John Brummett writes about some inside legislative baseball today, but the bottom line is simple:
If Republicans take over the state Senate in 2012 — and it sounds like even Democrats expect that to happen — Sen. Larry Teague’s election as the next Senate president pro tem will be moot. Controlling Republicans will elect one of their own.
What’s sad here is the feeling of inevitability on the part of Democrats. Populations shifts indeed will put more clout in Republican-heavy Northwest Arkansas. But you can’t win if you don’t compete. You can’t compete if you don’t identify good candidates, identify good issues, identify likely voters and reach those voters repeatedly with phone and mail messages. That’s how Republicans have gained ground — and by waving the picture of the black president around at every opportunity.
Democrats just don’t seem to get it, up to and including Gov. Mike Beebe. Surrender to conventional wisdom is the order of the day for Beebe, apparently, be it discrimination against gay people or standing up to a Republican government wrecking crew. His last two legislative sessions will be no victory laps if it happens.