Sunday, July 20, 2014

D.C. politics come to Little Rock — GOP demands loyalty

Posted By on Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 7:54 AM

FIE ON BIPARTISAN LEADERSHIP: Sen. Bryan Kins wants none of it.
  • FIE ON BIPARTISAN LEADERSHIP: Sen. Bryan Kins wants none of it.
More evidence still that fiercely partisan D.C.-style politics will be the order of the day if the Republican Party enhances its control of Arkansas political offices.

The Arkansas Republican Party adopted a platform yesterday. The day's event included  adoption of proposal by Sen. Bryan King — one of the most overtly partisan and bullying members of the legislature — to say that, as a matter of party dogma, House and Senate Republican caucuses should determine the Republican nominee for House speaker and Senate president pro tem. The resolution further said, according to Michael Wickline's account in the Democrat-Gazette,  that each caucus should unanimously support the nominee of the caucus. (This was a resolution, not a platform plank at the headline originally said.)

In other words: Bipartisanship not allowed. Deviation fro dogma unacceptable. Alliance with Democrats prohibited.

The most recent prompt for this was the Republican-Democratic coalition that chose Davy Carter as House speaker over Rep. Terry Rice, who'd expected to rise to the position. Republicans in the Senate years ago once splintered, too, to give Senate leadership to a conservative Democrat rather than allow Republican Dave Bisbee to  assume chamber leadership on seniority, as had been the custom.

Until rules are changed to prevent secret ballot voting on leadership, the resolution will be hard to enforce. But just give bullies like Bryan King time. Another leader like Carter — willing to depart on occasion from party dogma and form bipartisan coalitions — and they'll resolve to correct that shortcoming, too. It takes little speculation to understand that the partisans like Bryan King expect legislative votes to be cast in lockstep with party dictates, too, not just leadership votes.

Republicans, by the way, still expressed a desire to get rid of Obamacare. Coverage of the platform was silent, however, on the private option version of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion passed in Arkansas with majority support of the Republican legislative caucus.  We do know what Bryan King would do to it, given the chance. In 2015, he'll get his opportunity. And, to his way of thinking, Republican votes should be unanimous, according to caucus wishes, after the John Boehner model for gridlock.

This is another reminder of why Republican Stacy Hurst's promise to be a moderate candidate if elected to a traditionally Democratic House seat from Little Rock should be viewed skeptically. Moderation in pursuit of legislative policy is rejected by the unanimous resolution of the Republican Party of Arkansas. You'll vote as the majority of the GOP caucus decrees or else.

HYPOCRISY ALERT: Remember when Republicans used to blast Democrats for having a party loyalty oath? (It no longer does.) Better yet, remember when Democratic House Speaker Robbie Wills helped raise money for Bryan King (who'd supported Wills for speaker)  against a Democratic opponent? Wills said then that an equal say for all members made sense and was vital in securing the occasional 75 votes needed for extraordinary measures. That was 2008. Bryan King wasn't heard to complain. But he was in the minority then.

Tags: , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (26)

Showing 1-26 of 26

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-26 of 26

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Arkansas Supreme Court denies rehearing in death penalty challenge, but delays mandate

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today refused to rehear the case denying Death Row inmates information about drugs used by the state in the lethal injection process.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Welspun layoffs: Another example of corporate welfare folly

    Layoffs at the Welspun pipe plant in Little Rock are a reminder of the folly of corporate welfare and the inability of Arkansas to separate itself from global economic forces. See the Fayetteville shale. And keep a watchful eye on that Sun Paper pulp mill proposed near Arkadelphia.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Hamburg bank manager gets 21 months for theft

    Melinda Gwin, 49, of Hamburg has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered to repay $210,875 stolen from the First National Bank of Crossett. She was sentenced in El Dorado federal court, according to a Justice Department news release.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Tackling autism, child by child

    An Arkansas Children's Hospital doctor is testing a new drug that targets one of a host of ailments the highly individual disorder can cause.
  • Tom Cotton flat on his big night

    Sen. Tom Cotton's big Republican National Convention speech was nothing to write home about.
  • 1957 all over again

    Last week, the State Board of Education voted to ignore federal courts and allow school district transfers that will encourage segregation.
  • Death penalty lives

    Barely clinging to its flagging life, the death penalty got a merciful reprieve last month from the unlikeliest quarter, the Arkansas Supreme Court.
  • Drinking culture

    Here we go again. At the rate these campus sexual abuse sagas are making news, it's reasonable to ask what college administrators can possibly be thinking about.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: As the campaign turns...

    • YDD....I agree with everything you said.

    • on July 23, 2016
  • Re: As the campaign turns...

    • Trump business deals with Russia ... interesting.. Wonder if he got in on the uranium…

    • on July 23, 2016
  • Re: As the campaign turns...

    • The Politico write up on how the VP candidates were vetted is fantastic. Thanks for…

    • on July 23, 2016

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation