Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's (R) outrage over marriage equality won't fade anytime soon, because in the Republican presidential candidate's mind, the institution of marriage is under some kind of attack. It led Jake Tapper to ask Huckabee a good question yesterday.
"Which do you think threatens to undermine the institution of marriage in this country more," the CNN host asked
, "same-sex marriage or the rampant ranks of infidelity and the high divorce rates in this country among straight couples?"
Huckabee didn't answer the question directly, initially saying the question itself is "kind of like asking me which wing of the airplane is the one that's most important, the one on the left, the one on the right?" The oddity of the comparison notwithstanding, the rest of the candidate's reaction offered a surprising twist on the broader debate.
"The whole point of marriage is to create a relationship where two people are committed as life partners. One of the mistakes we have even heard over the course of the same-sex marriage debate is that marriage is all about just love and feeling and sentimentality. "And, regardless, heterosexual marriage is largely in trouble today because people see it as a selfish means of pleasing self, rather than a committed relationship in which the focus is upon meeting the needs of the partner. And that sense of selfishness and the redefinition of love as to something that is purely sentimental and emotional has been destructive."
I've read this quite a few times, trying to make heads or tails of it, and I still don't know what Huckabee's talking about. Why can't a same-sex couple commit as life partners? If Huckabee believes a life-long relationship needs roots that run deeper than "sentimentality," why in the world would these roots be exclusive to straight couples?
The usual line from the right is that the whole point of marriage is procreation. Huckabee, however, seems to have accidentally switched sides, saying the "whole point of marriage is to create a relationship where two people are committed as life partners."
Yes. Right. Exactly. But isn't that supposed to be my argument, not his?
In the meantime, Huckabee also has a plan in mind for reversing recent progress once he's in the Oval Office. TPM reported
the other day:
Calling the decision "an out-of-control act of unconstitutional judicial tyranny" issues by "five unelected lawyers," Huckabee vowed to use executive orders to preserve Americans' religious freedom. Huckabee mapped out a three-pronged approach, which he said would be carried out on the first day of his hypothetical administration. It involves signing religious liberty orders that protect businesses, churches and other organizations for "exercising their religious beliefs," particularly where their marriage views are concerned; directing the attorney general to prosecute attacks against people of faith -- including those who oppose gay marriage -- as hate crimes; and preventing military chaplains from having to carry out same-sex marriages.
It's a rather fanciful approach, but let's not miss the forest for the trees. When President Obama takes executive actions to advance his priorities, Republicans see him as a lawless, out-of-control dictator. And yet, Republicans seem to like the idea of conservative presidents using as many executive orders as possible to advance their own goals.
Remember, it was just earlier this year that a guy named Mike Huckabee said he was disgusted by President Obama's executive actions on immigration, calling them
"wholly unconstitutional," an "insult to the American people," and reminiscent of the "tyranny of King George."
Just six months later, this same Mike Huckabee believes the Supreme Court made a bad call, so he's already preparing his own series of White House executive actions.