I’m not sure what the RNC schedulers were thinking, but Mike Huckabee is set to “legitimate rape” back on the map tonight – a mere two speeches ahead of Paul Ryan. To be sure, the former Arkansas governor and Fox News personality will be on his best behavior, but Huckabee is inextricably linked with Todd “legitimate rape” Akin. And as we’ll explore, Huckabee’s own record is even more extreme and disturbing than Akin’s.
Huckabee, who prominently endorsed
Akin in his recent primary, quickly emerged as his top defender
in the wake of Akin’s controversial remarks. He publicly chastised
Republican leaders for ditching Akin and sent out a fundraising appeal to his list. Akin even made the announcement that he was staying in the race on Huckabee’s radio show.
In the course of defending Akin, Huckabee made it known that some “extraordinary things” have resulted from rape
And so I know it happens, and yet even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes, you know, those people are able to do extraordinary things.
This was no mistake. Huckabee starred in a documentary called “The Gift of Life
,” which prominently features Rebecca Kiessling, author of “Conceived in Rape: A Story of Hope
.” In the book and film, Kiessling shares her “personal story of having been conceived in rape and nearly aborted at two back-alley abortionists.” Kiessling, not by chance, came on Huckabee’s show immediately following Akin’s announcement.
Huckabee has been here before. In 1998, Arkansas State Senator Fay Boozman, who like Akin was running for Senate, argued
that “hormones generated by fear usually prevented rape victims from getting pregnant.” Boozman lost badly, but he was rescued
when “Huckabee, a friend and political ally for many years, put Boozman in charge of the Arkansas Department of Health.”
Then in 2004, he praised Leon Holmes, the former head of Arkansas Right to Life whom Huckabee later hired to represent the state, after his nomination to a federal judgeship became embroiled in controversy. Holmes had written years earlier
that abortion in the case of rape “is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with the same frequency as snow in Miami.” Huckabee jumped into the fray and vouched for the right-wing nominee, saying that he “will not let politics be a part his decisions but will judge according to the law.”
Remarkably though, this isn’t the worst of it. Mike Huckabee has a long, sordid and frankly astonishing history involving the crime of rape. I will highlight the worst of the worst later today.