Mike Huckabee went birther-adjacent in a recent radio interview in which he suggested that the President doesn’t see the Brits like we do because he grew up in Kenya. Since this was just a week after Huckabee parroted Sarah Palin et al with a birther distancing line about focusing on the policies they hate instead of the people they hate, Joe Scarborough was distressed. Try as they might, the Morning Joe panel couldn’t buy Mike’s excuse for going to the depths of hell again, and Joe called the reach into birtherism “hate speech.”
Here’s the video courtesy of Media Matters:
When they got over chuckling at Mike’s pathetic attempt to walk his birtherism back by saying he’s just wondering what the President wants to “do to this country,” Mark McKinnon said, “I worry that is a strategy. It was either comedy or whatever it was, but it’s inappropriate and it’s inappropriate for anyone running for President. It disturbs me when members of my party continue this meme about the President being somehow different, from somewhere else, and dropping comments about the Mau Mau revolution. Those things are intended to sow discontent and foreign ideas about the President and I think it’s highly inappropriate.”
Joe countered, “But you’ve seen Mike Huckabee. It’s not like this is his first dance. Mike has stayed away from this kind of hate speech before.”
Mark insisted, “That’s why it’s so disconcerting.” To which Joe asked, “Is it possible that sometimes you get in the middle of this storm and sometimes you say really stupid things, your IQ drops by like 30 points just for five minutes when you’re on a radio show. Is that possible?” Mark didn’t buy that, “Absolutely it’s possible but if you’re going to run for President you have to hold yourself to a higher standard.”
As most Americans know, President Obama did not visit Kenya until his 20’s. Heck, the entire world knows this except for the Republican base, at least 20 percent of whom still believe this nasty lie deliberately stoked by leading Republican figures for the last three years. The Telegraph UK reported on this humiliating episode:
“One thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, (is) very different than the average American,” Mr. Huckabee said, pointing to Mr Obama’s decision in 2009 to return a bust of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
He failed to note that the bust was on loan from former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who offered it to President George W. Bush in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as a symbol of trans-Atlantic solidarity. Mr Huckabee also did not mention that Mr Obama replaced the Oval Office fixture with a bust of one of his American heroes, President Abraham Lincoln.
“The bust of Winston Churchill, a great insult to the British,” Mr Huckabee said. “But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather. He probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.”
Mr Obama’s grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was detained in a 1952 uprising against British colonial rule in Kenya. Mr Huckabee said childhood stories of the Mau Mau rebellion would lead President Obama to want to return the bust of Churchill, who ordered a crackdown against that uprising.
If the word imperialism is ringing any bells it’s because Joe Scarborough mocked Newt Gingrich for going down this road last year in a what became a much repeated Fox watcher talking point about Obama’s imperialist hate explaining why he was so bad for our country. Based as it was on false information, this dance with the devil failed to catch on beyond the most ardent Fox watcher.
The entire world is curling their lips in disgust at our modern day Republican Party. The entire world, save the base of the Republican Party, that is. Oh, and the southern voters who favor Mike Huckabee by a large percentage at this point according to a recent Winthrop poll, where Huckabee leads with 22 percent of Southerners.
The leaders of the Republican Party stoked birtherism deliberately and with intent to mislead their base, in order to scare their base and motivate them to get out the vote for Republicans over the last three years. The problem they face now is that while birtherism was peachy for the last three years, leading up to state elections, it won’t fly on the national level and the GOP knows that. Somehow their candidates have to skate between the birther primary voters and still dance with the indie non-haters.
Republican candidates have to straddle the hate the GOP stirred up over the past three years but they can’t come out and call it hate because they know that they’re going to need that hate working in the dark for them in 2012. In other words, in order to play this game, a person must be willing to sacrifice all of their integrity and dignity for power. Apparently Mike Huckabee is more than willing to do so.
Huckabee found himself talking out of two sides of his mouth this week. Huckabee, who claims he is an evangelical Christian, obviously has no problem placing himself under God’s wrath by gossiping, rumor-mongering and slandering another man’s character, something the Bible refers to as theft. The list of sins that place one under God’s wrath include gossiping and slandering (Romans 1:29b-32). Further, we have LEV 19:16 “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life.” And PSA 34:13: “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.” The many ways the Bible discourages one from lying about one’s neighbor are endless, but for good measure, we have PRO 6:19 : “A false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”
What does the Bible have to do with politics? These days, it has everything to do with politics since it’s being used to glorify and supposedly grant divine powers to certain politicians. If this is their claim, we need to examine those beliefs and hold them to their states values. The entire Republican Party has failed to uphold their Christian values on the false narrative of birtherism, and it’s not just that they slander an innocent man but that they do so deliberately to gain power for themselves while knowing that they are causing danger to his life. A person needn’t be a Christian to share the values of honesty and understand that bearing false witness against your neighbor is a low down thing to do. In fact, it seems these days that the people who evince the most integrity in their political lives do not announce their supposed Christianity or use it as a shield from accountability. Are people as morally depraved as Mike Huckabee fit to lead this country?
Huckabee’s attempt to walk back the birtherism by claiming he “misspoke” and meant Indonesia when we all heard him natter on about the Mau Mau revolution is even more insulting and degrading to him. It’s safe to say Huckabee has gone Palin; He is either too ignorant to know where the Mau Mau revolution took place or he is lying. Neither speaks well of him. Notice that both Palin and Huckabee fail to walk the talk of their religion but never cease to take refuge in it and use it to gain power for themselves.
The fact that so many will dismiss Huckabee’s two-sidedness and his willing brush with stoking evil is also indicative of a disquieting lack of expectation of both integrity and ethics in the modern day culture. Our leaders should stand for something and they shouldn’t have to stoke hate speech to advance their careers. The fact that we allow this says more about us, really, than it does about Mike Huckabee. It’s easy to blame the Republicans for playing in the dirt, but who is buying their dirt and why? Where are the voices demanding integrity and honesty and some semblance of truth?
Joe Scarborough has become a sort of unwilling thermometer for his party; he leans far over the cliff for them, but when he calls halt, it’s usually well deserved and he’s sadly usually the first and only person in the party to do it. The Republican Party’s relentless attempts to sow dissension among Americans is a moral failing that Americans should not ignore. Contrary to their beliefs, we are all Americans; left, right, and middle. Using divisive strategies like birtherism is hate speech and the Republican Party is guilty of using hate speech to sow fear and division among us.