Has it occurred to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel that his fiery response to an unhinged e-mail from state Rep. Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro was a tad over the top? In a speech yesterday in Jonesboro, he appeared to say he wouldn’t engage in such “unpleasant exchanges” again and that it was important that he not embarrass himself back home.
Hubbard, a xenophobic teabagger, was unhappy that McDaniel’s website has Spanish-language pages. He wrote McDaniel and copied his hectoring e-mails to a reporter. When McDaniel responded, he did so with a blast of Hubbard for his mean spirit and copied numerous reporters himself. We have the full exchange here.
McDaniel, speaking Thursday to the Jonesboro Rotary Club, sounded a bit regretful about the public exchange and seemed to suggest he wouldn’t do similar again. The Jonesboro Sun covered the speech. It’s behind a pay wall now, but I can pass along a bit of what he said, as reported by Sun reporter Waylon Harris.
McDaniel, who hails from Jonesboro, said it was his “honor-bound duty” not to make people embarrassed for having elected him. “I want the people of my community, I want my grandmother, I want her bridge club, I want her Sunday school class, to always be proud of the fact that they have given me this opportunity,” McDaniel said. “So I regret that there has been this nasty exchange between me and my successor in District 75; however, I will not ever apologize for standing up for citizens of this state regardless of their race, regardless of their nationality, regardless of their ethnic origin. We have citizens of this state who pay taxes, who serve this state honorably. They work, and they serve in the military. They send their children to public schools, and they are entitled to respect. They are entitled to being treated with dignity.”
He said the episode has spawned critical e-mail.
“Some of the e-mails that I have received right here in my hometown have chilled my heart. One lady last night sent me an e-mail that said that her suggestion would be to raise the money privately to ship me and my family to live in Mexico for the rest of our lives. One lady asked me if I have been bribed by the Masons — I have no idea what that means. Does anybody know what that means? I appreciate that there are conspiracy theories everywhere, and if the Masons have bribe money available I should probably call them. But still: I promise you that I will do all that I can to conduct that office with honor and dignity, and I will not engage in unpleasant exchanges that are only designed to lower the level of discourse and belittle our fellow citizens.”