It seems Democratic Rep. Garry Smith of El Dorado stepped into a bit of a mess this week when speaking to the newly formed Union County Democratic Club. Perhaps he wasn’t aware that intrepid cub reporter Heather Hawley of the El Dorado News-Times was in the room taking notes when he promptly stuck both feet firmly in his mouth.
He began with saying how proud he was to be a Democrat going so far as to say “if Jesus were here today, he would be a Democrat because he tried to help everybody and he still does.”
He then offered praise for the head of his party, President Obama, saying he is “proud of his leadership ability and his tenacity” and hopes he gets elected to a second term. His problems – Smith claims – are Bush’s fault as Obama “inherited a terrible mess.”
He finally sought to distinguish himself as an “Arkansas Democrat,” which is different from a “Washington Democrat,” and in doing so offered harsh words for Washington Republicans, according to the article.
“I am an Arkansas Democrat, I am not a Washington Democrat,” Smith laughed. “And we are definitely different. The Republicans in Washington are anti-everything. They don’t like Jesus, I am pretty sure of that.”
Ouch. But as offensive as it might have been when Smith opened his mouth, I am not nearly as offended as I was by when he chose to keep his mouth shut.
In the previous legislative session, Smith sat on the House Public Health Committee. He was present when Rep. Andy Mayberry brought a bill that would have banned abortions in Arkansas after the point at which unborn babies can feel pain. This bill, which would have outlawed the barbaric practice of ripping babies apart in what is no doubt the harshest form of torture, would likely have passed if it could have made it out of committee. The votes were close, but when it came time for Smith to vote, his chose to remain silent. When his name was called, he sat in his chair refusing to speak to vote either yes or no. In doing so, he killed the bill.
Don’t take my word for it. Watch the video.
I guess Smith does not know when to speak up and when to remain silent. Regardless, his words and record are likely to cause him headaches in a primary or general election contest depending on where a challenger emerges.