Josh Duggar's actions as a teen are "inexcusable," but not "unforgivable," says conservative Christian and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. "We will run to them with our support."
In 2012, the Duggar family endorsed far right Republican radical Rick Santorum, but when fellow Arkansas native Mike Huckabee launched his 2016 presidential campaign earlier this month, endorsement from Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar were literally at the top of Huckabee's campaign page.
And they still are.
Three days in to the Josh Duggar child molestation sex scandal, the silence from the right is deafening.
Aside from right wing websites, almost no one with a platform – including "19 Kids and Counting" producers TLC and Discovery Communications – are saying a word. Family Research Council president Tony Perkins issued the meagerest of statements acknowledging Josh Duggar's resignation from his anti-gay organization, but that's about it.
Until just now.
Josh Duggar rose to power within the Republican party faster than even his now-former boss Tony Perkins, in large part because he is a celebrity and supposedly represented the Christian family values the GOP claims to espouse. He can be seen photographed arm in arm with half the 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls, but only one is speaking about him at all.
Mike Huckabee, the ordained Baptist preacher, today issued a scathing attack on the "bloodthirsty media" while thowing his full support to Josh Duggar.
"Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family," Speaking for himself and his wife, Huckabee wrote late this morning on Facebook. "Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn’t mean 'unforgivable.'"
Huckabee claims Josh and his family "dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities."
That's not accurate.
While Josh's father reported the assaults to the police, reportedly he waited months or even a year to do so. And once the three-year statute of limitations was up. Josh refused to talk with the police again.
"No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things. The reason that the law protects disclosure of many actions on the part of a minor is that the society has traditionally understood something that today’s blood-thirsty media does not understand—that being a minor means that one's judgement is not mature."
Huckabee is totally correct there – but ignores the fact that the Duggars created a public image of themselves as a good Christian family.
"No one needs to defend Josh’s actions as a teenager, but the fact that he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family’s authenticity and humility."
Actually, again, that's not exactly correct. The Duggars claimed they put Josh into a Christian counseling program, but Michelle Duggar admitted that all they did was send Josh to work for the summer with a family friend who remodels houses for a living.
"Those who have enjoyed revealing this long ago sins in order to discredit the Duggar family have actually revealed their own insensitive bloodthirst, for there was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed—not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims."
"Janet and I love Jim Bob and Michelle and their entire family. They are no more perfect a family than any family, but their Christian witness is not marred in our eyes because following Christ is not a declaration of our perfection, but of HIS perfection. It is precisely because we are all sinners that we need His grace and His forgiveness. We have been blessed to receive God’s love and we would do no less than to extend our love and support for our friends. In fact, it is such times as this, when real friends show up and stand up. Today, Janet and I want to show up and stand up for our friends. Let others run from them. We will run to them with our support."
No mention from Huckabee of the fact Josh Duggar went on to a career in which he – just like his mother Michelle has done – spread lies, hate, and fear about LGBT people, and for a living. That's hardly "going forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult."
UPDATE – 05.22.15 1:40 PM EDT:
Breaking: TLC Pulls Duggars' '19 Kids And Counting' From Schedule