December 5, 2007

More Huck the Dodger?

Mike Huckabee bristled the other day when asked if he thought creationism should be taught in schools:
"That's an irrelevant question to ask me — I'm happy to answer what I believe, but what I believe is not what's going to be taught in 50 different states," Huckabee said. "Education is a state function. The more state it is, and the less federal it is, the better off we are."

Ah yes, a reasonable response. Until you look at his earlier statements:

"I believe God created the heavens and the Earth," he said at a news conference with Iowa pastors who murmured, "Amen."

"I wasn't there when he did it, so how he did it, I don't know," Huckabee said.

But he expressed frustration that he is asked about it so often, arguing with the questioner that it ultimately doesn't matter what his personal views are.

Hmm. He uses his personal views to claim role as "most Christian" in this race. But then doesn't want those personal views to be questioned when it comes to policy? He can preach to Iowa pastors for their "amen," but can't actually answer a question about whether Jesus would flip the switch on an execution? He can pander to Iowa fundamentalism about creationism, but then say that view is irrelevant to his views on education policy? Methinks the Huck wants to play it both ways. And that stinks.

8 comments:

steves said...

"Education is a state function. The more state it is, and the less federal it is, the better off we are."

I tend to agree with this. My wife is a public school teacher and some of the BS they have to put up with from the feds (e.g. No Child Left Behind) is mind numbing and interferes with educating.

I think it is possible to separate personal belief from policy. I have no problem saying that infidelity is immoral, but wouldn't want to see any law address that topic. Do you believe that everyone that believes in Creationism is unfit for office?

Tony said...

I don't know how much it is creationism but rather a young earth theory, which Huckabee alludes to in saying "I wasn't there when he did it, so how he did it, I don't know". That certainly would have more of an effect on gov't spending in regards to science education.

I have to sympathize with Huckabee here--I would express frustration, too. Moreover, he has also gone on record as not railing against Mitt and Mormonism.

But then, he hasn't expressed much frustration over other religiously oriented questions. I wonder why just over the creationism question?

ubub said...

I agree with Huckabee on this one, that education is primarily a state function. A follow-up on that point would have been a good idea in order to gauge his position on the Republican plank (not sure if it's in the current platform) to eliminate the federal department of education.

As far as a litms test for office, I am ok with privately held religious beliefs, less ok with publicly declared beliefs when used to appeal to the public on policy issues, and certainly not ok when those beliefs become the basis for sectarian public policy.

steves said...

I haven't heard the Republicans rail against the dept. of ed. in a while. Personally, I don't see the need for a federal cabinet level agency for education. Lest I be accused of not caring about kids, I believe that some of the ED's functions could be assumed by other departments and agencies.

"...certainly not ok when those beliefs become the basis for sectarian public policy."

I tend to agree.

Tony said...

I would say that you haven't heard Repubs rail against the ED in a while because of NCLB--like other dismal Bush policies, everyone fears questioning them.

I still sympathize with the Huckster and he is correct that it really doesn't matter what his personal views are. At least in one area he is bold enough to say that.

Rob said...

Here's what's interesting to me: Huck is completely going hands off, which for a certified member of the God Squad, is actually kind of unheard of. He's playing all nonjudgemental-like, which is a complete 180 from where the Pat Robertsons of the world (and hell, the GWBs of the world) would take us.

What he's signaling -- pretty loudly, IMO -- is that he's not going to push every piece of Conservative Christian orthodoxy into the political sphere. This is actually a distance-making moment for him. "I'm happy to answer what I believe, but what I believe is not what's going to be taught in 50 different states." I mean, right there that's a bright red line of "thank you, but no."

If you've been following his history with the catastrophic Wayne Dummond pardon -- and who were some of the louder voices in Arkansas pushing him to do the actual pardoning -- it looks even more like he's talking directly to his fellow fundies and telling them that he's not just doing their bidding blindly again.

Rob said...

And hello, btw. I googled "oklahoma." and "blog" earlier and you popped up. And I'm enjoying reading what you write. Hope you don't mind me chiming in once in awhile.

Streak said...

Rob, thanks for the comments and you are more than welcome to chime in.

I am not sure I share your belief that Huckabee will be that hands off on faith and policy issues. He seems to be playing both sides and hoping that neither will notice.

But then again, perhaps it is just my cynicism after 7 years of Bush.