Behind the happy, healthy, guitar-strumming campaign style that has so besotted the national press corps, Mike Huckabee looks like something considerably less charming -- a zealous proponent of the "biblical" reformation of every aspect of American society.
He later denied that he meant to suggest that God wants him in the White House. But his deliberate reference this week to conforming the law to "God's standards" sounds uncomfortably like the ideology sometimes known as "Christian dominionism" or "Christian reconstructionism," which declares that America, indeed every nation on earth, is meant to be governed by biblical law.
The looniest dominionists publicly insist that a pious government would inflict Old Testament punishments, including death, on blasphemers, pornographers, homosexuals, adulterers and even disobedient children. They constantly talk about their duty to institute biblical rule in the United States.
As a Southern Baptist preacher, does Huckabee accept that bizarre interpretation of Christian ethics? The answer is that he probably doesn't (or is too shrewd to say so if he does). But the clues to Huckabee's affinity for religious extremism have been lying in plain sight for a long time.
When columnist Robert Novak mentioned the event, he described Hotze as a leader of the "highly conservative Christian reconstructionist movement," a description that aptly encapsulates the ignorance of many mainstream journalists (and the aversion to unpleasant realities of many right-wing journalists). There is, of course, nothing "conservative" about reconstructionism, which demands a radical repression of liberty and the imposition of biblical law by "godly men."
'Godly men', huh? Sounds more like 'men who think they're God'. And want to make damn sure you think they are as well.
No fuckin' way.
Does Huckabee still believe that his narrow version of Christianity must dominate every detail of human existence in this country? He doesn't like to answer hard questions about the intersection of his faith and his politics, but it is long past time that somebody demanded a straight answer.
A straight answer from a Repug politician? Be easier to get a transfusion from a turnip.