Beebes…and Rapert??

29 Jan


This is just . . . disturbing. And incredibly disappointing. From John Brummett today:

A few days ago [Senate Democrats] were approached by state Sen. Jason Rapert of Conway, the leading showboat demagogue of the Republican caucus, who handed them a copy of the governor’s centerpiece legislation — a bill to complete the governor’s proposed and popular drawdown of the sales tax on groceries as budget developments allow — and said he would be sponsoring the bill for the governor.

I have been advised as to several Democratic senatorial responses, most of them profane. “Are you [bleeping] kidding me?” was one. “Jason [bleeping] Rapert? Jason [bleeping] Rapert?” was another.

There are two issues here, in ascending order of significance:

1. Democratic senators were at least due the courtesy of a heads-up, which they didn’t get.

2. Jason [bleeping) Rapert?

Bipartisanship is one thing, and a good thing. But Rapert is singularly the most grandstanding right-wing blowhard in the Republican caucus.

But, more than that, a moderate Democratic governor with near-70 percent approval has just handed a marginalized, extremist, out-of-the-mainstream Republican new bonafides of credibility by letting him handle as lead sponsor the governor’s most popular measure.

I’ve said it many times, but it’s worth repeating again today — Mike Beebe’s overall popularity completely belies the apathy of so many active Democrats in this state. Frankly, I’ve found him to be completely lame as leader of our party. Perhaps is unwillingness to be bold on anything is what has led to his historic poll numbers.

But half of us actually want to show how proud we are of the Democratic party in a time of so much progress on so many of the important issues we’ve long been fighting for nationally…while the other half is apparently content on letting our state turn into another GOP-wingnut version of Kansas as they wait on the black guy to finish out his presidency, hope for Hillary to the ticket in four years, and then decide to get serious again with effective messaging on policy debates, pushing important reforms, and fielding electable candidates that can help others down-ticket. It’s been pretty insulting, at times, to be honest.

Too much is at stake and the state party needs to demand more from the governor and others.


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