Thursday, January 23, 2014


I'm sure by now you've heard about this:
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) said Thursday that Republicans need to take a more combative attitude toward winning the votes of women, by emphasizing that women aren't weaklings in need of help from the government....

Huckabee said Democrats rely on women believing they are weaker than men and in need of government handouts, including the contraception mandate in Obamacare.

Huckabee said Democrats tell women "they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government." ...
Is there any effective difference between what Rush Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke ("She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex") and what Huckabee said today?

I guess the only problem with what Limbaugh said two years ago, as far as Republicans are concerned, was that he said it in a presidential election year, when infrequent voters show up at the polls and Republicans try to avoid offending them, rather than in a midterm election year like this year, when the point for the GOP is to turn out the angry base.

It's amusing to flash back to March 2012, just after the Limbaugh attack on Fluke, and read this about Huckabee:
After decades as a dominant force in talk radio, Rush Limbaugh could be in for his biggest fight yet. But the threat isn't from activist groups who dislike his conservative politics. It is from one of his own: former Republican governor of Arkansas and onetime presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee.

Starting April 9, Mr. Huckabee, a Fox News Channel commentator, will go head-to-head with Mr. Limbaugh in a syndicated radio program airing in the noon to 3 p.m. Eastern time, weekday slot.

... the recent drama over Mr. Limbaugh calling a Georgetown law student a "slut" for her comments about contraception insurance coverage has given Mr. Huckabee an opening....

With the slogan "more conversation, less confrontation," the syndicator behind "Huckabee," Cumulus Media Networks, has been pitching the new show to advertisers as a less combative alternative to Mr. Limbaugh....

Such fond memories....

And in case anyone needs reminding, Sandra Fluke, in testimony to congressional Democrats, made reference to a classmate who needed birth control pills for a reason other than contraception:
She kept her poise, voice faltering only slightly, as she told the story of a gay friend who needed prescription birth control to prevent the growth of ovarian cysts. When Georgetown declined to cover the pills on the grounds that they were intended to prevent a pregnancy, Fluke said, her friend developed a cyst "the size of a tennis ball" that required the removal of her ovary. As Fluke noted, oral contraceptives, which can be costly, are often prescribed for medical issues unrelated to preventing pregnancy. "A woman's health takes a back seat to a bureaucracy focused on policing her body," she told the assembled members of Congress.
Limbaugh? Huckabee? Not a dime's worth of difference. And I hope Limbaugh's lawyers dun Huckabee for royalties.


Victor said...

Maybe I'm wrong, but weren't the Republicans supposed to try to rebrand themselves, to stop being "the stupid party?"

If this is the best they can do, I think they're confusing reaching out to women, with bitch-slapping them.

'Please proceed, GOP... Please, please, proceed...'

aimai said...

Huckabee is always moving--he started out marketing a kinder-gentler conservativism (ish) which was always as phony as a "bless your heart" from a southern bitch. As an governor, and then an x governor, before Obama he was modeling himself on a certain kind of run for the presidency. But he has recently lost the only way he could stay in the public eye, his radio station, so obviously he's looking for a little jump juice to restart his career. He's either looking for another radio sinecure or to be picked up as a standard bearer or connector in some think tank or right wing fundraising outlet and to do that he has to demonstrate his right wing chops.

Knight of Nothing said...

Steve: I usually agree with you, but in this case, I think there's a big difference between what Limbaugh said and what Huckabee is saying. Limbaugh said without qualification that Fluke is a slut and a prostitute. Huckabee is saying, Democrats patronize women and believe that they have uncontrollable libidos and need handouts.

Basically, Huckabee is pulling out the old canard "Democrats are the REAL (racists/misogynists/classists). To me, that's very different than directly calling someone a prostitute and a slut. Unfortunately, Huckabee's message, while extremely wrong-headed, will resonate with the "pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps, because I'm not racist or sexist" crowd.

Steve M. said...

Knight, I see your point -- although I'd say in my defense that Limbaugh probably agrees with your summary of Huckabee's message, and just thinks Fluke is a big tramp because she's fallen for fiendish liberal sex-enslavement propaganda.

Knight of Nothing said...

Yeah - and I suppose one should never expect internal consistency when analyzing what these yahoos are trying to say, either :-)

The New York Crank said...

I love this Huckabee-LImbaugh deal. It's a "righter-than-thou" contest. Kind of reminds me of a teen-age game of highway chicken. L

But let's not call this to the world's attention just yet. As Napoleon Bonparte once said, "Never interrupt the enemy when he is making a grave mistake."

-Very crankily yours,
The New York Crank

marieburns said...

I'm with Knight of Nothing, but there's another, even more important, difference between Huckleberry & Rush.

Huckabee thinks he is attacking the Democratic party, not women. In his attack, he projects an offensive portrait of women who can't control their libidos & rely on Obama to give them free contraceptives, so of course the overall effect of his speech is offensive.

But Rushbo attacked a specific young woman. He named her (tho as I recall he got her name wrong in the first of four separate tirades). He called her vile names, he speculated about her sex life, & he mischaracterized her testimony. I didn't listen, but I read the transcripts. It was virtual rape.

It's one thing to insult the generic American woman; it's quite another to slander a particular woman, especially one who, up until just before Rush's attack, was not in any way a public figure (and I would argue that an hour or so of testimony before part of a House committee does not make one a public figure).

Nobody is hurt by Huckabee's stupid remarks. Fluke had a right to be hurt by Limbaugh's.

In addition -- and this isn't exactly important -- Huckabee was just continuing his long-running Gomer Pyle schtick, while Rush was just plain mean. He's a nasty piece of work.

It's a difference with a distinction. I hope you'll acknowledge it.

Marie Burns

Geese Howard said...

I'm with Knight here.

I don't think Huck's a demented asshole, he's not Rush. He's not going around screaming "sluts need to keep their legs shut, and if I have to pay for it I get to enter or watch it". It's different.

Huck believes that people should only have sex for procreation once married. And that the liberal state is saying "we don't think you have the moral fiber to do this so here you go", and that's flat out insulting to a large swatch of evangelical type Christians, including many women.

There's a world of difference between "not paying for a sluts birth control unless I'm the one fucking her" and "I think sex outside of marriage is wrong and I think people are capable of not producing a child (and yes both sexes here, Huck is consistent) if they stick to sex in marriage".

Now both are very stupid view points for many reasons, some of them are the same. But one is based in bile and hatred, the other is just an old backwards fart being an old backwards fart.

And show me where Huck went after an actual person here? He's not raking a person through the coals and making them miserable. Sure it was stupid and offensive, but he's not bearing down on a specific woman trying to ruin her in public. Don't get me wrong he will throw a punch, but it's at actual political combatants, not random college students.

There's a difference. I hate to use the beer test but I will. I could have a beer with Huck and have a good time. We don't agree on a damn thing and I have little tolerance for his sort of religion (and I'm sure he'd have a list of my faults as well), but I could do it. He's not really a particularly malicious individual (the right hates him for helping the poor over the rich and pardoning criminals of all things).

On the other hand I couldn't have one with Rush. Dude just seems like there's a gaping hole where his soul should be and he can only fill it with malice and hate. I just don't think I could even find arguing over the best type of beer and hockey fun with him.

Beyond that I HOPE Huck runs, as should most. Toss the religion out the window for a second, the mans an actual populist and he's certainly not from the "business sector" or a libertarian. The social differences are always settled and we all vote because of them. Huck as the nominee is the sort that might actually try to take the election to the ground and go for a choke out on economic issues. I wouldn't pull it past him to pull a Pope Francis... love the sinner but a sin is a sin, now how about we talk about the evil of greed in the bible.

Maybe it's just being a dude here, and sorry if that's the case. But I just can't equate Huck with Rush, completely different animals on all levels.

Kathy said...

Not a dude here, and I heard Huckabee's remarks a little differently. Huckabee was doing okay until he started talking about libidos and women keeping their legs shut. He let the mask slip, and I could hear the disdain dripping from his voice. He probably loves his wife, but I think down deep he thinks of women as evil Eves who spend their lives enticing men into bad behavior. He gives me the creeps. The only difference between him and Rush is that he's (usually) more subtle.

Geese Howard said...

I don't think Huck approves of men sleeping around either. He doesn't think ANYBODY should be having sex outside of marriage.

Ray-Mel Cornelius said...

Of course he doesn't. He's a Southern Baptist preacher. Someone mentioned having a beer with him, I doubt he would do that, either, for the same reason.
Of course that doesn't keep him from playing music with Ted "Make that pussy purr with a stroke of my hand" Nugent, so his principles can go out the window when it's politically expedient.