For the “Political Players” series, CBS News’ Brian Goldsmith talked with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
CBSNews.com: “Do you believe that Mormonism is a legitimate form of Christianity?”
Gov. Huckabee: “You know, Mormonism is a faith that people adhere to. And I think people ought to respect anybody’s faith. I am not all that familiar with the intricate details. I have enough trouble keeping up with my own faith. So, I do not spend lots of time trying to evaluate somebody else’s.”
CBSNews.com: “But do you think they’re real Christians?”
Gov. Huckabee: “Once again, I am not going to try to judge. That is for them to determine whether they accept Jesus Christ as the only revelation of God on Earth. And, if they do, then that is how a person is a Christian, not by the label they wear, but by the position they take on the role and the personhood of Christ.”
Huh. Didn't really answer the question, did you, Mikey? Now, I know I should waste my breath (typing fingers?) on someone who's at the very best considered a fringe candidate, but to me, this example illustrates two huge issues with politics today.
1. Gov. Huckabee hides nothing of his Baptist-preacher-turned-politician background. In fact, it's a focal point of his campaign. His slogan is "Faith. Family. Freedom." So he HAS to know something about the LDS church. What would happen if a parishioner came to him and said, "You know, I was thinking about joining the Mormons...is that pretty much the same thing as being Baptist?" Do you really think he'd say, "Uh...I dunno."? If he's worth his salt as a Baptist preacher, he'd know the difference. He's avoiding the question because to answer, regardless of which way, would be political suicide. If Gov. Huckabee said "yes," he'd probably alienate all of the "values voters" (the "Christian mainstream" - meaning anyone but the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, or any other denomination commonly looked upon by other sects as "way out there" )on whom he so desperately depends. If he said, "no," he'd alienate the Mormon crowd and could pretty much forget about Utah's five electoral votes, assuming, of course, it came to that point. Instead of telling us what he really believes in, he thinks that the proper response is to avoid the question altogether, therefore avoiding a controversy, therefore avoiding widespread criticism, therefore (in his mind, at least), having a better shot at the Republican nomination. (
In a sense, he has a point. But if you ask me, this country is a bit tired of all of the posturing and politics. Trust is a huge issue now. We've spent the last seven years being lied to after twice electing the candidate with whom we'd most like to have a beer instead of the one who could properly run the most powerful country in the world, and now, hopefully we'll be a bit more careful and demand answers. The challenge for every candidate is to find a proper balance between the two - this country as a whole seems like it wants someone who isn't too wooden (Gore) or elitist (Kerry), but really seems like it wants to move ahead of that and (gasp!) elect someone who can actually do the job. Gov. Huckabee, tell us where you stand. We'll appreciate your honesty more than anything. To the mainstream media, stop suckering the candidates into questions which can't possibly be answered simply to stir up controversy. Which brings me to my next point...
2. Where exactly is this relevant? We're choosing a PRESIDENT here, not the new minister of our local church. Call me old fashioned, but I'm of the opinion that in such a diverse country, we shouldn't need to know whether or not a candidate is religious. A large percentage of voters are put off by Romney's Mormon faith. Early in the campaign, Obama was swift-boated by people who made a huge deal out of the possibility that he attended a Muslim school as a child. And now, what do we have in office? A "compassionate" conservative whose actions have led the nation to understand that he's anything but, who has destroyed the lives of countless innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, who mocked Karla Faye Tucker on her way to the execution chamber, who believes that lining the pockets of his friends at Halliburton and Blackwater is the proper way to run any civilized society. Congratulations America, you've wet the bed on this one, and now you have to lie in it. I'd vote for a Scientologist if he (or she, don't want to offend anyone here, do we?) could hand me a comprehensive plan to balance the budget, get us out of Iraq, provide health insurance to every citizen, and fix immigration. Let's stay away from religion when we discuss politics, and maybe we'll get answers to the politically relevant questions at hand.
But that's enough politics for one day. Now we go on to a series called, "Nate watches it so you don't have to." I was bored out of my skull last night, home after finishing a stretch of eight consecutive work days and a back-to-back from the previous night. I was flipping channels, and found out my roommate had recorded a marathon of "The Restaurant." I remember being asked about this show when it was actually on the air, and had never seen it - so I said, "Hey, I'll give it a shot until I fall asleep." (7:00 on a Friday night - yes, I am that pathetic.)
I don't think I've ever seen a worse show in my entire life. The "real-life restaurant," Rocco's in New York City, was obviously an invite-only crowd - from the customers to the "this is my big break!" actors playing Rocco's employees. (Give it up, NBC, we're well aware that this show was a sham.)
I could've sworn I saw this guy in the kitchen.
"You seen my gun...now I wanna see yours."
I could just see the producers on the set of this one. "Hey! You look Mexican. Be on this show!"
"Whatever, you look Mexican enough, get to makeup!"
The funny thing is about this guy (which I just learned, by the way, his name is Noel Gugliemi), is that although he's half Italian, he plays "stereotypical Hispanic" in EVERYTHING. Here's a quick bio - I would've gotten the official one from IMDB, but this one from Wikipedia is so much more funny (and makes my point a bit better):
The Fast and the Furious: Hector
National Security: Latino Convict
SWAT: Latino Convict
Hotel California: Chino
Four episodes of The Young and the Restless - as two different characters! (Two as "drug dealer," two as "Satchel." No one ever said, "Hey, wasn't Satchel dealing drugs a while back?")
It reads on and on like this. "Latino Thug." "Cesar." "Warehouse Rooftop Hood."
So...uh...I guess my point was that they just grabbed a whole lot of people a lot less famous than this guy to play the Hispanic kitchen crew.
So anyways, "The Restaurant" is terrible. Don't waste your time. I'd rather make out with Britney Spears (and it would take a lot for me to do that at this point, trust me) than watch ten more minutes of this show.
Catch y'all on the flip side.