Earlier this month, Newsday columnist and Fox News contributor James Pinkerton joined former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign as a “senior adviser” who “will work at the intersection of policy and strategic messaging.” Pinkerton, who worked in the White House under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, says he “felt called” to to join Huckabee’s campaign.
While Pinkerton is considered by some to be a “top-tier rationalist,” he has some policy prescriptions that can only be considered extreme.
Three months before Pinkerton joined the campaign, he recorded an episode of Bloggingheads.tv with Mother Jones editor David Corn. During their conversation, Pinkerton declared that he would handle “American Muslims” by putting “a cop in front of every mosque” in America:
PINKERTON: You asked me what I would do about American Muslims. Answer is I’d put a cop in front of every mosque until I was completely satisfied nothing was going on there.
CORN: You’d put a cop in front of every mosque?
PINKERTON: That’s what I said. [...]
CORN: I mean, do you have any proof that every mosque deserves a cop in front of it?
PINKERTON: I said, I would put one in there just for safe keeping all the way around.
Invasive punitive treatment of a religious minority is not the only outrageous idea Pinkerton has put forth over the years. Here are a few more examples:
- In a 2005 column, Pinkerton advocated genocide in Iraq, writing that America can make “anti-American violence in Iraq end” by unleashing “the Shia Arab Muslims and the Kurds to finish the job, all the way to the bloody extreme.”
- On Fox News in June 2006, Pinkerton complained about people who feel the “military needs to be carefully restrained with legal rules and procedures,” exclaiming “I’d rather lose our civil liberties than lose the war.”
- In December 2006, Pinkerton argued that “proximity to Mexico is at least partly to blame” for corruption in Texas.
- In September 2007, Pinkerton warned in the American Conservative of “Muslimization,” concluding that “to keep the peace, we must separate our civilizations.”
As Corn writes on his CQ Politics blog, Pinkerton’s new role as a “senior adviser” to a top presidential candidate raises important questions. For instance, “is Pinkerton now advising Huckabee to call for police surveillance of every mosque in the nation?”
UPDATE: As a note, Pinkerton “resigned as a Fox News contributor and gave up” his column when he took the position with the Huckabee campaign.