Favorite



Comparing the current president to his father, a character in “Doonesbury” says of the first President Bush, “To begin with, he didn’t torture people.” Yes, you always like to see that in a man. And it’s a quality generally not hard to find in presidents; most torturers are eliminated in the early primaries. Bush I, Reagan, Clinton, Carter – it’s impossible to picture one of them authorizing and defending the use of torture, as Bush II does.

Tolerance for torture is not the only defect in the Bush II makeup. As Doonesbury goes on to say, the first Bush was also “moderate, informed, prudent, responsible, forgiving and modest … everything, in fact, his son is not.” Ironically, it took the presidency of the son to make us all realize we’d insufficiently appreciated the father.

Even Bush I’s comical vice president is starting to look better. If Dan Quayle had bagged a hunting companion rather than a game bird, everyone would have taken it as only one more example of the confused state in which the vice president habitually functioned, or tried to. He didn’t mean any harm, we’d say, understandingly. Such words don’t come as easily when the shooter is Dick Cheney. The idea that Cheney would shoot someone accidentally is hard to swallow.

It’s clear now that Bush II takes after his mother. She’s always had a reputation as the mean one in the family. Put a loaded shotgun in Babs’ hands, and she’d accidentally bring down her limit of war protestors. Maybe a few cartoonists, too.



History, Santayana said, will come back and bite you in the butt if you don’t watch out. History is chewing right now on state Sen. Tim Wooldridge of Paragould, a candidate for lieutenant governor. In 1995, Wooldridge introduced a bill to bring public hangings back to Arkansas. The bill was defeated, and Wooldridge says today that he knew it would be, but inevitably it has popped up in the lieutenant governor’s race. Wooldridge’s explanation, long and murky, seems to come down to saying that the bill “was intended to elevate the level of dialogue about deterring violent crime.” Funny, it looks like it would have exactly the opposite effect. Wooldridge forcefully rejects the bill today, but it and his change of heart are legitimate subjects for discussion. More recent history is hounding state Rep. Dustin McDaniel of Jonesboro, who sponsored a bill last year allegedly to “clean up” previous legislation allowing private developers to tap into public school funds. But McDaniel’s bill did not correct the major problems with the tax-increment financing (TIF) legislation, and it was backed by the developers, at least one of whom is a close political supporter of McDaniel’s. Robert Herzfeld, another a.g. candidate, is justified in making an issue of it.




Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • LR's 35th homicide at apartments on Col. Glenn

    A 31-year-old man was fatally shot Thursday night at the Big Country Chateau Apartments on Col. Glenn Avenue just west of University Avenue. It was the city's 35th homicide of 2017.
    • Jul 28, 2017
  • Senate defeats Obamacare repeal

    Obamacare repeal died in the Senate last night.
    • Jul 28, 2017
  • County approves bike trail

    The Pulaski County Quorum Court today approved spending some county money toward building a 53-mile bike/foot trail to Saline County.
    • Jul 27, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • 'Cemetery angel' Ruth Coker Burks featured in new short film

    Ruth Coker Burks, the AIDS caregiver and activist memorably profiled by David Koon as the cemetery angel in Arkansas Times in 2015, is now the subject of a short film made by actress Rose McGowan.
  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.
  • Not Whitewater

    Just think: If Democrats had turned out 78,000 more votes in three states in November, people could be reveling today in the prospect of impeaching and convicting President Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, as some Republican lawmakers had promised to try to do if she won.
  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.

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

« »

July

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

  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Buyer remorse

    • IBS, you're from Chicago, right? Hillary's from Chicago. Your monomania against Hillary is puzzling and…

    • on July 27, 2017
  • Re: Buyer remorse

    • When we had not one but TWO shit candidates running for president, is it really…

    • on July 27, 2017
  • Re: Buyer remorse

    • So Gene Lyons says all people who voted for Trump fall into just two categories…

    • on July 27, 2017
 

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