Mike Huckabee, circa 2012. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

“It came as a bit of a surprise, then, when former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said late Friday that he would disclose his plans for the 2016 presidential race on May 5. This wasn’t an announcement, so much as it was an announcement about an announcement (at which point, the far-right Arkansan may or may not make an announcement).”


This is actually an interesting point, but only in an obscure way. Armchair wonkery often seems nearly occult to those who prefer their theatrical performances from the sports or celebrity-gossip sectors, but there is something about drowning one’s announcement of an announcement in the Friday afternoon cascade. The intersection of the Friday news dump with Mike Huckabee is just one of those things, you know?

For Steve Benen, then, it seems that Mr. Huckabee is already acting like a candidate, which is important because the next place our attention goes is to Miranda Blue’s report for Right Wing Watch:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee claimed in an interview with Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday that the Obama administration has “an open hostility toward the Christian faith,” and urged prospective military recruits to wait until the end of President Obama’s term to enlist ....

.... “There’s nothing more honorable than serving one’s country and there’s no greater heroes to our country than our military,” he responded, “but I might suggest to parents, I’d wait a couple of years until we get a new commander-in-chief that will once again believe ‘one nation under god’ and believe that people of faith should be a vital part of the process of not only governing this country, but defending this country.”

And while it is always tempting to pounce on the superficial bait, given Republican militaristic bluster about patriotism and supporting the troops and backing the president during wartime, we should not let such low-hanging fruit obscure the forest of stupidity the former Arkansas governor would help cultivate.

In the first place, this isn’t about President Obama’s actions as a commander in chief insofar as we have troops deployed abroad to fight and kill and die under a tenuous application of an obsolete authorization of force. And that’s the thing. Huckabee is arguing that the U.S. armed services are persecuting Christians:

“This administration has had an open hostility toward the Christian faith,” he said. “And I know that sounds like a bold statement, Jan, but when you have a president whose administration orders its chaplains to put its Bibles away, not to pray in Jesus name, not to counsel people on the issues of sexual morality; when you have this attitude that is more about promoting gay marriage and gay rights in the military than it is about being able to protect religious liberty for those people of faith, it’s going to be hard to find people that are truly devoted people of faith and Christian believers and Orthodox Jews and others.

“Why would they want to be in a military that would be openly hostile and not just simply bring some scorn to their faith, but would punish them for it?” he asked.

Yes, really. Or who knows, perhaps the Christian-supremacist evangelical cult at the United States Air Force Academy is losing its bully privileges; we can only hope. Still, though, it would appear Mr. Huckabee is simply playing yet another xenophobia card about how President Obama is some manner of hostile alien force working to destroy America, which, quite frankly, makes him just another clown looking to pile into the car. Keeping up with the Joneses? How about just trying to keep up with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker?

Perhaps more important, though, is the question of Congressional Republicans and their warring rhythm. With House and Senate Republicans alike in a strikingly warmongering mood, it is hard to wonder at the idea that a Republican president would need our young to start enlisting.

Yeah. Tell your kids to wait a couple years, see if a Republican wins the White House. See if they’ll be needed to go invade someplace.


Benen, Steve. “Huckabee discourages U.S. military enlistments”. msnbc. 20 April 2015.

Blue, Miranda. “Huckabee: Wait To Join Military Until Obama Leaves Office”. Right Wing Watch. 17 April 2015.

Antoon, David. “The Evangelical Christian Takeover of the Military”. AlterNet. 15 November 2007.

Farray, Yanira. “Former USAF Academy Professor Slams Christian Bigotry”. Veterans Today. 22 September 2010.

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