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Do as I say, not as I do

In this week’s conservative hypocritical moment, likely presidential candidate Mike Huckabee condemned Oscar winner Natalie Portman for “glamourising” her out-of-wedlock pregnancy:

One of the things that’s troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, “Hey look, you know, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine.” There aren’t really a lot of single mums out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamourise the idea of out of children wedlock.

I don’t necessarily disagree with Huckabee’s point (although his last sentence is a bit tangled). However, back when Bristol Palin announced her out-of-wedlock pregnancy during the 2008 campaign, Huckabee didn’t think it was a big deal. Huckabee said then that the surprise pregnancy announcement should not affect support for Sarah Palin in the conservative and religious right communities, and claimed that it was ok since Bristol was going to keep the baby and marry the child’s father.

Of course, those two cases are completely different. After all Bristol Palin never did marry Levi Johnston. And Portman is not only in a stable relationship with the father of her upcoming child, but is engaged to him.

Maybe Huckabee is just having a Dan Quayle moment, although at least Huckabee is picking on a real person, instead of a fictional one.

[hat tip to Andrew Sullivan]



  1. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    That’s hilarious. More I.O.K.I.Y.A.R.

    Monday, March 7, 2011 at 9:04 am | Permalink
  2. Mad Hatter wrote:

    The utter hypocrisy of these religious conservatives is astounding. OK, OK….hypocrisy knows no political boundaries but these religious pols are in a whole ‘nother category.

    Monday, March 7, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink
  3. Drew wrote:

    Seems like “Do as I say, not as I say” would be a more appropriate title…

    Monday, March 7, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink
  4. Sammy wrote:

    I had totally forgotten about his reaction to Bristol Palin’s pregnancy.

    Monday, March 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  5. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Maybe it’s psychological. Perhaps he doesn’t really want to run for president but can’t just say no. So he unconsciously runs his mouth to get him out of the race. I mean, first the Obama growing up in Kenya, then this. He’s either got early stage senility, or needs counseling.

    Monday, March 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink
  6. Txjill wrote:

    And…Portman is almost 30 and a Harvard grad with a steady income. Palin was a teen mother. If the majority of single moms had the education and income power of Portman, it wouldn’t be as much of a problem.

    Pretty stupid of Huckabee to use her as an example.

    Monday, March 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink
  7. C.S.Strowbridge wrote:

    “He’s either got early stage senility, or needs counseling.”

    Or he’s playing to the base.

    51% of like Republican primary voters believe Obama wasn’t born in the United States. The base has gone crazy.

    Monday, March 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
  8. Iron Knee wrote:

    At least one person agrees with you, CSS. They think that this is actually a hidden jab at Palin, designed by Huckabee to strengthen his chances against Palin should she decide to run for president against him.

    See the second block quote here:

    Monday, March 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink
  9. C.S.Strowbridge wrote:

    Palin and Huckabee share a lot of the same demographic. If they both run in 2012, they can’t both survive to the first Super Tuesday.

    Personally, I hope Sarah Palin runs. She has a better shot at winning the primary, as she can raise money faster than Huckabee can. She’s also as no chance in hell of winning the White House and could destroy the down ticket Republican chances.

    Monday, March 7, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink
  10. Patricia wrote:

    CSS et alia: I’m not so sure that senility or anything else has anything to do with it. I think he and his “base” live in a different universe than the rest of us.

    IK: Do you note the irony of referring to that particular world view as the “base?”

    Monday, March 7, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Permalink
  11. BTN wrote:

    I really don’t understand how some people can’t see through the “conservative” hypocrisy.

    Monday, March 7, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink
  12. BTN wrote:

    He also made these claims:

    “You know, right now, 75 percent of black kids in this country are born out of wedlock. 61 percent of Hispanic kids — across the board, 41 percent of all live births in America are out of wedlock births. ”

    Knowing that 85.28% of statistics quoted by politicians are made up on the spot, does anybody know what the real numbers are?

    Monday, March 7, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Permalink
  13. BTN wrote:

    H*ly sh!t. I’m equally shocked at the raw numbers as well as the fact that Huckabee was correct (so for that, I apologize to the many Huckabee fans among this blog’s viewers).

    Anyway, take a look at this:

    Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink
  14. Iron Knee wrote:

    BTN, the study you linked to is interesting, but it is about out-of-wedlock births among immigrants. I could not find Huckabee’s numbers in that report.

    Monday, March 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Permalink
  15. C.S.Strowbridge wrote:

    Patricia: “I think he and his “base” live in a different universe than the rest of us.”

    And his Base is 41% of Republicans as a whole and 51% of likely primary voters.

    The party has collectively lost its mind.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 1:18 am | Permalink
  16. Bert wrote:

    Why is there an automatic assumption that out-of-wedlock births are inherently a bad thing?

    One can say that they are at least no longer being aborted.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink
  17. BTN wrote:

    First of all, I’d like to say that the more adults raising a child, the better off that child will be, regardless if it is a married man and woman, a unmarried man and woman, a gay couple, or even a woamn and the baby’s grandparents. Single parenthood is not good for the child, unless that parent is financially secure enough that they can work less than 20 hours/week. Even then, a second parent would help.

    Secondly, I don’t think the term “illegitimate birth” belongs in a report because it has an inherent negative connotation that biases the reader (out-of-wedlock is much better and more accurate).

    Thirdly, I do realize that out-of-wedlock births, births to teens, and births to single parents are not all the same thing, but these are the best stats I found.

    Okay, so that’s out of the way.

    IK, the word “native” appears 180 times in that report – including in the title “Illegitimate Nation – An Examination of Out-of-Wedlock Births Among Immigrants and Natives” All the non-immigrant numbers are there and pretty obvious, even in the tables. It’s even easier than finding an example of someone on Fox directly contradicting themselves a few months later.

    The numbers are for 1980 and 2003, so I did gave Huckabee the benefit of the doubt that the same trends continued. The 2003 numbers weren’t that far off his anyway. He’s still guilty on the point of 29yo Portman vs. teen Bristol that you posted on.

    Most telling wore the numbers relating to educational level. HS only natives: 47.5 % (2003)
    4 or more years of College natives: 6.4% (2003)

    It’s also a sad state of affairs that Table 2 labeled those with less than a highschool education as “>HS”.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Permalink
  18. L.S.Mead wrote:

    You dont get it. Go sit in Family and Juvenile Courts in your state. The point was not all young mothers have family support, work, housing; and Hollywood does not need to tout having children as if nothing else matters. It does. This should not be political, so drop the partisan attitude. Its not about Palins, or Portmans situation, but Portman’s loose statement that surely she never meant to be used to influence any young woman to have a baby,but
    was set up as an example of propagating a social welfare issue. Again, chk your local CASA, courts, putative father registry, etc., the problem goes on for years.

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  19. BTN wrote:

    A teenage, poor, uneducated unwed mothers is a big problem. A 29-yo, well-off, college-educated unwed mother is a choice (and she’s getting married anyway).

    Also, teens aren’t having babies because they see single mothers in Hollywood: they are having babies because they enjoy sex and didn’t use birth control.

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Permalink