIKE having them around as whipping boys to flog the rest of us Obama critics over.

    Your efforts, which I know of mainly from you regaling me of them in the comments here, have very likely had zero impact on my interactions with birthers, so no, you’re hypothesis is not correct. You do, in fact, seem to overstate your effect generally. You think you’re “shutting them down” so they’re not around any more, Jay? Their ranks are growing, it would seem.

    You ever taken them on, mantis? You ever gone toe-to-toe (well, pixel-to-pixel) with the birthers, argued with them, read their arguments and told them, directly and forcefully and downright rudely, what you think of them?

    Quite a bit, yes.

    I have. On at least three different occasions.

    I’ll just cut and paste it instead of bothering to rephrase: Yet you repeat their little myths verbatim, and when it’s pointed out to you what you are saying is demonstrably false, you ignore it and repeat them again later. Get it yet?

    You? You love them. They make things easy for you.

    I understand why you think that, but I’d rather if one side of the political spectrum in this country weren’t dominated by crazy idiots. It’s goddamned embarrassing.

    Kind of like how I love the asshats at Organizing For America, because I can lay every single asshatted thing they do right at Obama’s feet, because they operate the http://www.barackobama.com domain name — he lets them literally act in his name. If they gave up the domain, I’d actually miss them.

    The sad thing is you actually think you’re clever.

    But yeah, you like having them around.

    Them being gone would raise the average IQ in this country at least 20 points. I wouldn’t miss them for a second.

    Which is one of the many reasons I’ve fought against them, and will continue to do so.

    First step: don’t repeat demonstrably false birther myths as fact. Don’t try to claim birthers are really Obama’s doing. Then maybe I’ll believe you don’t like having them around yourself.

  75. Jay Tea says:

    mantis, the crux of my belief is that Obama finds the value of having the birthers around, and every now and then encourages them by having one of his proxies (Chris Matthews is a reliable one) to bring up the issue again, just to keep the nuts focused on that and not on more productive areas.

    I despise the birthers because they are playing his game, and giving him political cover.

    You despise them because… well, I can’t really see any signs that you despise them. You positively revel in kicking them around. You, like Obama, see the value of having them on the political field.

    Which irritates me no end, because I want them to go away… and your side keeps egging them on.

    I can’t really blame your side, because it’s a very useful thing. But it still irritates me.

    J.

  76. mantis says:

    mantis, the crux of my belief is that Obama finds the value of having the birthers around, and every now and then encourages them by having one of his proxies (Chris Matthews is a reliable one) to bring up the issue again, just to keep the nuts focused on that and not on more productive areas.

    Two things wrong with that. First, Obama would have no need to bring up the issue again. Millions of Americans, including all the top rightwing media personalities, quite a few members of Congress, tons of state and local elected officials, not to mention the lawyers and bloggers, bring it up constantly. The very idea that he would need to fuel this stupidity is ridiculous on its face. You know, and that’s why I say your full of shit.

    Second, of course, is your impaired mind’s notion that Obama is puppetmaster to the media. “Chris Matthews, stir the birther pot!” “Yes sir, Mr. President!” Really, Jay? Come on.

    I despise the birthers because they are playing his game, and giving him political cover.

    I understand you think it’s politically advantageous to pretend it’s “his game,” but if you have any brain cells still functioning you know that’s bullshit.

    You despise them because… well, I can’t really see any signs that you despise them.

    Here’s a hint, Jay. I think you’re one of them, and I despise you. Get it? Most of them are just sad, as they are not exactly intelligent, but you can put a coherent thought together when you want to. You repeat their lies knowing full well what you’re doing.

    You positively revel in kicking them around.

    I do enjoy playing with conspiracy theorists. I’ve been jousting with the truthers, the moon landing idiots, the JFK conspiracists, etc. for a long time.

    You, like Obama, see the value of having them on the political field.

    No, again, I find them embarrassing as an American. If they did not exist, our political discourse would not only be less retarded, but we’d be further to the left, which I prefer. Idiots tend right.

    Which irritates me no end, because I want them to go away… and your side keeps egging them on.

    Again you reveal yourself to be full of shit. Our side has no need to egg them on. They are institutional on the right, self-feeding and self-supporting. They grow all around you, Jay. They are your political movement.

    I can’t really blame your side, because it’s a very useful thing. But it still irritates me.

    Know what irritates me? You ignore my main point, which I’ve made to you over and over again. You repeat birther myths as fact, in order to support your silly notion that the birthers are Obama’s tools. Explain yourself, or forever be a birther.

  77. Jay Tea says:

    mantis, I don’t owe you a goddamned explanation about anything, but I’m on record — repeatedly — that I am completely certain (well, I said “99 and 44/100% certain,” but that was a reference to an old advertising tagline) that Obama was born in the US, and is Constitutionally qualified to be president. It’s about the only way he is, but he is. I believe this for two reasons. The primary one is the circumstantial evidence — the contemporary birth announcement in the paper. That’s all I need. T

    The secondary one — the one I use to beat the birthers over the head with — is that if — IF — they were right, there is no ready Constitutional remedy for the situation. I can put forth arguments for replacing him with McCain, Biden, Pelosi, Boehner, and even Cheney, and not one of those arguments is convincing enough to trump the others.

    But those idiots don’t want to listen. They get all wrapped up in their minutiae that they can’t see the big picture. They can’t see the boost they’re giving Obama and his supporters.

    And then there’s you. It seems that the more evidence I present showing my opposition to the birthers, the stronger you argue that I’m some kind of double-secret agent on their behalf. It’s all part of your delusion that I’m some right-wing extremist boogeyman, who secretly believes everything that you think is evil about the right. And to justify your hatred of me, you have to keep pushing me to fit into your little box of Right Wing Extremism.

    Guess what, dipshit? I ain’t gonna play your game. I know it makes it easy for you to paint me with your broad brush, but I’m tired of trying to bring you to reality. You’re so full of crap even the flies don’t want anything to do with you, and I’m tired of smacking you around and getting splattered.

    I almost said I got better things to do, but I really don’t. So instead, I’m gonna say that I’m going to try to find better things to do.

    Right now, I got this scab on my right bicep that really, really needs picking. After that, it’s time for my weekly navel-lint removal. And they hold far higher priority for me right now than dealing with your delusions.

    J.

  78. mantis says:

    So you can’t explain why you repeat birther myths as fact then. Hmmm.

  79. Jay Tea says:

    mantis, I don’t get into arguing the minutiae of the birther arguments with the birthers. Now you’re trying to get me into the minutiae from the other direction. Them, I can barely excuse — they’re idiots. You don’t have that excuse.

    Unless you really are an idiot, and have been faking it for some time…

    J.

  80. mantis says:

    Yes, you do get into that minutia, when you’re explaining your “Obama strings the birthers along” theory. The only way to support such a notion is to buy into birther myths about Obama spending tons of money to hide his records, which he “refuses to release.” You do it here and here. I’ve been calling you on it ever since, and you keep on doing it.

    Now, of course, you don’t want to get into the “minutiae.” I’m not the one the brings it up. You are, when you repeat ridiculous birther claims. I’ll keep bringing it up, too, birther.

  81. Jay Tea says:

    Well, if I ever need any proof of how leftists use the “birther” accusation as a smear and exploit those idiots for their own political gain, that last comment will do quite nicely.

    J.

  82. jukeboxgrad says:

    Jay Tea, I hadn’t seen that other thread until mantis just provided the links. I have to say I find this pretty amusing:

    I’ve seen estimates that Obama has spent between one and two million dollars to keep his birth records locked up.

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/birtherism-by-any-other-name-at-red-state/#comment-1351743

    The English translation for “I’ve seen estimates” is this: ‘I’m not aware of any factual basis for the following claim, but nevertheless I’d like to help spread the rumor.’

    By the way, “I’ve seen estimates” that Jay Tea has raped dozens of nuns and tortured scores of kittens. See how this works?

    mantis, I don’t get into arguing the minutiae of the birther arguments with the birthers.

    I don’t want to get into arguing the minutia of how you raped and tortured those nuns and kittens. I can let someone else do that. However, I will point out that “I’ve seen estimates.”

    I notice you also said this:

    what’s signficant is Obama’s active efforts in refusing to release his birth records

    When are you going to lift a finger to show that he has made any “active efforts” whatsoever? And your claim is the opposite of the truth: he has done more than any other president. He has released a legal birth certificate. Which other president did that?

    And you also said this:

    So, how much has Obama spent to keep his birth records sealed? I repeat myself: I don’t know

    Correct, you don’t know. In fact, you have no reason whatsoever to claim that the amount is a number greater than zero. But you do make that claim:

    it certainly has been money well spent

    It can only be “money well spent” if an actual amount of actual money actually greater than zero has actually been spent. So when are you going to lift a finger to demonstrate that the amount “Obama spent to keep his birth records sealed” is a number greater than zero?

    You have admitted that you “don’t know” how much he has spent, but somehow you know it’s a number greater than zero. Really? How do you know?

    And I notice you also said this:

    he has at his disposal a very easy remedy to make the whole thing go away in a puff of smoke (so to speak), but he refuses.

    That’s a variation on a common and false birther claim, as noted here:

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/hawaiian-official-again-confirms-obamas-birth-records-calls-birthers-ludicrous/#comment-1394497

    And it’s a claim that ignores the questions I raised here:

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/hawaiian-official-again-confirms-obamas-birth-records-calls-birthers-ludicrous/#comment-1393860

    Which are questions that you the other birthers never, ever answer.

    Birthers come in several different flavors. Your flavor is actually pretty common. ‘Closet birther’ would be a good name for it. Closet birthers make various statements in support of birtherism while stating adamantly that they aren’t birthers.

    The most famous closet birther is Palin. She’s made a number of statements which support and encouarage birtherism, while also insisting she’s not a birther. She isn’t fooling anyone, and neither are you.

    if I ever need any proof of how leftists use the “birther” accusation as a smear

    Someone who claims that Obama has made “active efforts in refusing to release his birth records,” while not lifting a finger to show any evidence in support of that claim, is this: a birther. So your birtherism is not a smear, it’s a fact. Unless you want to claim that those statements were made by someone else posting under the name Jay Tea.

  83. Jay Tea says:

    jukebox, those nuns and kittens had it coming.

    Apart from that, I have no comment, and that’s off the record.

    J.

  84. jukeboxgrad says:

    You’re funny, but not in the way you were hoping to be.

  85. mantis says:

    Well, if I ever need any proof of how leftists use the “birther” accusation as a smear and exploit those idiots for their own political gain, that last comment will do quite nicely.

    Calling yourself a leftist now? Seems disingenuous.

  86. mantis says:

    Ann Coulter shows how you can denounce the birthers without simultaneously spreading their lies, Jay. You could learn something from her.

  87. Jay Tea says:

    mantis, that’s presuming that I cared enough and took seriously enough the birthers and their charges. I don’t obsess about them; I kick them when they get on my radar, but that’s about it.

    I think I actually despise the truthers more… but it’s a close race.

    My key point is, I don’t take some things as seriously as others do. The birthers remind me of the Paulbots and a few other conspiracy nuts. I just don’t obsess over them.

    That, I leave to you. You seem to revel in fixating on them, and far be it from me to deny your pleasure.

    It’d be nice, however, if you’d recognize that if you’re looking for a fight with a real birther over the whole birther issue, you really should find someone who 1) actually is a birther, and B) gives a rat’s ass about fighting over the issue. I don’t qualify on either count.

    I got my own obsessions — such as how I spent my day today. I don’t need to have a new one thrust upon me.

    J.

  88. jukeboxgrad says:

    The birthers remind me of the Paulbots and a few other conspiracy nuts. I just don’t obsess over them.

    I “don’t obsess over” the people who point out your record of nun-raping and kitten-torturing, but every now and then I’ll mention how “I’ve seen estimates,” as if there’s some basis to treat those “estimates” as credible.

    And then I’ll pretend that I never did that! Just like you’re pretending that your statements (e.g.: “I’ve seen estimates that Obama has spent between one and two million dollars to keep his birth records locked up”) are in any way distinguishable from ordinary birther propaganda promoted by ordinary birthers.

    What you’re doing is a form of paralipsis:

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

    What makes you fun to watch is how you are so transparent while pretending you’re not transparent.

    And it’s helpful to know that you have no answers to the questions I asked you about your various bogus claims. Something else that makes you just like all the other birthers.

  89. Jay Tea says:

    I dunno what your endgame is, juke, but your efforts to push me off my “Obama is the legal president, and the whole birther issue needs to just go away” position ain’t gonna work.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone try so hard to convince a person to take up a political position they reject just so the first person can demolish that argument…

    If you’re that desperate for a “real” birther to kick around, I’ll go poking through the Wizbang archives and put you in touch with some True Believers I’ve given up on educating. Two come to mind rather readily. But be warned — they are so totally clue-resistant that they make wr look like Victor Davis Hansen.

    J.

  90. mantis says:

    Jay, we’ve both made it abundantly clear that you traffic in bullshit birther myths. You know they aren’t true, but you find it politically advantageous to do so, because it supports your absurd theory that Obama is fueling the birther phenomenon.

    You have ignored this very basic point repeatedly for months. This can only be a conscious and purposeful action. You know you’re full of shit, but that doesn’t stop you from repeating demonstrably false birther myths as if they were fact. And your response is nothing but a bunch of handwaving to distract attention from your demonstrable lies.

    We aren’t looking for a “real birther,” we’re pointing out that you, who claims to hate birthers, gleefully repeat their lies long after it’s clear you know they are lies. That may not make you a birther, but it does make you 100% full of shit. You are an inveterate liar, and an asshole to boot.

  91. jukeboxgrad says:

    my “Obama is the legal president, and the whole birther issue needs to just go away” position

    I hope you’re familiar with my “Jay Tea isn’t a nun-raper” position. However, keep in mind that every now and then I may feel a need to gratuitously mention those “estimates” I’ve seen. But just because I’m spreading a rumor doesn’t mean I believe the rumor, OK? I’m just spreading it, don’t blame me. The rumor made me do it.

    a political position they reject

    Just so you know, the idea that Jay Tea is a nun-raper is a position I reject. And I will be mentioning that frequently, along with the “estimates” which support the nun-raper hypothesis. Why? Because promoting ideas which I “reject” just seems kind of normal to me.