Attorney General Dustin McDaniel tries to walk a tight rope on social issues in Arkansas as he prepares for his upcoming run for governor. As a Democrat, he has to be careful to keep the base of the Democratic Party on board without veering hard enough to the left to damage his general election hopes in a Bible belt state.
But in an Arkansas News article today, he gives the pro-choice crowd a wink in an interview from the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina. Perhaps being surrounded by that many liberals allowed him to let his guard down a bit. From the article, emphasis mine…
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said state Democrats can use to their advantage the overconfidence that Republicans have about the November election.
“They are so busy trying to figure out how they are going to take over the world that they are about to lose a whole bunch of elections,” McDaniel said. “We have great candidates running in Arkansas.”
As to the message to deliver to voters, McDaniel stressed the success that Arkansas has had in balancing its budget and improving its education system under Democrats – and the risk in replacing them with unknown Republicans.
“They want to take us backwards. They want to spend the entire next legislative session on unconstitutional legislation and divisive fights over social agendas,” he said.
Unconstitutional legislation? Divisive fights over social agendas? What on earth is McDaniel talking about?
To understand, you have to go back to the previous legislative session. The House Public Health Committee – aka the Death Panel – killed almost every pro-life bill that came before (with the exception of one sponsored by a Democrat). The committee, under Rep. Linda Tyler’s leadership, was so diligent in its work that she earned praise from the liberals for “quietly shepherding the defeat of 10 radical anti-abortion bills during the general session.”
Part of the assistance for this also goes to McDaniel’s office. Anytime a pro-life piece of legislation come up in committee, one of the AG’s attorneys was on hand to explain why the bill was unconstitutional. Their argument usually came down to Roe v. Wade is the “law of the land” and any pro-life bill could potentially be challenged in court.
So there is the context for McDaniel’s quote today. Don’t worry pro-choicers – McDaniel has got your back.
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