Huckabee’s costly alliance

With the support of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk recently jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, gave an elaborate dis-play to a cheering crowd of supporters on Tuesday, September 8th.

Huckabee and Davis found appropriate expression of their enthusiasm through Survivor’s 1982 classic “Eye of the Tiger”, which was played as Davis took to the stage immediately following her release from prison. Now, in addition to facing a barrage of public criticism, Davis and Huckabee are also facing the possibility of a lawsuit with Survivor and EMI records, who claim that “Eye of the Tiger” was used without their permission in defiance of copyright law.

Huckabee, an adamant spokesman for America’s religious and conservative far right wing, is gradually losing whatever appeal he might have had to American voters. His support of Davis, just one of his many controversial efforts to fight what he regards as a phasing-out of religious liberties in the United States, has drawn a large amount of skepticism and criticism from LGBT organizations and from the American people at large.

The Huckabee campaign has also been making controversial comparisons between the efforts of present day same-sex marriage opponents and those of Civil Rights advocates in the 1960s.

“The Dred Scott decision of 1857 still remains to this day the law of the land which says that black people aren’t fully human,” Huckabee said in a radio interview with Michael Medved. “Does anybody still follow the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision?”

Notwithstanding the former governor’s forgetting of the 13th and 14th amendments in his discussion with Medved, Huckabee’s alignment with advocates of civil disobedience against same-sex marriage will almost certainly prove a politically dangerous move. This is particularly true as more far-right opponents of same-sex marriage liken their struggles and efforts to those of Civil Rights advocates during the Civil Rights Movement.

One columnist, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, even went so far as to claim that, “Kim Davis is our Rosa Parks.”

Clearly, there are numerous problems with these continued comparisons, and critics of Davis’s and Huckabee’s civil disobedience rhetoric have not kept silent. Many of these critics have remarked that Davis and Huckabee’s attempts to exclude gays from equal coverage under US law makes them more akin to oppressors than to freedom-fighters, and therefore their analogies are both inappropriate and invalid.

“It’s an attempt to make something ugly be beautiful,” Van Jones, co-founder of the Rebuild the Dream civil rights organization, observes. “It’s an attempt to take an ugly stand on behalf of intolerance and to confuse people into thinking it is similar to a beautiful stand on behalf of inclusion.”

It is not terribly surprising that Davis, released from prison on the condition that she not interfere with her deputies’ issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in her stead, has already appealed for a delay on the Federal Court’s mandate that she issue licenses to all eligible couples.

Davis and her attorneys argued that U.S. District Court Judge, David Bunning, did not sufficiently clarify the terms of the mandate, and since all of the couples who filed suit against the office received marriage licenses from her deputies during her imprisonment, Davis should not be required to issue marriage licenses to anymore same-sex couples.

A lawsuit with EMI and Survivor over the unauthorized use of “Eye of the Tiger” is not likely to be the most inconvenient result of Huckabee’s recent alliance with Davis. While his support of Davis has solidified the allegiance of many of the country’s most far right conservatives, his efforts against same-sex marriage using civil disobedience rhetoric are almost certain to impact his favorability among American voters.

-Austin Wash ’16, Senior Politics/Opinions Editor

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