Republicans: Don't lick chops yet | Arkansas Blog

Friday, March 12, 2010

Republicans: Don't lick chops yet

Posted By on Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 3:33 PM

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has made national Republican mouthpieces' day by proclaiming Arkansas's 2nd District one of the most likely Republican pickups this year. Naturally, since he's an inside-the-Beltway figure from the Rove era, Tim Griffin intrigues a Beltway insider at the Post who lives off NRC connections. Cillizza thinks Obama's showing in Arkansas is particularly relevant.

Here's why Cillizza is wrong, even presuming Griffin beats GOP opponent Scott Wallace:

2nd District voters went with a Democratic presidential candidate only twice (both named Clinton) during Vic Snyder's 14-year run. He vanquished, among others, Bud Cummins, whose career Tim Griffin destroyed for his own selfish purposes, thus making not a few Republicans unhappy in the process.

Tim Griffin is a newcomer from South Arkansas, with only brief roots in Pulaski County. He's essentially unknown, less so certainly than several Democratic candidates. The Republican Party's braying in his support about abortion and the law preventing adoption by unmarried couples happens to directly counter feelings in Pulaski County, the largest source of votes in the district. Pulaski, for example, beat the adoption law by 16,000 votes. Please, Tim, have your D.C. Republican cohorts continue to beat up on the would-be foster parents punished by this mean law.

Cillizza thinks a crowded Democratic primary is a bad thing. It is, of course, a good thing. The winner will be fire-tested and receive some valuable free exposure in the process.

Any reasonably informed black voter will know before the election is held about Griffin's scurrilous efforts to target poor and black neighborhoods in Florida -- including homes of enlisted servicemen -- to get them removed from voter roles by underhanded tactics in advancing the Bush agenda in 2004. Griffin's famous scorched-earth proclamations in the Bush war room will get air time. So, too, will the political hatchet man's tearful wailing  when he told a Clinton School crowd public service wasn't worth it for the mean political hits he'd had to endure. Something about being able to dish it out, etc., comes to mind.

Griffin's defense of Bush's dishonest war and all the rest of that failed administration's reign of error should count for something, if national politics really do affect this vote.

It'll be a tough fight, no doubt. But if the Democratic nominee shows, as even Snyder did in some pockets, an ability to draw votes outside Pulaski County, he or she can win. It is, at a minimum, too early to count this chicken, Chris.

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