Not only does it work, it works very well.
You know, one of the toughest challenges that I ever faced as a governor was carrying out the death penalty. I did it more than any other governor ever had to do it in my state. As I look on this stage, I’m pretty sure that I’m the only person on this stage that’s ever had to actually do it. [...]
Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office, Anderson. That’s what Jesus would do.
Huckabee dodged the question that time. But in 1997, Huckabee claimed that Jesus would have agreed with him on supporting the death penalty. Shortly before a triple execution in Arkansas in Jan. 1997, a caller called into Huckabee’s show on Arkansas Educational Television Network and asked how he squared his Christian teachings with his support for the death penalty. As the Arkansas Times reported on Jan. 22, 1997:
“Interestingly enough,” Huckabee allowed, “if there was ever an occasion for someone to have argued against the death penalty, I think Jesus could have done so on the cross and said, ‘This is an unjust punishment and I deserve clemency’.”
Jesus, though, did not ask for clemency. Therefore, according to Huckabee’s logic, Jesus must have been in favor of capital punishment.
Huckabee also believes God supports Republicans. As ThinkProgress reported yesterday, Huckabee interrupted his speech to the Republican Governors Association in 2004 to answer his cell phone. He proceeded to have a three-minute conversation with God about President Bush’s re-election:
We’re behind [Bush], yes, sir, we sure are. Yes, sir, we know you don’t take sides in the election. But, if you did, we kind of think you’d hang in there with us, Lord, we really do.
Matt Taibbi has more on Huckabee’s religious zealotry.
John Hollinger runs the numbers on why the Bulls are so terrible, and it winds up looking pretty mysterious. The Bulls took a mild dip from first in defensive efficiency to sixth in defensive efficiency, but their offense has crumbled from 20th last season to dead last. Indeed, “if they keep this up they will rank as the worst offensive team in history relative to the league.” What’s more, Hollinger reports that all of Chicago’s players have gotten worse on offense, “every key player is performing vastly below his career norms with the exception of Joe Smith.” Andres Nocioni? Slightly worse. Luol Deng and Ben Wallace? Somewhat worse. Ben Gordon and Tyrus Thomas? Much worse. Kirk Hinrich and Thabo Sefolosha? Wildly worse.
This is all the odder for the fact that most of these guys are young players who you’d generically expect to improve, and a couple of them are playing for new contracts after turning down pretty good extension offers in hopes of snagging the big bucks.
The only really plausible theory is that Chris Hayes left the Windy City to become Washington editor of The Nation and the Bulls are too sad to play.
Number of American flags on the National Mall this weekend, as part of a “3-day salute” honoring the “12,000 members of the United States military who have been discharged under the practice of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’” Marking the law’s 14th anniversary, 28 retired generals and admirals yesterday sent a letter urging Congress to repeal the legislation.
John Quiggen reports on the Australian political situation, where it seems that not only has Labor been voted in and the Liberals (that’s the right-wing party in Australia) been given the boot, but in a somewhat unexpected move, the Liberals are tacking to the left and bringing in a new, much more moderate leader.
Here in the states, there’s a lot of optimism about the Democratic Part’s changes in 2008, and also a lot of debate about which presidential candidate could best take advantage of the opportunity that seems to be presenting itself. In domestic terms, though, I think the key issue will be less about which Democrat wins than it will be about what lesson the Republicans decide to take away from it. The 2006 midterms wound up not having resulted in very much progressive legislation not only because of Bush’s steadfast obstructionism, but because the congressional GOP as a whole succeeded in convincing itself that they’d lost primarily because of insufficiently dogmatic adherence to small-government orthodoxy. Meanwhile, the American political system makes it frighteningly easy for minorities to obstruct progressive reform. This same problem will be in place in 2009 unless Republican defeat convinces some non-trivial number of Republicans that they need to take a new direction.