BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Just how far will a Republican Party presidential candidate go in criticizing PresidentObama and trying to grab a headline or two? To the edge of foolishness, senselessness, and recklessness ... but enough about Donald Trump! Over the weekend, however, former Arkansas governor trumped Trump with a tweet claiming that the Iranian nuclear deal was akin to "marching the Israelis to the door of the oven," an undisguised reference to the Holocaust.
Although roundly criticized by Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Huckabee spokeswoman maintained that Huckabee's statement was in line with his thinking that "the Iran deal is a bad deal, bad for America and bad for Israel."
In an interview with Breitbart News broadcast on Sirius/XM radio Saturday, Huckabee stated that, "He's [Obama] so naive he would trust the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven."
"This president's foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians," Huckabee said. "By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by the American people," he added.
"Whatever one's views of the nuclear agreement with Iran — and we have been critical of it, noting that there are serious unanswered questions that need to be addressed — comments such as those by Mike Huckabee suggesting the president is leading Israel to another Holocaust are completely out of line and unacceptable," said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, in a statement.
"To hear Mr. Huckabee invoke the Holocaust when America is Israel's greatest ally and when Israel is a strong nation capable of defending itself is disheartening," Greenblatt added.
The Associated Press reported that "Huckabee's comments come as the Republican presidential candidates struggle to break through with 16 presidential candidates already in the Republican field, and one of those, New York businessman Donald Trump, getting more attention than most."
Citing the Holocaust is not a new weapon in Huckabee's rhetorical arsenal. Late last year, according to People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch, "After visiting Nazi concentration camps in Poland ... during 'Mike Huckabee's Reagan, Thatcher, Pope John Paul II Tour,' the former Arkansas governor addressed his guests with a speech about 'the soul of America.'" Huckabee said, "Americans have 'blood on our hands' for failing to criminalize abortion and contended that reproductive freedom is much worse than the Nazi Holocaust."
"We wonder with some sense of bewilderment, how is it possible that since 1973 alone over 55 million unborn children have died in what should have been the safest place that that baby ever experienced, the womb of its mother? How did that happen? Because our pulpits were silent and forgot and failed to teach that every human life has value and worth and there's no such thing as a disposable, expendable human being, that all of us are created equal. Even our Constitution, our founders, acknowledge that, and our Bible affirms it. And our failure to speak it because it was a political issue will cause us one day to stand before a holy God with blood on our hands and explain why we did not cry out against that slaughter of 55 million.
"If you felt something incredibly powerful at Auschwitz and Birkenau over the 11 million killed worldwide and the 1.5 million killed on those grounds, cannot we feel something extraordinary about 55 million murdered in our own country in the wombs of their mothers? Does that not speak to us? And the foundation of our society and culture, marriage, not only by which we produce the next generation but it is the entity through which God has chosen for us to create the next generation and train them to be our replacements, and when we tinker with its definition and we decide that it can mean anything we wish for it to mean and that rather than to take a biblical perspective we will take a very human one and we will base marriage on human experience and desire as opposed to biblical standard, then I fear that we will pay the consequences for having upended the very foundation which is the essence of how a civilization survives. So the soul of America is in real trouble."
NBC News reported that during a news conference in Ethiopia, President Obama called Huckabee's comments "ridiculous" and "part of a general pattern that would be considered ridiculous if it weren't so sad."
"Presidential debates deserve better," Obama added, suggesting that Huckabee may have been aiming to push Donald Trump out of the headlines.
"We just don't fling out ad hominem attacks like that because it doesn't help inform the American people," he added.
Even after Obama's criticism, Huckabee, who has a history of making over-the-top remarks about the President and the First Lady criticizing them for their lack of parenting skills, refused to back down: "What's ridiculous and sad is that President Obama does not take the Iran threats seriously. For decades, Iranian leaders have pledged to 'destroy,' 'annihilate,' and 'wipe Israel off the map' with a 'big Holocaust,'" he said. "'Never again' will be the policy of my administration and I will stand with our ally Israel to prevent the terrorists in Tehran from achieving their own stated goal of another Holocaust."
Move over Donald Trump, the Huckabee Holocaust Express is rolling down the tracks.