Virtue denied 

You don't like to see your attorney general imitating Mitt Romney. For that matter, you don't like to see your barber, or your newspaper carrier, imitating Mitt Romney. Irresponsibility, greed, mendacity — these are not traits that inspire confidence in any professional. But in an attorney general, elected to uphold the very law of the land, to distinguish right from wrong and favor the former, signs of Romnitis are especially alarming. Dustin McDaniel is broken out.

Romney has devoted his presidential campaign to denying that he actually did what is clearly the greatest accomplishment of his life, probably the only one worth mentioning. That was his winning approval in Massachusetts of a health-care plan known as Romneycare. It's brought health care to thousands who lacked it before. But ever since President Obama persuaded Congress to enact the same plan nationally, and Republican political strategists began feigning outrage, Romney has insisted that he had no part in the advancement of his namesake program. It wasn't he but some other Massachusetts governor who may have resembled him, he has said. He claims he's never felt a moment's pity for those who need medical care but can't pay for it. He's promised that if elected president, he will personally visit pediatric hospitals to pull IVs from children's arms. "They're using tax dollars that should go to the Koch brothers," he's said.

Rather like Romney, McDaniel now says that a public display of honesty some months back was just a slip, not an indicator of the real Dustin McDaniel at all. While declining to join a lawsuit against Obamacare (a decision for which he still deserves credit), McDaniel said the litigation was "frivolous," and its backers more interested in politics than law. He was entirely correct, but now he rues being right. It was a poor choice of words, he says, an inadvertent use of the truthful instead of the untruthful. Repented now, he pleads, like Romney, "give dishonesty a chance." But Arkansas has tried that with politicians before. Didn't work out well.

THOSE FRIENDS AND ALUMNI of the University of Arkansas who are not registered Republicans fret over the institution's slide toward becoming an auxiliary of the party. They'd rather it remain the flagship university of the state.

The danger is considerable. The Walton Foundation, financier of Republican causes and candidates, founded an "education reform" department at Fayetteville that promotes the Republican planks on education. A UA economic research office tirelessly performs studies of public policy that inevitably conclude the Republican way is best. The chairman of the board of trustees, Mike Akin, himself a Republican candidate for the state legislature, wants to hire a former Republican state chairman and legislator as a lobbyist, ostensibly for the university, but ...? Is there a connection here with those ghastly gray uniforms the Razorback football team will wear next year? Will Elephants replace Razorbacks as the UA's mascot? Extremism in pursuit of partisanship is no vice, to the Mike Akins. It's extremism in pursuit of education that they fear.


From the ArkTimes store


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
  • Art bull

    "God, I hate art," my late friend The Doctor used to say.
  • Not justice

    The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

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

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Event Calendar

« »


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

Most Viewed

  • Art bull

    "God, I hate art," my late friend The Doctor used to say.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Art bull

    • the nice thing about art is that it is what it is, but what it…

    • on April 22, 2017
  • Re: Executionpalooza

    • Fantastic work-from-home opportunity for everyone... Work for three to five hrs a day and start…

    • on April 21, 2017
  • Re: Erasing humanity

    • Exactly how I feel only written much better than I could.

    • on April 21, 2017

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