I don’t know if Mike Huckabee has decided he lost the GOP presidential nomination in 2008 because he was too genial, or if he’s just obsessed with getting “earned media,” or if he’s grouchy from pre-candidacy dieting or something. But pretty much ever since the 2012 elections, he’s worked hard on getting in touch with his inner Ted Cruz. It certainly got him attention when he suggested last May that Barack Obama would be and should be impeached over Benghazi!, which is, in a word, nuts. His famous RNC speech in January purporting to defend women from the indignity of free contraceptives was a classic of the base-pandering genre, and a litany guaranteed to offend swing voters.

Now Huckabee is apparently finding a vacuum to fill in the embarrassed silence afflicting most Republicans on marriage equality, a fight they are clearly losing now and forever. No weasily RINO-waffling for ol’ Huck:

[W]hen people say, ‘Why don’t you just kind of get on the right side of history?’ I said, ‘You’ve got to understand, this for me is not about the right side or the wrong side of history, this is the right side of the Bible, and unless God rewrites it, edits it, sends it down with his signature on it, it’s not my book to change.’ Folks, that’s why I stand where I stand.”

Got to be impressed by this courage to treat people as second-class human beings and blame it on God.

But now Huck’s combining several popular Christian Right memes by making the rapid change of national opinion on same-sex marriage an act of national apostasy engineered by the Great Deceiver Barack Obama, who has had the gall to pretend to be a Christian when everybody knows Christians will have no truck with sodomites!

[M]y question that I would love to pose to the president is this: Mr. President, please explain that when you said in 2008 at the Saddleback Church forum that you stood for traditional marriage and you did so because you were a Christian and because it’s what the Bible taught, please answer: Were you lying then, are you lying now, or did the Bible get rewritten?”

So what’s it going to be, you lying apostate?

I went back to read the transcript of what Obama said at Rick Warren’s famous 2008 moment in the sun:

I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian … it’s also a sacred union. You know, God’s in the mix..

Where’s the assertion that the Bible eternally proscribed same-sex marriage (a very dubious proposition even if you do treat the Bible as, to use Paul Broun’s philistine construction, a “manufacturer’s handbook” for human life) or that “Christian convictions” dictate opposition to marriage equality? Huck just kinda made it up, the better to fit Obama into the Antichrist mold he’s hinting at.

Insofar as it’s only April of 2014, what sort of chiliastic hysteria will Mike Huckabee find necessary to articulate by this time next year, when serious candidate commitments will be under consideration by the antichoicers and homeschoolers of Iowa? I’d say it’s time to say goodbye for good to that jokey, bass-playing Mike Huckabee that liberal reporters liked so much seven or eight years ago. The dark underside of his extremist belief system was never that far underneath the surface. Now it’s out in public in a starring role.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.