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Mike Huckabee says that Barack Obama is midwifing the birth of a “Union of American Socialist Republics” in his new budget.  “Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff.”

“If a prominent Democratic office holder, in 2005, delivered a speech referring to George W. Bush’s agenda as ‘fascism,’ comparing his administration to totalitarian regimes, and casually throwing in a reference to Hitler,” says Steve Benen, “that Democrat would have a very difficult time being taken seriously by the political establishment moving forward. Presidential ambitions would be largely out of the question.”

“Why Huckabee thinks that federally funded research into determining which medical treatments are effective is similar to being a totalitarian mass-murderer is a bit beyond me” says Matt Yglesias.  “But it’s par for the course in the uglier corners of conservatism, they’re just not corners Huckabee’s been known for dwelling in.”

“Either Huckabee is losing his ear or this is what you really have to say to get the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012,” says Mark Kleiman. 

I’d say (a) yes, Huckabee really believes this stuff, (b) no, a Democrat couldn’t get away with something like this, (c) yes, it’s what you have to do to win the GOP nomination these days, and (d) no, nobody really cares because talk radio has inured us to this kind of stuff.  Boys will be boys.  He’s just warming up the crowd.  Etc.

And the good news?  It demonstrates that things are going to get worse for Republicans before they get better.  “The party of Lincoln is now the Party of Limbaugh,” says Paul Begala, and he’s right.  Like most parties that have lost their way in the past, it’s now clear that they’ll spend at least four years insisting that what America really wants is an even more extreme version of what they voted against in 2008.  Cooler heads will eventually prevail, but not until 2016 at the earliest.  Maybe not until 2020.  Obama’s really got some running room in front of him.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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