When it comes to far-right personalities, Mike Huckabee doesn't necessarily come across as a bad guy. He tells charming stories; he frequently jokes around with Jon Stewart; and he even plays bass. As right-wing preachers-turned-politicians go, Huckabee seems non-threatening, and to some, even likable.
What often goes overlooked is the uglier side of Huckabee's political persona. Zeke Miller reports today on a fundraising letter the former Arkansas governor sent to supporters of Citizens United. From the letter (odd comma usage in the original):
"Look, you're a conservative and so am I. We can agree, the day that the day Barack Obama was sworn into office as out 44th President, was the day the country started going to pot.
"Listen, you're a person of faith and so am I. In his administration and now on his re-election campaign, President Obama has surrounded himself with morally repugnant political whores with misshapen values and gutter-level ethics."
I realize that it's not uncommon for political figures to have ghost writers draw up needlessly-hyperbolic fundraising appeals, but it appears to be Huckabee's letter on Huckabee's letterhead. The moment a letter like this goes out, Huckabee owns phrases like "morally repugnant political whores."
What's more, it's part of a pattern of Huckabee taking a cheap, needlessly low road. A few months ago, he said he wanted to see President Obama's college transcripts "to show whether he got any loans as a foreign student."
Last year, Huckabee falsely claimed President Obama “grew up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather.” Soon after, he endorsed “death panel” garbage. By the early summer, Huckabee was equating the national debt with the Nazi Holocaust.
For a guy with a jovial reputation, there’s something rather twisted about Mike Huckabee’s worldview.
In August 2009, Huckabee argued on his own radio show that President Obama’s health care reform package would have forced Ted Kennedy to commit suicide. Ed Kilgore argued at the time, “This despicable rant should disqualify Mike Huckabee from any further liberal sympathy, no matter how much he tries to joke or rock-n-roll his way back into mainstream acceptability.”
That’s as true now as it was then.
Update: Huckabee now says he didn't approve the rhetoric that went out over his signature, and he's asked for the letter to be "pulled."