Beyoncé expert and former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee was on The Daily Show last night, doing that thing he does: talking about Beyoncé. Though Huckabee doesn't tend to go into specifics when he discusses what he calls "the culture of crude" and how Beyoncé contributes to it, it makes sense that Huckabee keeps talking about her because it's gotten him an outrageous amount of press and the guy has a book to sell. Though he has derided Jay Z for acting like a "pimp" when it comes to permitting Beyoncé's sexual expression (a retrograde assessment of their marital politics, itself), Huckabee is unquestionably guilty of exploiting Beyoncé's image for his gain. He just won't shut up about her.
And so last night to Jon Stewart, he said his normal spiel about what's bad about Beyoncé:
Beyoncé is such a mega-talent, she can do anything, she's got the pipes to sing, she's got the moves to dance, she does not need to be vulgar in order to set a trend. That's the point.
Yeah, but you know what Beyoncé doesn't need the most? Suggestions from Mike Huckabee. Perhaps Beyoncé's more sexually explicit material is crude to Huckabee ( perhaps—we really have no idea what he's referring to specifically), but an old white man telling a black woman how she should express her sexuality is absolutely vile.
Huckabee went on:
The thing that disturbs me, let's say, about when you see Beyonce, who's a role model to young girls, young girls want to be like her. Do you know any parent who has a daughter that says, "Honey, if you make really good grades, some day when you're 12 or 13, we'll get you a stripper pole." Come on, we don't do that in our culture.
I guess if you're a keep-your-kids-away-from-sex type of parent, Beyoncé's ubiquity poses a challenge, although if Huckabee actually understood what was happening in her music, he would know that what Beyoncé sings about is as heteronormative and "wholesome" as sexually expressive pop music gets. From Carrie Battan's review of Beyoncé for Pitchfork:
Beyoncé pushes boundaries not because it sells sex at every turn, but because it treats a power-balanced marriage as a place where sexuality thrives. At a time when when young people are gripped by an ideological fear of monogamy's advertised doldrums, Beyoncé boldly proposes the idea that a woman's prime—personal, professional, and especially sexual—can occur within a stable romantic partnership. Monogamy has never sounded more seductive or less retrograde as when dictated on Beyoncé's terms.
Stewart pointed out Huckabee's hypocrisy: Ted Nugent sang "Cat Scratch Fever" on Huckabee's former Fox News show, and Huckabee backed him up on bass. Sample lyric: "Well, I make the pussy purr with the stroke of my hand."
"You excuse that type of crudeness because you agree with his stance on firearms," said Stewart. "You don't approve of Beyoncé because she seems alien to you. Maybe the problem is Bubba is in a bubble."
" That song is an adult song, geared for adults, but today we have a very different kind of depiction and things that are considered perfectly OK for kids," said Huckabee, who lost the argument and probably just needs to get fucked already.
The conversation about Bey starts around 2:30 in the clip below: