Former Arkansas governor and current Fox News personality Mike Huckabee has doubled down on his use of the term “ick factor” to describe gay relationships and is now accusing the gay community of “hypocrisy” and “duplicity” for criticizing his use of the term. On Sunday, Huckabee reiterated his claim that gay activists coined the phrase and wondered why “it is okay if they talk about it, but if someone else talks about it, it is off balance”:
HUCKABEE: Well, that term actually comes from a gay magazine called The Edge in which the author, Joseph Erbentraut, interviewed Professor Martha Nussbaum from — one of Barack Obama’s colleagues, University of Chicago. She uses a term projected disgust. He, in the interview, coined this phrase. It’s in the article that he wrote in the interview with her. That phrase was not mine. It actually is a phrase that exists within the gay community. But somehow it’s OK if they talk about it, but if someone else talks about it, it’s off bounds.
And it’s interesting. The American Spectator — I thought Joseph Lawler this week did a wonderful analysis of the hypocrisy and the duplicity of those who want to, on one hand, push this issue, but then they really don’t want their own discussion to be brought into the public square. It’s a little bit disingenuous on their part to make it. It’s not the big issue for me. But if I’m asked about it, I try to be honest that I’m standing where most of the American public stands, and that is for traditional marriage of one man, one woman.
To state the obvious, gay people don’t use the “ick factor” to describe gay sex; they use it to describe people like Huckabee who maintain their anti-gay beliefs. As Nussbaum, who has publicly asked Huckabee to apologize for citing her work, has explained, “the view I develop, on the basis of recent psychological research, is that projective disgust has its origin in a discomfort with one’s own body and its messier animal aspects, including sexuality, and that, in a defense mechanism, disgust is then projected outward onto vulnerable groups who are characterized as hyperphysical and hypersexual.”
Huckabee’s claim that he doesn’t really care about gay issues and only offers his opinion when asked, is equally laughable. The former governor positioned himself as the social conservative during the 2008 presidential campaign and recently attacked Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) for suggesting that the next president “might have to sideline controversial social issues to broker a ‘truce’ focusing on fiscal problems.” As Huckabee reiterated this Sunday, “I don’t want [Mitch Daniels] to back away from issues that will and have energized 40 to 50% of the Republican base.”
Judging from his refusal to apologize to Nussbaum, however, one could think that Huckabee is trying to energize that 40 to 50% for himself. “I end up leading a lot of the polls,” Huckabee said. “I’m the Republican that clearly at this point does better against Obama than any other Republican.” “I haven’t closed the door. I think that would be foolish on my part, especially when poll after poll shows that there is strong sentiment out there.”