• 55°

Byron York: Huckabee shows hidden strength

York

Byron York

Byron York

From a column by Byron York, chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner:

The case of Kim Davis — the Kentucky county clerk jailed for refusing to issue gay marriage licenses — has highlighted a deep cultural gap in the Republican Party. And no one has exploited that gap more than Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor running for president.

Huckabee, author of the flyover-populist manifesto “God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy,” jumped on the Davis case at the beginning. His advance staff traveled to Grayson, Kentucky, and spent days organizing the Sept. 8 “I’m With Kim Liberty Rally.” The day before, news came that Davis would be released, and she ended up the star at her own rally.

When Davis took the stage, joined by husband, Joe, more than a few urban Republicans watched in either amusement or dismay. With praise to Jesus, white crosses held high in the audience and Joe Davis in overalls and a hat, the televised scene struck some viewers as almost a Hollywood caricature of downscale religiosity. … One conservative writer called Davis “the Honey Boo Boo of religious freedom.”

Beyond the undeniable cultural condescension, the Davis case has divided Republicans on the substance of the issues involved. Actually, they are united in believing Davis should not have been jailed. But beyond that, they are divided on gay marriage, and (the majority of) gay marriage opponents are further divided on how to press the case for religious freedom in light of the Supreme Court’s marriage edict.

Huckabee is the farthest out there, arguing the court decision is not law. “In the case of this decision,” Huckabee told radio host Michael Medved recently, “it goes back to what Jefferson said, that if a decision is rendered that is not borne out by the will of the people either through their elected people and gone through the process, if you just say it’s the law of the land because the court decided, then Jefferson said, ‘You now have surrendered to judicial tyranny.’”

In addition, Huckabee argues the Supreme Court decision does not override the Kentucky state constitution, which was amended with overwhelming popular support in 2004 to ban gay marriage. “That’s the law (Davis) was elected under,” Huckabee said on MSNBC. “That’s the law she served under. It’s the law she took an oath under.”

Whatever else it was, the Davis rally was a show of organizational strength by the Huckabee campaign. Drawing 5,000 people to a rally in a tiny town — the schools were closed in anticipation of the crowds and congestion — is no small achievement. …

So there was intensive politicking behind the scenes at the “I’m With Kim Liberty Rally.” Some Republicans — call them establishment, coastal, urban or maybe just snooty — looked down their noses at the spectacle. But there was serious business going on, and Mike Huckabee hopes it will serve him well in months to come.

Comments

Business

With remote expansion, outsource provider FCR looks to become an ‘exceptional part’ of Rowan community

Local

City expects $1.5 million surplus in current budget, ability to raise some wages for police, public works

Education

Enochville Elementary to host farewell event May 1

High School

High school softball: Carson beats West in a wild one

College

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson will speak at NC State graduation

High School

Wonders, Trojans facing off Monday on Cannon Ballers’ field

Local

City approves two apartment developments, more than 160 new units

Nation/World

Crowds react with joy, wariness to verdict in Floyd’s death

News

Bill seeks to end pistol purchase permits from NC sheriffs

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees 300th death attributed to COVID-19

News

Chauvin convicted on all counts in George Floyd’s death

Local

Top North Carolina House finance chair, Rowan representative stripped of position

Crime

One charged, another hospitalized in fight between cousins

Local

Bell Tower Green renamed to honor Stanbacks; Nancy Stanback receives key to city

Business

Commissioners green light additional houses at Cherry Treesort in China Grove

Education

A.L. Brown will hold in-person, outdoor graduation

Local

Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park

Local

City to vote on apartment developments, final phases of Grants Creek Greenway project

High School

High school football: North receiver McArthur a rising star

Columnists

Carl Blankenship: Pollen and prejudice make their return

News

Harris pitches $2.3T spending plan on trip to North Carolina

Nation/World

Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Man takes deputies on chase with stolen moped

Coronavirus

Afternoon, evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic planned Thursday