In Huckabee’s View, It’s Bubbas vs. Bubbles


Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas who would like to be President, wrote a book. This is the season when POTUS wannabes write books telling about the people and forces that influenced them, and why they would make us all better, happier people. Gov. Huckabee’s book is titled “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy”, and focuses on the bubbas (good), and the bubbles (bad). This evidently represents a campaign strategy based on divide and conquer and a remarkable ignorance of electoral arithmetic.

The bubbles are New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. “I call these cities ‘Bubble-ville.’ I intentionally live in what I call ‘Bubba-ville.’ It’s where ‘Bubbas’ live, and where a lot of people are called by two names: Mary Elizabeth, Katherine Grace, Jim Bob, and Darryl Wayne.”

Mike Huckabee is one of those people who believes there’s a “real” America, and everything else is unworthy. When Sarah Palin spoke about “the real America” and “pro-America areas of this great nation,” she probably meant red states in general – Gov. Huckabee seems loyal to the Southeast, and has a particular distaste for New York City.

One of his objections is to New York’s strict gun laws. In his book he writes, “I travel to New York City every week to host my TV show on the Fox News Channel. Because the show originates from there, most people think that I surely must live there. I’m quick to say, ‘I don’t live there and won’t unless they will let me duck hunt in Central Park.’ I’m quite certain that isn’t going to happen since it’s all but impossible to own a gun in New York City, much less legally use it. Unless you’re a cop or a crook, you probably don’t possess a firearm in New York City. In fact, you’ve probably never seen one in person.”

Now New York City has a population density of 26,403 people per mile, and Manhattan, where the Governor wants to hunt ducks, has 66,940 people in every square mile. This compares with a national average of 80 people per mile. The Central Park Reservoir, probably the best place to find ducks, is convenient to three childrens’ playgrounds. There are some places where guns aren’t, and shouldn’t be welcome.

“But it’s more than guns” Gov. Huckabee writes. “Have you ever tried to order grits in a fancy Manhattan restaurant? Good luck. ... I can somewhat understand that New York restaurants might not typically have red-eye gravy or chocolate gravy as those might be a bit regional, but how can an eating place that fancies itself fancy have the audacity to open its doors and not have biscuits and gravy or grits on the breakfast menu?”

Gov. Huckabee doesn’t get out much, or maybe Fox news doesn’t pay all that well. If the Governor wants grits at a fancy restaurant, he should try Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain, which offers shrimp and grits for $26, or Miss Stephanie’s biscuits & cream gravy (with sausage and scrambled eggs) for $25. Further uptown, Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster serves blackened catfish and grits ($25). If anybody cares, the shrimp and grits at Trio’s Restaurant in Little Rock only costs $12.50, but it’s only available for Sunday brunch.

Of Los Angeles, Gov. Huckabee wrote “... getting grits and gravy there is maybe tougher than in New York. If you want to eat seaweed salad, kale, or granola, you can find lots of varieties. But I thought only North Koreans ate lawn clippings...”

President Obama first came to national attention with the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic national convention: “... The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too: We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States, and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq ...” It was perhaps the most inspiring speech any of us will ever hear, even if it was a vision of America that we aren’t likely to attain very soon.

In contrast, Gov. Huckabee (who is sort of a serious candidate, at least to the extent of quitting his job with Fox) sees the way to the presidency as dividing us, and telling what’s good and what’s bad and anything that isn’t Gov. Huckabee’s style is unworthy and less than true American.

Evidently there is a Bubble-ville, but the people living in the bubble are those who reject anything and everybody who orders from a different menu. We’re a better nation than Mike Huckabee seems able to imagine.

Sam Uretsky is a writer and pharmacist living on Long Island, N.Y. Email

From The Progressive Populist, March 15, 2015

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