The question in the lieutenant governor’s race is whether Jim Holt can successfully dissociate himself from his party’s gubernatorial candidate. He’s trying, but will the voters buy it?

Earlier this year, Holt was one of three state legislators to vote against an increase in the minimum wage. He also opposed an expansion of pre-kindergarten programs. And he said: “I was an analyst of the Soviet Union [at the National Security Agency] and I know socialism when I see it. Our children are not wards of the state. Taking children from their parents and setting a minimum wage is what the Soviets did.”

Holt’s opponent, Bill Halter, pointed out that Holt’s Republican running mate, Asa Hutchinson, claims to be for raising the minimum wage. (Hutchinson’s actual record on the issue is spotty.) Halter then asked Holt if Hutchinson was a socialist, and Holt dodged the question. He seeks to put space between himself and Hutchinson without a formal denunciation. Republican congressional candidates are trying to do the same with President Bush.

Hutchinson a socialist? It’s unlikely. Yet there are significant differences between him and Holt. Holt has shown signs that he’ll disagree with his party on occasion. These intimations of independence have drawn fire from yellow-dog Republicans like the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial page. Hutchinson, on the other hand, follows the party line unwaveringly, even when it demands the impeachment of an elected president. As his former colleague, U.S. Rep. Marion Berry, says, Hutchinson is the kind of partisan who’ll drink the Kool-Aid.

Hutchinson followed orders from party leaders in prosecuting Bill Clinton, and was rewarded with high-paying jobs in Republican administrations. Add in Hutchinson’s attendance at Bob Jones U., the South Carolina school for segregationists; his anti-women, anti-free-speech votes in Congress; his persecution of cancer victims while at the Drug Enforcement Administration; his part in the failures of the Department of Homeland Security, and it’s clear why Holt wants to keep him at arm’s length. An extremist on the ticket can drag other candidates down with him.

Then and now

Though the casualties on all sides are just as dead, the Bush administration insists that Iraq is not like Vietnam. But the president himself demonstrated the similarity when he said that getting out of Iraq would mean “we will have lost our soul as a nation.” It’s exactly what Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara were saying 40 years ago, and still untrue.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The two cities of Little Rock: East/west, black/white

    The Little Rock City Board illustrated this week a community divided over public schools, another blow to the Little Rock School District and another illustration of the need for ward elections to the board.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • Arkansas Tech settles dispute with lawmakers riled by 'Sex on the Lawn'

    Legislators have dropped an effort to kill the Department of Diversity and Inclusion at Arkansas Tech in a dispute that arose over a student sex education program.
    • Mar 22, 2017
  • Another bill to stock the prisons

    The Senate today voted 20-9 to pass Sen. Bryan King's bill that says a fourth commitment to the Arkansas Department of Correction means the person sentenced must serve at least 80 percent of the sentence before parole eligibility.
    • Mar 22, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Arkansas is the perfect place to try out this new health trend. Read all about the what, why, where and how here.

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Worse than N.C.'s bathroom bill

    SB 774 extends birth certificate requirement to bathrooms in all public facilities, and that's an original birth certificate, too.
  • Don't cry for Robert E. Lee

    Congratulations are in order for Governor Hutchinson. He decided this year to devote the weight of his office to end the state's embarrassing dual holiday for slavery defender Robert E. Lee and civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Attack the poor

    If there is a unifying motif to the labors of Congress and the Arkansas legislature this spring it is to make life harder and existence more intolerable for the poor.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: City Board discovers LRSD

    • You reap what you sow, the seeds were planted when the Max Brantley's of LR,…

    • on March 20, 2017
  • Re: More on pits

    • Diane, as noted above, this is a *column* not a news piece. So yes, it's…

    • on March 20, 2017
  • Re: More on pits

    • It's just amazing being told by a college professor that an editorial column is, um,…

    • on March 20, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation