You almost have to feel bad for Arkansas Democrats…almost. With the last remaining Arkansas Congressional Democrat, Mike Ross, announcing he will not run for re-election, they are facin Guia Practica Para Solucionar Problemas De Pareja g the realization that the entire Arkansas delagation – save Sen. Mark Pryor who is not up until 2014 – could turn red in the next cycle. They are just coming off a tidal wave 2010 election which saw Republicans in the state capitol close to double in ranks. And with the unpopular President Obama leading their ticket in 2012, it is likely to get even worse for them.
It is so bad that Politico this week had the healine "Arkansas Democrats Face Extinction." Ouch!
It is almost understandable then that they are doing everything they can to hang on to power – whether it is creative map drawing or trying to seize every opportunity to paint Republicans as crazy extremists. Granted, frequent e-mails circulating the Internet make for easy targets. But the over-the-top reaction to an ill-advised Facebook post from a Republican state representative has been both amusing and a bit annoying at the same time.
Rep. Nate Bell, a Republican representative from Mena, frequently posts all sorts of things on his Facebook wall. He uses it as sort of a personal blog with different news items and random thoughts. On Saturday, he posted a quote from Adolph Hilter that by all appearances was meant to demonstrate a flawed political philosophy. The quote – "As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation." – Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler.
Now it goes without saying, any political consultant would tell you that quoting Hilter is probably not the best idea in just about any context. As would be expected, the state’s liberal blogger Max Brantley quickly picked up on this and had a hey-day. It was expected. It is what Max does.
The odd thing is the Democratic Party of Arkansas’ steady stream of press releases, tweets, and even fundraising pleas – the picture on the left is from their fundraising website – all focused on Bell’s comments.
I am reminded of the whole episode a little over a year ago when the Democratic Party director at the time compared being in a Republican legislature to being in a "cult." Blogger David Kinkade summed it up well when he said "…let’s review some elementary political communication tactics, such as, when someone makes a charge against you, you DON’T REPEAT THE CHARGE. Why? Because it simply reinforces the idea in people’s minds, rather than refuting it."
Granted that was a case of the state executive director talking to a reporter for the statewide newspaper rather than a freshman state legislator on his personal Facebook page. But I believe Kinkade’s point still stands.
As for Bell, he tells me, "I don’t believe Democrats are Nazis." Fair enough.
Even so, I predict Democrats will completely ignore this entire post and continue hyper-ventilating every time they can get a chance to paint a Republican as extreme.