As I've written many times before, the most dastardly thing about Mike Huckabee is that, words and content aside, he seems like a nice enough guy. With his Jim Nabors smile and his old-timey zingers, he seems like a fun uncle or the office card -- that guy from accounting who’s always posting Dilbert cartoons on the break room bulletin board while occasionally slipping a whoopee cushion on your chair. Annoying and a little too old fashioned, but not unlikable. But then he starts talking about politics and he might as well be producing crush videos and snuff porn.
Huckabee is a grinning ghoul, and as his chances in the GOP nominating process appear to be dwindling in the wake of ascension of Trump, he's growing increasingly desperate to rise above the clatter. In the dichotomy of his personality, appearances by Uncle Fluffabee are growing less frequent while the Demon Huckubus is on display more often than not as he attempts to remain relevant in an age of ludicrous blurting.
Such was the case several weeks ago when Huckabee stepped out in support of a confessed child molester, Josh Duggar. Shortly after, Huckabee invented something called "judicial law" in order to demonize the Supreme Court following its ruling on same-sex marriage. Most recently, Huckabee joined many of the other Republican candidates in a mass lie about Planned Parenthood, saying, "I would have a Justice Department that would begin to criminally prosecute Planned Parenthood for violating federal law and selling body parts." Yes, so he'd waste money on a prosecution that would ultimately determine the same thing as a handful of state-level investigations that Planned Parenthood is doing exactly nothing wrong.
But in the lengthy history of the internal battle between Fluffabee and Huckubus, it's impossible to top what he said on CNN over the weekend for its sheer horrendousness and brutality.
First, the back story. CNN reported on Friday:
An 11-year-old girl denied an abortion after allegedly being raped by her stepfather has given birth to a healthy baby girl in Asunción, Paraguay, where a fierce debate is brewing over a law banning most abortions.
Paraguay, as it turns out, boasts an anti-abortion law that sounds eerily similar to the kind of law nearly the entire Republican Party supports.
In the mostly Catholic country, 684 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 gave birth last year. Most of the minors had been victims of sexual abuse, according to government figures. A Paraguayan law bans abortions except in cases where the pregnancy endangers the mother's life.
Except, of course, Scott Walker, who won't even make an exception for the life of the pregnant mother.
Enter Mike Huckabee, who was asked about the story by CNN's Dana Bash. Brace for impact.
Said the Huckubus: "I wouldn’t pretend it’s anything other than a terrible tragedy, but let’s not compound the tragedy by taking yet another life," Huckabee began, "If life matters, and if that’s a person, then every life matters."
The operative word to underscore is "let's" as in "let us." What Huckabee and the others don't understand is that this isn't "our" decision. "Let us" should have nothing to do with the reproductive decisions of an 11-year-old -- 10 when she first became pregnant. Neither the state nor the people should have any say about what anyone, much less a raped and pregnant child, should or shouldn't do with an embryo growing inside her own body, fathered by her alleged rapist stepdad.
What Huckabee doesn't understand is that this child's child doesn't just pop out and become a hypothetical construct. It'll be a burden to its mother for the rest of the mother's life, both financially and psychologically -- a lifelong reminder of how she was raped and impregnated by a family member. No escape. Sure, children who survive tragedy can often bounce back with the proper counseling, but what will come of this child after her nation, and Huckabee for that matter, have determined that it's within the national purview to force her to carry it to term.
Huckabee, a self-identified small government conservative, agrees.
Worse, here we are debating whether a 10-year-old rape victim can have an abortion. This is how off-the-rails the Republicans have successfully shoved the abortion debate. It's almost as though the discussion about the 40-year-old legal right to the procedure has been conceded to the anti-choice crowd, while the rest of us are left to simply fight to preserve reproductive rights for rape victims. Indeed, the debate needs to be shoved in the other direction, and quickly. Pregnant women of any age ought to be allowed to have a safe and legal abortion. Full stop.
Meanwhile, activists should work toward preserving and expanding laws making sure that contraception and family planning are affordable and easily-accessible, reducing the overall need for abortions by preventing unwanted pregnancies. The GOP, for its part, would rather ban all abortions without exception, while fighting against affordable contraception, thus increasing abortions. It's a wholly ridiculous position -- fodder for an easily winnable debate for pro-choice activists.
And Mike Huckabee is, and always will be, a ghoul. Nothing less.