On his blog today, Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, said he considers the stimulus package passed by the Senate is "anti-religious." Maybe the former presidential candidate was confusing the stimulus package with a vibrator.
Remember the good old days--when somebody didn't like you they'd call you queer? Now they call you "anti-religious," too! This kind of talk belongs in a locker room, and not coming from the mouth of any elected official.
But, which part of the $828 billion stimulus package does Huckabee find objectionable? Can it be the tax cuts for individuals and families, assistance for the jobless or low income Americans, aid to states, and huge increase in spending on education, healthcare, and technology? Or, maybe it's the proposed $50 million for arts funding which hangs in the balance thanks to prominent Democratic senators pandering to members of his party.
Can it be the addition, by the Senate, of a $70 billion provision to protect what's left of this country's middle class from being forced to pay the alternative minimum tax that has Huckabee so ticked off?
After all these years of Gingrichitis, one would think Mr. Huckabee, and his tribe, would be reassured by President Obama's recent announcement that he intends to expand federal support for faith-based initiatives, and communities, which are what Obama calls "a force for good greater than government."
Yes, the kind of "force for good" that has driven members of the military who aren't Rapture junkies to prozac; the kind of good that has banned funding for HIV/AIDS programs, both here and abroad, unless they require abstinence-only education, even in the face of unprecedented death, globally, from this horrific disease; a force that, were it up Huckabee, would lead an unwed mother, even one who was raped, to follow through with a pregnancy that is unwanted, and for which she is unprepared.
I think, after the Bush years, most of us are willing to concede that just about any force is greater than government, but that if we must have some form of governance, it must be one that works for 98% of us, not the 2% who belong to Mr. Huckabee's country club.
"For all the talk about bipartisanship, this Congress is blatantly liberal," Huckabee says. On his blog, he observes how "Emily's List, radical environmental groups, et. all have a seat at the decision making table in Washington these days;" yes, and right across from Halliburton and Blackwater! But, who would consider hiring independent contractors to go to Iraq, as an adjunct army, to fire away often at unarmed Iraqi civilians "anti-religious?" Who would think divesting our schoolchildren of government subsidized lunch as anti-religious? Why would anyone think of blocking food, and humanitarian supplies, from reaching 1.5 inhabitants of the Gaza strip as anti-religious? It's Emily's List, Greenpeace, the ACLU, and the NRDC who are the infidels. What does that make the born-again gang---infidel lite?
Not since the witchhunt days of Salem Bay have we seen so much hypocrisy trying to masquerade as public decency. Not since the Joe McCarthy years have we seen such a devaluation of American patriotism; the counterfeiting of American principles in the form of a Patriot Act.
Ah, but indeed, the devil isn't in the details, but in the details' pants. What the former governor of Arkansas is so hot and bothered about is a provision in both versions of the stimulus bill that would prohibit higher education funds for being used on a "school or department of divinity." Yes, friends, what Mr. Huckabee is so upset about is congressional affirmation of the separation of church and state---to think -- how blatantly liberal, and anti-religious, oh, and how unabashedly constitutional.