Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Huck and Homosexuality

The Politico thinks that positions Mike Huckabee took on AIDS and homosexuality back in the early nineties make him an unattractive candidate today.

Huckabee argued that 1) the government was spending a disproportionate amount of money on AIDS research, 2) that AIDS carriers should be isolated from the general population and 3) that homosexuality was both aberrant and sinful.

I think a good public policy case could be made for both 1) and 2) although the idea of quarantining AIDS carriers was becoming less urgent by the early nineties as we were learning more about the virus. Still, there was enough uncertainty as to how the disease was being transmitted that Huckabee's position was not unreasonable at the time.

On the matter of homosexuality it is certainly true that it is aberrant and that every major religion represented in the United States has traditionally regarded it as sinful. The definition of aberrant is a deviation from the norm, and homoeroticism is not normal either in terms of the design of our bodies, its acceptance among the general population, or in terms of the percentage of people who consider themselves homosexual.

The only demographic in which a majority would be upset by Huckabee's judgment would be the secular elites in Hollywood and on University campuses and he is very unlikely to have much support among these folks in any event.

Depending on how Huckabee articulates these positions when he's asked about them by the media - which he certainly will be - his views could well make him even more attractive with groups that Republicans usually have a hard time reaching, blacks and Hispanics, both of which are predominately of the same opinion regarding homosexuality as is Huckabee. The worst thing he could do when asked to defend himself would be to waffle.


Petraeus Wins Another Convert

Michael Golfarb of The Weekly Standard remarks on an editorial in the Washington Post in which Pete Hegseth, executive director of Vets for Freedom, has coauthored an op-ed with Major General John Batiste.

Batiste is the formerly antiwar general who spoke out against Donald Rumsfeld, and who, until recently, was a Board Member of VoteVets.org (the antiwar MoveOn.org vets front group).

Goldfarb notes that in his Post column Batiste and Hegseth write that:

First, the United States must be successful in the fight against worldwide Islamic extremism. We have seen this ruthless enemy firsthand, and its global ambitions are undeniable. This struggle, the Long War, will probably take decades to prosecute. Failure is not an option.

Second, whether or not we like it, Iraq is central to that fight. We cannot walk away from our strategic interests in the region. Iraq cannot become a staging ground for Islamic extremism or be dominated by other powers in the region, such as Iran and Syria. A premature or precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, without the requisite stability and security, is likely to cause the violence there -- which has decreased substantially but is still present -- to cascade into an even larger humanitarian crisis.

Third, the counterinsurgency campaign led by Gen. David Petraeus is the correct approach in Iraq. It is showing promise of success and, if continued, will provide the Iraqi government the opportunities it desperately needs to stabilize its country.

Goldfarb comments:

There are two stories here: 1) A formerly anti-war general flips on supporting the war, and now believes Petraeus has the right strategy; and 2) Batiste has left VoteVets.org, and the antiwar movement, and joined up with the pro-troop, pro-surge, pro-victory Vets for Freedom.

The antiwar movement has lost one of its most powerful voices today, and it will be interesting to see whether they turn on one of their own, or come around to the view, supported by a preponderance of evidence, that the surge is working.

A year from now, if Iraq continues on its present trajectory, Bush could well be looking like a less eloquent version of Winston Churchill, and the Dems who so bitterly opposed him will be jumping off bridges.