THE WINNER: Tom Cotton bests Mark Pryor yesterday on gay rights by saying nothing.

  • THE WINNER: Tom Cotton bested Mark Pryor yesterday on gay rights by saying nothing.

A campaigner for U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor told me weeks ago there’d be moments undoubtedly when people of my political persuasion would be unhappy with some of the positions he took in his re-election campaign. But the alternative would be worse.



Today, Alex Daniels of the Democrat-Gazette rounded up congressional feelings on gay rights following U.S. Supreme Court arguments on the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act. I didn’t expect much from Mark Pryor.


As Politico noted, he’s among the red state senators with re-election battles who’ve been dancing around, if not running directly against, the growing national tide of greater tolerance toward the country’s sexual minority. And the Arkansas House yesterday whooped through a resolution in support of gay discrimination (but not even Republicans demanded a roll call for election year use and nays were audible and many, on top of the wonderful Deborah Ferguson’s impassioned speech.)

But get a load of this tiny slice of the D-G reporting:


Rep. Tom Cotton, a Republican, denied an interview request.

“He doesn’t have a lot to say on that topic,” said his spokesman, Caroline Rabbit.

And now our senator, potentially facing a match with Cotton next year:

Michael Teague, a spokesman for Sen. Mark Pryor, the delegation’s only Democratic member, said Pryor had a “moral belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.” He said that he didn’t know the “ultimate” answer, but that he believed that homosexuality is a choice, not a characteristic people are born with.

Marriage is one thing. Advancing the non-reality-based argument of the worst sorts of bigots that homosexuality is a “lifestyle” choice is something else entirely.

When you can’t say something good, don’t say anything.

Tom Cotton 1; Mark Pryor 0.


If Mark Pryor thinks he can say and do anything because he need not fear centrists and progressives abandoning him, he best think again about how a lack of enthusiasm can be disastrous to a candidate. He could call up lobbyist Blanche Lincoln on that.