Mike Huckabee

Well, Of Course Mike Huckabee Was a Snake-Oil Pitchman

A clarifying controversy

|

Good question. Let's ask Ron Bailey.
Health Revelations

If the Republican presidential primaries had been scripted in advance, we'd be complaining about how heavy-handed the writer is. It wasn't enough to put a full-court apologist for Bush Republicanism in the race; the candidate in question is actually named Bush. It wasn't enough to add a quasi-libertarian to the mix; our secret scriptwriter had to name him Rand. And the candidate with a scuzzy history of attaching his name to dubious health products, from a "natural" "diabetes reversal kit" to a cancer cure supposedly concealed in the Bible? Naturally, the huckster is called Huckabee.

That isn't the only way Mike Huckabee's history of pitching snake oil is clarifying. There is a strain of liberalism—represented by Hillary Clinton, among others—that has secularized a series of moral battles that in other hands would be treated as religious issues, offering public health arguments for restrictions on video games, TV violence, and the like. As governor of Arkansas, Huckabee turned that on its head: He sanctifed the public health agenda, treating weight loss and smoke-free living as moral crusades. But his agenda wasn't quite identical to that of his liberal counterparts. His cultural loyalties make him less likely to embrace public health arguments against, say, gun ownership, and more likely to deploy them against, say, gay sex. ("I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk," he wrote in 1992. Note how easily he conjoined the rhetoric of health and the rhetoric of sin.) It's as though a Harvard report on how to push people into healthier habits had been rewritten in the green room of a megachurch.

So I can't say I'm surprised by this scandal. If you wanted to produce the most cartoonish representation possible of Mike Huckabee's approach to the world, you couldn't do much better than to draw someone trying to cure cancer by reading the Bible. And if there's anything this crop of candidates seems intent on proving, it's that they're willing to live down to their own worst caricatures.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

26 responses to “Well, Of Course Mike Huckabee Was a Snake-Oil Pitchman

  1. “And if there’s anything this crop of candidates seems intent on proving, it’s that they’re willing to live down to their own worst caricatures.”

    And it’s early in the campaign.

  2. Life is the crummiest book I ever read,
    There isn’t a hook, just a lot of cheap shots,
    Pictures to shock
    and characters an amateur would never dream up.

    1. Ahhhh Bad Religion nails it.

  3. Sorry, Mr. Walker, I’m not a fan of Huckabee’s but, compared to politics, pitching “natural diabetes reversal” or “cancer cures of the Bible” are relatively noble callings. At least in those instances, the only person hurt by those ignorant people buying it are themselves. In contrast, all politics comes down to getting ignorant people to hurt everyone else.

    1. Agreed that politicos cause greater harm, but the skills are remarkably similar. They’re both peddling snake oil to whoever buys it.

    2. I have often said that if my daughter ever indicates a desire to join her school’s model UN, I will immediately put her on the pole to save her virtue.

      I have said this to myself, anyway.

      1. I will immediately put her on the pole…

        Pleased to meet you. Stan Kowalski…

    3. But as a marker of character, it’s dynamite, and that’s the issue here.

      1. But as a marker of character, it’s dynamite…

        Again, as opposed to being a politician?

        1. And all numbers are divisible by 1, which is why 1 is not considered a prime number.

  4. My goodness gracious! That family isn’t lacking food security!

  5. Fine, I’ll bite: why would God encode a secret cancer cure in the Bible? Have we just been too bored burying children and slaughtering screaming animals for the past 2,000 years that we need a divine textual scavenger hunt to ward off a slow, rotting death to cheer us up and keep us motivated?

    Preachers should really just stick to the most entertaining parts of the Bible, like where that hot milf fucks up the commander of the Caananite army with a tent peg or where Achilles makes Agamemnon his bitch and drags Eric Bana’s battered corpse behind his chariot for a few miles, Mogadishu style.

    I bet Huck could sell a fuck-ton of shit to elderly TBN viewers if he’d stick to the scriptures.

  6. Anyone else starting to get the feeling the 2016 campaign is going to be an even bigger shit show than 2012 was? If we end up with Hillary/ Schumer vs Bush/ Huckabee, or something like that, I’m signing up for the one way Mars colony because I won’t want to live on this planet anymore.

    1. As long as you leave me your Smelloscope!

  7. “I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk,”
    And there’s an ointment that can cure that.

  8. And “natural diabetes reversal” is kind of a thing, though the most effective things such a kit could contain would be a guide to low-carb, high protein eating with perhaps some charts and food diaries.

    But that other thing is absolute quackery.

  9. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.work-cash.com

  10. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.work-cash.com

  11. I’m sorry, can someone tell me what this article is written it?

  12. I started with my online business I earn $58 every 15 minutes. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out.
    For information check this site. ????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  13. Nathaniel . although Stephanie `s rep0rt is super… I just bought a top of the range Mercedes sincee geting a check for $4416 this last four weeks and would you believe, ten/k last-month . no-doubt about it, this really is the best-job I’ve ever done . I actually started seven months/ago and almost straight away started making a nice over $79.. p/h….. ?????? http://www.Jobs-Cash.com

  14. Nathaniel . although Stephanie `s rep0rt is super… I just bought a top of the range Mercedes sincee geting a check for $4416 this last four weeks and would you believe, ten/k last-month . no-doubt about it, this really is the best-job I’ve ever done . I actually started seven months/ago and almost straight away started making a nice over $79.. p/h….. ?????? http://www.Jobs-Cash.com

  15. Nathaniel . although Stephanie `s rep0rt is super… I just bought a top of the range Mercedes sincee geting a check for $4416 this last four weeks and would you believe, ten/k last-month . no-doubt about it, this really is the best-job I’ve ever done . I actually started seven months/ago and almost straight away started making a nice over $79.. p/h….. ?????? http://www.Jobs-Cash.com

  16. Nathaniel . although Stephanie `s rep0rt is super… I just bought a top of the range Mercedes sincee geting a check for $4416 this last four weeks and would you believe, ten/k last-month . no-doubt about it, this really is the best-job I’ve ever done . I actually started seven months/ago and almost straight away started making a nice over $79.. p/h….. ?????? http://www.Jobs-Cash.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.