Giuliani, Tancredo and Thompson all fall into the continuum of wacky and despicable. McCain who was savaged by the bushevik-rove campaign has not come out against Bush; he did valiantly try to stop torture, but it was unconstitutionally overruled by a "signing statement". What is that device? It is similar to an edict or an ukase, which are the personal dictates of an emperor. Precisely for this reason anyone who does not denounce Bush is no democrat.
Romney is an ambitious opportunist. This is quite common for both businessmen and politicians. People have questioned his religion. The Constitution forbids this. Whatever his beliefs are, in that area, are not germane to his candidacy, it could only be if he were trying to implement his religion to control the government and this is not the accusation against him.
He is trying to get his party's nomination and that party is over represented by evangelical protestants, whom are bothered by a non-christian candidate. They more vociferously attacked Al Smith in the1920s and John Kennedy in 1960. Smith, "the happy warrior", responded repeatedly, firmly and well against the bigots, especially against the Klan and Senator Cotton Tom Heflin of Alabama.* Kennedy went in front of a sanhedrin of protestant ministers in Houston Texas and affirmed separation of state and religion.
In Romney's wafflely speech, he mentioned mormon once; Kennedy, in his speech, said Catholic nineteen times. Romney, in this regard was evasive and did not endorse separation of church and state. Kennedy, in this conceded too much, Smith nothing. The Klan, which then was in both parties, but in the south, very much more in the Democratic party stopped Smith's nomination in '24 and the country chose the Republican Hoover as president by a great margin in '28. Since the 1960s those who voted with the Klan and their descendants have migrated to the Republicans.
Huckabee was involved in radio evangelism and is an ordained Southern Baptist minister. I am familiar with the low regard Baptists have for Catholics. They have created a Catholic strawman they love to burn. Brownback was in the race in Iowa. Brownback is a convert to Catholicism, there was an underground campaign, that had come to light, to discredit him and to guide evangelicals to their proper candidate -- Huckabee. Huckabee did not denounce this.
Huckabee is using the slogan "christian leader". In an interview with Newsweek he's asked about Mormonism:
Asked if he thought Scriptural revelations from God ended when the Bible was completed, Huckabee said: "I don't have any evidence or indication that he's handed us a new book to add to the ones, the 66, that were canonized in 325 A.D. … It was a careful process that adopted those books. That was something I did study in college and seminary … the process by which we ended up with those books. I don't know that there's any other books." †In a recent debate, Huckabee was asked about Jesus's view of the death penalty, “Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office”. In a recent Mother Jones article, there is recounted that, while governor in '97, he took an on air phone call about Jesus and the death penalty.‡ Huckabee's reading of the New Testament had Jesus's silence on the cross, as he was being executed as a confirmation for the use of the death penalty. Well, in the former, he is being tricky and successfully evasive, in the latter, his torturous exegesis is dumbfounding. Many, if not virtually all evangelicals and fundamentalist protestants, whether christian or not, preface there statements with, "the Bible tells me so". Here Huckabee is ignorant of the purpose of Christ's Passion. He understands that Jesus is innocent and that the state has the power to execute the innocent, but Jesus is the innocent sacrifice that redeems mankind. "By Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world". "Behold the wood of the cross upon which the salvation of the world hangs." Jesus accepted this bitter cup for the will of the Father. He did not want to suffer. In Gethsemani he sweated blood in trepidation and in premonition. The scourging by the soldier was excessive in its execution and a torture prior to crucifixion. Christ did not undergo execution because it was just, but because it was unjust. The lamb went to the slaughter.
People can believe what they wish. It is within the right of the state to inflict capital punishment. It is a function of justice. Some crimes are capital. Some actions deserve death in response. But, in America the meting out of justice is not done justly. Governor George Ryan, a Republican recognized that this was the situation in Illinois. He suspended the use, when it was proven that several condemned men were innocent. Governor Ryan is now an inmate himself (usual Republican graft and corruption). Leonel Torres Herrera's execution was permitted in Texas by the US Supreme Court, even, though the courts and the state knew he did not commit the crime. Scalia, with Thomas concurring, wrote that there was no legal error in the case, so subsequent knowledge meant nothing.§
So, we have little, equitable and fair justice in this land enough. The imposition of a capital sentence is too often dubious in this country. IF things were done honestly in this country, then the death penalty would be appropriate. But, it would not, ever, be the christian response.ll
Huckabee might govern better than the rest of his Republican comrades, but I can not trust or support him. Any democrat over any Republican in Iowa or elsewhere. If a decent candidate would emerge amongst Republicans, he would still bring in a nefarious crew. Republican fraud, corruption and willful transgressions against the Constitution should disqualify their party in the minds of the electorate.
Any Democrat will do. I prefer John Edwards, yes, even though his campaign briefly employed two, troublesome ex-Catholic bloggers, one whose views were insulting repulsive, but, also as a southern protestant, Edwards must have been raised in the same religious milieu as Huckabee, Heflin, Carter, Bill Clinton and millions of others. There is no history of any public bigotry that has come to knowledge. His campaign manager is David Bonior, a Michigan Catholic, and former congressman, whose district was gerrymandered away. In the 2004 Ohio primary I voted for Edwards and I would again to-day and to-morrow.
*Heflin ultimately supported Hoover and left the Democratic party. The phrase "yellow dog Democrat" was created to mean, yes I would vote for Smith or any other Catholic, if he's the Democrat, "Hell, if they ran a yellow dog, I'd vote for him". Heflin's other claim to fame was that he shot a negro on a streetcar as a member of Congress in '08, which he was pleased to regale about while campaigning.
†Mr.Huckabee is at least mistaken and inaccurate.The 325 date refers to the first Council of Nicaea, the canon was not the purpose of that meeting. Pope Damasus at the Roman Council in 382 proclaimed the present canon of 73 (and the primary question was over the New Testament's 27 books, not the Old Testament's 46), this was confirmed at the Synod of Hippo in 393 for the entire church. It was repeatedly confirmed at other councils, including the Second Council of Nicaea in 787. The 66 books are the general protestant count of post 1517. The seven books Huckabee forgets are: Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Machabees I, and Machabees II.
‡Interestingly enough, 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." -- Huckabee
§Rehnquist wrote, "presumption of innocence disappears". 25 January 1993, 6 to 3, the Supreme Court denied appeal in Herrera vs Collins.
llThe only people on earth who do not see Christ and His teachings as nonviolent are Christians. -- Mahatma Gandhi