Mike Huckabee took to Facebook on Friday to express his support for a truly underrepresented constituency: admitted sexual predator reality TV stars—specifically those named Josh Duggar.
“Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family,” Huckabee wrote of himself and his wife. “Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable.’”
On Thursday, it was revealed that Duggar, the son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the evangelical stars of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, was accused of molesting five underage girls, including his own sisters, when he was a teenager. Duggar admitted late Thursday that he had “acted inexcusably” and said he is “extremely sorry” for his actions, though he didn’t specify what he did.
Nevertheless, Huckabee was prepared to forgive Duggar’s sins. “No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story,” he wrote. “Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things.”
The former Arkansas governor, Fox News host, and current candidate for the Republican presidential nomination has defended seemingly indefensible individuals before.
In 2008, The Huffington Post reported that as governor, Huckabee “aggressively pushed for the early release of a convicted rapist,” ignoring pleas from “numerous women” that they or people they knew had been assaulted by him. Huckabee got his way and the man was released, and the man then went on to rape and murder “at least one other woman.”
Given Huckabee’s evidently low bar for what constitutes forgivable behavior, it’s somewhat perplexing that, as a public figure, he has chosen to attack lots of people who have not admitted to or been accused of sex crimes of any nature—like President Obama: guilty of “stomping on Christians”; gays who are trying to “criminalize Christianity”; Beyoncé and Jay Z for morally bankrupting our society with their sexy music and dancing.
In his most recent literary achievement, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, Huckabee suggested the couple had a pimp-whore dynamic: “Does it occur to him that he is arguably crossing the line from husband to pimp by exploiting his wife as a sex object?” Huckabee wondered.