Fasten your seatbelts, buckos -- it's going to be a banner election season for the madly whirling Candidate Shuffle
I just love this headline, which shows us that the Candidate Shuffle season is in full whirl. You can see the full article below.
It's hardly a new-for-2016, the Candidate Shuffle. One of the reasons God created political "handlers" is to help candidates figure out what potential voters want to hear them say. It's a pretty astonishing thing at the presidential level, where you figure the parties are trotting out their most seasoned and mature candidates, who will be standing on their history of principle and accomplishment. But sometimes a candidate might want to know what little bits of emphasis and deemphasis to apply to his/her record to suit the present mood of the electorate.
|Ex-Shuffle champ McCranky|
But it looks like the 2016 fun and games are going to make Young Johnny look like a steadfast man of principle, hilarious as that idea is. With the country, and the party, in a mood like they're in, and a field as crazy as the 2016 GOP presidential field, it's hardly surprising that we're going to see posturing and pandering at record levels. The joker in 2016 is the combination of the whacked-out mood of the GOP base and the so-far-successful demonstration that you can get record levels of attention by saying crazier stuff than anyone is accustomed to saying or hearing outside the walls of a mental institution.
Which is why I love that headline on Dave Weigel's washingtonpost.com piece: "In a shift, Mike Huckabee is open to ending 'birthright citizenship.' " The key phrase there is "is open to." I can barely imagine what we're going to see candidates "open to."
The spinning is going to come in two forms: stuff that these, er, people have always in fact believed but though they didn't dare say publicly, and wackiness they don't believe but now feel empowered, or even obliged, to say.
It's not entirely clear which category Minister Mike Hucksterbee's whirling dervish act on birth citizenship fits into, and his history with the issue only makes it murkier. I guess the key thing is just to sit back and watch him whirl. (Find lotsa links for the following article onsite.)
In a shift, Mike Huckabee is open to ending ‘birthright citizenship’
By David Weigel
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said Friday he is open to ending "birthright citizenship" for children of immigrants born in the United States.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said Friday that he was open to laws that would end the "birthright" citizenship granted to children by the 14th Amendment, joining several other GOP candidates in endorsing the idea.
The comments came in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, who asked the question twice to be clear that Huckabee really would "abrogate" that right.
"I would," said Huckabee, "because I think that when we see advertisements in China, advertising essentially ‘birth tourism,’ where people are able to purchase packages so they fly to the U.S., have their baby in the U.S. so it has dual citizenship – these aren’t people who are impoverished, looking for a Medicaid payment. These are very wealthy people who are coming here so their child will in essence be put a foot down and say ‘I have American citizenship.’”
The "birthright" issue has bedeviled Huckabee since his first campaign for the presidency. In 2007, he told Washington Times reporter Stephen Dinan that he would support changing the policy that grants citizenship "just because a person, through sheer chance of geography, happened to be physically here at the point of birth." Early in 2008, Minutemen Project founder Jim Gilchrist claimed that Huckabee favored a new amendment to the Constitution to codify that.
A day later -- as he was riding high from a victory in the Iowa caucuses -- Huckabee walked back Gilchrist's comment. Two years later, Huckabee told NPR's Tom Ashbrook that he opposed major changes to the 14th Amendment. "I don't even think that's possible," he said.
But in the new interview, Huckabee seemed to rediscover his enthusiasm for reforming the "birthright" process.
"It has been the practice that we’ve had for over 100 years," he told Hewitt. "I think if we’re going to change that, then we need to be able to declare why we’re going to change it. I know that there’s the language about jurisdiction, there have been questions about it. The diplomat's child was born here -- does that make that person a citizen? I don't think that it's an ironclad-type decision, but it would be helpful for there to be legislation defining what the jurisdiction clause means. I don't think a constitutional amendment is likely to happen, but it would be helpful to have a constitutional amendment."
Earlier this month, at the first televised Republican presidential debate, Huckabee said that the 14th Amendment could and should be used to treat the unborn as American citizens. "This notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the individual is a violation of that unborn child’s Fifth and 14th Amendment rights for due process and equal protection under the law," he said.