The PJ Tatler

In Defense of Huckabee

GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee landed in hot water recently when he had this to say about the Iran deal:

This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. He is so naïve that he would trust the Iranians, and he will take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven.

CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson, perhaps echoing the chattering class, says Huckabee “should apologize” for his “despicable” statement, because “you should only bring up the Holocaust when you are talking about the Holocaust.” My father fortuitously left Poland, but his mother, siblings and all his many relatives perished. So, Ms. Henderson, you need not instruct me on Holocaust etiquette.

If you must debate Holocaust usage, consider that early in his administration, President Obama adapted the anti-Israel polemic that the Holocaust justifies Israel’s existence. Enemies of Israel routinely embrace this straw man, only to conveniently reject it as an immoral rationale for Israel’s founding which, in fact, is actually rooted in the millennia of continued Jewish presence there, a subject President Obama meticulously avoids.

Henderson, in her objective journalistic role as CNN’s “senior political reporter,” further assures us Huckabee’s motive here is pumping up his poll numbers. Mr. Huckabee is not my candidate, but I am sufficiently familiar with the depth of his views to know that on all this, he is passionate, not expedient. Long before entering politics, he visited Israel repeatedly. Mr. Obama first visited Israel during his presidential campaign. Mr. Huckabee has been to Auschwitz three times, which is three times more than community organizer Obama.

This Huckabee controversy may help President Obama, because he appears to be the victim of a personal attack, although Huckabee truly is concerned about policy. And this episode distracts attention from the overriding reason this Iranian deal should be fully discussed and rejected: it is contrary to the self-interest of the United States, apart from its ominous implications for Israel. Nonetheless, doubling down, Huckabee says President Obama does not like Israel, an arguable but hardly exotic hypothesis. Barack Obama’s tilt toward the extremist Muslim Brotherhood over moderate Arabs is, at best, a destructive curiosity. In his new book Ally, Michael Oren, formerly Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., documents Obama’s ambivalent, if not hostile, view toward contemporary Israel. Even Isaac Herzog, the opposition leader against Bibi Netanyahu, opposes the Iran deal.

Consider that President Obama miraculously opined that the Jews in the Paris deli terrorist attack simply were randomly killed (what, no “hands up, don’t shoot”?) In other words, President Obama doesn’t (want to) get it. The Iranian leadership, given the opportunity President Obama’s policies will assure it, would use nuclear weapons to extinguish six million Jews concentrated in Israel, the size of Chris Christie’s New Jersey. Such reenactment of the Holocaust would be no metaphor, Mr. Huckabee is correct.

Leveraging the controversy, Barack Obama says in eighteen months he is “turning over the keys” and worries aloud whether not only Mr. Huckabee but Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and other Republicans are worthy. Yet, President Obama is traveling abroad where American presidents customarily stay out of American politics. And, significantly, he is alone among all his post-World War II predecessors to unilaterally pursue foreign policy, notably the Iran agreement, with no bipartisan support.

Sitting in judgment on Republican Huckabee, President Obama pretends to be an elder statesman, but he has competition. An indignant Hillary Clinton, under whose watch this Iranian debacle commenced, in one of her rare statements about anything, criticized Huckabee’s statement: “Comments like these are offensive and have no place in our political dialogue,” she said.

If Huckabee is out of order, how does she explain that her successor John Kerry seems to acquiesce to the agreement’s protocol of the U.S protecting Iranian nuclear facilities from Israeli sabotage?

Obama’s media groupies also gang up on Huckabee for rhetorical excess, but it is Obama and Kerry who hint at a Jewish lobby, with ominous consequences for Israel. It’s the old blame-the-Jews game. Yet, Obama’s Jewish apologists, mainly Democrats and liberals, secular-progressives and political sycophants, predictably arise from central casting, to condemn Huckabee, but for what?

Huckabee has spoken the truth, harshly and perhaps inelegantly.