Mike Huckabee has found an interesting issue with which to kick off his 2012 campaign: Natalie Portman’s pregnancy. In a rant about Portman, Huckabee claimed that the Oscar-winning actress was “glamorizing” life as a single mother.
He went on to explain that “Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that’s the story that we’re not seeing.”
Portman’s story doesn’t read anything like that. She’s an Oscar-winning actress who can probably afford food and health care. In fact, the ‘single mother’ is engaged to Benjamin Millepied, the child’s father.
Leave it to a Republican to think that those women are in that situation because they want to be. Or that single mothers are somehow more of a strain on the system than deadbeat fathers.
Huckabee chose to ignore the facts in order to fire a veiled attack at the ‘welfare queens’ that was likely to go viral. Just like he chose to ignore that Obama spent time in the Philippines as a child. Instead, he said that the President’s views were shaped by growing up in Kenya.
Apparently it’s okay to glamorize the xenophobia based around our president’s heritage when one has a book to sell. But now, everyone’s had enough. People on both sides of the aisle want Mike Huckabee to shut up.
Liberals see him as starting the desperate race to the bottom we all know as the Republican primary. If Huckabee is distorting facts and starting in with the Kenya conspiracies in March 2011, it’s hard to imagine how nasty the primaries will get.
Conservatives also wish he’d shut up. Republicans rode to power in 2010 on an almost purely fiscal platform and waited until they were in office to mention, then enact, their backwards social policies. They’re hoping to do the same in 2012.
But it’s a stretch to call Huckabee’s comments social policy. They’re more like sound bites aimed at a large portion of Republican base that was left starving for red meat during the last election.
Huckabee seems to have given up on actual substance, instead preferring childish, half-true insults aimed at celebrities and politicians. He’s taking the majority of his anger out by making shocking, crass statements directed at women, a group whom he treats with contempt.
Mike Huckabee has become the prudish Eminem of politics. And both sides agree: He needs to shut up.