Gay Marriage

Huckabee Threatens to Walk If GOP Backs Off on Gay Marriage


"Pander to me, not to them."
Credit: Gage Skidmore / photo on flickr

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee represents the worst big government impulses of the right, happily advocating for the social conservative's version of the nanny state, the one that wants the government to police people's morals the way the progressives want the government to make us eat our vegetables.

One of those morals Huckabee wants to push on every household is that guys marry gals, not other guys. So when the Supreme Court last week declined to hear any of the gay marriage cases directed their way, he was upset. He was further upset that the Republican Party didn't officially respond with outrage, and now he's threatening to quit the party entirely if they don't go back to clucking their tongues at Cam and Mitchell. From the Washington Times:

"If the Republicans want to lose guys like me and a whole bunch of still God-fearing, Bible-believing people, go ahead and just abdicate on this issue — and go ahead and say abortion doesn't matter, either," Mr. Huckabee said, during an interview on the American Family Association's "Today's Issues" radio show. "Because at that point, you lose me. I'm gone. I'll become an independent. I'll start finding people that have guts to stand. I'm tired of this."

Given that many of us around these parts like to self-identify at least as independents if not libertarians, we should avoid the urge to mock Huckabee for wanting to go his own way if he can't get what he wants from his political party. But would trying to fracture social conservatives out from the right actually accomplish anything? Does this threat have any actual teeth?

Current trends show more and more Americans supporting letting gay folks marry, but there's still a huge, non-ignorable chunk of opposition, particularly for anybody seeking national office as a Republican. The question is how committed are voters who oppose gay marriage to actually opposing gay marriage. As the pendulum swings in the other direction, when does the point come that catering to Huckabee's desires become a liability for the party?

When Reason-Rupe polled Millennials (pdf) about their positions on same-sex marriage, we also examined how important the issue actually was to them. If a candidate's attitude toward same-sex marriage was the opposite of theirs, was this a deal-breaker?

A significant chunk of those polled said it was. Forty-five percent said they would not vote for a candidate whose position on gay marriage was the opposite of theirs, regardless of other issues. That meant 25 percent of millennials said they wouldn't vote for a candidate who opposed gay marriage, and 20 percent of millennials wouldn't vote for a candidate who supported gay marriage. Try threading that needle.

With that knowledge, it's easy to see why Republican leadership is trying to just say nothing about it or say that it's not currently a major issue. Supporting gay marriage recognition could cost a Republican candidate the nomination. But either position could potentially cost the Republican nominee votes come 2016. You can see why Sen. Rand Paul is kind of trying to have it both ways, almost throwing his hands up at the issue.

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  1. Please?
    Bah, who am I kidding. He sounds like all those moron lefties that said they’d move to Canada if Bush got re-elected.

    1. Well let’s hope he’s serious. If he took the rest of the religious right with him, the GOP just might be a little more liberty oriented. They’d be an electoral force on par with the Democrats if they weren’t encumbered by the policy preferences of Huckabee, Santorum and the like.

      1. ^This^
        All together now “quit Mike quit, quit Mike quit”

  2. If the Republicans want to lose guys like me and a whole bunch of still God-fearing, Bible-believing people, go ahead and just abdicate on this issue…

    The very best case for same-sex marriage recognition anyone could take.

    1. He must have missed the parts in the Bible about the Kings “lording over everybody” and the parts about “loving one another” first and about the proper process in correcting another’s ‘immorality’ (hint, it doesn’t involve passing a law). Must’ve also missed the part about correcting *other Christians* since they’re the only ones beholden to the same moral code.

      Huckabee worships the state first. God falls in line somewhere after that.

    2. Seriously… What more is there to say other than, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out”

      1. Took my thunder! (Hit, hit, slam Huck)

  3. He’s like a petulant teenager, who else is going to take him?

    1. The Constitution Party. If Huckster wants to make himself even more irrelevant than he is, he can leave the GOP. What part of “two party system” doesn’t he understand? Once you’re out of them, you’re inconsequential.

  4. Thank God. Adios, asshole. Republicans should treat the religious so-cons the way Democrats treat black people: a reliable voting bloc that’s not going anywhere no matter how much you betray them.

    1. When the choice is between a douchebag and a shit sandwich better to go with the devil you know.

    2. Actually, that is pretty much how they treat them.

    3. The Dems treated them that way for years, until they jumped parties en masse.

    4. If there’s any hope for a real third party, it probably involves the blacks and the so-cons joining forces. Those voters tend to be in agreement on most social issues and I doubt there would be any real conflict on non-social issues. So-cons only seem to oppose welfare and stuff like that because of the power it gives their opponents.

    5. This, but I should add that there’s one place that voting block is going regardless of party affiliation: the grave. These people are not long for the world they are a bunch of old fogeys. They will not be missed.

  5. Don’t let the door hit your fat ass on the way out.

    1. He might enjoy it more than he would care to admit.

  6. I don’t think Huckleberry has quite thought this through.

    1. He just doesn’t like discrimination. It’s not fair that only gay people can get gay married.

  7. Also if every member of the GOP coalition were to do this on thier pet issue that the GOP barely pays lipservice to all that would be left would be farmers and hawks. Those are literally the only two issues that the GOP not only talks some game but fights tooth and nail to maintain the status quo.

    1. Are farmers reliable GOP voters? I thought ag subsidies were guaranteed in perpetuity by both parties.

      1. Yeah it’s pretty much a third rail issue.

      2. I wonder what % of ag welfare goes to family-owned farm versus Cargill and ADM.

      3. Wille Nelson and his “farm aid” thing aren’t exactly from the freedom and liberty crowd.

  8. Jay Cost analysis, please!

    I’m guessin’ the GOP would lose a few and gain a few, but I could be terrifyingly wrong.

  9. “But would trying to fracture social conservatives out from the right actually accomplish anything?”

    No it wouldn’t, it would simply empower the progs.

    So I would hope that neither Huckabee *nor the left-libertarians* try to drive out the Socons from the Republican coalition.

    1. Actually there a a whole bunch of people whose sole reason for hating the Republican party is their stances on Social issues.

      I don’t know that the RP would gain votes by expunging the SoCons but I highly doubt it would lose many either.

      1. If the elephants develop short-term memories and dump their most consistent and loyal supporters – many of whom, believe it or not, are sympathetic to free markets and opposed to federal overspending – then that doesn’t mean they’ll suddenly become faithful to the libertarians. It will show they’ll betray *anyone,* anyone at all, at the drop of a hat, including of course libertarians.

        Dropping the SoCons will take place in the context of “reaching out toward the center,” which in this context does *not* mean reaching out for libertarians, but instead seeking support from social liberals – and just as a reminder, social liberalism includes gun control, sin taxes (re tobacco and sodas), and support of the “I want cake” movement (compelling bakers to make gay cakes).

        1. Oh, when the Republicans turn into “centrist social liberals,” and support “common sense gun regulation,” etc., etc., I’m going to have so much schaden…shulden…shadenwhatever.

        2. many of whom, believe it or not, are sympathetic to free markets and opposed to federal overspending

          I thought we were talking about Huckabee?

          1. If he’s the only one to join his new hypothetical SoCon party, no harm done.

            I thought we were considering the possibility of other SoCons following him?

            1. I thought we were considering the possibility of other SoCons following him?

              If they leave the Republican Party to join a socialist “Christian” party, then I would say it’s safe to rule them out from having been “sympathetic to free markets and opposed to federal overspending”, much like Huckabee.

              If they leave the GOP to form a libertarian “Christian” party, then we could perhaps find common cause, and then you could harp about leftist “libertarians” driving them away.

              1. Did someone say libertarian Christian party?


        3. Oh pul-eeze. The SoCons, like the proles, will never rebel. They are servile peons. The only future for them is the fossil bed. Pandering to them is pure liability.

          1. If they’re servile peons, why does one of their prominent figures threaten to go third party?

  10. Huckabee’s “defection” from The Republican Party won’t really make any difference. The Republicans need the votes from the Gay and Lesbian Community in the U.S., and will no doubt actively support that community’s agenda during the 2016 campaigns for the Presidency. They certainly don’t need Huckabee at all.

    With that said, the best and biggest supporters of Gay and Lesbian Civil rights are the Democrats. This might be hard for Libertarians to digest in light of the fact that this website supports a Republican Member of Congress for the Presidency. Don’t forget that it was the Clintons who pushed for Gays and Lesbians in the military, and it was the Obama administration that made it happen.

    1. No, the Republicans don’t need the votes of the gays and lesbians. They aren’t that large a voting block. And given the prevalence of identity politics amongst them, it is highly improbable that the Republicans would get their votes anyway.

      What they do need is the votes of women and younger voters. And the perception this issue has created among them that Republicans are basically bigots has been a colossal liability.

  11. Want to bet Huckabee would be the first in line to tell Republicans they should swallow Obamacare, because “Goshdarnit, we lost that one!”.

    Yup, Republicans should accept the policies where they actually win and fight like hell over the ones that tar them as bigots. That’s a strategy.

  12. By the way, now that everyone is here, which of youse loved to read about the Freikorps?

    Get used to that question. You’ll see it in quite a few threads.

    1. I’m currently studying that very subject. Doing map terrain for a start-up game company on their fights in the Baltic.

      1. Someone around here said they were way into the Freikorps and liked reading about it. Dunno if it was you. I just wanted to give whoever it was the news that a book about them is coming out in 2015. “Terror in the Weimar” by Heidi Schnakenberg.

  13. Mike, please say you’re serious this time.

  14. Look, as someone who regularly and repeatedly stamps their feet and tells the GOP I will never support them again because of some pet issue, I can’t really cast stones at Huckabee here.

    But at least MY issues could largely be addressed with simple Congressional votes and Presidential signatures.

    Maybe it’s UNLIKELY that any Congress will ever, say, repeal SNAP, but it’s a feasible outcome of mere electioneering.

    There is no way to give Huckabee what he wants via electioneering. Not directly, in any event. Gay marriage and abortion are deeply entrenched by the judiciary, now. Uprooting them can only be done indirectly, and over a great span of time.

    So basically Huckabee is demanding that candidates for elective office issue dramatic and florid statements about issues they no longer can vote on or act on. Why? To accomplish what? To make Huckabee and his voters feel loved? I don’t get it.

    There is no reason for any GOP candidate for the House of Representatives to even HAVE a position on gay marriage or abortion. It has nothing to do with them any more.

    1. Ay-freaking-men. Romney supposedly bungled some question about states outlawing contraception, but he should have just stared at the reporter and said “Are you seeing nontuple? Do I look like nine people? In black robes?”

      1. There seems to be a political consensus that contraceptives should be legal, even if they destroy human life in the interval between fertilization and implantation.

        Of course, whatever we may think of this issue philosophically, the choicers are actually fighting for the right to abort up to the third trimester. Their concern-trolling about contraception simply reflects the fact that abortions-for-everyone rhetoric fails to poll well.

        1. “human life”

        2. Polls don’t matter because the pro-choice camp is willing to make it their #1 cause and moderates are more scared of the anti-choice fundies than they are of NARAL.

          1. If the issue is framed as contraceptive rights, yeah, that’s why the choicers are beating that drum as hard as they can.

            They have a more difficult row to hoe when it comes to unambiguous abortion – you know, post-implantation, and especially post-developing recognizably human characteristics.

            Maybe I’m wrong and Wendy Davis will capture Texas – anything *could* happen, but probably won’t.

    2. “Gay marriage and abortion are deeply entrenched by the judiciary, now. Uprooting them can only be done indirectly, and over a great span of time.”

      As to abortion, you’ve actually described the prolife strategy – pass incremental legislation, get the courts to uphold it, and build up a group of federal judges who are not insane and who will eventually overrule Roe v. Wade.

      Or we could go Rand Paul’s route:

      “I would strongly support legislation restricting federal courts from hearing cases like Roe v. Wade. Such legislation would only require a majority vote, making it more likely to pass than a pro-life constitutional amendment.”

      These are all within the realm of possibility, as shown by the fact that it has already been done.

      It’s wishful thinking to say that there’s nothing at all to be done, and those who say this don’t *want* anything to be done.

      1. “it has already been done” should be “much of it has already been done.”

      2. I would strongly support legislation restricting federal courts from hearing cases like Roe v. Wade.

        I think this would fail because the SCOTUS would almost certainly rule that the 14th Amendment supercedes Article 3, Section 1.

        Doing so would be self-serving – but it would also be correct. Given those two in combination I can’t see the SCOTUS not doing it.

        1. Let the Supremes explain what other cases must, constitutionally, be removed from state courts and sent to federal courts. Divorce cases (when the parties are from different states)? Workers’ comp cases (ditto)? Anti-tax injunctions?

          1. I’m sure they would be happy to do so.

            Look, I know anti-choice people think it would be a great idea to let the Congress remove matters from the purview of federal courts by a simple majority vote, by pointing to Article 3, Section 1.

            I just don’t see how that can apply here, and not to every instance the Congress might want to use.

            The 1st and 2nd Amendments would mean nothing. Nor would any of the others. Hey, that Amendment says the Congress can’t do something? Oopsie, we just passed a law saying federal courts don’t get to hear cases of that kind. Article 3, Section 1 says we can do that! Turn in all your guns, mother fuckers! We win!

            It’s asinine.

      3. If the court can’t hear cases related to abortion, how do you prosecute someone for violating laws restricting it?

        1. State courts

          1. How can a state court here a case related to a federal abortion law?

            1. Oh, they can do it, eg, prosecutions under state law, but the federal courts tend to cramp their style so long as the federal courts have jurisdiciton.

              1. Eh, I think they can let the states handle even federal-law disputes.

  15. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.


  16. Huckabee Threatens to Walk if GOP Backs Off on Gay Marriage

    Christmas came early this year. Thank you, baby Jesus!


  18. Huckabee is your typical big government statist, pretty much cast in the same mold as Santorum and McCain.

    Where’s he going anyway?

  19. Even if the progs send libertarians and SoCons into their prog-centration camps, certain left-libertarians (naming no names) will continue to call their SoCon fellow prisoners enemies of liberty and spit in their gruel.

    1. Many a revolution has begun with alliances of convenience and ended with erstwhile allies fighting each other after the common enemy was beaten.

      Of course, if we’re already in the camps, we’d be the beaten enemy and the prog alliance would be the one dissolving.

    2. Shorter Eddie: give me your coattails! I have nothing else!

      1. Aren’t you the infanticide guy?

  20. I think we should point out the distinction between mor?s and morality. Much of what the Huckabee’s of the world believe to be morals are actually just mor?s. Enforcement of mor?s is often immoral.

  21. . But would trying to fracture social conservatives out from the right actually accomplish anything?

    Yup, it sure would. It’d make them electable. God knows that’s the last thing Republicans actually want.

  22. Why haven’t they kicked out the Huckster already?

  23. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Maybe you could join the Democrats, you seem to be ideologically aligned with them on many points.

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