Mike Huckabee should stop by the TFN website for the scoop on Texas’ own David Barton. The former — and maybe future — contender for the Republican presidential nomination made an appearance Wednesday on The Daily Show, where Jon Stewart spent most of the interview asking the former governor of Arkansas, “What about Dave?”
In a spirited interview (you can watch it unedited beginning with Part 1 here), Stewart pressed Huckabee on why he has called Barton a great historian. To which, we say, he isn’t. Unless, of course, you’re not too concerned with historical accuracy as much as you are concerned with history as something that can be tailored to fit your politics and ideology like a glove.
Or as Stewart put it:
You know, David Barton as sort of a historian, I think most historians don’t look at him in that way. They look at him as a guy with an agenda to get America to believe we’re, or to rule itself as a Christian nation. And I think most historians believe we had that chance, and the Founders didn’t take it.
The best thing to counter with David Barton is read his material and look for yourself. If you don’t believe he is sourcing it with accuracy, then take issue.
TFN has. Repeatedly. But, as Stewart says:
That’s not necessarily the point. And again, it gets you back to the evolution-creationist argument in schools, and it gets to my point of creating an alternate reality where history is taken in reverse to justify your modern beliefs.
Exactly. Gov. Huckabee, the point isn’t necessarily that Barton is a pseudo-historian with poor sourcing practices. The point is that Barton is, like you, just a politician who has carved a niche for using religion to further an agenda. Barton is also the guy who set us on a path to international embarrassment when he was appointed as an “expert” reviewer of the slanted social studies curriculum standards the Texas State Board of Education ultimately approved. And Barton is also the guy who pals around with hate groups.
If Huckabee does run for president, he might ask one of his staffers to take a tour of the TFN website. Trust us, David Barton is not a name you want to continue to drop.