The whole thing seems to predictably clear now, looking back:
- Obama reaches nuclear agreement with Iran;
- Republicans throw hissy fit, because Obama;
- Mike Huckabee goes all Sarah Palin and equates Iran deal to Holocaust;
- Jewish groups and rational people everywhere condemn remarks;
- Obama rips Huckabee (and entire GOP);
- Republicans leap to Huckabee’s defense.
With nary a surprise to be found in the entire chain of events. Why? Because this is, in a nutshell, any year from 2009 to this year. It is a sequence that has and will continue to be repeated until President Obama’s second term ends and he returns to private life.
What is shocking, if any of this is still shocking, is the continued Republican willingness to defend the indefensible. This is a Party that has for many years insisted on Democrats apologizing for telling the truth, for stating facts.
Even the Israeli ambassador has now condemned Huckabee’s remarks. Yet Huckabee came right out (on Fox News, of course) and said, “I will not apologize.”
Jeb Bush alone condemnws the remarks, saying,
“Look, I’ve been to Israel not as many times as Mike Huckabee, who I respect. But the use of that kind of language, it’s just wrong. This is not the way we’re going to win elections, that’s not how we’re going to solve problems.”
And that’s all it takes to look sane when you’re a Republican.
Marco Rubio declined to comment (an ongoing problem according to Fox News’ Outnumbered panel), saying “I don’t generally comment on what other candidates say.” This should make the debates interesting for him.
Donald Trump had nothing to say against Huckabee, but The Washington Times reports that,
Michael Cohen, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald Trump, said Monday he isn’t offended by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s comments…Asked if Mr. Trump thinks the comments from Mr. Huckabee, a fellow 2016 Republican presidential candidate, were wrong and offensive, Mr. Cohen said: “I don’t think so.”
In fact, not only did Trump NOT attack Huckabee, but he attacked President Obama instead for attacking Americans from overseas.
As Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski put it: “I think the Republican candidates who won’t denounce this but said they’re denouncing [Donald] Trump are cowards.”
We can look at some other conservative reactions courtesy of Media Matters for America, where we find CNN’s S.E. Cupp, the intellectualized version of Elisabeth Hasselbeck (i.e. she wears glasses):
CNN’s S.E. Cupp: Mike Huckabee’s Statement Was “100 Percent An Accurate Statement.” CNN conservative political commentator S.E. Cupp agreed with Huckabee’s statement, saying his comment was “100 percent an accurate statement” and is “absolutely true.” [CNN, CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello, 7/27/15]
All this really tells us is that as with Rick Perry, her glasses don’t seem to have any magical properties.
Washington Post Columnist Marc Thiessen said Huckabee “is right,” but really did not seem to understand the problem. Appearing on The Kelly File, Thiessen admitted he “wouldn’t have chosen the words” but said Huckabee “he is right. It is a fact that if Iran gets a nuclear weapon it will have the capability to literally annihilate the state of Israel.”
Here’s the thing though: The Nazis had more than the capability. They gassed the Jews and then threw them in the ovens. This deal does not do that. There is no comparison between engaging in diplomacy and engaging in the act of genocide.
Thiessen just comes away looking stupid. Which is fitting, since the guy he is defending looked stupid too.
It goes without saying Fox News personalities are behind their former co-worker 100 percent, and Media Matters provides a couple of examples:
Sean Hannity: “I May Not Have Used” Huckabee’s Analogy, But We Could See A “Modern Day Holocaust.” On his radio show, Sean Hannity said that while he “may not have used [Huckabee’s] analogy,” he agreed that “the reality is we can see in our lifetime a modern day Holocaust” due to the Iran deal. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 7/27/15]
Laura Ingraham actually opined that Donald Trump has been a positive influence on Mike Huckabee, apparently in realizing that the more outrageous a lie the better:
Laura Ingraham Praises Huckabee For Learning From Trump: “Don’t Back Down Just Because Some Of The Elites” Say You’ve Gone Too Far. On the July 28 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, guest and right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham praised Huckabee for not backing down in response to criticism of his comments, saying he “learned from [Donald] Trump”:
INGRAHAM: I think he’s learned from Trump, don’t back down just because some of the elites are saying, ‘Oh, you went too other far.’ Look, I think Mike Huckabee, everyone knows him. He’s a wonderful person that was a good governor of Arkansas, he’s a strong conservative, a social conservative. And he’s a bit of populist on a lot of these trade and immigration issues. And maybe some people wouldn’t have worded it the way he worded it. I’m not a candidate. They’re always walking in a mine field here. But I think it’s interesting who has come out to criticize Huckabee — the president and Jeb Bush. That’s interesting, isn’t it? Why shoot at Huckabee here? I don’t think that comment is going to lose him any Republican supporters who believe that there’s an existential threat to Israel with this Iran deal. I think most Republicans believe that. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/28/15]
Everywhere you go on Fox News, it has been the same:
Fox’s Martha MacCallum Justifies Huckabee’s Comments: They “Bring People Around” To See The Threat “For What It Is.” During the July 28 edition of America’s Newsroom, host Martha MacCallum attempted to justify Huckabee’s comments, saying “a lot of people just question why is it offensive to you know, call this motivation out for what it is? And in doing so, maybe you get a lot of attention and maybe you bring people around to seeing this for what it is.” [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 7/28/15]
What she means is that people are more likely to believe the Big Lie is fact. Sadly, talk to any conservative, and you will see that it is working. They think we’re the insane ones.
MacCallum says Huckabee was simply calling out Obama’s motivation…meaning she thinks Obama’s motivation in making this agreement with Iran is to destroy the Jewish people. Not a reach, I suppose, when you insist Obama is the leading sponsor of state terrorism.
All this says a great deal more about the Republican Party and its politics and media cheerleaders than it does about the Iran nuclear deal or about President Obama.
And what it says is not pretty, let alone pertinent to our shared reality. Move over, Rush Limbaugh.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.