Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee caused quite a stir this week with repulsive Holocaust rhetoric, which the former Arkansas governor probably saw as a vehicle to a poll bump, despite rebukes from Israeli officials and domestic Jewish groups.
But as that controversy fades, the GOP candidate needs another ridiculous remark to keep his name in the headlines. This ought to do the trick.
GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is open to the idea of using federal troops and the FBI to stop women from having abortions.“I will not pretend there is nothing we can do to stop this,” Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and an outspoken social conservative, said Thursday at a campaign stop in Jefferson, Iowa.
According to the Huffington Post’s piece, Huckabee proceeded to attend another event in Iowa, where he was asked whether he’d seriously consider using federal troops or FBI agents to prevent abortions.
“We’ll see if I get to be president,” the Republican said, adding, “All American citizens should be protected.”
The Constitution guarantees the rights of citizenship to “all persons born” in the United States. Huckabee, however, seems to believe “citizens” also includes fetuses.
In case it’s not obvious, the far-right Republican is describing a deliberate constitutional crisis.
The Supreme Court has ruled that Americans have a constitutional right to terminate unwanted pregnancies. The executive branch does not have the legal authority to ignore the court’s rulings, dispatching federal personnel to block the exercise of those rights.
The trouble is, Huckabee has long embraced his own unique brand of constitutional law, which exists far outside the American system, but which the former Fox News host nevertheless likes to pretend is real. In Huckabee Land, the Supreme Court does not have the final say over what is and isn’t constitutional, and in his version of United States, rulings from the high court are not the “law of the land.”
So, when it comes to reproductive rights, which Huckabee opposes, of course a Huckabee administration’s attitude would be indifferent to the judicial branch.
Remember, among Republicans, President Obama is the lawless and tyrannical radical who disregards the rule of law.
As a practical matter, it’s probably worth emphasizing that the notion of a Huckabee White House remains far-fetched, and the far-right Arkansan is an unlikely contender for his party’s nomination.
But he’s nevertheless competitive, and Huckabee very likely assumes that the more irresponsible his rhetoric, the greater his chances of success in the Republican nominating process. The result, alas, is an increasingly unhinged candidate who’s made the transition from “the oven doors” to “let’s ignore Supreme Court rulings we don’t like” over the course of a single week.
I‘m not sure how much more it might take for the Beltway establishment to reevaluate their assumptions about Huckabee being a charming, great guy.