Ron Rosenbaum

Huckabee: Suddenly Disingenuous

I have no objection to Mike Huckabee’s Christmas wishes tv ad. I agree with him that the Constitution protects the free expression of religious sentiments. It also protects those who don’t want to vote for those who make a fetish of them.

But the controversy is not about Christmas wishes. The controversy is about the “floating cross” as it’s become known: The lighting effect which turns the edges of a bookcase behind the candidate’s head into what looks like a, well, floating cross.

No, what bothers me is that Huckabee does a Huck Finn here: pretending there was no intentionality behind the lighting effect and ridiculing those who have called attention to it by accusing them of “paul is dead” Beatles nut paranoia. Come on Huck! Why not cop to the fact that you were quite well aware of the lighting effect–maybe not when it was being filmed but certainly after you watched it. It’s impossible not to notice it. You don’t need to make any apology for the apprearance of the symbol of your faith in an ad. It doesn’t necessarily imply that you’re appropriating the symbol of your faith to bestow a blessing on your political ambitions (though some might think so).

Don’t be coy. All you had to say was that there’s nothing wrong with including a cross in a Christmas wishes ad. But by disingenuously denying what’s there in plain sight you sound ashamed of your religon’s symbol, or guilty about your use of it. Own it, dude, or people who may not agree with your convictions but admired your honesty about them will lose the respect they once might have had for you.