HUCKABEE TURNS HIS ATTENTION FROM A PRESIDENT TO A MOVIE STAR…. Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) has had quite a week, hasn’t he? The Republican spent several days lashing out at President Obama with some vile attacks, which were as ugly as they were wrong, and were compounded by making the loathsome comments while paling around with a bigoted extremist.
Not quite done, the far-right preacher-turned-politician-turned-media-personality shifted his focus yesterday. Instead of targeting a president, Huckabee decided to go after a movie star.
In a radio appearance on Monday, Mike Huckabee attacked actress Natalie Portman for having a child “out of wedlock.” Huckabee said that it’s “troubling” to see people like “Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ‘Hey look, you know, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine.'” Huckabee added that “it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock.”
Huckabee’s remarks came in response to radio host Michael Medved, who discussed Portman’s Academy Awards speech last Sunday. During her speech, Portman thanked fiance Benjamin Millepied, “who choreographed the film, and has now given me my most important role of my life.” Medved said that Millepied “didn’t give her the most wonderful gift, which would be a wedding ring! And it just seems to me that sending that kind of message is problematic.”
Now, I don’t know anything about Natalie Portman’s private life, and I can’t think of any reasons to care. Indeed, I find the very idea that a movie star’s personal choices have a larger societal impact demonstrably ridiculous.
With that in mind, Huckabee is succeeding in positioning himself as a leading national culture warrior, but he also ends up looking like someone with bizarre priorities — not to mention a guy with too much time on his hands. With all that’s going on in the world, if you’re focused on the marital status of movie stars, you’re probably in need of a reality check.
But in the larger context, hearing about Huckabee’s criticism reinforces the notion that we really are stuck in the 1990s. After all, are there any substantive differences between what Huckabee said yesterday about Natalie Portman and what Dan Quayle said about Murphy Brown in 1992? Other than the fact that Brown was a fictional character, the remarks are remarkably similar.
Indeed, I feel like this keeps coming up. What do we see on the political landscape? Republicans are talking about shutting down the government and impeaching the president; Newt Gingrich is talking about running for president; a Democratic president saw his party get slammed in the midterms; the right wants a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution; conservatives are falsely labeling a moderate health care reform plan “socialized medicine”; and some national GOP leaders are preoccupied with Hollywood and out-of-wedlock births.
The more things change….