People Are Crazy, Mike Huckabee-Edition

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In the middle of a long and mostly sane Q&A with Slate, man-of-the-moment Mike Huckabee has this insane moment.

Slate: Why is it unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon?

Huckabee: They’ve already announced their intention to destroy Israel. They’ve already announced that they would love to invade Iraq and take its oil… This is not a nation building up nuclear arms to defend against somebody, because there is no one threatening them.

I guess Mike Huckabee isn’t aware who our vice president is. Or who our president is. Or who Rudy Giuliani, a man vying to be the next president, is. Nobody here is saying Iran should have a nuke, but pretending that Iran isn’t threatened by the rhetoric of the United States, when that rhetoric is expressly designed to threaten Iran, is an act of willful denial.

And there’s also a moment where Huckabee, as a Christian evangelical, demonstrates the illogical reasoning people of his ilk use to justify discrimination against gays while professing to oppose discrimination against racial minorities.

Slate: Barack Obama has been criticized for campaigning with a gospel singer who has called homosexuality a curse. Critics have claimed it’s as if a white candidate campaigned with David Duke. What’s your view on the equivalence of homosexuality with skin color in the civil rights debate?

Huckabee: Most of the African-American leaders with whom I’m familiar are very, very unhappy with tying the two together. First of all, because a person is black and discriminated against by sight. It’s not a matter of a relationship. It’s not a matter of even getting to find out that someone has a sexual preference other than hetero. If a person walks into a room and is black, you know it. You don’t necessarily know that a person might be homosexual. There is a different level of bigotry and discrimination…

What? Because you can’t immediately tell if someone is homosexual, it’s okay to discriminate against them? Does Huckabee mean that if someone makes a nasty joke about homosexuals, he or she shouldn’t be held to account if they offend a homosexual in the room because the joke-teller couldn’t have known the offended party was a homosexual? That’s the best I can do at deciphering this, and that’s a pretty ridiculous argument. Shouldn’t someone who claims to stand up for civil rights (as Huckabee does) be advocating the end of nasty statements about homosexuals instead of protecting those that make them?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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