Over the last few days, it almost seems as if Republican presidential hopefuls launched a behind-the-scenes contest: which one of them could offer the most ridiculous response to terrorist violence in Paris?
It’s obviously a subjective matter, but I’d argue Mike Huckabee is a leading contender in this little competition. It was the former Arkansas governor who, just a day after the attacks, called for the cancellation of the international nuclear agreement with Iran – seemingly unaware of the fact that Iran and ISIS are bitter enemies.
Yesterday, as BuzzFeed reported, Huckabee sunk to new depths on a far-right talk-radio show.
“And if you think about it, we would be bringing people in who lived in the desert their entire lives, and they would be completely disrupted, not only in terms of their culture, their language, their religion, my gosh even in terms of their climate,” Huckabee said. “Can you imagine bringing in a bunch of Syrian refugees who’ve lived in the desert their whole lives that are suddenly thrown into an English speaking community? Where it’s maybe in Minnesota where it is 20 degrees below zero? I mean just I don’t understand what we possibly can be thinking.”
First, we can give refugees coats.
Second, obviously resettlement would “disrupt” their lives, but – and this is key – we’re talking about refugees who literally ran for their lives, driven from their communities by ISIS terrorism and a deadly Syrian civil war. They’re looking for some semblance of safety, and up until a few days ago, there was some modicum of bipartisan support for treating them with compassion.
Huckabee went on to say in the same interview that refugees should “end up in the neighborhood where the limousine liberal lives” or perhaps the “dorm rooms” at the University of Missouri.
Remember, Huckabee is a former Christian minister.
In a separate statement, Huckabee whined that President Obama’s policy welcomes “un-vetted people,” which is a brazen lie.
As for the larger context, I can’t help but wonder whether Huckabee has taken the time to read the Gospel of Matthew anytime recently.
“For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”