Arkansas News Bureau columnist John Brummett takes to his occasional firing of up and down arrows in an effort to assess Arkansas’ political landscape.
Up arrows for the Razorbacks, Gov. Mike Beebe (D), state Republicans and the Arkansas Tea Party.
Down arrows for Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) and Cong. Mike Ross (D):
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel — The Legislature will soon take away his arrogant authority to settle lawsuits and spend the money himself for self-serving purposes. And he will need liberals if he is to fend off Mike Ross in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 2014. Some of these liberals will need to detest Ross vigorously to overlook McDaniel’s unnecessary overstatement about the supposed certain guilt of the West Memphis Three.
Mike Ross — See immediately preceding item. McDaniel will still hold the left in a Democratic gubernatorial primary against Ross, who has spent his political life fashioning a Blue Dog Democrat centrism that cannot survive a polarized partisan atmosphere.
In a polarized political atmosphere such as the one now emerging in Arkansas, you must pander to the extreme in your primary, obliging maybe 15 percent of the electorate each way, and then somehow survive the slime the other side will throw at you in the general election campaign over the center-alarming rhetoric you found it necessary to spew to the fringes to get the nomination.
It’s no fun. And it’s served our national politics so well, don’t you think?
You can read all of Brummett’s most recent take at this link.