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Let's Not Be Too Hard On Huckabee

December 10, 2007
Roscoe, N.Y.

As former governor Mike Huckabee rises in the polls, it's only natural that journalists are going to try to dig up ugly stuff from his past. And yes, even nice-guy Mike Huckabee has some skeletons in his closet. It turns out that in 1982 Huckabee supported quarantining people with AIDS.

It's important to put this into perspective: The AIDS crisis was very young in 1982. It wasn't until July of that year that the term "Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome" was proposed for the disease. People were confused and frightened. In 1982 some people even thought that AIDS could be spread by casual contact.

It's not surprising that in 1982 even people with enlightened scientific educations such as Mike Huckabee would be caught up in the AIDS panic and propose rash solutions to deal with the crisis. It was only in the decade after 1982 that the real nature of the disease was determined; by that time, of course, no sensible person would ever have recommended quarantines for AIDS patients.

But 1982 was a long time ago. Give the man a break, OK?


I'm afraid the sarcasm and may be too subtle for some people. I keep up on the news pretty well myself, but for a second there I found myself thinking, "Was it as far back as 1982 that he said this? I thought he said it later." The "enlightened scientific education" and the "decade after 1982" comments made it a bit more obvious, but some people might still miss it.

(For anyone still confused, he said it in 1992.)

— Bob, Mon, 10 Dec 2007 10:41:00 -0500 (EST)

Hi Charles: Huckabee made this statement in 1992 not 1982. Big difference.

— 1992not1982, Mon, 10 Dec 2007 10:42:57 -0500 (EST)

Whoops, sorry about my last comment. I was a bit too hasty. Didn't get the satire until upon re-reading your post.

— 1992not1982, Mon, 10 Dec 2007 10:45:28 -0500 (EST)

"Give the man a break, OK?"

This was my reaction when I read the story. This is the wrong reason to have qualms about Huckabee.

BTW, Charles, I picked up a copy of your book 'CODE' the other day. I'm only halfway through it, but I'm enjoying it, it's a wonderful way to look at computers from the ground up. I've already picked up a couple copies to give as Xmas gifts.

Jon Peltier, Mon, 10 Dec 2007 10:53:05 -0500 (EST)

According to a discussion this morning on the Stephanie Miller show - it was 1992 - not 1982 - big difference there.

— Dan Sniderman, Mon, 10 Dec 2007 11:07:24 -0500 (EST)

Sorry.. Did it once, he can do it again.

People who tend to do rash solutions, tend to continue that road.

— AsbjornM, Mon, 10 Dec 2007 15:37:01 -0500 (EST)

Didn't get the sarcasm prior to reading Bob's comment. Brilliant post :-).

Sergey Povzner, Mon, 10 Dec 2007 23:09:52 -0500 (EST)

Not as successful as the conservatives' efforts to quarantine liberals to densely populated cities. Amounts to the same thing I guess. Hahaha.... I'm joking. No flames please. If there was nothing to laugh at in any one of the candidates for US president, they wouldn't be running. :)

Tyler Jensen, Tue, 11 Dec 2007 09:48:12 -0500 (EST)

Great post!

In 1907 Huckabee also said, "I do not necessarily buy into the traditional Darwinian theory, personally."


— Roger Pence, Tue, 11 Dec 2007 15:45:03 -0500 (EST)

I was about to correct your date of 1907 until I realized you were making the same kind of joke!

People sometimes think that a belief in Creationism is just a minor issue regarding eligibility to be President. In my view, it is often indicative of a much deeper problem involving science and rationalism. — Charles

Dave Neiwart just posted on Huckabee and his positions, this is worth taking a look at:

— Dan Sniderman, Wed, 12 Dec 2007 17:40:22 -0500 (EST)

If people with HIV had been quaranteened it would have been bad for them, but uninfected gays would have been able to safely continue having all the un-protected sex they pleased. So in some ways, his position was pro-gay, pro-sex.

— fsilber, Thu, 3 Jan 2008 14:39:42 -0500 (EST)

(sound of ice tea being inadvertently sprayed from mouth onto computer monitor) — Charles

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