Politics and religion don't mix. Really, they shouldn't mix. Actually, they're not meant to mix, especially in the United States, where our Constitution calls for a separation of Church and State.
Now, that doesn't mean that men of the cloth can't dabble in politics. We've had clergymen serve in Congress before, including two Catholic priests. But that doesn't mean political clergymen can bring their faith to the floor of Congress, and conversely, it shouldn't mean that professional clergymen should bring politics to the pulpit.
Religious politicos are no different to the usual corrupt variety in having feet of clay - after all, look at all the sexual shenanigans which occurred in that poor excuse of a "church" on C Street which doubles as a home for wayward Christian congressmen. However, I have to say, until this week, I'd actually thought Mike Huckabee above all that stuff.
Huckabee, to me, actually seemed an anomaly, because he looked and sounded like a nice Republican - a dying breed and a bit of an oxymoron these days, I know; but he did seem, politics apart, to be a genuinely nice man.
Being a genuinely nice man is no real qualifier. He is a Republican, an ordained clergyman who believes that religion and politics are indelibly intertwined, a social and fiscal conservative. He would never get my vote, but he impressed me simply because he wouldn't rise to the vicious and nasty bait others in his party doled out regarding demonisation of the Left.
But like everyone else in the GOP at the moment, it seems Huck's not immune from suffering from their particular and current brand of meanness which just amounts to nothing more than not-so-cleverly disguised racism.
Until recently, Huck's been one of a handful of Republicans whom I thought had balls enough to give the President credit from time to time. When the President made the unannounced visit to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to meet and salute the returning coffins of servicemen killed in Afghanistan, Huckabee praised this, saying he was proud, at that moment, that Obama was his President. He even made a soft-pedaled criticism of the current Republican mean girls, Palin and Bachmann, and Rush Limbaugh, in their persistent bitchery about the First Lady's campaign against childhood obesity. And I believe in his past as a clergyman, he's encouraged and even opened his own churches up in welcoming African Americans into his Southern Baptist congregations.
Currently, Huckabee's leading in most of the polls regarding potential GOP Presidential candidates for 2012. He's running ahead of Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich; and I guess life at the top of the poll got to him this week. The previous week saw him pasting political rival Romney regarding the prototypical healthcare package he initiated in Massachusetts, which eventually became Obamacare.
However, this week, Huckabee let his political ambitions belie the Christianity he wears on his sleeve, and he succumbed to the temptation of The Big Lie mentality, in order to firm his roots with the teabagging base of the Republican Party. In an interview on a conservative talk radio station, Huckabee sought to smear the President of the United States as rabidly anti-American and sought to explain this perceived "anti-Americanism" as a result of Obama's having been raised in Kenya, with his father and his grandfather, the latter imbuing him with a virulent strain of anti-colonialism acquired as a result of his having been incarcerated during the Mau Mau Rebellion of the 1950s.
The interview was lengthy, in depth and repeated the meme of Obama's "Kenyan" upbringing, which was a base lie. Anyone who's read the President's autobiography Dreams of My Father, knows that Barack Obama Jr didn't meet his old man until he was ten years old. That was the first and last time. He actually didn't visit Kenya until he was a grown man.
A day later, Huckabee tried to walk back the lie as a misspoken irrelevance. He wasn't actually referring to Kenya, you see; he was referring to Indonesia (where the President did, indeed, spend a great deal of his childhood, living with his mother and stepfather). If that were the case, then why didn't Huckabee's interviewer attempt to correct him, rather than letting him vent about the President being anti-American as a result of his Kenyan uppringing?
Oh, it was to promote the lie that's currently found, if not on most Republicans' lips, then most certainly at the backs of their tiny minds. The President's not one of us. He's different. His name is foreign in a way ours have never been foreign before, and he certainly looks different.
The most extreme of the Republican base openly doubt the fact that the President is even American, maintaining the birthers' mantra that he was born in Kenya - something which if John Boehner and Eric Cantor won't correct amongst their voters, then Huckabee has always been at pains to disdain; but in his interview, the foremer Arkansas governor and ordained Baptist minister merely changed tack and altered the goalposts around the birther theory: Obama may have been born in the United States, but let's get the message out that he was raised in Kenya and absorbed anti-colonial opinions from his father and grandfather, which formed the basis of his political ideals which he hopes to foist on the United States.
As a well-known Republican sage might snark, that's kinda oxymoronic.
It's oxymoronic because, as Americans, we're all supposed to be anti-colonialists. That's why we revolted against the old country. We were second class colonials, and we wanted to be their equals. That's part of our American identity. I don't get it. Is Huckabee coming down on the side of the Brit in the Mau Mau Rebellion, because if it does, it says an awful lot about Mike Huckabee.
Yes, the rebellion was a reaction by native Kenyans against British rule, and it resulted in the British instituting concentration camps and torturing various rebels. Is Huckabee endorsing that sort of behaviour engendered by the white British rulers against their black indigneous subjects? If so, what does that say about Mike Huckabee?
Because, really, that's what this whole Kenyan thing is about - the whole Kenyan, birther, secret Muslim dynamic. It's simply a euphemism for the fact that the Republican base, and many of its elected officials, don't like the fact that the President is black.
In the 21st Century, it's all about race. The President is black. He's not like us. He has African roots, from the country of Kenya, his father was an atheist, he was given a Muslim name and his grandfather opposed a colonial authority. Therefore, he's a Manchurian candidate, dumped in the White House by the subversive Left in order to lead us all down the unrighteous path of socialism, communisim, fascism, whateverism happens to be worrying the Teabaggers on a particular day of a particular month at a particular time of day.
It's racism, and Huckabee, ordained man of God and gentle Christian pastor, is pushing a lie, in order to consolidate his pre-eminence as a viable Presidential candidate amongst the Republican base. This other man from Hope, Arkansas, is dispelling the man who offered us the audacity of hope solely because the colour of his skin is not the type they would hope to be seeing sitting in the White House, unless it were in a servile capacity.
Never mind the fact, as Joan Walsh recently pointed out, that the President was raised by a Caucasian mother from Kansas and his Caucasian, middle-class grandparents in Hawaii. As she reiterated, no one wants to speak of them. Why emphasize Obama's American roots at all, when his Kenyan heritage serves the ulterior purpose of delegitimising him so effectively?
Well, if the Kenyan heritage is all that matters for these people, perhaps they need to address these "Kenyans" who happen to be relatives of our President: Brad Pitt, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Robert E Lee and Jefferson Davis.
If Obama's mother's heritage doesn't count, then that must mean that all of the above are Kenyans, surely, because they are lateral relations of the President, and in the case of Davis, the President is directly descended from him.
Pitt apart, knowing that the President claimed real kinship with any of the others would be a plus factor in the South and parts of the rural Midwest. It would make him a fully paid-up member of the club, eligible to be included as part of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a bubba.
Just imagine how that would play in the Red States.
And, maybe, if Mike Huckabee just scratched the surface enough, he'd find that he might be Kenyan too.