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Tilting at Windmills

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February 10, 2009

HUCKABEE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE'S TALKING ABOUT.... You've got to be kidding me.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee warned supporters Tuesday that the $828 billion stimulus package is "anti-religious."

In an e-mail that was also posted on his blog ahead of the Senate's passage, Huckabee wrote: "The dust is settling on the 'bipartisan' stimulus bill and one thing is clear: It is anti-religious."

The former Republican presidential candidate pointed to a provision in both the House and Senate versions banning higher education funds in the bill from being used on a "school or department of divinity."

"You would think the ACLU drafted this bill," Huckabee said. "For all of the talk about bipartisanship, this Congress is blatantly liberal."

Look, if Mike Huckabee doesn't like the stimulus bill, fine. But to tell people the legislation is "anti-religious" is just insane. Or, to put it another way, Huckabee is bearing false witness, which as he may have heard, is generally frowned upon.

Regular readers know the story by now, but if you're just joining us, this myth has been making the rounds in right-wing circles for about a week. Originally, the American Center for Law and Justice, a right-wing legal group formed by TV preacher Pat Robertson, said the stimulus bill includes a provision that would prohibit "religious groups and organizations from using" buildings on college campuses. Soon after, religious right groups and right-wing blogs were up in arms, demanding that lawmakers fix the "anti-Christian" language of the bill. Fox News and the Christian Broadcasting Network helped get the word out to the far-right base about the nefarious measure. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) actually tried to have the provision removed from the bill.

There was, however, one small problem: there was no such measure. The ACLJ doesn't know how to read legislation, and didn't realize that the standard language in the bill simply blocks spending for on-campus buildings that are used primarily for religion (like a chapel, for example). This same language has been part of education spending bills for 46 years. It's just the law, and it's never been controversial.

Huckabee is either deliberately deceiving people, or he's making reckless accusations without knowing the facts. Either way, this is ridiculous.

Post Script: I'd add that the Politico piece isn't helpful. It notes Huckabee's concerns -- the Politico homepage currently has a headline that reads: "Huckabee: Stimulus is 'anti-religious'" near the top -- without any explanation that Huckabee's attack is patently false.

Steve Benen 3:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (25)

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Comments

Note to Huck, for a long time, charging interest was also Anti-Christian.

Posted by: Former Dan on February 10, 2009 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

The Politico homepage currently has a headline that reads: "Huckabee: Stimulus is 'anti-religious'" near the top -- without any explanation that Huckabee's attack is patently false.
=============

Are you suggesting they're supposed to explain that? Wouldn't that be in violation of the journalistic code of ethics?

Posted by: The Washington Post Editorial Board on February 10, 2009 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Anything that does not directly support and proslytize religion is "anti-religion"

Posted by: tom p on February 10, 2009 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

But Mr Benen, Huckabee SAID it and THAT'S a fact. You got a problem with us REPORTING facts? Why should you get to pick which ones WE report? Report your own facts and we'll report ours, 'kay?

Posted by: Politico on February 10, 2009 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Was this stock language used in bills passed during the past eight years?

Posted by: Danp on February 10, 2009 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

"the Politico homepage currently has a headline that reads: "Huckabee: Stimulus is 'anti-religious'" near the top -- without any explanation that Huckabee's attack is patently false."

What, Politico is supposed to "explain" things now? How are they going to gratuitously generate controversy if they have to "explain" things?

This is Politico we're talking about, not some credible news source.

Posted by: CT on February 10, 2009 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

If you're a christian, mixing religion and politics is anti-religion.

So says Jesus. By commandment, not suggestion.

Posted by: Bub on February 10, 2009 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

What CT said. The media has no role in labeling claims as true or false -- what we need is for it to simply tell us what other people are saying. They report, we decide.

Posted by: Greg Greene on February 10, 2009 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Bipartisan Bullshit". Look if half the country is conservative and half liberal then bipartisanship makes sense for those groups. But if the people change and 3/4ths of the country becomes liberal and only 1/4th conservative (about what we have now according to the latest polls) then it makes no sense to demand bipartisanship as if 1/4 should have as much input as if they were actually 1/2.

Huck is just trying to get attention...keeping his name out there in controversy (no matter how ignorant or deceitfully misleading)...just for political reasons. Politico is just another republican media whore to allow this nonsense to headline rather than pointing out the obvious truth.

Posted by: bjobotts on February 10, 2009 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Why anyone with a little intellectual self-respect even cites Politico with an expectation of getting credible information is beyond me.

Mr. Benen, you're a smart man. But you are wasting your time.

Posted by: Vokoban on February 10, 2009 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Huckabee isn't the only member of the Religious Right who's truth-challenged on the stimulus. Tony Perkins was peddling the ACORN myth yesterday.

http://blog.faithinpubliclife.org/2009/02/factchecking_frc_again_1.html

Posted by: Dan on February 10, 2009 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Journalistic integrity requires more than one source for the "truth".

Posted by: coral on February 10, 2009 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

BuckleBee is just in a snit cause caribou sary has stolen his thunder. Between Losh Rumbaugh, Jobby Bindal, Steally the Family Guy and the assorted nuts and flakes in konggress he is just a eenie little tadpole in the big pond. Throw in vitter the 1-800 guy and absolutely all the media attention is taken. Whoops I fergit, Norm has had a callin, gawd is his reason for running and for whining, er uh, winning in Minniesoda. Let's not forget BOR, hannity, malkin, liar ingrit, soulter. Wow that's a list isn't it? And I dint even get to krone, lord nelson, dint, whatzit's name from kaintuck. They would make a fair sized keystone cops brigade wouldn't they?

Posted by: Travler on February 10, 2009 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Keep using terms like "bearing false witness." It makes heads explode on the religious right when liberals don't cede the language of morality.

Posted by: danimal on February 10, 2009 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

this Congress is blatantly liberal

yes, hello, we WON THE BLOODY ELECTION you twit.

oh, sorry, that's "trash-talking", where are my manners...

Posted by: tatere on February 10, 2009 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Wildmon's AFA is also pushing this idiotic meme.
From an e-mail I received:

Democrats vote to discriminate against Christians and people of faith

America is in crisis, and the liberals are looting America's future to pay off their special interests. This is corruption of the highest order. E-mail and call your representative and two senators today!

Take Action!
Send an e-mail and call your representative and two senators today! Tell them to remove the language discriminating against people of faith. In addition, please take the time to call your representative and two senators. The phone number where you can reach both your representative and two senators is 202-224-3121.


Thank you for caring enough to get involved. If you feel our efforts are worthy of support, would you consider making a small tax-deductible contribution to help us continue?


Sincerely,

Donald E. Wildmon,
Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

Posted by: Steve J. on February 10, 2009 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, didn't you get the memo? Anything that doesn't help turn the U.S. into New Fascist Jesusland is anti-religious to these mouthbreathing dumbfucks. Why is Huckabee's whining news?

Posted by: Keori on February 10, 2009 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Vokoban - Media Matters link aside (http://mediamatters.org/countyfair/200902100025)-

No, Steve is wasting your time, as well as mine and everyone else's every time he puts in an entry with a Politico link. People who click on the links are only continuing to drive ad revenue to them.

Politico is not a credible news source and never has been. They are on par with Drudge, Faux, and the Washington Times.

Google Glenn Greenwald and Politico to find out how the former has documented the latter's right-wing connections and funding.

He's continued to link to them, despite my repeated comments here aboutthis.

I remember Steve from his CarpetBaggerReport days, and his time working for Salon (I followed him away from Salon because of Joan Walsh's repeated criticisms of Obama under the guise of objectivity, when it was clear she was a Clinton supporter. I only check out Greenwald's posts there now).

But all this repeated linking to Politico is really seriously making me consider dropping reading Washington Monthly permanently. Linking to them only damages Steve's credibility. Which would be a shame since I find Mr. Benen an otherwise intelligent, sensible writer and commentator.

Posted by: Mathew on February 10, 2009 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Please, stop using the word 'concerns' about the puerile obstructionism of these retarded goofballs.

These people psychotic spiffed up babies.

The only 'concerns' they have is that somebody somewhere might not be paying attention to them.

Posted by: alan on February 10, 2009 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

"Huckabee is either deliberately deceiving people, or he's making reckless accusations without knowing the facts. Either way, this is ridiculous."

Of course; he is a Republican politician!

Posted by: barkleyg on February 10, 2009 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Huckabee -- anti-intelligence!

Posted by: MarkH on February 10, 2009 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

Yes I want to strongly support those comments which point out that Politico is not a fair dealer of news. They are biased and partisan, and should not be linked to, at least not regularly.

Posted by: LACJ on February 10, 2009 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

"Democrats vote to discriminate against Christians and people of faith."

So Christians aren't "people of faith?" Do these idiots actually proofread the text of their e-mails before they send them out?

Posted by: daniel rotter on February 11, 2009 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

Huckabee doesn't know what he's talking about

And in other news, water is wet.

Posted by: Gregory on February 11, 2009 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

Why not take all of the people in the U.S. who are paying their mortgages and give them a 1% percent interest rate reduction. People will then have an extra $200-$300 per month to spend as disposable income.

Posted by: Carol Phi on February 11, 2009 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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