BREAKING: Former Gov. (and Superhypothetical ’16 presidential candidate) Mike Huckabee said something dumb. Of course, we’re used to Huckabee gleefully spewing nonsense that might offend folks in these parts. This time he managed to stick his foot in his mouth far enough at yesterday’s New Hampshire Freedom Summit to arouse bipartisan condemnation. After a vague rant about free speech being under threat, leaving “only a few forms of speech protected by the radical left,” Huckabee let out this doozy: “My gosh, I’m beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States.”
Huckabee’s gripes probably aren’t a good comp to the concentration camps, widespread torture, mass starvation, and complete totalitarian control of North Korea. Of course, Huckabee’s shtick is to say something offensive and then get outraged when liberals get outraged. But in this case, he just offended everyone. Conservatives rushed to social media to condemn the Huck, most creatively T. Beck Adams of the Blaze, who tweeted out a series pairing Huckabee’s quote with illustrations of North Korean atrocities.
The context, such as it is: After saying that there’s sometimes more freedom in North Korea, Huckabee explained, “When I go to the airport, I have to get in the surrender position. People put hands all over me. And I have to provide photo ID in a couple of different forms and prove that I really am not going to terrorize the airplane.” Then he went directly into pitching Voter ID. As far as I can tell, Huckabee is mad that he has to show ID when he flies, mad that he doesn’t have to show ID when he votes, and the whole thing makes him feel like he’s less free than a North Korean.
As a side note, some features of the security theater in U.S. airports are in fact a pointless, intrusive waste of time and money! But let’s just say that that particular hassle is a long way from abject misery and the total denial of all basic human rights. Even granting that Huckabee was angling for hyperbole, that was a terrifically stupid thing to say. One might point out that despite Huckabee’s claims that his right to free speech is under attack, he is, in the United States of America, perfectly free to voice something so shamefully moronic.