Since Mike Huckabee is considering running for President again, it is worth re-visiting this editorial from 2009.
Over the years, there have been many scandals that have destroyed political careers. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee just came upon what could be his own career-ending scandal. He was not caught in an adulterous affair or a crooked scheme to steal money, but a stupid and foolish decision he made as governor a decade ago directly led to the murder of four police officers in Seattle.
A decade ago, Huckabee commuted the sentence of Maurice Clemmons, who is currently suffering in horrible burning agony in Hell and will continue suffering in horrible burning agony for all eternity. On November 29, Clemons shot four police officers in a Seattle coffee shop. It was a targeted killing, an assassination by a man who hated law enforcement. Soon, it was revealed that Huckabee had fallen for a song and dance about how Clemons had converted to Christianity and turned his life around. Huckabee commuted Clemons’ sentence and he was paroled. Clemons slipped through the system for the next decade before his violent rampage on November 29 and arrival in his ultimate destination of eternal torment in Hell fire.
Huckabee released a statement on this atrocity, where he said: “Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington state.”
No, Governor Huckabee. This was not the result of “a series of failures.” This is your failure. This monster was going to be behind bars for 95 years, until you commuted his sentence. You need to man up, admit that this is your fault and apologize profusely. You need to stand up, be a man, and admit your responsibility in this atrocity. Huckabee’s pathetic, weasel blame shifting may well have destroyed any hope he has of being President. Huckabee’s later statements have been more accepting of his role, but accepting responsibility now looks a lot like political damage control when he realized that he made a fool out of himself.
Instead, it is Huckabee’s initial reaction that reveals his true character and the state of his heart. Instead of standing up like a man and admitting his role, he passed the buck and blamed everyone else. He behaved exactly like the previous governor of Arkansas, disgraced ex-President Clinton. Huckabee behaved like a coward and a weasel, certainly not like a man. I lost every shred of respect I had for Huckabee with his wimpy, weasel denials.
But there is more to the story that needs to be explored, especially if Huckabee is serious about running for President again. Huckabee’s foolishness in his treatment of Clemons raises serious questions about his ability to lead this nation in the War on Terror. President George W. Bush, for all of his many failings, had a moral clarity about terrorists and knew how to deal with them. He called them “evildoers.” Ronald Reagan also had a moral clarity about the genocidal Soviet Union, calling it an “evil empire.” Mike Huckabee does not have the moral clarity of President Bush and President Reagan.
This scandal reveals much more about Huckabee than the fact that he is soft on crime. This scandal has exposed the fact that Huckabee simply does not understand evil, and that is incredibly dangerous in a post 9/11 world. Huckabee is dangerously lacking in discernment – a quality that makes him unfit to be President, and especially unfit to be a pastor. If Huckabee is to repair his shattered reputation, much less present himself as a viable choice for President, he must prove to the American people that he understands evil and possesses the discernment that is critical for a President who is facing down our enemies. I cannot imagine he has enough time to do that prior to the Republican primaries in 2012.