Thursday, June 20, 2013
You might call Arkansas’ Democratic Party leadership “unindicted co-conspirators.” I, of course, would never say, or think such a thing. Still, “one never knows, do one?” as the immortal Fats Waller used to say. Why, we can ask – everyone should ask – is there such a deficit of viable candidates, conviction, and energy among these donkeys?
One answer may be that they are simply overwhelmed by the intellectual rigor, moral authority, and youthful get-up-and-go of a cadre of GOP candidates with a strong and compelling message. Is that what’s going on? That Democrats can’t match the rigor, authority, message, and get-up-and-go of their Republican opponents?
Could be. During the last election Democrat candidates tirelessly evaded arguments about the government’s right to regulate what goes on in our pants, and got one-upped every time they raised the ante on the moral imperative of deregulating gunslingers. It seemed like they didn’t know whether to confront the Right’s schizophrenia – one minute staunch Libertarians, the next minute devout Falwellites – or to dive into the pathology themselves.
It could also be that party leaders are simply waiting for voters to get past the guns and abortion rhetoric and realize that they are poorer, unhealthier, more insecure and further behind on every measure because they bought the Right’s dodge and fiddle about how tax liberated Job Creators would shower money down on the middleclass and working poor. Wages continue to fall or remain stagnant and full time employment with benefits remains elusive, yet corporations are seeing profit margins greater than at any time since World War Two. Aren’t these issues issues?
And why didn’t the local and district Democratic Party make an issue out of the SWEPCO fandango in the last campaign? It is understandable, if not forgivable, that you and I might not know about utility company corkscrewing, but how about candidates who take money for the opportunity to govern us? Shouldn’t they have known about, and shared an opinion about, a consequential issue that has been a matter of public record since 2007?
But maybe George Wallace was right. Maybe there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Arkansas’ two political parties.
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