I have to say that as much as I enjoy twitter, it got weird today.
It all started with a press release from the Democratic Party of Arkansas which took issue with a tweet from Republican Minority Leader John Burris’ defense of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Burris was responding to a gaffe Romney made this week when he said he was “not concerned about the very poor” – comments from which Romney has since backed away.
“Romney was spot on. Very poor do have safety net. Don’t believe it? Come look at our state’s Medicaid budget. Billions,” tweeted Burris.
The Democratic Party said that the tweet is a clear sign that “that Republicans don’t care about the elderly or Arkansas families who rely on Medicaid.” The over-the-top press release was on the heels of Rep. Garry Smith telling a group of El Dorado Democrats that Republicans “don’t like Jesus.”
Never one to be intimidated, Burris did not back down when asked about the tweet by Talk Business chief Roby Brock.
“I think its very, very sad that we can’t have a legitimate policy discussion without the Democratic party pandering to and playing such a bitter game of politics, a silly game,” said Burris.
He discussed the major Medicaid budget shortfalls the state is facing and even complimented Gov. Beebe for being willing to tackle the subject. But he also suggested the best way to deal with this is through job creation.
“As long as we’re at the bottom of the list when it comes to business tax climate and competitiveness with our surrounding states, we’re never going to get the jobs that we need, we’re never going to have the economic development we need to actually change this problem. So if I had to pick one solution – that’s 90% of the problem – that the people are receiving the benefit because they don’t have another option. You have to give them other options,” said Burris.
Democrats immediately pounced on such a crazy idea of promoting job creation as a solution to combating poverty. In the world of many Democrats (not all mind you), the only caring solution is to increase and expand the amount of government handouts not decrease the number of people who need them.
The prize for over-reaction has to go to Zac Wright, a lead consultant for the Democratic Party. (They paid $6,667.56 to Wright Strategies in December 2011 alone.)
“House Minority Leader Ripped On Medicaid Comment. Makes u wonder if his plan for the poor is Soylent Green,” tweeted Wright.
What is Soylent Green? It is a 1973 sci-fi movie in which a fictional futuristic society participates in mass cannibalism by euthanizing the elderly and feeding them to the poor.
I asked Wright whether this sort of political rhetoric was appropriate.
“U knowingly mislead, falsely misrepresent & make things personal to annoy. I find it petty & unprofessional. I won’t join u,” responded Wright via twitter.
He then blocked me from following him.
I have also asked the communication director for the Democratic Party of Arkansas if they stand by their consultant’s comments, but have not heard back.
Anyway, it was an odd end to a week that began with Democrats hosting a press conference to say that they want to promote more bipartisanship.