Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Chris Hedges gives Huckabee too much credit

Chris Hedges, author of American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, has written an article about how the religious right's support for Mike Huckabee "represents a seismic shift in the tactics, ideology and direction of the radical Christian right" in that Huckabee is a candidate who repudiates many of the core principles of conservatism in favor of populism. I'd say he's more of a William Jennings Bryan than a Barry Goldwater.

Hedges' article correctly identifies some very serious reasons to be concerned about a Huckabee candidacy, with his ties to Christian reconstructionism and his complete ignorance of foreign policy. He concludes with a few paragraphs about Huckabee's opposition to the HPV vaccine and his desire to quarantine AIDS patients. It's here that Hedges gives Huckabee too much credit, when he writes that "Huckabee has publicly backed off from this extreme position." In fact, Huckabee hasn't backed off from the position, only from the specific words he used to describe it.

Here's what he said about it to Chris Wallace, as reported at the Huffington Post (with the accompanying video record):
This morning, Huckabee first tried to deny his comments. "Chris, I didn't say that we should quarantine," he said. In fact, he said we "need[ed]" to isolate AIDS patients.

Pressed repeatedly by host Chris Wallace, however, Huckabee relented. "That is exactly what I said. I don't run from it, I don't recant from it. Would I say it a little differently today? Sure, in light of 15 years of additional knowledge and understanding, I would."
That's not backing off from the position.

No comments: