As mentioned yesterday, the Arkansas Senate embarked on the new Republican majority era with a display of bipartisanship. Democrats moved to nominate Republican Sen. Michael Lamoureux as president pro tem by acclamation. Democratic Sen. Larry Teague, who had been designated for the job, stepped aside and was given co-chairmanship of the powerful Joint Budget Committee by Lamoureux. Other Democrats landed significant chairmanships.
It was nice. Partisanship will inevitably be a factor in coming votes. That’s the system. Already, new Sen. Bryan King promises to ram through the Voter ID/vote suppression law favored by Republicans and their Koch and other billionaire backers. Republican control of the relevant (and most other) Senate committees likely guarantees passage of this law, unless Democrats mount a successful blocking strategy in the House.
Aside: Careful what you wish for Sen. King. Widespread vote suppression efforts in key swing states — Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, particularly — motivated targeted voters. I just about wept watching lines of people still waiting to vote in Florida at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, after the presidential election had been decided, to be sure their vote counted. The Florida voters included, on one segment I watched on TV, a 102-year-old immigrant. Take that, Bros. Koch. ALSO: A good Nation article here on the failure of the Republican War on Voting.
But back to the not-so-nice:
Republican blogger Jason Tolbert, in a post congratulating the bipartisan spirit on display Thursday, provided a forum for a decidedly different attitude. It featured Republican state Rep. Linda Collins-Smith, who lost a tight race for state Senate against Sen. David Wyatt of Batesville. Did she speak only for her bitter self? Or is she a truer picture of political life in the new era? We’ll see soon enough. Her comment followed another from a committed Republican from East Arkansas about the sportsmanlike-gesture of the Democrats:
This wasn’t bipartisan, this was arrogance in action as sore losers keeping the Republicans from having the honor of using their new majority to elect the new Senate leader.
The Republicans were “played” by the defeated Democrats.
Had 220 people of the 26,000+ voted diff (in Sen 20), he wouldn’t have even been at the meeting.
That is what I wrote on the Facebook page…they beat the Republicans to the punch…in their face..if you have not figured out Robert Thompson and David Wyatt yet…well you did not see how they played to win. No different here.
They took the glory away from the Repubs.
In the world of Halsell and Collins-Smith, a sore loser would be a football coach who tried to shake the hand of a winning coach, thus depriving the winner of a chance to do an end zone dance or shout nannynannybooboo at the loser.