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The Company Huckabee Keeps: American Taliban Edition

Reported by Alex - September 23, 2009 -

What is the yardstick by which we measure character? Is it what a person says? Is it what s/he does? Well, judging by the shrieking and hand-wringing coming from Fox News Channel about President Obama’s associates, past and present, a person’s character should be judged exclusively by the company s/he keeps – no matter how briefly or how long ago.

As I reported on Saturday, Fox News talking head and pastor–who-would-be-king president Mike Huckabee is the closing speaker at this weekend’s “How to Take Back America” Conference. The fact that Huckabee wishes to be associated with this weekend of workshops on how to recruit, organize and motivate the farthest of the far-right religious extremists speaks volumes. And so, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado I present to you, for your elucidation and edumacation, Mike Huckabee and The Company He Keeps, American Taliban Edition (Part II).

On Saturday we looked at the invited speakers; today we pull back the curtain on the organizing committee of the How To Take Back America conference - the real driving forces behind this latest “Christian” crusade – and examine Mike Huckabee’s relationships with them.

We’ve already met chairperson and conference organizer Phyllis Schlafly,founder of the ultra-conservative, anti-feminist Eagle Forum.

You can read more about her here, but in the meantime, here’s a little amuse-bouche of notable Schlafly quotes :

“There is a strong correlation between belief in evolution and liberal views on government control, pornography, prayer in schools, abortion, gun control, economic freedom, and even animal rights.” “Married women can’t be raped by their husbands” “Sexual harassment on the job is not a problem for virtuous women”.
Wow! The Taliban would love that. Bet they'd be down with this too:
"You are right because you called husbands to sacrificially love and lead their wives. You are right because you called wives to graciously submit to their husband's sacrificial leadership. More importantly, you are right because your statement is based on biblical truth."

Or maybe not. Two years ago Schlafly said of Huckabee, "He destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas, and left the Republican Party a shambles.Yet some of the same evangelicals who sold us on George W. Bush as a 'compassionate conservative' are now trying to sell us on Mike Huckabee." So what has changed? Does her master plan to "Take back America" mean she has to take back Huckabee? Is Huckabee paying homage to this caryatid of conservatism in order to boost his radical right ratings? Who did the asking? Inquiring minds want to know.

We’ve also met Janet Folger Porter of Faith2Action, co-chair of the event.

Democratic Underground reminds us,

Janet Porter has helped to promote some of the most paranoid conspiracies out there, like claims that the Obama administration is setting up internment camps for conservatives and plotting to commit genocide against Americans through the use of the swine flu vaccine. Before the election, she said that supporting Obama was akin to supporting Nazis and declared that anyone who voted for him would go to hell. She's also an active participant in spreading Birther lies.
Porter co-chaired the Huckabee presidential campaign's Faith and Family Values Coalition which featured many of the same far-right religious extremists as the annual Values Voter Conference and Take Back America. What’s particularly noteworthy about this is that Huckster gave her the position after she had already written this nutty christian persecution fantasy. He also included her in a list of christian religious extremists Supporters of Huck whom he approvingly called a "new wave of leaders…[with] prophetic voices…[who are] determined to follow their convictions instead of the conventional wisdom." Porter has called Huckabee “the David among Jesse’s sons”. Oy vey.

And now, The Host Committee of How to Take Back America:

Don Wildmon, American Family Association:

Tea party organizer and religious right anti-gay crusader. AFA recently went after Miley Cyrus for Twittering her views that Jesus loves everyone, whether they are gay or straight.

Notable quotes:

“In my thirty years of knowing Rev. Wildmon, I've realized that he cares not if he pleases any earthly power. That's why I singled him out in my recent book Do the Right Thing as one of the national leaders who is driven by principles and not by politics." - Mike Huckabee
“"The church and this nation cry out for a revival of masculine Christianity ... For every motherly, feminine ministry of the church such as a Crisis Pregnancy Center or ex-gay support group, we need a battle-hardened, take-it-to-the-enemy masculine ministry like Operation Rescue ... For every God-hating radical in government, academia and media we need a bold, no-nonsense, truth-telling Christian counterpart: trained, equipped and endorsed by the local church. - Scott Lively, author of The Pink Swastika and former Director of the California chapter of AFA.
Wildmon was a member of Huckabee’s Faith and Family Values Coalition.

Dick Bott, Bott Radio Network


The web presence of the gloriously named Dick Bott is pretty innocuous fare, but a browse of its Spiritual Resources Links gives us a better picture of his preferences. Just a click away are pages that deal with “creation science” (yes, dinosaurs and humans DID cohabit on earth) and “Answering Islam” (shut up and convert).

Here’s Huckabee on evolution versus creationism:

"If you want to believe that you and your family came from apes, that's fine. I'll accept that. I just don't happen to think that I did."
As for what should be taught in public schools, Huckabee said he wants "schools to acknowledge that there are views that are different than evolution." (In 2008 he qualified this by saying that he doesn't expect schools to teach creationism. "We shouldn't indoctrinate kids in school. I wouldn't want them teaching creationism as if it's the only thing that they should teach.")

Huckabee downplayed the role evolution should have in the 2008 election. "Is a president going to sit in the Oval Office and really make a decision on what's being taught in a third-grade class in Dubuque, Iowa, on creation or evolution?" he said. "The answer is no." Do you believe that from a proven liar?

When asked during a 2007 primary debate which candidates did not believe in evolution, Huckabee was among those who raised his hand.

Michael Farris, Home School Legal Defense Association.

The HSLDA is ostensibly a homeschooling support-and-defence organization - which also happens to take part in conservative christian, non-school related activities such as lobbying against gay marriage and opposing gay parenting, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Religious Liberty Protection Act.

Such political activity outside the terms of reference of a homeschooling advocacy group cost the HSLDA one of their pillars and head of their PAC, former Bush speechwriter Ned Ryun, who quit over Michael Farris’ iron-fisted control of the organization (“Dissent is not allowed in Mike Farris’ world”). One of Farris’ unilateral decisions was to have the PAC endorse Mike Huckabee for President. The HSLDA PAC contributions for 2008 make telling, if unsurprising, reading.

Farris is also founder and president of Patrick Henry College - “God’s Harvard” - dedicated to training what he calls “shape shifters” – young, ambitious evangelicals who can work their ways into the legal, political, media and scientific corridors of power and then exert their influence to transform America from a secular state to a “God-fearing” one.

Farris was a member of Huckabee’s Faith and Family Values Coalition.

Rick Green of Wallbuilders

Green tours the country spreading the Gospel of David Barton, the founder of Wallbuilders, who has been known to hobnob with neo-Nazis and white separatist groups

According to the Wallbuilders website, “WallBuilders is an organization dedicated to presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built – a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously attacked and undermined.”

The Texas Freedom Network has this to say about them:

The Wallbuilders site suggests as a "helpful" resource an organization
that campaigns for all Christian parents to remove their children from public schools, which the group calls places of "social depravity" and "spiritual slaughter" for Christians.

Barton argues that the United States was founded as a “Christian nation” but that there is a “war on God in America” today. (See here and here.)

Barton believes Congress should impeach judges whose rulings are opposed by social conservatives…and he argues that the judiciary should not be an independent branch of government.

He characterizes the debate over evolution as a “death struggle between civilizations”..

According to Little Green Footballs, “[Barton] argues that separation of church and state is a “myth” and that the nation’s laws should be based on Scripture. He says, for example, that the Bible forbids taxes on income and capital gains. Yet even such groups as Texas Baptists Committed and the Baptist Joint Committee have sharply criticized Barton’s interpretations of the Constitution and history.”

Huckabee said he is a great fan and friend of Bartons when he hosted him on his show in August 2009.He has called the sloppy, unqualified and revisionist Barton “best historian our country has to offer the nation”, “a man God raised up for the moment” and someone who has had “an impact on our land like no other”.

"We're firing the first shots of the second American Revolution" – Rick Green

Phillip Jauregui, Judicial Action Group

Phillip Jauregui was the lead counsel for Alabama Justice Roy Moore in Moore’s two infamous Ten Commandments cases when Moore, not content with displaying a wooden plaque of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom, decided to install a 2-ton granite monument to the commandments in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building in the dead of night.

Jauregui is a tireless crusader against what the radical right consider “judicial activism”, i.e. judicial decisions which don’t fall in line with their so-called strict constructionist views of the Constitution.

Jaruegui opposes not only same-sex marriage but same-sex civil unions.

Jauregui has been called“a leader committed to submission to the Supreme Ruler of the world. Jauregui’s understands that no judge, no president, no legislator can make right what God has declared wrong.”

From the Judicial Action Group site:

America is engaged in a culture war and a majority of the Justices on the United States Supreme Court have not only erred by taking sides in that culture war, but have taken the wrong side……JAG believes in a God of destiny and a God of timing. JAG believes that America is situated in a critical season, wherein God has given us an opportunity for renewal. Moreover, JAG believes that God desires for this renewal to come through the judiciary. JAG believes that just as the old Soviet Union fell quickly, and just as the Berlin Wall fell quickly, we too have an opportunity for the quick and sure fall of judicial tyranny and for a season of judicial renewal.
This is not a million miles from the sentiments expressed by Mike Huckabee in his 1997 book, Character is the Issue:
Here’s the bottom line not just for Arkansas and America, but for the world: one worldview will prevail. Either by numbers or persuasion, one side of this polarized culture will defeat the other in setting public policy. When two irreconcilable views emerge, one is going to dominate. Ours will either be a worldview with humans at the center or with God at the center. Standards of right and wrong are either what we establish as human beings (standards which can be changed to suit us), or they are what God has set in motion since the creation of the world … The winning worldview will dominate public policy, the laws we make, and every other detail of our existence. (p. 137) (source)

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel

Liberty Counsel is closely aligned with the fundamentalist, creationism-promoting Liberty University, where Staver serves as Dean of Law. LU’s founder, Jerry Falwell once said of him, "I can think of no greater work being done right now in America for the sake of our religious freedom and Christian heritage than that being done by Liberty Counsel and its founder... Mathew Staver."

“Religious freedom and Christian heritage” is, of course, code for eroding or eliminating the separation of church and state, which extremist christians believe was meant to be a one-way wall protecting religion from government. Oh, and from Teh Gay:

“Whenever you have same-sex marriage or same-sex civil unions, you end up having a clash between the same-sex agenda and freedom of religion. The two are not compatible, because the same-sex agenda seeks to force by law acceptance of its view, and that will inevitably collide with Christian values…. People really need to wake up, because this, I think, is the greatest threat to our liberty that we face today — bar none.”

I guess liberty only runs one way, too.

Huckabee gave Staver a platform on his Faux News Xtian Happy Clappy Love-In Show in January to complain about changes to the White House website to include, among other things, a new LBGT-related mission statement as soon as Obama was sworn in. The video has been removed but this post gives a pretty good sense of the interview.

Don Feder, World Congress of Families

The WCF exists to protect “the family” from the multiple scourges of feminism, individualism, the U.N., day care, teh gay, abortion, contraception, state schooling, the “welfare state”, “judicial activism” etc. – and would you like fries with that? On a page discussing religion and the state – you can guess which one is the bad guy – the author tells us that
“According to Scripture, there are two situations in which disobeying the State is explicitly condoned, in fact, required: the first is when the State commands one to do something that God forbids.”
Trying to find a concise statement of the second situation in the densely-worded page proved fruitless, but judging by the examples given it has something to do with a christian obligation to ignore laws and court findings which buttress the wall of separation between church and state.

Further down the same page the author goes into a discussion of the relative merits of democracy, oligarChy and monarchy. While claiming to “prefer democracy”, it’s pretty clear that the democracy referred to is direct democracy, which is simple majority rule, and not liberal democracy, which protects the rights of minorities; but best of all in the author’s eyes seems to be a combination of mob democracy and Christian monarchy.

Don Feder is the PR director for the WCF and a nationally syndicated ultra-conservative columnist. He is also a rabid Obama-hater and anti-Islamic polemicist who likes to claim that people on the politiclal left are anti- Semites. Yawn.

What’s this guy, who is Jewish, doing at a christofascist conference? Oh, he’s a neocon. And president of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation. I wonder if the christians have told him yet that he’ll have to convert?

Although Feder wasn’t a Huckabee fan during the last election - he thought Huckabee was too compassionate -I’m sure Feder will approve of the new, gloves-off Huckabee (beta).


Newshounds Exclusive!


WorldNetDaily founder and editor-in-chief Joseph Farah has hotly (oh, so hotly) denied widespread rumors that he is a noted homosexual, despite claims from unnamed sources close to him that it’s true. Said one, “You gotta be kiddin’ me. The last time I saw a ‘stache like that it was marching through the Castro in assless leather chaps."*

Hey, this is easy. Do WND pay?


Ever since its inception,Joseph Farah's online rag WingNut WorldNetDaily dot com has been behind almost every nutty conspiracy theory and accusation you can name, and probably some you can’t. No muck is too fetid for Farah to rake. What’s for a rightwing extremist not to like?

I must admit I was worried when I first heard about the How to Take Back America conference, but if Farah (by the way, did you hear he's a closeted homosexual?) is giving the media workshop, I don’t think we have anything to fear.


Some say Huckabee pals around with seditionists. He has never publicly repudiated anything they've said - these so-called christians who advocate revolution against our democratically-elected government, refusal to recognize its laws, and the replacement of the liberal democracy of the Founders with a theocracy - so he must support them, right? If he doesn't support them then why is he the closing speaker for their How to Talibanize Take Back America conference? Sedition is a federal crime. I know because Bill O’Reilly told me so. So if Huckabee pals around with far-right radicals that are waaaaay out of the mainstream and want to destroy our liberty - what does that make him? Eh, Hannityand O'Reilly?

Just askin’. We report, you decide.

Today Christians stand at the head of this country. I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit. We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press - in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past few years. - Adolf Hitler, quoted in: The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872 (H/T reader Hooda Thunkett)