Mike Huckabee, amateur joke-teller and professional misinformed blowhard—two traits that combine to make him the prototypical Twitter user—is back in the news, and for once, it’s not because of his anti-gay views. No, it’s because he’s upset that his anti-gay views are being taken seriously.
The guitar-playing former governor of Arkansas (state motto: “Fuck it, let’s embrace our racism”) is making headlines for being removed from the board of the Country Music Association Foundation, a group with the admirable goal of bringing more music and arts into childhood education. Huckabee’s appointment was seen by those who didn’t think very hard about the optics of the decision as a sensible recruit, given his admittedly strong record of supporting arts education in schools. Those same people apparently forgot about the many, many times he expressed his opinion that LGBT citizens should be denied the same rights as other people—as Variety reports, the foundation was swarmed with phone calls and emails demanding Huckabee’s appointment be rescinded, including one from manager Jason Owen, who said his artists (which include Little Big Town and Kacey Musgraves) would no longer work with the board should Huckabee be a part of it.
Given the public firestorm, the board accepted Huckabee’s resignation one day later, but the ex-politician is not happy about it. In an open letter published in The Tennessean tendering his withdrawal from the CMA board, he blasted the CMA for succumbing to the intolerant views of people who find his intolerance repugnant. He condemned the “irrational vitriol directed toward you or me for my religious or political views,” and said he wanted to share his history and love of music free from the “intolerant and vicious statements on the internet about who I am.” You know, like his calls for a “Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day” to celebrate the company’s explicitly anti-gay stance, which apparently doesn’t tell you who he is.
After rightly pointing out his pro-arts-education stance as governor, and detailing how the love of a good six-string got him through some rough patches as a kid (“This here’s the story of a simple country boy who found that with a little help from God and a guitar, you could grow up to deny basic services to millions of people,” presumably went the first draft of this letter), he wraps up by claiming, “someone who has never met me threatens to wreck valuable programs of the CMA Foundation because of a personal contempt for my faith and politics.” It’s somewhat akin to the people he’s never met whose valuable programs, like equal treatment under the law, he’s threatened thanks to a personal contempt for equality. If you’re a big fan of irony, you’ll enjoy the quotes he applies around two particular words in his tweet announcing this statement:
And thus the far right’s distortion of Karl Popper’s paradox of intolerance continues apace.