Former Arkansas Governor and current Republican presidential wishful Mike Huckabee delivered a Hucked up civics lesson over the weekend when he told Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace that the Supreme Court’s rulings are more sort of guidelines, really, and that nothing is constitutional until all three branches of government agree on it. That’s an actual quote. “We are sworn to uphold the Constitution and law,” Huckabee said, adding “And it has to be consistent and agreed upon with three branches of government — one can’t overrule the other two.”
Apparently, young Huckabee was off raiding the fridge in between Grape Ape and Funky Phantom, because anyone who’s ever watched Schoolhouse Rock knows that’s exactly the opposite of how the branches of government work. Our system of checks and balances depends entirely on the ability of each branch to overrule the other. Chris Wallace did his level best to introduce Huckabee to the concept of judicial review, but there are only so many minutes in a segment.
As ridiculous as Huckabee’s explanation was, though, it doesn’t hold a candle to the goings-on at MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where the gang played some of Huckabee’s remarks, and even Joe Scarborough was obliged to patiently explain things to Huckabee. Enter Mark Halperin, Managing Editor of Bloomberg Politics, to bring crucial “objectivity” to the discussion:
“He’s not totally wrong… I applaud him, regardless of his ideological positions, I applaud him for pointing out that if people want to change something that the Supreme Court does, there is a political way to do it.”
Halperin has a point there, except for the fact that Huckabee actually is totally wrong, and did not point out, in any way, that there are political checks on the Supreme Court. Other than that, it was spot-fucking-on.
Huckabee’s motives for pushing this dumbassery are fairly transparent, as Bob Cesca pointed out, but so are Halperin’s. The difference is that Halperin’s reasons for defending Huckabee are far more toxic. There’s so much bleating from the left and the right about partisan bias (which is usually labeled in thick, bright magic marker), but it is the “objective” media’s devotion to the “both sides” narrative that does the most damage to, and most poorly serves, the public. Halperin doesn’t actually think Huckabee had a point, he just reflexively pretended he did.
Almost worse than that was Eugene Robinson telling Halperin “It sounded like he was saying that the other branches could ignore the Supreme Court. That’s what it sounded like he was saying. and that’s not just more controversial. that’s wrong.”
No, that’s not what it sounded like he was saying, that’s what he was saying! There’s a videotape of it. There’s a transcript of it that you can read. The only thing worse than pretending that wrong things aren’t wrong is pretending that right things are still debatable. The dress is blue, climate change is real, and Huckabee is wrong. That this is not the end of the story is all you need to know about the current state of our political press.