Friday, March 4, 2011

Mike HucQuaylebee

In his latest moronic tirade Huckabee harks back to the failed strategem of Dan Quayle: alienating single mothers to score points with SoCons.

In an interview with Michael Medved, Huckabee took aim at Portman and criticized her for being single and pregnant.

“One of the things that’s troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ‘Hey look, you know, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine.’ But there aren’t really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie,” Huckabee told radio host Michael Medved, according to a clip of the show obtained by liberal outlet Media Matters for America.

“I think it gives a distorted image that yes, not everybody hires nannies, and caretakers, and nurses,” Huckabee said. “Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock.”

I can agree with Huckabee that single parenthood is a problem in America. There are negatives for any child being raised by a single parent. I know, my parents divorced when I was a teenager.

But this isn't about Huck trying to make the US a better, more moral place. This is just one more cheap shot by the master of cheap shots. It was a very cynical maneuver by the former pastor, to use Portman's pregnancy to score political points with his choir of SoCons. But it will backfire, just as it did with Quayle. The only people who care about this as a political issue are already in Huck's choir. He will only alienate single mothers and persons of good will who aren't ready to pile on a single mother for political gain.

Now, let me address the fallacies and flat out untruths of Huckabee's assertion.

First, Portman is engaged to the father of her child. She may not be married, but she isn't exactly single.

Secondly, Huck's claims as to the poverty of single mothers is just plain false. A few minutes googling single mother statistics puts the lie to Huck's assertions.

Quoting from data realeased by a 2002 Census study, this site states that

Nearly one-third of all single mothers � 32 percent � live below the poverty line. However, the condition is more acute for black single mothers; 38 percent, or 1.2 million of 3.1 million black single mothers raise families below the poverty line

That is a far cry from a majority of mothers living in poverty.

Here are some more statistics that Huck should consider from a 2007 Census Study:

  • 27% of custodial single mothers and their children live in poverty
  • 22% receive Medicaid
  • 23.5% receive food stamps
  • 12% receive some form of public housing or rent subsidy
  • 5% receive receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
  • 79.5% of custodial single mothers are gainfully employed
  • 49.8% work full time, year round
To make this worse, when Huck was cornered on this cheap shot by the media, he played his tired old double down card.

My comments were about the statistical reality that most single moms are very poor, under-educated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death. That’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that society often glorifies and glamorizes the idea of having children out of wedlock.


Anonymous said...

Huckabee lied when questioned on the Kenya/Indonesia comments on Palin. I guess he's having a bad week. Huckabee Camp Silent On Page 183 Lie

BOSMAN said...



Anonymous said...

Dan, another great post. I also wondered about the true stats, but was too lazy to look it up.

Someone else pointed out that while Huck slams unwed mothers, he seems to have no problem with violent criminals walking free--as long as they 'came to Jesus'.

I think it's fairly obvious that the strategy this week was to raise a little heck in order to get more pub for his book.


Anonymous said...

Martha, I think you are spot on about Huck trying to sell more books. What a total, low life, slime ball he is to use all these sleazy and false attacks just to sell more books.

And the Huck supporters have the gall to refer to Romney as a used car salesman. Huck would make a used car salesman smell good.

OhioJOE said...

First to be blunt, I have mixed feelings on this issue. For the majority of my childhood, I grew up in a single parent household, but I (and my sibblings) were not exactly poverty stricten. In short, Single parenthood is not to be promoted per se, but these days it happens and the children must be looked after. My Parish Men's group among other local groups raise money for young single women.

On a side note DanL, I think that there is no need for you (and other bloggers) to go after Mr. Quayle. He was a well meaning fellow.

Anonymous said...

I don't think he's running. He's not stupid. He know the Clemmons thing alone is a killer, and there are at least a few other major problems he surely knows he cannot overcome.

Sure, right now he is playing to his base, but it may not be for any other reason other than book sales.

He just doesn't look or sound like a man who is going to jump in.


Lori said...

Hey....I liked Dan Quayle. No way is Huckabee the same.

But on this issue, they both are right about the trend of glamorizing unwed mothering. Marriage is better for children.

Anonymous said...

OJ, the only thing I said about Quayle, was that his strategy failed. I suppose that I inferred that he is a sleaze ball like Huck by linking their names and pictures. For that I apologize to Quayle.

On a serious note, OJ, I can agree that single motherhood is not that great and should be avoided at all costs. I am very pleased to hear that your parish men's group is helping out single mothers. God bless you for it.

BOSMAN said...


"Huckabee lied when questioned on the Kenya/Indonesia comments on Palin. I guess he's having a bad week. Huckabee Camp Silent On Page 183 Lie'

So according to this, Huckabee lied in the interview when he said, "I knew he (Obama) had grown up in Indonesia, It's in my book on page 183".

No It's not!

BOSMAN said...

Maybe it's on page 183 of the Braille version?

Anonymous said...

These comments are not analogous.

Dan Quayle didn't make that comment as part of some huge overall strategy. For Dan Quayle, the comment was one small part of a speech. He was talking about a fictional character whose storyline had been written intentionally to promote the idea of a single woman intentionally having a baby out of wedlock.

I don't know whether Mike Huckabee tried to focus on her as part of the interview or whether mentioning her was an offhand example, an exception that would prove his point. In either case, Mr. Huckabee wasn't talking about a fictional character. We don't know whether Ms. Portman intended to become pregnant or whether the pregnancy was an accident. We don't know whether she wanted to glamorize single motherhood or whether she's simply making the best of an unintended situation. If she's engaged, she's clearly not planning to raise the child as a single mother.

These comments don't sound like the comments of someone planning to run for office anytime soon. He'll get a little boost in book sales from a certain part of his audience. He might even end up getting Ms. Portman on his show for a kiss-and-make-up segment.

Anonymous said...

Dan, I saw this comment at The Atlantic:

"Natalie Portman may be a horrible target, but clearly "Natalie Portman" is just code for "Bristol Palin." The question was specifically about Natalie Portman, and the first thing Huckabee said (to play armchair shrink here) was "people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet ..."

Of course Huckabee can't come out and say "Bristol Palin embodies our culture's willingingess to 'glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock,'" but consider his audience: isn't Bristol who he is really talking about? Does the right-wing base really give a damn about Natalie Portman and the seriousness of her life and the maturity she plainly has demonstrated about her choices? I doubt it.

Huckabee has shown before he is extremely adept at speaking the code of evangelicals. The single biggest obstacle to his nomination is Sarah Palin. We know she's a joke, and I suspect he knows it too. But how does he communicate that without turning off the very people he needs? That's not to excuse his throwing Natalie under the bus, but I'd be careful to call this a gaffe.

Don't underestimate the man."

Makes sense to me.


Anonymous said...

This wasn't a gaffe, that's for sure. It was an intentional statement.

Anonymous said...

Hucks army take note. The Palin plague will soon be upon Huck and you for dissing the talented and glamorous Bristol, daughter of quitting gov extraordinaire, Sarah Palin. Single motherhood is now a cottage industry. "Natalie Portman" is truly code for "Bristol Palin" and everyone from Fox to MSNBC can read between the lines.

Closer To Home said...

Huck needs a handler to help discipline this kind of gaffe, but then he doesn't think he does and he can't afford one because HE CAN'T RAISE MONEY!

If he had assembled a nascent campaign team through his PAC, he'd have a disciplined messaging strategy and he'd be strengthening awareness of his brand values.

Instead, he is content to be a willing/eager culture warrior, trotting off on his steed to do battle with every potential threat to the world as he would like it to be. He would rather be Glen Beck than Mitt Romney, Rush Limbaugh than Mitch Daniels. He wants to be Sarah Palin. He wants to let it fly any time he desires, with little accountability except to his band of like-minded followers. (Sounds like a cult leader to me.)