What's right with Kansas | Arkansas Blog

Monday, October 2, 2006

What's right with Kansas

Posted By on Mon, Oct 2, 2006 at 2:44 PM

The New York Times' Paul Krugman (subscribers only) today wonders whether the Republican coalition of economic conservatives and the Religious Right could be breaking up. He wonders, too, if Family Values fuhrer James Dobson will be as outraged about Republican leadership's coverup of Mark Foley as he was by a Democratic president's affair with a consenting adult. But food for thought:

In any case, just as the religious right was feeling betrayed by Mr. Bush's focus on the goals of the economic right, the economic right suddenly seemed to become aware of the nature of its political allies. "Where in the hell did this Terri Schiavo thing come from?" asked Dick Armey, the former House majority leader, in an interview with Ryan Sager, the author of "The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians and the Battle to Control the Republican Party." The answer, he said, was "blatant pandering to James Dobson." He went on, "Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies."

Some Republicans are switching parties. James Webb, who may pull off a macaca-fueled upset against Senator George Allen of Virginia, was secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan. Charles Barkley, a former N.B.A. star who used to be mentioned as a possible future Republican candidate, recently declared, "I was a Republican until they lost their minds."

So the right-wing coalition is showing signs of coming apart. It seems that we're not in Kansas anymore. In fact, Kansas itself doesn't seem to be in Kansas anymore. Kathleen Sebelius, the state's Democratic governor, has achieved a sky-high favorability rating by focusing on good governance rather than culture wars, and her party believes it will win big this year.

And nine former Kansas Republicans, including Mark Parkinson, the former state G.O.P. chairman, are now running for state office as Democrats. Why did Mr. Parkinson change parties? Because he "got tired of the theological debate over whether Charles Darwin was right."

We note again that it was reported that only 50 hot-blooded souls turned out for a widely promoted "sportsmen's" fund-raiser for A$a the other night, even though The Huckster himself was featured speaker. Might it really be about governance and not the tired old cliches?

UPDATE -- We posted the paragraph immediately preceding moments before receiving a news release about a gathering of Republican candidates in Fayetteville today. News release follows. Though gay marriage is both illegal and unconstitutional in Arkansas, it remains issue No. 1 with this bunch



Fayetteville, Ark.- Republican legislators and candidates for public office gathered today in a joint appearance to affirm their collective belief that marriage exists exclusively between one man and one woman.  Appearing at the Washington County office of the Republican Party of Arkansas, the group highlighted the decision last month by the Democratic Party of Arkansas to strip language from their official party platform which indicated that marriage was between only one man and one woman.    "We've gathered today to tell the people of Arkansas, in no uncertain terms, that we believe marriage exists only between one man and one woman, and we are proud of our position on the issue," Attorney General candidate Gunner Delay said.    Members of the group each indicated that they place a high priority on preserving the traditional definition of marriage.    "Keeping the institution of marriage sacred is important to me and to the people I represent," said State Senator and candidate for Lt. Governor Jim Holt.  "As Republicans, we stand firm in our united belief in traditional marriage."  

The legislators also highlighted an August vote of the membership of the Democratic Party of Arkansas to remove support for traditional marriage from their party's platform.  "The fact that the Democrats no longer believe in a traditional definition of marriage is telling.", said State Representative elect Jon Woods.  Woods further questioned why Democratic Gubernatorial nominee for Governor Mike Beebe would allow support for traditional marriage to be stripped from his Party's platform. "If Mike Beebe really believes that marriage is between one man and one woman, then why didn't he oppose the position change at the Democrat's state convention in August?"  With the next legislature expected to decide whether a gay couple can be foster parents, we need a Governor who is honest with the people of Arkansas about this important issue."

The group concluded their appearance by asking Democrat candidates for office if they agreed with the new change in official stance of the Democratic Party of Arkansas on marriage or if they believed that marriage was between one man and one woman.

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