Tuesday, December 11

:: There's Conservative, and Then There's Just Plain Dumb, and Then There is Evil - and Sometimes All Three"

Zippy’s post below "There’s conservative, and then there’s just plain dumb" describes Mike Huckabees weird-ass answer to a softball question about the Global Fund for AIDS, Malaria and TB.

[And really, who doesn’t support the Global Fund? No one, that’s who. The Global Fund has so much support that they're richer than many countries; hell, they're probably richer than Jesus. Of course you say you support the Global Fund, you nitwit, and then talk about the great work they are doing to prevent malaria and tuberculosis. Or you say you support the Global Fund, and add something about how America needs to use its moral influence to ensure their policies don’t do harm along with good. For the love of Rhoda, is it that hard?]

Not surprisingly, I had what you might call “a reaction” of my own to the news about Huckabee. It seems that not only did he support quarantines back in the day --
he continues to support them now. (Yes. Still. Now. I’m not making this up. To paraphrase the best line in Blair Witch Project– I’m not that fucking creative.) That Huckabee doesn't do the obvious thing and say "yeah, changed my mind about the whole quarantine thing - a bit too Castro, IMHO" is really just so fucking typical of these people. (And by “these people” I mean our homegrown corn-fed proto-fascists).

Huckabee refuses to recant his position, but has indicated he would like to lie about it now.

As a Senate candidate in 1992, Huckabee told the AP in a questionnaire that "we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague" if the federal government was going to deal with the spread of the disease effectively. "It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents," he said then.

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Huckabee denied that those words were a call to quarantine the AIDS population, although he did not explain how else isolation would be achieved. "I didn't say we should quarantine," he said. The idea was not to "lock people up."

Huckabee acknowledged the prevailing scientific view then, and since, that the virus that causes AIDS is not spread through casual contact, but said that was not certain.

"I still believe this today," Huckabee said Sunday, that "we were acting more out of political correctness" in responding to the AIDS crisis. "I don't run from it, I don't recant it," he said of his position in 1992. Yet he said he would state his view differently in retrospect.

Huckabee also stated in 1992 that HIV/AIDS research was receiving too much federal funding.

Now, even the most obtuse moral relativist – someone who would just as soon see male hairdressers and florists burnt at the stake so long as it was approved by a local majority vote - could see how Huckabee’s ideological take on this issue ran counter to our interest in public health. If a quarantine were justified because AIDS, like “plague,” could be spread by casual contact, thereby causing mass fatalities – wouldn’t you want to spend more on research, not less? I mean, who says we have an epidemic of deadly plague sweeping through America’s cities, and we’re spending way too much on stopping it”? That is not a rhetorical question, by the way. For real – you only say that if you have no problem with the impact of the plague on the afflicted population. Or if you are a moron. Or if you are a complete sociopath.

From the sound of things, Huckabee may well be all three. So I guess that’s my answer to your question, Zippy.

The Washington Post has a good editorial about Huck and the plague, thereby illustrating the “broken clock is right twice a day” principle. Shockingly, its worth a read.

My prediction – which I shared with Scientist-at-Large before I saw this article, thank you very much –is Huckabee will meet with Ryan White's mom for a mushy photo op and it will be "no harm, no foul" according to the MSM. (And if Mom White says something negative about Huck, or refuses to meet with him at all, watch for the obligatory “Cindy Sheehan” hatchet job). Meanwhile the base will get the message, sub rosa, that should the opportunity arise he’ll be first in line to stick it to the homos.


Kirsten said...

Wow, has the Post editorial page suddenly gotten worth reading again? That was actually a cogent and invigorating editorial with a witty title ("HIV Clueless"...heh heh heh...)

Ciccina, we are are going to have to change our job titles to "Bringers of Scientific Truth" after this past week. I mean seriously, between friggin' Tierney and Huckabee...

Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to digest all of this, that someone who believes these things can be running for president in 2007 (and be second in the national polls for the Republican nomination!) - but as we all remember, Dr. Bill Frist wouldn't publicly confirm that HIV can't be transmitted through tears in the not-too-distant past. Are we surprised our HIV/AIDS numbers are going to show a large increase (when the new case numbers finally get released) when we can't even get the basic science right and politicians use these issues to score cheap political points?

On a related note, AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth, and Families is working on a project where they talk to HIV-positive parents and youth about their perspectives on sex education. They presented at a conference I was at recently with one of the HIV-positive mothers who was part of their report, and one of the most heartbreaking things she said was that she opted her daughter out of the abstinence-only course in her school in Louisiana because she was so concerned that they were going to tell her daughter incorrect information about HIV that was going to conflict with the accurate information she had been telling her all her life as someone living with it and how if her daughter thought her mother had lied to her, that would undermine the entire relationship she had built with her.

It makes me so sad that anyone would have to face a decision like that and so angry that children and adolescents don't get accurate information in schools that literally could save their lives. But that's okay, we'll just quarantine them when they're adults and they're infected with this virus that we could have taught them how to avoid getting in the first place...

Kirsten said...

Oh, LadyBec, that is so heartbreaking to read! Whenever I talk to reporters about why we need protections for minors access to health information and services, I always say that it's because of the reasons we can't think of -- and you've proved it yet again.

Now for entertainment, I give you a parody campaign commercial for Huckabee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuWUdUDUIDQ

Anonymous said...

Two things - I'm going to a conference tomorrow where Ryan White's mother is the closing speaker so I wonder how she will comment on all of this.

Also, Huckabee had about 10 volunteers with clipboards near the Farragut North metro today around 2 in the afternoon asking if people were Republican voters. (Most people were ignoring them, as per the usual DC posture where we ignore all people who accost us on the street whether we agree with them or not...) If it weren't so disgusting, cold, and rainy out there, I would have done some more research to see exactly what they were up to. (Of course, I also had to balance that out with the urge to hit them with my umbrella.) But it's the first activity I've seen related to the presidential election in DC so that was interesting.