Mike Huckabee “Charges the Mound” Against Michael Tracey April 20, 2010

Mike Huckabee “Charges the Mound” Against Michael Tracey

Michael Tracey is the student who interviewed FOX News Channel host (and former presidential candidate) Mike Huckabee last week. The full background story, as well as an interview with Michael, can be read here.

Huckabee got in trouble because he said if gay marriage was legalized, it would be a gateway allowing for incest and polygamy to follow.

“That would be like saying, well there’s there are a lot of people who like to use drugs so let’s go ahead and accommodate those who want to use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them. There are people who believe in polygamy, should we accommodate them?”

“Why do you get to choose that two men are OK but one man and three women aren’t OK?”

Huckabee attempted to defend himself on his show last night.

How did he do that? By reiterating the same bigoted remarks he made earlier… and trying to throw Michael under the bus.

Michael didn’t edit the body of the interview. Huckabee makes a baseless accusation that the full audio wasn’t released. Technically, that could refer to the “hellos” and “goodbyes” which were cut off from the ends of the audio.

Still, he *never* says that he was quoted inaccurately.

Huckabee knows his views are unpopular — and they are. They’re wrong and despicable. Any decent human being should cringe when they hear him deny gay people the right to marriage.

Huckabee tries to satisfy the base by accusing Michael of being the bad guy. He is not the type of man anyone should hold in high esteem — certainly, it’s one of many reasons I would never vote for him.

Michael did his job by asking tough questions. Huckabee just screwed up by admitting what he really believes — that gay people are unworthy of sharing the rights that straight people enjoy.

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  • Pardon the following language… but:

    FUCK YOU, Huckabee.

    “Marriage is one man, one woman, for life, and we shouldn’t change the definition.” I hate, HATE people who say this. Not only is it homophobic, but it also reeks of anti-divorce. It’s a completely Christian doctrine and definition that needs to GO.

  • I also love that this jackass said it’s been that way for 5000 years. Such unapologetic historic ignorance.

  • “… if gay marriage was legalized, it would be a gateway allowing for incest and polygamy to follow.”
    If only consenting adults are involved, this is true. It’s hypocritical not to admit that. Marriage should be completely removed from the government. It should be replaced with civil unions of various types for purposes like hospital visitation, tax issues, etc. Religions can then define marriage any way they want.

  • alex

    Um… I don’t want to sound like a troll, and I’m really wondering this, but exactly why should we not allow marriage between siblings? Yes, I know about inbreeding and all, but should we make the same mistake by saying that marriage is all about sex for procreation? And what about polygamy, how is it bad? I haven’t found any secular reasons against these so far.

  • Rob

    @alex There is no reason any of those things should be outlawed. As long as there’s no reckless or intentional harm to an unwilling party. We already have laws for that.

  • I guess the modern-day paraphrase of “turn the other cheek” is “charge the mound.”

    Not only is he a homophobic bigot … he’s also a hypocrite in terms of his professed religion.

  • Polygamy – fine.
    Brother & Sister – weird (to me) but hey – consenting adults go ahead (though is there a responsibility on the government to avoid birth defects).

    What about father and daughter? Is there not a limit to this…. And in that case, they might be consenting adults on the face of it – but it’s always an unequal relationship.

    And, in fact, with older brother and younger sister that could also apply.

  • Dave D
    Religion(s) don’t “own” marriage. They do not have any right to define the terms and conditions of it. As of today, marriage is a status with the government and it is not possible (in the US, anyway) to get married without government involvement. So, why on earth would anyone say that “Marriage should be completely removed from the government”?.

    Marriage does have a confusing history, but only because religions have, in past societies, been involved in the state. In the US, there is (ideally) a separation between church/state.

  • Lifer


    Shhhhhhhhhh. Once we slip gay marriage past them we can each marry all of our sisters. Don’t ruin this for us!

  • The “gateway” argument that Huckabee is using is basically an admission that they (the religious conservatives) are loosing the argument on grounds of gay marriage alone. They are now needing to try to couple gay marriage with other forms of controversial relationships to try to push the artificially associated group beyond some kind of threshold for public acceptance. I’m surprised he didn’t add in marrying small children (5 or 6 years olds) for future sex slaves once they get a bit older.

    But then again, with his constituency, people who are only a little bit different are “different enough” to allow continued discrimination.

  • @Victor “Marriage” and “Civil Union” are just words, although in common usage marriage is religious and a civil union isn’t. What’s important are the rights that the government bestows and who’s allowed to get those rights. The point is to remove the religious components of marriage from government and put them in the church where they belong (i.e. separate church from state). Why either side cares what it’s called is beyond me…

    Dave D

  • Vivian

    @Alex, I think because of procreation that marrying siblings is outlawed. I don’t think cousins should be outlawed, especially since that really is a historical fact! Cousins actually do not cause inbreeding either.

    I did see something on HBO about polygamy and how it does exist in our society but isn’t legal.

    As for Mike Huckabee, well, he is just committing one fallacy after another. Literally all in one with his statements: slippery slope, red herring, false analogy…

  • A have to pretty much agree with Alex above. Certainly it is very hard to create a secular case against polygamy, and why should we? Sexual relationships amongst siblings and parents/children there is the case of increased congenital birth defect problems should the relationship result in a pregnancy, so a secular case against them can be made.

    At the end of the day as long as the relationship is entered into freely by all parties involved then for most intents and purposes where is the harm?

    Mind you, they’re not for me personally. I have a hard enough time holding a stable relationship with one woman never mind several etc etc. 😉

  • Flah the Heretic Methodist

    I can get married at the courthouse with no church involvement and be legally married. No one would question the union. The reverse scenario is not true. Marriage is what we define as integral to our society, not what the church defines. Especially since two churches can’t agree on anything, except that the third church is Hell Bound.

  • Lifer

    If we take the Mormon/Utah polygamists as an example of what happens when polygamy is institutionalized we can show the negative effects. Please look into it if you’re unfamiliar with the plight of young Mormon men ousted from their communities and forced into prostitution and homelessness because they can’t compete with the legacy and influence of Elders that can snatch up child brides.

    Polygamy in a vacuum seems fine to me but we do have real world examples of how this plays out so lets not act like we don’t.

  • Brian C Posey

    “Why do you get to choose that two men are OK but one man and three women aren’t OK?”

    I wonder if he realizes that many people, assuming everyone is freely consenting adults, probably don’t care if some guy has three woman either.

  • All the Christians believe the Bible, and that it tells them how to live. Well, Abraham and Isaac were polygamous. So were King David and Solomon. As well as a lot of other people in the book. So how do they get to approve of some things, and not others? By the way, Abraham was married to his half-sister.

  • TychaBrahe

    The primary problem with polygamy is that we have a near equal number of men and women available as marriage partners. If we permit polygamy, and if it becomes popular, some men will not be able to find a partner. There’s an interesting article today about China, where there are 1.17 men for every woman, leaving about 30 million men unable to find a spouse. This wouldn’t be so bad if China were more accepting of homosexuality, but most gay men in China marry women.

    One alternative marriage form that can arise in these situations is polyandry, where one woman has more than one husband. Polyandry is tricky, because women in polygamous societies are generally taught to be accepting of the will of others in general, whereas few men are taught this in any society. Still, it can and has been successful. And in societies where rapid growth of capital means a rapid rise in prices, especially in real estate, polyandry can provide a stronger financial base than the traditional marriage.

    I refer you to The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein, who knew everything.

  • Karmakin

    Actually, the problem with polygamy is that it doesn’t fit into the legal framework of marriage. The whole idea of marriage in legal terms is that it designates a primary, that is, the person who is the closest to you.

    The problem with polygamy, thusly on a secular basis is that the various rights and responsibilities of marriage are very difficult/impossible to extend to multiple people. It basically reduces it to a form of fraud.

  • keddaw

    To anyone who thinks sibling* relationships are wrong, when they are between consenting adults, due to birth defects I say: would you therefore allow homosexual incest but not heterosexual? Is that not exactly the kind of bigotry you are trying to fight in the gay marriage situation?

    @Lifer, polygamy may very well lead to a bad situation in Utah, but we have laws that ensure children are (should be) protected and child brides would not be an issue. If many men couldn’t get a bride then tough, women (and men!) should have the choice, if they are willing to share their love with more than one person, or the object of their affections with someone else, then who the heck am I to say what consenting adults can and cannot do?

    The state has no business giving tax breaks to some lifestyle choices and not others. How dare one group of people decide to take money off me by force and use it to encourage people to live in a certain way that they have decided is ‘the right way’?

    @Karmakin, the legal issues are not as difficult as people make out. When a sole surviving parent requires medical treatment etc. then the children are often left to make the decision, how is this done if there is more than one? A similar legal position could be taken for multiple spouses as for multiple children.

    *or even parent/adult child, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

  • alex

    If any of you are wondering, I’m personally not interested neither in polygamy nor in incest. However, it’s not fair to only base your reasons on personal preferences, is it?

    Let me add a couple points to the arguments. First, polygamy exists and is legal in most countries, including the U.S. This fact is generally recognized in sociology; the only quirk is that it is known as divorce and re-marriage (or sequential polygamy, in sociological context). Also, nothing in U.S. laws prohibits de-facto polygamy, when several (more than two) partners cohabit and have sexual relations (in fact, being married to one person and having other relationships “on the side” is also quite common — duh). It’s simply the question of recognition of such relationships. Mind you, many people don’t object to being in open relationships, either.

    As to birth defects in cases of incest, are there legal obstacles for marriage between people with hereditary disorders or drug addicts (including alcoholics)? If not, I don’t see why there should be such a concern for incest. A medical recommendation against having children I can agree with, but criminalizing it, no.

  • Siamang

    Huckabee is a small, small man.

    Imagine all that pettyness, that self-absorption, the small-mindedness.

    Exactly what one might expect of a preacher, a politician and a Fox News host.

    Wow, this guy hit the Trifecta of suck. It’s a wonder the world hasn’t been devoured in the black hole of his soul.

  • plutosdad

    Cousins actually do not cause inbreeding either.
    yes they do, it’s a matter of degree.
    siblings share half their genes.
    half siblings share a quarter of their genes
    1st cousins share 1/8 of their genes

    Most societies have determined 1/8 is still too dangerous to interbreed.

    Alex it has nothing to do with drug addiction or disease, it has to do with genes when in combination produce killer combos that usually will kill it before it’s born, but sometimes result in horrible birth defects. Many species do not reproduce with siblings, because reproducing with siblings is not an evolutionary stable system (ESS). When these laws were codified it was because it’s what we already did, because it’s not about freedom it’s about the health and survival of the species.

    The real question: when genetic design is affordable to avoid killer combinations of genes, that argument against sibling procreation will go away. then what?

  • bill

    Yet another reason I HATE politics. I can’t stand the lies, the spin put on every issue, and the fact that there actually are people who support liars and imbeciles like Mike Huckabee. He spews his crap on Fox News and there are a LOT of people out there who only watch Fox News and think just about any other source is part of some liberal plot to steal their money and give their kids “the gay.” Not that most of you don’t know that already, this just really pisses me off.

  • littlejohn

    “Huckabee knows his views are unpopular.”
    Did you really mean to write that?
    Have you read the polls?
    One of the easiest ways to lose an election is to support gay marriage.
    Huckabee’s a superstitious bigot, but politically he’s quite smart. A huge segment of the population – especially the older folks who actually vote – hate homosexuals. Huckabee knows that.

  • plutosdad

    Actually I should add that, if quite a few species have evolved to avoid incest, and most probably humans as well (which is why most of us are revolted by it), then it is something we should look at. Certainly not all instincts are good (like xenophobia, kin selection, etc) but some are. I would think that someone who DOES want to commit incest probably has some emotional or mental problem, and instead of saying “yes do that” we should help that person.

    Or for some reason they are missing the genes that say “don’t do this”

    It is not the same as, say, doing drugs, which is something arguable either way. incest has always been bad for the community and species, not just for humans for all animals.

  • alex

    @ bill:

    We the people are politics. The only way to avoid politics is to shut up and tolerate this bullshit. If you speak up, you are involved in politics.

    I say it’s better to speak up.

    It’s not politics that’s dirty, it’s people that are being asses.

    @ littlejohn:

    +1. People are bigoted, and he’s representing them. Fair enough. Except that we need to go after the bigots, which means changing public perception. Whoever said that the country needs different people wasn’t kidding.

    @ plutosdad:

    I’d wager that our revulsion to incest is largely cultural. It seems too complex for a genetically encoded behavior. One can similarly argue that we are repulsed by homosexuality for the same reason.

  • sc0tt

    Keddaw says:
    @Karmakin, the legal issues are not as difficult as people make out. When a sole surviving parent requires medical treatment etc. then the children are often left to make the decision, how is this done if there is more than one? A similar legal position could be taken for multiple spouses as for multiple children.

    But as far as the government is (or should be) concerned, marriage is simply a contract that carries with it certain governmental benefits like tax breaks. As long as the government is part of the contract it makes sense to limit its financial liability to two people.

    And no matter how much we as a society agree that incest and interbreeding is a bad idea – legally restricting marriage isn’t going to stop it.

    I see no justification for the government to limit legal marriage to anything besides two consenting adults.

  • aStone


    I think it is unlikely that incest is cultural, as it an incredibly pervasive taboo across a large variety of different cultures.

    Therefore it is likely that incest has a biological component, which helped the survival of the species.

    Arguably this can be shown by the Westermarck effect,
    ‘when two people live in close domestic proximity during the first few years in the life of either one, both are desensitized to later close sexual attraction’

  • Richard Wade

    Huckabee tries to satisfy the base by accusing Michael of being the bad guy. He is not the type of man anyone should hold in high esteem — certainly, it’s one of many reasons I would never vote for him.

    Of all the Presidential candidates lurking in the woods, Huckabee scares me the most by far. In January 2008, as the front runner in the Republican primaries, he said this: (emphasis mine)

    “I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”

    This single statement should never, ever be forgotten or forgiven. It should not only eliminate the possibility of anyone voting for him, it should spur everyone to work very hard against him. This direct threat to our liberties should be brought out and pounded over his head every time he steps in front of a microphone.

  • what Kevin said.

  • inmyhead9

    I don’t heart huckabee.

  • Trans Sami

    “… if gay marriage was legalized, it would be a gateway allowing for incest and polygamy to follow.”

    Apparently this is a ‘gateway’ through space and time that sends us back centuries to be the reason Mormons practice polygamy and the reason European monarchy spent about a thousand years keeping it strictly in the family.

  • Ryan

    He’s an Idiot.

  • And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards

    I’m hopeful that Huckabee’s popularity in 2008 was mainly because he wasn’t G.W.B. I’m hoping now that his front-runner status is mainly just because of name recognition. Hopefully as other primary contenders become established, his candidacy will fade away. If not, we all need to be very diligent to work to increase the public’s awareness of the dangers of a Huckabee administration for the basic concept of liberty.

  • argh!!!!!!

  • Elizabeth

    If we’re so worried about the “Gateway” stuff, how about defining marriage as this:

    “Marriage is between two consenting adults who are not related by blood.”

    If that missed anything, let me know, but I’m pretty sure it works. Marriage is an out-of-date practice anyway. I agree with the people above me who said that we should only have civil unions. It makes much more sense.

  • muggle

    What a jerk! I remember getting pissed off at that statement, Richard. Everything else aside, all the asshole things he’s said, that is the one that is truly frightening.

    And what’s more frightening still is that he has a following after having said that. America is in danger.

  • Captain Werewolf

    Just a quick point, one that’s been partially addressed by previous commenters:

    Gay marriage, polygamy, and incest all, as a matter of public policy, present different issues. Gay marriage–and allowing marriage to a sibling/parent/child–are equally easy to implement: you just don’t deny the request for the marriage certificate. The problem with incestuous marriages, however, is the potential for abuse; incestuous relationships rarely represent the free choice of consenting adults. There is usually some element of psychological, emotional, or physical abuse involved. Not to mention, it plays havoc with trusts and estate law, tax regulations, etc.

    Polygamy also presents the potential for fraud, for tax evasion, and abuse, as well as some other nasty effects on the greater community.

    These problems are potentially surmountable through well-written legislation or whatever, but what’s important is that they are legitimate *secular* concerns about implementing such practices.

    Gay marriage does not present the same problems, and is therefore easily distinguishable from incest and polygamy. Huckabee’s assertion that you can’t draw a line between gay marriage on one hand and drug use, polygamy, and incest on the other is either woefully ignorant or flat-out dishonest.

    (for the record, I would certainly support legalization of incest and polygamy if I felt the legislation doing so sufficiently addressed the practical problems I mentioned above)

  • Charon

    Huckabee is dangerous because he’s so nice and affable – or at least he seems that way, playing to an audience (e.g., on the Daily Show), hiding his extremism. Hopefully him having his own TV show will end him being able to play friendly with everyone.

    @Dave D: Can you imagine proposing by saying “Civilly unionize with me!”? Me neither. Let’s still call it marriage.

  • alex

    @ Captain Werewolf:

    Thanks for presenting some secular arguments against incest and polygamy. They are, IMHO, weak, but arguments nonetheless. To overcome obstacles, perhaps, we should fix the tax and estate laws (tax brackets and will procedures are a huge WTF, in my view, but oh, well). I can see how this is currently a problem, but isn’t it what we are talking about here anyway, changing man-made laws?

    One possible solution is to dispose of marriage as a special institute altogether and replace it with regular civil contracts, which already exist and work quite well in business practice. So what if 20 people want to marry each other? Call them an LLC and be done with it! J/k.

    @ aStone:

    Perhaps it’s the fact that I haven’t got a sister, but I don’t see anything particularly repugnant in such a relationship. Thanks for the article on Westermarck effect; I think it sheds some light on the issue. Although, going by this effect alone we still have legal siblings that are not biologically related, half-siblings, and siblings separated at birth. It seems that biological relationship doesn’t play so much of a role here as joint upbringing, which is a little different from what we are talking about here.

    About taboos: cannibalism is almost universally taboo (I know there are exceptions, but they are pretty rare), but if you think about it, there’s not much “wrong” about it other than it being icky. On the other hand, incest exists in some (sub)cultures, and also in nature (albeit, often forced by circumstances — see cheetah). I mean, I see what you are saying, but it seems that incest is bad in the same sense as survival of the fittest is good: it’s just so because otherwise it doesn’t quite work. I don’t see how “genetic programming” is necessary to avoid these “mistakes”.

    I’m no biologist or psychologist, though, so please correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Baconsbud

    If you are in the wrong how do you make people ignore that? You tell lies about how someone who interviews you has abused you and that he/she is a liberal. Even though I am from the same state as Huckabee is, I never nor will I vote for him, not all of us are this bigoted. I am afraid most within this state are though.

  • plutosdad

    but it seems that incest is bad in the same sense as survival of the fittest is good

    To the evolutionary psychologist there is little difference. Those instincts are things we should pay attention to, not ignore, they are there for a reason. We don’t have to follow them but at least address them not ignore them because they are mere instinct. But yes they all originate in what results in survival, there is no other reason for those instincts to be present. Many of our ethics are a result of this, well some think so.

    If you are interested I’d start with The Selfish Gene and then The Origins of Virtue, both great books.

    Funny the more anthropology and evolutionary psychology I study the less libertarian I become 🙂

  • @Dave D and Elizabeth:

    I agree with the idea of removing the church and just having a civil contract. However, I think it’s very important that we have civil marriages instead of civil unions. The federal government recognizes civil marriages, but not civil unions. This means that people who are in a civil union get all (or at least some) of the state-given privileges that are afforded to civil marriages (about 300, depending on the state), but they don’t have access to any of the 1,000+ federal privileges.

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