Yesterday, I expressed hope that Mike Huckabee might take this opportunity to abandon his previous callous and ignorant statements on HIV and homosexuality. He hasn't. Astonishingly, he is even denying that he favored quarantining people with HIV, but he said clearly

"If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague."

I fail to grasp the distinction between "isolating the carriers of this plague" and quarantining. So he's refusing to take responsibility for his previous statements, refuses even to regret what he said, and has also failed to take the opportunity to revise his view of gay people. I guess we need to understand that even for the compassionate Christianists, the hostility to gay people's lives, relationships and dignity is deeply ingrained. There is no way for a leading Christianist to say anything supportive or inclusive of gay couples that will not kill him with the Republican base. The country and the civilized world may have moved in one direction, but the Republican party has been seized and is now owned by the faction that is bent on moving strongly in the other direction. Huckabee is not some kind of exception to this rule; he is the rule. And he advances the key policy blend begun by George W. Bush: nanny-statism, big government conservatism, fiscal profligacy, and theo-democracy. He is the logical consequence of Bushism, with a pleasing and disarming affect. That's the underlying reason he is gaining such traction in the party Bush and Rove have remade.

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