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Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Beautiful Thing About America

posted by on January 31 at 19:36 PM

Mike Huckabee, heckled in San Francisco today, made this observation:

“The beauty of America is that a person can come and even make a disruption, and you know what, that person is not going to be taken out and shot.”

Yeah, that’s what makes American beautiful. But it doesn’t exactly make American, you know, unique or anything. Canada is kinda beautiful that way too. And so is Germany. And France. And the UK. And Holland, Iceland, Norway, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Poland, New Zealand, Finland, Denmark, Japan, Korea, South Africa, and dozens and dozens of other countries.

As a measure of what makes a nation beautiful, the we-don’t haul-people-out-and-shoot-them standard sets the bar kind of low, Mike. A better beauty metric might be which countries provide, oh, health care for all their citizens in addition to democratic rights, freedom of speech, assembly, the press, etc.

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They won't be shot, but in a Huckabee America, will they be stoned? What about the gays? What's his plan for them?

Posted by Ed | January 31, 2008 7:49 PM

For Huckabee, a good conservative, "beauty" is sort of like "art". Art is beautiful. Art is a frill. Our schools don't need art. Art is even kind of gay. Art and beauty are out to ruin this country half the time. It's not the government's job to give people any of this beauty.

Huck means that person should be taken out and shot.

Posted by elenchos | January 31, 2008 7:51 PM

Hey look man, it's not like he's running for 8th grade science teacher or anything.

Posted by Boylston | January 31, 2008 7:57 PM

I agree with 2- by saying "that person is not going to be taken out and shot", he is saying in a roundabout way that person should be taken out and shot.

Posted by Justin J | January 31, 2008 8:09 PM

With somebody like Huckabee, I always figure the subtext is more along the lines of, "Oh Lord, if in thy divine wisdom this blasphemous sinner were to suddenly be smitten by a bolt of lightening cast down by your Mighty Hand, I wouldn't complain. Amen."

Posted by COMTE | January 31, 2008 8:16 PM

Now the question that should be asked is, "What are target citizens (Gay ones for example) going to DO should Huckabee be elected?" Stand up, get angry, and get shot.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | January 31, 2008 8:30 PM

As with capital punishment and other disgraceful categories, I think Huckabee and his type o' conservative are comparing us in instances like this to our "true" peer nations: China, Iran, Sudan, Russia, Sudan, etc.

Posted by S. M. | January 31, 2008 8:31 PM

Harumpf. Just don't try being an illegal immigrant in any of those countries; they'll kick you out so fast it will make your head spin.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | January 31, 2008 8:40 PM

Doesn't this reveal his thought process?
Think: This guy came and made a disruption.
Think: I wish that guy would be taken out and shot.
Think: Oh wait! This is America, and we can't do that. Says so in the Bible which is the law of the land.
Think: I guess that's for the best.
Say: The beauty of America is that a person can come and even make a disruption, and you know what, that person is not going to be taken out and shot.

Posted by Mark at YVR | January 31, 2008 8:57 PM

Huckabee must be more stupid than I thought. Let's see, an incomplete run down of former presidents shot or attempts made:

1. Reagan
2. Ford (Remember Squeaky Fromme)
3. Kennedy
4. McKinley
5. Lincoln

This is a partial list I'm sure... I'm just too lazy to google it right now. So at least 1 in 9 (approx) of our Presidents have been shot at or shot. Don't know of another country in the last 150 years where that many leaders of that country had that done to them...

BTW @6: If Huckabee is elected, our chances of going to New Zealand on my right of return goes up significantly. Last time we did an immigration process it took approximately 30 minutes for both of us to get our passports stamped and our work permits in place. Alternatively we may join the lengthy line at Blaine to get in ASAP. At least for a bit of a party before we come back to put on our pink triangles.

Posted by Dave Coffman | January 31, 2008 9:03 PM

Psh. The Lord wouldn't use "His Mighty Hand". He'd use a 12 gauge. A 12 gauge 2-34" shell low-base #4 will have roughly 235 Holy pellets discharging. It will blow a hole through thy blasphemous sinners chest, as well as their front door. At least that's how I imagine Huckabee thinks.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 31, 2008 9:06 PM

Republicans are not know for setting the bar high, Dan. Look at what they run for elected office.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | January 31, 2008 9:16 PM

"Heckling" fucking rules. Use that word a lot.

Posted by Ye Olde Heckler | January 31, 2008 9:44 PM


Yeah, dude, because in China, Iran, Sudan, Russia, and Sudan there is no corruption. If your immigration paperwork is not in order, there is NO WAY slipping an official a couple bucks will do you any good at all.

But I know why this stuff is new to you. You don't get out much.

Posted by elenchos | January 31, 2008 10:06 PM

No, they won't be shot, but they will likely be half-electrocuted with a Taser. I'm sure you've heard about the student who got zapped for asking too many questions of John Kerry at a forum. See a video here:

Posted by LMC | January 31, 2008 10:08 PM

He kinda sounds like the Michael Richards(Kramer) of the potential(yeah, right that'll happen) nominees....telling black people that they're lucky now 'cause back in the day there was all this crazy shit with lynching and fork stabbing and worse.(like that's been forgotten)...what an ass.

Posted by point x point synopsis | January 31, 2008 10:17 PM

no, no, no...they won't be shot they will be re-educated so that they may see the error of their ways. and if they can't be re-educated they will be taken care of "with love"

Posted by Jiberish | January 31, 2008 11:05 PM

Isn't this a lot of analysis for an off-the-cuff remark that was meant as a joke?

Posted by really? | February 1, 2008 2:28 AM

@11, not 235 pellets. The Lord would use 00 buck. That's 9 pellets of rip your guts out Heavenly Love for the heathens.

Posted by Cap'n Grace | February 1, 2008 5:51 AM

Don't put Mexico on the list. We never hear about it in the US media, but the repression of civil dissent, by both the left and the right, is becoming incresingly violent in our neighbour to the south. For starters, check out : in 2006, a group of flower vendors, protesting the expropriation of their market for the construction of a walmart (thank you NAFTA), were brutalized by the police. 26 women were raped. Or do a google search on the ongoing seige of Oaxaca city. Or check out the government sponsered paramilitary buildup in Chiapas, as the state continues expelling indegenous comunities from their land, holding men, women and children indefinitely. Torture and rape are standard tools against activists, especially indegenous. Mexico is no beacon of freedom...but that's the way our government wants it.

Posted by anon | February 1, 2008 6:26 AM

@20 I was about to write almost the exact same post. I'd add the Mexican states, mostly on the border but a couple others like Michoacan, where government collusion with the drug cartels makes speaking out or working for a newspaper very dangerous.

Posted by anna | February 1, 2008 7:08 AM

20 & 21 - wrong thread, this is about shooting hecklers. 11 - thank you.

Posted by wbrproductions | February 1, 2008 8:24 AM

Don't f#&k wit da Huck!

Posted by I Heart Huckabee | February 1, 2008 8:30 AM

Nowhere in a strict reading of the Constitution will you find a Right to Not be Taken Out and Shot.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | February 1, 2008 8:42 AM

You might want to put some caveats besides freedom of speech and press for Canada and Germany. And besides freedom of religion for Germany.

Posted by Fritz | February 1, 2008 8:50 AM

@22 - Oh no! some people mentioned that one of the countries listed might be a poor example of Dan's entire point that extended beyond just heckling.

Great overall post Dan. I'm sick of the United States exceptionalist argument.

Posted by anna | February 1, 2008 9:13 AM

So Huckabee actually made that statement in the city where America's first openly gay politician was basically taken out and shot?

Posted by Hoyt Clagwell | February 1, 2008 9:42 AM

It was mighty white of goD not to smite that unbeliever for interrupting his chosen leader for the promised land. All of us atheists should respectanize this sign that goD truly does exist and repent.

Posted by K X One | February 1, 2008 10:28 AM

Yes they do get shot, and often, most likely orchestrated/faciliated by US:

King and X, they got ridda both
Harvey Milk
The Kennedys
Medger Evers
4 Little Girls
Rosewood FL

Posted by mattjones | February 1, 2008 10:32 AM

No they're just tortured with "less lethal" force instead...

Posted by wf | February 1, 2008 11:44 AM

@2, 4 and others, I totally agree and would add that he is also revealing his fantasy (or delusion) that he is already- at this moment- important or powerful enough that in some countries people would be executed for criticizing him. Does he think he is already President?

His casual openness about planning to change the constitution if elected already suggested delusions of granduer (or at least cluelessness) to me.

Posted by erika | February 1, 2008 11:56 AM

Yo, Huck!

Two can play at that game, and only one of us is a Level 7 marksman on multiple small arms weapons systems ....

(don't threaten when you don't got the cred, Huck)

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 1, 2008 12:05 PM

Not saying I like Huckabee ... but he is 100% right. Dan Savage is also right that he doesn't go far enough and give credit the majority of other industrialized nations.

What Huckabee doesn't recognize is that America is approaching the end of that era on the course it's going. To places like Iraq and Kenya where people riot in the streets when they get an election they don't like.

Posted by OR Matt | February 2, 2008 10:27 AM

What goes on in all of those other tolerant, not-so-violent countries does not matter to the Red Staters. Other countries do not count! They're full of furriners, dammit! And we're better than them.

This "shot" comparison is a lot like the "in Russia, you'd be arrested, beaten, tortured and jailed!" red herring these same folks used during the Cold War. I always thought that was a bit telling, too. It was like they had Soviet envy.

In the past 7 years, of course, they've gone out and proven how much they like grabbing folks, beating them, torturing them, and shipping them to a gulag.

So why not shoot dissidents, too?

Posted by CP | February 3, 2008 10:41 AM

There is ONE COUNTRY with a
tough immigration policy.
Read some of their rules for you:

If you migrate to their county, you must speak the national language.

There are no special bilingual programs in schools, and no bilingual voting.

All government business must be done in the common national language.

Foreigners do NOT have a right to vote, no matter how long they live there.

Foreigners shall NEVER be permitted to hold any political office.

Foreigners cannot be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no health care, nor other government assistance programs.

Foreigners may invest in the country, but it must be an amount equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.

If foreigners do come and want to buy land, it will be permitted, BUT options will be restricted. You cannot own waterfront property. That is reserved for natural citizens born in their country.

Foreigners may -NOT- protest: NO demonstrations, NO waving of foreign flags, NO political organizing, no badmouthing of its national policies. If you do, you will be sent back to your home country.

If you come to their country illegally, you will be hunted down and sent to jail.

Sound harsh? Insensitive? Inhumane?

These are the immigration laws of MEXICO!

Wake up America. You are dissolving.
Oh, by the way, thanks for allowing my newborn baby, born through my illegal alien wife, who came across your "secure border" to be a US Citizen, and have a right to vote your forefathers out of existence.

Here, have some more salsa.

Posted by | February 5, 2008 7:08 PM

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