Monday, December 10, 2007

Idiot of the Week: Mike Huckabee Edition

It's easy to pick on poor Mike Huckabee: sure, he used to be fat and still walks like a fat guy, and he thinks he's pretty nifty for having a toupee'd fool like Chuck Norris as his biggest celebrity endorsement, and he's got one of the most redneck last names in American political history. However, just when you feel like maybe the guy's a little bit more than a wisecracking redneck southern governor with zero foreign policy experience and a domestic policy team made up of three high school interns and his illegal-weapon packing son, he goes and says something stupid. Witness this luncacy:

Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee refused to retract a statement he made in 1992 calling for the isolation of AIDS patients.

Responding to an Associated Press questionnaire, Huckabee said steps should be taken to "isolate the carriers of this plague" during his failed run for a U.S. Senate seat from Arkansas 15 years ago.

He said he probably would not make the same statement today because of what is known about how HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is transmitted.

"I had simply made the point -- and I still believe this today -- that in the late '80s and early '90s, when we didn't know as much as we do now about AIDS, we were acting more out of political correctness than we were about the normal public health protocols that we would have acted," Huckabee told Fox News on Sunday.
First of all, OF COURSE he said this to Fox News. Second of all, he acts as though the only rational course of action in the 1980s was to segregate people with AIDS. I remember way back when (certainly earlier than 1992, when Huckabee said this) that people were saying that you could not get AIDS from casual, incidental contact with someone who had AIDS. His comment may not have been radical in 1983, but by 1992 there was substantial evidence to the contrary.

What this shows, of course, is that the George W. Bush-inspired Republican Party has inherited its master's inability/refusal to admit a mistake. What Huckabee should say in this instance is: "Look, I made a mistake--I was wrong, and I admit it." Instead, he chooses the coward's way out, and tries to blame his ultra-conservative (and mistaken) views on the prevailing public sentiment at the time.

Finally, this shows the danger in ignoring science, as the Republican party tries to do time and time again. Whether it is the Bush administration ignoring science on global warming, or conservative Christians ignoring science on AIDS (to say nothing about the failure of "abstinence-only education," Huckabee's absurd comments show what can happen when you ignore the actual research on an issue in favor of pandering to the worst elements in the voting public.