Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mike Huckabee Prefers Rapists to Democrats

My grandmother left the Baptist church after she married my grandfather. I asked her once why she felt compelled to leave the faith in which she was raised, and she told me it came down to cultural shifts that left her feeling undervalued and disrespected(this from a woman whose father was so strict she had to sneak out of her house during Sunday "sitting hours" to see my grandfather play baseball). I can't imagine what her reaction would be to the current Southern Baptist Ambassador Mike Huckabee and this appalling cover-up.

I came to terms long ago with the fact that victims of sexual assault will always face undeserved skepticism and disrepect(Pennsylvania is home to some of the worst, at least lately). Reading about then-Governor Huckabee's behavior towards the victims of Wayne Dumond, and his obviously political decision to value a violent felon's words over the safety of his citizens, makes me dream of dispatching machete justice.

It's terrible that Huckabee let this man go free over the obvously anguished pleas of his victims and their loved ones. It's terrible that he did so at a time when religious zealots were slandering his then underage victim by implying her case was affected by her distant relation to Bill Clinton. It's terrible that he wrote in his own book that he felt the criminal justice system should be more compassionate and yet signed 16 death warrants during his gubernatorial tenure. It's morally reprehensible that his 2002 campaign for governor in 2002 covered up illegal dealings that resulted in the rape and murder of two women.

In a reasonable society, the documents and public statements of the victims of Dumond's crimes would be enough to disqualify Huckabee from contention for the Republican nomination. Of course we do not live in a reasonable society. Huckabee has naturally responded to questions about Dumond by accusing those raising the issue of engaging in the dreaded "partisan politics."

The "partisan slur" defense is hardly new, and it always seems to work in favor of Republicans. Decisions made while in public office are open to public scrutiny. This is why Freedom of Information and Open Records laws exist. Think back to past Presidential campaigns. Michael Dukakis and his opposition to the death penalty. Al Gore's involvement with the internet. John Kerry's "flip-flopping" votes on the Iraq War. These were all incredibly effective attacks on Democratic candidates, and NO ONE DIED as a direct result of their administrative decisions. If the United States press turns out to be too spineless to delve more deeply into this deeply misogynistic and hypocritical chapter of Huckabee's political career, I'm officially changing my party affiliation to Anarchist.

Mike Huckabee spends an absurd amount of time defining himself as the candidate of choice for conservative religious Americans. The obvious choice for voters who want to conserve the lives of their female relations is to not elect him. The choice for the rest of us is to do as my grandmother did and respect women enough to let everyone know what kind of governement executive this man really is.

(Thanks to Jezebel for the post that got me all riled up).


McFox said...

I'm all for talking about the DuMond case, but let's at least talk about the facts. In 1992, while Governor Bill Clinton was out of state campaigning for president, Acting Governor Jim Guy Tucker, the lieutenant governor, commuted Dumond's sentence, making him eligible for parole. Dumond's file for additional commutation was sitting on Jim Guy Tucker's desk when Governor Huckabee assumed the office of governor. Since Tucker had already commuted his sentence, making him parole-eligible, any further commutation would have reduced his sentence to time served, allowing him to leave prison immediately with or without a parole plan. Based on his exemplary prison record and the support that he had gained, and due to the commuted sentence from Lieutenant Governor Tucker, Governor Huckabee supported his parole, but ultimately denied his request for a further commutation. It was the Governor’s only official action in the Dumond case. A parole plan was eventually approved for Dumond. I think when you look at the facts it is unfair to place the blame solely on Governor Huckabee, especially since he has minimal involvement in the case. Trying getting your facts from another source other than the Huffington Post.

Sarene said...

My neck is starting to hurt from all the times I've had to hang my head in shame over all the boneheaded moves our country's politicians have made.

I think I should just hang it permanently.

Meredith said...

mcfox, eligibility for parole does not mean that it parole should be granted. The support you mention came from people who insisted on Dumond's innocence, and who, at the time, gained credence by suggesting Dumond's harsh sentence was a result of his 17 year old victim's family relation to Bill Clinton. Tucker may have commuted his sentence, but considering the heinous nature of Dumond's crime(and make no mistake, I believe rape is a crime equal to murder in its severity), Tucker showed all the "compassion" that was warranted in this case. There was no reason to grant Dumond parole, exemplary prison record or no. How many prisoners convicted of drug crimes have exemplary records and find their parole applications denied? To suggest that Huckabee's involvement in the case is somehow smaller than Tucker's or Clinton's because he only did one thing is laughable. His decision made it possible for Dumond to kill two women. To claim ignorance of that danger, especially now that the letters written to Huckabee(not to Clinton, not to Tucker) are public, is as irresponsible as accusing me of not sourcing my argument thoroughly enough.