He thinks he's shocked 

He thinks he’s shocked

What women get by with these days! Gilbert Baker is flabbergasted. The state senator and Republican state chairman from Conway announced that he was “really shocked” to learn that hurricane evacuees had obtained free abortions at Arkansas clinics. And they did it without consulting either the Arkansas Senate or the Republican State Committee.

“This is a very vulnerable time in their life,” Baker said, “and I think this is a time where we should be encouraging and supporting and offering basic needs as opposed to saying ‘Hey, how about a free abortion?’ … [I]t is not a time they should be making a life and death decision … ”

Baker doesn’t understand that freedom is a basic need here in the land of the free, and even people who’ve lost just about everything else insist on making their life and death decisions for themselves, indifferent to Gilbert Baker’s assurance that he could do it better.

The senator’s shock at finding evacuees acting like full-fledged Americans immediately followed his shock at seeing a friend and political supporter he’d vouched for sent to prison — for beating and burning a woman, of all people. Baker was a character witness for Joshua Dickens, who was sentenced to five years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. According to testimony, Dickens burned the 25-year-old victim repeatedly with a cigarette lighter. That’s some character to vouch for. What did Baker say? “Could have been hotter” ?

Are there no Republican women? No women voters in Senate District 30? Do they not object to a person like Gilbert Baker speaking for them?

Compassionate conservatism

We thought Governor Huckabee audacious when he came out against ethics, suing the state Ethics Commission, but President Bush is bolder still. He’s pro-torture, the first president to take such a stand, to the best of our knowledge.

Bush has said that if it reaches his desk, he’ll veto legislation that would prohibit the U.S. military from torturing prisoners. The measure passed the Senate 90 to 9, with both Arkansas senators voting for it, and is now in the House of Representatives. Its sponsor is Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a former prisoner of war, who told his colleagues that not only does torture yield unreliable information — people will say anything to stop the pain — its use invites retaliation against Americans in enemy hands. Furthermore, McCain said, “prisoner abuses exact on us a terrible toll in the war of ideas … The cruel actions of a few darken the reputation of our country in the eyes of millions.” Eloquent words. Too bad they had to be said.

(We note that the Lovely County Citizen of Eureka Springs, usually sound in its editorial judgments, has called for torture of Tom DeLay. Not even he deserves it.)


Sign up for the Daily Update email


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Arkansas Times Staff

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 Recent Comments

  • Re: Talking baseball

    • I loved Bill Elder "calling" the Travs games on the road. He did it by…

    • on May 22, 2018
  • Re: Talking baseball

    • 1090 was Little Rock's own Mighty 1090 KAAY, the greatest radio station ever. But i…

    • on May 22, 2018
  • Re: Ways to serve

    • A sharper distinction between example of Outstanding Character and No Character could not have been…

    • on May 21, 2018

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation