Favorite

Lost in translation: The Ark. GOP 

click to enlarge Sen. Jason Rapert - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • Sen. Jason Rapert

Republican politicians did some rhetorical dancing in the last week that requires translation.

Sen. Jason Rapert

For the 12th year, Conway Pride organized a Sunday parade and a park gathering to express love and brotherhood for all, particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

It drove Rapert nuts. He unloaded a 1,000-word Facebook rant decrying the marchers (including many clergy) as "anti-Christian activists" who'd been "enabled" by the City Council to do so on a Sunday, "the Lord's day." Rapert said the parade was meant to "mock" and "intimidate" Christians.

A Twitter account I follow translated Rapert best by quoting George Bernard Shaw: "Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated."

Translation: Jason Rapert believes his view of religion should trump the First Amendment right to speech and assembly. So fearful is he of LGBT people, he wants them driven into darkness. No one mocked his religion nor attempted to prevent him from practicing it. Rapert HAS attempted to intimidate the Conway City Council and the Arkansas Supreme Court to make his mean brand of religion law, including by outlawing Sunday parades. Even a sympathizer on Rapert's Facebook page observed: "A governing entity big and powerful enough to tell homosexuals they cannot assemble on a Sunday is big and powerful enough to tell Christians the same."

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

Responding to a campaign organized by advocates for open carry of weapons in Arkansas, the three Republican officeholders declared that a 2013 law aimed at technical corrections to weapons law had, by trick or accident, legalized open carry in Arkansas. This is contrary to former Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's official opinion, something that Rutledge has not yet officially countermanded.

All three acknowledged a lack of clarity on the law, including disagreement by legislators who voted for it in 2013 and also rejected a bill explicitly authorizing open carry. Said Rutledge, for example: "But anytime law enforcement and citizens disagree on a law we need to ensure there is clarity to protect our citizens. I am committed to working with the General Assembly to clarify any confusion surrounding Act 746 and its intent."

Translation: The law isn't clear, but we're too chicken to do anything about it. If we really wanted unlimited open carry, we would have fixed it in the 2015 legislative session. But we're happy to let the gun nuts bully this into de facto law. We didn't get where we are today by standing up to their kind.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, again.

In an interview Sunday, he continued to tap dance around discrimination against gay people. In an interview during a library program with Deborah Robinson, he said about the "religion protection" legislation he signed, which provides a religious pretext for those who want to discriminate against gay people:

"The challenge for us in Arkansas is that the majority of citizens, as expressed by their vote on the constitutional amendment, defines marriage as between one man and one woman," Hutchinson said. "That is the constitution of Arkansas, and it's not something you disregard with callousness or just because you want to go a different direction. So you have some strong-held beliefs that the people of Arkansas have versus their common-sense desire not to discriminate. We don't want to discriminate against anyone."

Translation: I don't want to discriminate against anyone unless they are gay or transgender. That kind of discrimination is legal in Arkansas and I intend to keep it that way. Yes, the Arkansas Constitution declares equal rights for all, but I choose to go a different direction.

The bully of Bigelow, Jason Rapert, actually stands out. He disrespects the Constitution and yearns for a theocratic state shaped by Rapert. But at least he's honest about it.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Speaking of Jason Rapert, Asa Hutchinson

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Neighborliness, in Little Rock and beyond

    I had a parochial topic in mind this week — a surprise plan by Mayor Mark Stodola to address the Arkansas Arts Center's many needs.
    • Nov 19, 2015
  • Bootstraps for me, not thee

    Mean spirit, hypocrisy and misinformation abound among the rump minority threatening to wreck state government rather than allow passage of the state Medicaid appropriation if it continues to include the Obamacare-funded expansion of health insurance coverage for working poor.
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Trump: The Obama of 2016?

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, launched an assault on Boozman Monday morning rich with irony and opportunity.
    • May 5, 2016

Most Shared

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • That modern mercantile: The bARn

    The bARn Mercantile — "the general store for the not so general," its slogan says — will open in the space formerly occupied by Ten Thousand Villages at 301A President Clinton Ave.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
    • May 25, 2017
  • You want tort reform? Try this.

    The nursing home industry and the chamber of commerce finally defeated the trial lawyers in the 2017 legislature. The Republican-dominated body approved a constitutional amendment for voters in 2018 that they'll depict as close to motherhood in goodness.
    • May 18, 2017
  • French Hill's photo op

    The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed a health care bill that only the blind, dumb or dishonest could call good for any but the wealthy. For its many flaws, it has been hailed as a ticket to congressional gains for the Democratic Party.
    • May 11, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 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

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Conspiracy theorists

    • To bow or not to bow? Is that it? Has the Island of Misfit Toys…

    • on May 28, 2017
  • Re: Conspiracy theorists

    • .... and having a beer with Gene Lyons, who gave the cutest clumsy curtsy before…

    • on May 27, 2017
  • Re: Conspiracy theorists

    • Are you saying Karl Marx has left the building? The New York Times denies it…

    • on May 27, 2017
 

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