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Huckabee on the First Amendment

From Marshall Manson:

In essence, Governor Huckabee yesterday repudiated the First Amendment and the concept of free speech by announcing that he would like to “outlaw” any political speech not expressly “authorized and approved by the candidate.”

According to Jawa’s Rusty Shacklford, the quote in question came from an interview with NPR yesterday morning. Rusty quoted Governor Huckabee as saying:

“I personally wish that all of this was outlawed. I think that every candidate should speak for themselves, and that every thing that involves the candidate’s name or another candidate’s name should be authorized and approved by that candidate, otherwise it shouldn’t be spoken….

“The point is that candidates can’t force these special interest 527 groups to stop. I wish we could.”

I really thought the basic tenets of Constitution were generally past debate. It never occurred to me that a candidate for President might simply come out against individual freedom. Even Senator McCain — no friend of free speech — has the sense to at least try to be subtle about it.

Read the whole thing.  I hate to say it, but I think I now have to rank Huckabee below Mitt Romney in terms of Republican candidates that I find to be completely unacceptable.  The question is, when the evangelical vote learns about what Huckabee is really about, will they still support him?  I hope not, but I’m not holding my breath.

12 Responses to “Huckabee on the First Amendment”

  1. BadIdeaGuy says:

    That is chilling.

  2. Carl in Chicago says:

    Not to mention this:

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/01/15/579265.aspx

    “[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it’s a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that’s what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards,” Huckabee said, referring to the need for a constitutional human life amendment and an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

    My take?

    That statement by Huckabee doesn’t sit will with me. Not in the least.

    It is sometimes a very fine line that separates religious philosophy from political philosophy. But as much as is humanly possible, we want to walk along that line, even when that line is razor-thin.

    That Huckabee supports an amendment prohibiting gay marriage is roundly indicative that he misunderstands the role and capacity of the constitution, as much as he misunderstands the dire need to keep the church and the state separated.

    Hate abortion or gay marriage as you will….but amendments to the constitution MUST remain limited to proscribing the government, not the choices of a free People.

    And that is why I so strongly dislike the 16th and 18th amendments (although the 18th has been corrected).

    “Strongly guarded…is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States. The practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government is essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.” James Madison

  3. R.J. says:

    The Constitution was based on the Word of God, in that it regulates and limits the gov’t. Remember, the 1A says that Congress shall make no law (should’a stopped there, if you ask me!) respecting an establishment of religion, nor barring the free exercise thereof. When the Founders wrote this, they were insuring that no one Christian denomination became the State religion. I don’t think they foresaw the non-Christian religions becoming a force to be reckoned with. I see nothing wrong with having a gov’t that governs by the Ten Commanments? They’re just basic morality, and I see nothing wrong with a gov’t that simply points to the Lord of the universe.

    In any event, our real problem is not the Constitution. It’s a gov’t that sees itself as all-powerful, and ignores the Constitution with impunity.

  4. BadIdeaGuy says:

    Carl, you’re dead-on. The Constitution doesn’t need either amendment, even if you’re anti-abortion/anti-gay marriage.

    Without moralizing on either subject, Pandora’s box is open and it’s kinda hard to close. It’s not like people will wake up one day and say “there’s a Constitutional amendment, I don’t want to marry my gay partner anymore”. Or “I’m pregnant and don’t want the baby, but now that there’s an amendment to the Constitution, I forget how they used to get rid of unwanted babies”.

    By doing so in the Constitution and not a “consensus” (in the old definition moreso than the “Algore” definition), you risk splitting the populace on the Constitution in a way not seen since the Civil War, but the division wouldn’t be neatly geographical.

    I think of it this way: say the gungrabbers get their way and delete the Second Amendment of the Constitution and magically confiscate all our guns without things completely breaking down, I’ll still think about shooting. I’ll still want to go shooting. I’ll still know what guns, bullets, and propellants are made of, and even how to make them. At the same time, I’d scorn the sh*t out of the grabbers and the govt, and thus the little c-onstitution as they made it.

    Same for Huckabee’s comment on campaign speech. There’s already a law against slander.

  5. Sebastian says:

    “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, – as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, – and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” — Treaty of Tripoli, signed by Thomas Jefferson and Ratified by Congress. It can be said they were well aware of other religions. The first amendment bars the government from establishing state religions, not just establishing a particular branch of Christianity.

    I see nothing wrong with having a gov’t that governs by the Ten Commanments? They’re just basic morality, and I see nothing wrong with a gov’t that simply points to the Lord of the universe.

    I don’t particular want a government that enforces what gods I shall and shant have before others, deciding what constitutes a “graven image”, regulating what god’s I take in vain, fining people for not going to church, forcing me to be nice to my parents, regulating who can sleep with whom, or regulating what I may and may not covet. So yeah, I have a big problem with a government based on the ten commandments.

    In any event, our real problem is not the Constitution. It’s a gov’t that sees itself as all-powerful, and ignores the Constitution with impunity.

    No argument there.

  6. straightarrow says:

    Surprise! I agree with Sebastian on this. Even though I believe in the Ten Commandments, he is absolutely correct from either angle.

  7. Hazel Stone says:

    I see nothing wrong with having a gov’t that governs by the Ten Commanments? They’re just basic morality, and I see nothing wrong with a gov’t that simply points to the Lord of the universe.

    No, they’re YOUR morality. As a member of one of those “non-Christian religions” I will fight tooth and nail to keep Christianity from taking over my government.

  8. kaveman says:

    “The Constitution was based on the Word of God,”

    Uhhh, just one question…which God?

  9. chris horton says:

    I believe in God, and claim Christ as my Saviour, and have no problem saying FUCK HUCK!

  10. Clint says:

    When the Founders wrote this, they were insuring that no one Christian denomination became the State religion. I don’t think they foresaw the non-Christian religions becoming a force to be reckoned with.

    To the contrary. Your knowledge of the original intent of the Establishment Clause and those who lobbied for it is quite lacking.

    From the provided link: “The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest to grant indulgence; whereas all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians.” – John Leland – Short essays on Government – 1820

  11. Linoge says:

    Well, Mr. Horton beat me to the punch. If Huckabee is counting on any Christian vote outside of the fundies, radical evangelicals (after all, all Christians should be evangelical), or closet theocrats, he may have just successfully shot himself in the foot with this collection of comments.

    That said, abridge the First Amendment simply because this particular hare-brained candidate is tired of things being said on his behalf and without his assent or knowledge? Well, damn, I guess you just should not have made yourself a public figure, eh?

  12. Bacon says:

    Let’s get our info straight here. The US Constitution is based on many common law principles. There must be man made laws because people operate/carry on, on free will, outside of this of God’s law (see Galatians).

    The US Constitution is what we have and was designed to be difficult to amend (for bullshit/fervent/hot head today purposes) . It is not a Bible or other religious document.

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