Thursday, November 29, 2007

Crazy Like a Donkey

In the current issue of the New Yorker, political columnist Hendrik Hertzberg paints a not altogether unflattering portrait of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

My first thought was, “Hath hell frozen over?” Normally, I heart Hendrik, who I’m pretty sure still hasn’t conceded the 2000 election to George Bush. But this current missive had me reconsidering my affection and/or fearing for his sanity.

Just as I was about to cancel my subscription, an alternate explanation entered my head. Wait a minute. Wait. A. Minute.

Is it the tiniest bit possible that Hertzberg is bolstering Huckabee’s credentials to distract voters from the Republican frontrunners? I mean, if you’re a fan of Hillary “Unelectable” Clinton or Barack “Approved by Oprah” Obama or even Chris “Will Someone Please Notice I’m a Candidate” Dodd, who would you rather have as an opponent—Huckabee or R&R (Rudy and Romney)?

After all, America is the land where people once feared that John F. Kennedy would play puppet to the Pope. An ordained Baptist minister like Huckabee should set off way louder warning bells—I’m talking worse than the most obnoxious 2 a.m. car alarm—and send voters straight into the open arms of the Democrats and far, far away from the slightest whiff of theocracy.

You know, theocracy. The kind of state where religious beliefs take precedence over common sense—like imprisoning a teacher for allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad, or punishing a rape victim with 200 lashes because at the time of the attack she was in the presence of a man to whom she wasn’t related. (The logic behind the latter is even more convoluted than the structure of that sentence.) And if you think I’m being absurd, let me remind you that pharmacists in this country feel free to refuse to dispense medication on religious grounds.

Oh, that Hendrik. Crazy like a Democratic donkey.


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