Mike Huckabee just might be Jon Stewart’s favorite conservative Christian politician. Back in December of 2008, Huckabee and Stewart had a lively yet civil debate about gay marriage. Last June they sparred on abortion. Last night Huckabee made yet another Daily Show appearance. Once again, television’s odd couple had an amicable, funny, and productive conversation. This time the duo spoke about Huckabee’s decision to commute the sentence of accused murderer Maurice Clemmons, a suspect in the murder of four police officers in Washington state. Cutting Huckabee some slack, Stewart argued it would be a mistake for liberals to turn Clemmons into another Willie Horton, criticizing those who enjoy “seeing someone that you disagree with going through a difficult political time.” For the full conversation, see this pair of videos.
Bringing a more analytical lens to the controversy, USC’s Knight Chair in Religion and Media site posted a perceptive commentary by Rebecca Wanzo. According to Wanzo, “Mike Huckabee’s act of forgiveness has earned him ridicule among law-and-order conservatives, but the deep religious convictions that ground his politics—including his decision to grant clemency to Maurice Clemmons—reveal tensions both among Christian conservatives and within the Republican Party, which grows increasingly dependent on the Religious Right.”