Cries in the night 

Somebody needs to take away David Broder’s computer or Eversharp or whatever implement he commits punditry with before he blathers again, as in a recent column suggesting that Asa Hutchinson would be a nice mainstream nominee for the United States Supreme Court. Asa the Extreme a mainstreamer? He’s probably more mainstream than, say, Reinhard Heydrich — who is ineligible for the appointment anyway, being German, and dead — and possibly more so than some of his fellow grads of Bob Jones U., the South Carolina bigots’ academy. But not many others. Whether he’s prosecuting cancer patients for smoking marijuana, or trying to overthrow an elected president, excess is Asa’s business, “nothing in moderation” his motto. Broder is especially irrelevant, but most of the national political columnists today seem sold-out or senile, comfortable in the lap of the Bush administration. The cartoonists, on the other hand, have never been keener. Their work was shown to good advantage over the weekend in the Arkansas Times and the daily down the street. Two characters in “Doonesbury” discuss the Iraqi war. “Do you think most people grasp the ripple effects of this war without end,” one asks, “especially on the thousands of families and communities whose kids have been maimed and killed?” He continues: “Certainly the man who caused it doesn’t seem to have lost a wink of sleep over it.” The scene shifts in the last panel to an exterior view of the White House. Inside, the First Lady asks, “What’s wrong, dear?” Her mate replies: “It’s the stem cells. I hear their cries.” The point is made like a punch in the stomach: This is a president who is badly confused, his priorities horribly disordered. And the cartoonist didn’t even mention the thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians killed and wounded, their voices too drowned out by the stem cells, and by the whimpers of multimillionaires seeking repeal of the estate tax. Tom Tomorrow focused on 18-to-22-year-old Republican think-tank interns pondering how to support the troops, now stretched to the breaking point by the Army’s difficulty in recruiting 18-to-22-year-olds. “Maybe we could advise the Army on the best ways to reach the 18-to-22-year-old market — for a small consulting fee, of course,” one suggests. Another proposes forming “an inner-city outreach program — to convince more 18-to-22-year-old poor people to enlist.” (“We could explain to them about patriotism and stuff.”) These interns and their real-life models are children of the chicken hawks, people like Dick Cheney, patriotic only at someone else’s expense. If one is white, rich and shame-proof, he can pull it off. We used to read the comics for amusement. Now we go there for serious political commentary, too. They’re still funny, but in a painful sort of way.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Arkansas Times Staff

  • Friday's headlines and your open line

    LRPD releases narrative video of Bradley Blackshire shooting; Government asks judge to deny Jeremy Hutchinson's motion to dismiss, reveal more details on investigation; Bill to finance UAMS cancer research includes favors for Big Tobacco.
    • Mar 8, 2019
  • Thursday's headlines and an open line

    Bid to ratify Equal Rights Amendment fails; Senate committee passes 18-week abortion ban; Bill to shroud execution drugs in secrecy passes out of Senate committee; Rep. Charles Blake files new bill to remove Confederacy from state flag symbolism; House committee unanimously approves bill to let DACA recipients become nurses.
    • Mar 7, 2019
  • Midweek headlines and open line

    No vote today on landlord-tenant bill after realtor association declares opposition; Ballinger's bill to roll back minimum wage increase amended, could be run next week; House passes bill to allow pharmacists to dispense birth control without prescription; Memorial service scheduled for March 10 for Matt DeCample.
    • Mar 6, 2019
  • More »

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 »

Most Viewed

  • Buying way into the Ivies: What else is new?

    If it’s news to you that social climbers see buying their children’s way into fancy, name-brand colleges as the functional equivalent of wearing Rolex watches or driving Maseratis, then I don’t know where to start.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: How to speak cat

    • Albert. Nice name. Saw a smalltown newspaper contest once looking for the best cat name…

    • on March 18, 2019

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation