Via Think Progress, we see that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus thinks that a good way for the GOP to win support from voters who have turned away from the party is to start sounding "reasonable" ... like Mike Huckabee:
Priebus cited former governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas as an example of someone who could be “a model for a lot of people in our party” in terms of discussing issues like marriage and abortion. “I always tell people: Listen to Governor Mike Huckabee,” he said. “I don’t know anyone that talks about them any better.”
Ummm ... does Prebius really think that Huckabee has a good record of sounding "reasonable" on these issues? Does he actually even know anything about Huckabee's anti-gay views?
Huckabee was, after all, the candidate of choice for a cavalcade of rabidly anti-gay Religious Right activists for a reason and with whom he continues to associate. Heck, he even received an award from Vision America in 2010 which is run by a man who still declares that AIDS is God's punishment for immoral behavior. And just last year, he campaigned for a congressional candidate who openly supports the criminalization of homosexuality.
Huckabee has declared that, if he became president, he would reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell and proclaimed that he is looking for "spiritual warriors" who will not allow the nation to fall "to the hands of those who would enslave us" but will instead stand and fight against marriage equality. In fact, his opposition to gay marriage is well-known, as he has compared it to bestiality and alcholism:
"The problem with changing the definition of marriage is that once you cross that line, then there's no stopping," he explains. He tells me that when he spoke recently in Japan, there was an American student there who objected to his views on gay marriage. "This was right in the middle of what was going on in west Texas, and I thought, Okay, how can we say that what those polygamists in west Texas are doing is wrong if we allow same-sex marriage? Who are you to tell them that that man can't have fifteen wives? [The student said] 'Well, it's not the same!' And I said, 'Okay, well, here's another one: bestiality. Now I know you're going to have a problem,' and he just went berserk on that. But there was recently an actual news story where a man wanted to marry his animal. . . . I think it was a sheep."
Huckabee says he doesn't know if homosexuality is inborn, but he believes you can control the behavior. He compares homosexuality to obesity or alcoholism: "Some people have a predisposition to alcoholism. Does that mean they're not responsible for getting drunk? No."
And finally, who could ever forget his statement from 1992 calling for those infected with HIV to be quarantined, a position he refused to retract even when he ran for president:
"It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population," he said. "This deadly disease, for which there is no cure, is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents.
"If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague."
If this is the sort of stuff that Priebus thinks will make the GOP seem "reasonable," then the party is in even deeper trouble than we imagined.