Saturday, March 5, 2011, Facthecking the Disgusting Republican Mike Huckster-'bee

Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, has apparently turned his back on every value that one would expect from the Christian clergy in order to sell his book and get some more attention.

What he is not demonstrating is even a nodding acquaintance with truth, or basic human fairness.  Check out what Huckabee has to say, 1:58 seconds into this video.

And here is a little more accurate background on President Obama's family:
Obama's grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was detained in a 1952 uprising against British colonial rule in Kenya. Huckabee said childhood stories of the Mau Mau rebellion would lead President Obama to want to remove from the Oval Office the bust of Churchill, who ordered a crackdown against that uprising.
What does that mean........detained by the British?  Here is what that was like for Obama's grandfather and others, a fact worth noting since I doubt most of us are familiar with the Mau mau (part of the Kikuyu),  but maybe we should become more familiar with what it is Huckabee is trying to exploit:
"Concentration camps" in Kenya  Conditions in the British detention and labour camps were frequently very poor, due in part to the sheer number of Kikuyu detainees and lack of British officials to monitor them. One British colonial officer described the labour camps thus: "Short rations, overwork, brutality, humiliating and disgusting treatment and flogging - all in violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights."[59] Sanitation was non-existent, and epidemics of diseases like typhoid swept through the camps. Official medical reports detailing the shortcomings of the camps and their recommendations were ignored, and the conditions being endured by Kikuyu detainees were masked.[60][61]
British East Africa, which later became Kenya, WAS an unwilling part of the British Empire - which makes the British of that era Imperialists.  The key word is 'of that era'; an era BEFORE President Obama was born. We are all presumably 'anti-colonialists', dating back to our own American Revolutionary War.  I am an avowed anglophile, but the British were on the wrong side of this conflict, and behaved badly during it.

The only reason for this conversation to take place is for Huckster-bee to emphasize Obama's race and to try to create a sense of him as an alien, not American.
Here is a little more background on the European presence in British East Africa:
Economic deprivation of the Kikuyu   A feature of all settler societies during the colonial period was the ability of European settlers to obtain for themselves a disproportionate share in landownership.[26] Kenya was thus no exception, with the first white settlers arriving in Kenya in 1902 as part of Sir Charles Eliot's plan to have a settler economy pay for the recently completed Uganda Railway.[27][28] Over the next three decades, British settlers extended and consolidated their control over Kenyan land and—coupled with an increasing African population—the issue of land became an increasingly bitter point of contention.[28] The Kikuyu were the ethnic group most affected by the colonial government's land expropriation and European settlement, losing over 60,000 acres.[29] 
In addition to land, the Colonial Government and White farmers wanted cheap labor,[31] so measures were introduced to effectively force many Kenyans to become low-paid wage-laborers on White-settler farms: reserves were established for each ethnic group via the Crown Lands Amendment Ordinance of 1926, serving to isolate each group and exacerbate overcrowding; hut and poll taxes were enacted (equivalent to two months' African wages); a pass, or kipande, was introduced to keep track of the migratory laborers and their employment histories; growing of cash-crops by Africans was forbidden (later, even the amount of permissible crops grown was limited); and waged laborers were exempted from otherwise-compulsory and "detested" tasks such as conscription.[32][33][34]
Kenyan employees were appallingly treated by their European employers—sometimes even beaten to death by them—with some settlers arguing that Africans "were as children and should be treated as such". Amongst other offences, it was widely acknowledged that few settlers hesitated to flog their servants for petty offences. To make matters even worse, African workers were poorly served by colonial labor-legislation and a prejudiced legal-system. The vast majority of Kenyan employees' violations of labor legislation were settled with "rough justice" meted out by their employers. Most colonial magistrates appear to have been unconcerned by the illegal practice of settler-administered flogging; indeed, during the 1920s, flogging was the magisterial punishment-of-choice for African convicts. The principle of punitive sanctions against workers was not removed from the Kenyan labour statutes until the 1950s.[39]
President Obama did not grow up in Kenya, he grew up, except for a three year period in Indonesia, mostly in Hawaii, U.S.A.  He did not visit Kenya until he was 26 years old, and he has written very eloquently about not knowing his father very well, having met him briefly once.  He never met his paternal grandfather at all.  The fact is, the British in that part of Africa (and elsewhere - anyone remember what Mahatma Gandhi endured?) were not very kind, compassionate or humane occupiers of those territories.  But to make an unwarranted connection between Obama's beliefs and one brief encounter at 26 is stupid.

Is President Obama aware of the history of his father's and his paternal grandfather's native country? Certainly, as an educated man, a man who has traveled there to meet that side of his family, he must be.

Does this equate to a derogatory view of the British TODAY? NO.  An awful lot of additional history has taken place since the civil war which led to Kenyan independence. 

DID President Obama do something insulting with the statue of Winston Churchill? NO.
Mike Huckabee:
"The bust of Winston Churchill, a great insult to the British," Huckabee said. "But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather."
That the British were Imperialists who persecuted his grandfather is actually true; that President Obama grew up hearing these stories is clearly not. fact checking:
He [Huckabee] failed to note that Obama replaced the Oval Office fixture with a bust of one of his American heroes, President Abraham Lincoln, and moved the Churchill bust to the White House residence.
Per Yahoo factchecking:
The executive director of Huckabee's political action committee said the former governor misspoke....Gidley didn't explain the connection to the Mau Mau uprising.

"When the governor mentioned he wanted to know more about the president, he wasn't talking about the president's place of birth — the governor believes the president was born in Hawaii," Hogan Gidley said. "The governor would, however, like to know more about where President Obama's liberal policies come from and what else the president plans to do to this country — as do most Americans."
Mike Huckabee didn't 'misspeak'; Mike Huckabee clearly meant what he said, or he would not have provided so very much detail about President Obama; he would not have continued at such great length if he had simply confused momentarily Kenya with Hawaii or even Indonesia.  Mike Huckabee was hoping to play to the significant segment of the conservative far-right base which includes Birthers.  Mike Huckabee was trying to sell himself, and his book to the people he thought would buy into both.
Maybe instead of selling lies to a segment of people who are all too willing to believe ideology without ever fact checking anything, Mike Huckster-'bee ought to do a bit of reading and less book writing.  I have a few suggestions for that reading list, ones he should be familiar with from his past as a minister, but seems to be working overtime to forget:
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.” Exodus 20:16 (otherwise known as the 9th commandment - DG)
“Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbour no wrong and casts no slur on his fellow-man … [and] who keeps his oath even when it hurts.” Psalms 15:1-3
Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Psalms 85:10
“Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.” Proverbs 12:22 
 According to the wikipedia entry for Mike Huckabee:
Huckabee has stated, "Politics are totally directed by worldview. That's why when people say, 'We ought to separate politics from religion,' I say to separate the two is absolutely impossible"
. [my emphasis - DG]
 In his greed for money from selling his book and getting the kind of media attention that pays his salary, and his desire for trying to gain political power through campaigning for office, it appears Mike Huckabee DID find a way to separate his conscience, and his religion, from his politics after all.  But the Republicans and the Tea Partiers they do love their theocrats, who seem to spend more time lying - and more time failing fact checks - than many other politicians.

I don't believe that Mike Huckabee, or Hucksterbee, will make a genuine, serious run for the presidency in 2012.  Instead I think he will do a Christine O'Donnell, trying to make as much money for himself as he can by appealing to the farther-right political base.  This is about getting money, be it by selling books, or blowing the proverbial 'dog whistle' to agitate his base.  It is Huckabee trying to cash in on having come to the end of his effective political career, and to do so, he doesn't care how dirty he gets or how low he goes.


  1. Yeah, that Huckabee is a real beauty. Maybe he'll run for president? What a joke the Repubs have become.

  2. Nice post!

    Frankly, Huckabee scares me more than any other Republican candidate, because I could see him winning (Romney could win the general election, maybe, but he'll never get the nomination). Huckabee is personable, he's a smooth talker, and he knows how to sound reasonable.

    Right now, of course, reasonable is the last thing he wants to be, especially if he really does plan to run for president. Reasonable won't help any Republican win the nomination. But I suspect that Huckabee will wait until 2016.

    Well, either way, we're in for a world of hurt unless the GOP finally becomes sane again (and I see no sign of that happening). As bad as George W. Bush was, the next GOP administration will likely be far worse.