Editorials, Nov. 15 

Pandering to preachers

It's hard to believe now, but early in George W. Bush's first presidential campaign, some on the Religious Right suspected that he was not really one of them, though he claimed to be. They noted that he was an Ivy Leaguer, and the son of a man who'd once been a moderate and a member of the Eastern Establishment, possibly even an Episcopalian.

But when lesser right-wing clerics suggested voting for different candidates, the two biggest names of the Religious Right, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, stood firm for Bush, assuring their brethren that President Bush would be as intolerant and sanctimonious as anyone could hope for, and would take the side of fundamentalist Christians in every political fight — abortion, gay rights, prayer in the schools, faith-based transit, whatever. And so it came to pass.

Robertson and Falwell didn't endorse without knowing their man, and getting commitments from him. Robertson still doesn't. (Falwell is deceased.) When Robertson gives his blessing to Rudy Giuliani, heretofore regarded as the most liberal and most worldly of this year's Republican candidates, we have to assume Giuliani has made promises — most likely, that this supposed supporter of abortion rights will do nothing as president to actually protect those rights. Robertson's ministry is all about denying choices, not allowing them.

Mike Huckabee, who'd seem a more likely Robertson pick, got some consolation from his endorsement by Don Wildmon, another well-known figure in the Movement, though not as well-known as Robertson, of course. Wildmon is the fellow who selflessly watches one television program after another, looking for sin. When he finds it, as he often does, he tries to get the program removed from the air before the rest of us are exposed. Like Robertson, Wildmon doesn't believe in letting people decide things for themselves.

We don't recall that Huckabee, as governor, ever said much about dirty TV shows. Always seeking air time for himself, he may have feared alienating anybody in the business. But he now claims to be delighted with Wildmon's endorsement. In today's Republican politics, right-wing preachers must be pandered to. It is not your father's Republican Party, or Bush's father's either.

Let the market work

U.S. Rep. Marion Berry is once again sponsoring a bill that would allow the federal government to negotiate prescription-drug prices for Medicare recipients, rather than leaving the elderly ill to the mercy of rapacious private drug companies, as they are now. Berry's bill would let the government do what Wal-Mart does — use its buying power to get the best price for its customers. It's good business.


From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Fritz Brantley

  • Words, Dec. 20

    Introducing an old movie on the old movie channel the other night, the host told an old story. The story is untrue, although I suppose the host, semi-old, believed it.
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • He talks, and talks, the talk

    A fellow posted an old newspaper article on his blog about a Mike Huckabee speech to a religious group in 1998. A friend faxed the article to me, then called to ask if I’d yet read it, which I had.
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • Going whole hog

    A Q&A with irreverent Arkansas-raised comedian Matt Besser
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

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 »

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
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another Jesus

    • IBS, were you there in Benghazi to personally witness all of Hillary's blunders like you…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • If God felt it necessary to replace the ten commandments, he could do it like…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Football for UA Little Rock

    • He's BSC. Students and tuition-paying parents should be VERY vocal that a football program won't…

    • on July 23, 2017

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