People Are Crazy, Mike Huckabee-Edition

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In the middle of a long and mostly sane Q&A with Slate, man-of-the-moment Mike Huckabee has this insane moment.

Slate: Why is it unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon?

Huckabee: They’ve already announced their intention to destroy Israel. They’ve already announced that they would love to invade Iraq and take its oil… This is not a nation building up nuclear arms to defend against somebody, because there is no one threatening them.

I guess Mike Huckabee isn’t aware who our vice president is. Or who our president is. Or who Rudy Giuliani, a man vying to be the next president, is. Nobody here is saying Iran should have a nuke, but pretending that Iran isn’t threatened by the rhetoric of the United States, when that rhetoric is expressly designed to threaten Iran, is an act of willful denial.

And there’s also a moment where Huckabee, as a Christian evangelical, demonstrates the illogical reasoning people of his ilk use to justify discrimination against gays while professing to oppose discrimination against racial minorities.

Slate: Barack Obama has been criticized for campaigning with a gospel singer who has called homosexuality a curse. Critics have claimed it’s as if a white candidate campaigned with David Duke. What’s your view on the equivalence of homosexuality with skin color in the civil rights debate?

Huckabee: Most of the African-American leaders with whom I’m familiar are very, very unhappy with tying the two together. First of all, because a person is black and discriminated against by sight. It’s not a matter of a relationship. It’s not a matter of even getting to find out that someone has a sexual preference other than hetero. If a person walks into a room and is black, you know it. You don’t necessarily know that a person might be homosexual. There is a different level of bigotry and discrimination…

What? Because you can’t immediately tell if someone is homosexual, it’s okay to discriminate against them? Does Huckabee mean that if someone makes a nasty joke about homosexuals, he or she shouldn’t be held to account if they offend a homosexual in the room because the joke-teller couldn’t have known the offended party was a homosexual? That’s the best I can do at deciphering this, and that’s a pretty ridiculous argument. Shouldn’t someone who claims to stand up for civil rights (as Huckabee does) be advocating the end of nasty statements about homosexuals instead of protecting those that make them?

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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