Credit Republican Sens. Johnny Key and Michael Lamoureux and Rep. John Burris. To varying degrees in this article from Stephens Media, they acknowledge the obvious. The law that requires certain academic credentials and a nationwide search for the Higher Education Department director might need a little tweaking.

If you have someone qualified, you might not need a national search, Key said. Lamoureux sees some wisdom in allowing a governor leeway to choose his cabinet. Burris, who leads the more unhinged portion of the Republican legislative delegation (the ‘baggers in the lower chamber), says even he could see an argument for lowering the requirements, though of course he insists that the law be followed as long as it is in force.

The Republican Party propaganda machinery had made Shane Broadway’s appointment by Gov. Mike Beebe the scandal of the summer. Yes, the governor was trying to finesse the law. A more honest critical approach would have been that taken by the senior Republican leaders here — to say the law’s flawed but it should be honored until changed. Rep. Allen Kerr’s comment, on the other hand, is laughable in view of the hacks and cronies appointed during 10 years of Huckabee leadership (or, for that matter, during any administration state or national of any party):

“We can’t just pick one of our friends and put them in these positions because they need a job,” he said.

Politicians will take care of friends. Electoral politics will punish them if they use poor judgment in which friends they appoint.