You want differences between political candidates? John Brummett illustrates a sharp one in the race for 2nd District Congress, following Republican Tim Griffin’s remark that Arkansas has a wonderful climate for economic development thanks to our anti-union law and “low labor costs.” Low labor costs means low wages (also crummy workers comp coverage).
If low wages were a guarantee of prosperity, Arkansas would have become Silicon Valey decades ago. Low wages are, unfortunately, more often a sign of a workforce not sufficiently educated or trained for higher order work. (Not to mention that they are also a sign of unenlightened and/or oppressive management enabled by a complicit government and a powerless workforce.) Joyce Elliott thinks we can do better. Me, too.
UPDATE: Ernest Dumas is writing about the Griffin-Elliott race this week in the Times, so here’s an early present for Blog readers. A pullquote first:
But the big question that worried Democrats have been asking is whether an African American woman, no matter how popular she is in her city, can get elected in a heavily white district. Arkansas is the only state of the old Confederacy never to have been represented in Congress by a black person. Superb black candidates in the First and Second districts did not come close.
Snyder, who knows the district very well, says whether a black woman can win is the wrong question. He framed the right question a little differently. I’ll frame it this way: Can a brilliant woman who has a sterling record of problem solving in a body of conservative white men defeat a political functionary whose scheming personal ambition humiliated an administration and brought down the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer?