Michael Tilley of The City Wire in Fort Smith summarizes well the utter lack of principle guiding the Republican Party’s hope for takeover of the Arkansas legislature, particularly when it comes to electing Republican Reps. Jon Hubbard and Loy Mauch and former Republican Rep. Charlies Fuqua, the nationally infamous Three Stooges, to House seats. Republican Party Chair Doyle Webb’s warm words for the candidate inspired him.
Webb was recently asked during a radio interview if he thought the three “monkey butts” would get elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives. Webb said he did think they would win, and noted that “those candidates have done a good job at working for lower taxes, for job creation, for economic development, better education.”
Most folks who possess a moral compass and are not willing to do anything to win would have stopped talking at this point. Possibly prior to this point. Not Webb. He doubled down.
“They have said some things that are not the position of the Republican Party of Arkansas, but we believe in the freedom of conscience and the freedom of speech. And if they are successful, then we wish them good luck,” Webb said.
You see, Kind Reader, how this works is that if you support lower taxes and job creation and other things Webb approves of, it’s OK to say that slavery couldn’t have been all that bad because Jesus did not condemn it and that there should be a law that allows parents to seek the death of their rebellious child.
Like most self-appointed arbiters of political and societal morality, Webb is a hypocrite.
Tilley recalls when Republicans mounted a full-frontal assault on blogger Matt Campbell, who was chronicling “incompetence run amok” in the office of Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin. Republicans hounded Campbell and his employer until he was finally forced to give up his free-time blogging habit. Webb has a much more expansive view of free speech when it comes to Republicans. He’s sanguine about candidates who think slavery had its strong points; that all Muslims should be deported; that Jesus was down with slavery. But, writes Tilley,
Webb’s problem is that he’s willing to justify the unjustifiable. Yes, thankfully we live in a country where these guys are protected and may spout pure of lunacy. The beauty of freedom of speech is that it allows us to measure lunacy. Webb’s measurement is that legislative control is heavier than decency.
There is also the problem of numbers for the GOP. If it was just one person, well, OK, we all have a crazy aunt in the family. And two people? Well, there are some families with the crazy aunt and her 27 cats, and the cousin in prison.
But three folks talking crazy is a trend. A pattern. A picture.
And for little Doyle Webb, it’s a paint-by-numbers picture. He needs to win 51 seats in the Arkansas House of Representatives and 18 in the Arkansas Senate to be the big swinging Richard. If he has to justify the ramblings of three or 30 idiots, he’ll do it just to put a big trophy in the trophy case.
One thing. If Webb gets his trophy, we can’t pin it all on him. Voters count, too.