Today’s must read: It’s a fresh angle on an old story — the support for Mike Huckabee from Jay Cole, the NWA religious righter who was a critical reason Huckabee supported freedom for Wayne Dumond. The photo is from Cole’s website of some of what are reportedly many travels with Huck.
Max Blumenthal writes about an interview with Cole in The Nation. It’s not the aw-shucks Huck, so successful with the national media, that attracts Cole, the article says.
But the Huckabee Cole has known and loved for decades contrasts sharply with the sunny figure the media’s leading lights have conjured up. According to Cole, Huckabee has connected with voters–specifically, evangelical voters–not simply because he is a charismatic speaker, but also because he shares their apocalyptic world view. As Cole told me, “To date there’s well over 139 prophecies that have come to pass exactly as the Lord says. Mike believes those things. Anyone with any Bible knowledge would have to say that this looks like the time. We’re so close to the Lord’s return.”
During the period when Huckabee rose through the ranks of the Arkansas Republican Party to the governor’s mansion, Cole became one of the state’s most popular right-wing radio personalities. Cole volunteered to me the sectarian views that made his radio show a favorite of Arkansas’s far-right fringe. Taking a potshot at Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon, Cole compared the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to the Ku Klux Klan. “As you know from history, their original intent–[Mormon founding fathers Joseph] Smith and Brigham Young–was to take over the United States of America,” he said. “They weren’t just far behind the KKK in their efforts.”
Cole was no more kind to Muslims. “If you think communism’s bad, just think what the Islamics are doing,” Cole warned. “Those people have no–they’re just not human. They’re just not human.”
On the campaign trail, Huckabee has ventured some opinions that dovetail at least loosely with Cole’s. Discussing Romney’s Mormon faith with a reporter while stumping through Iowa, Huckabee asked darkly, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus is Satan’s brother?”
Huckabee routinely warns of the threat of “Islamofascism” at campaign rallies and is perhaps the first major presidential candidate in American history to essentially call for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
AND SPEAKING OF THE FAITHFUL: NY Times Sunday features Huck’s support among young evangelicals, if not old-line Religious Right leaders. The Times is still tossing around “populist” to beat the band as a Huckabee label, apparently not having read Ernest Dumas on the subject of Huck’s record and the working man.
POTTY MOUTH UPDATE: Reporters asked Huck about his laxative joke crack about Fred Thompson. No apologies, of coure.
On the bus with reporters on Route 96 in Michigan from Lansing to Grand Rapids, Huckabee explained his Metamucil comment saying, “You have to understand the context of the show….It’s not quite as irreverent as Imus…not quite Stephen Colbert but it’s serious topics with an edge.”
“I really do believe if people can’t have some sense of humor as they approach this stuff, then it causes everybody to be so locked down and consultant driven that their campaigns become so boring because all they’re going to do is give this robotic answer to everything that’s very carefully scripted. I promise you, you won’t have moments like this,” Huckabee said, gesturing to the handful of reporters that had gathered around him for an on-the-record conversation that would last about 40 minutes.
Call me a stick-in-the-mud. I don’t want the leader of the free world to be someone likely to crack a poop joke at any moment.