March 4, 2011

What the Huckabee? Why he's viable

What if Mike Huckabee knew what he was saying a few days ago, when he repeatedly referred to President Obama as having grown up in Kenya? He had stressed that Kenyan boys are raised to hate the British, while Huckabee appeals to white, Anglo-Saxon America. Had Huckabee simply referred -- accurately -- to Obama's childhood stays in Indonesia, no one would have noticed. By getting it wrong with Kenya, he invited additional attention and debate around the issue of where exactly Obama did grow up.

Here's Huckabee's line of attack: Obama grew up in Kenya, so he hates white Anglo-Saxons. Oh, my mistake, I was wrong about which Third World Country he's from -- he grew up in Indonesia, where they have madrassas rather than Boy Scouts (and Boy Scouts are for white kids who are also straight, y'all). Of course, I accept that he was born in the United States -- in Hawaii?? -- but he really doesn't share our values. Kenya, Indonesia, Hawaii -- and by Hawaii, Huckabee doesn't mean Steve McGarrett, he means the "un-American" guys paddling their outrigger canoe through the surf.

Mike Huckabee has just shown Republican insiders that he can appeal to their base and to the basest of the Tea Party's xenophobic wing. And he didn't have to question President Obama's American birth, nor did he explicitly denounce African Americans or Muslims, which means he could win in the GOP primaries without alienating every independent in the general election.

1 comment:

  1. Creating fear is such a powerful political tool. It doesn't matter what the facts are when the seed on certainty can be planted to paint a candidate as "one of them" or equate government health care with Soviet-style socialism or communism.