Might there be an object lesson for the Arkansas Republican Party in this public opinion polling from North Carolina, where right-wing Republican control has, as in Arkansas, produced a steady diet of hard-right legislation straight from the party playbook.
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* End unemployment benefits? A big majority in North Carolina doesn’t like it.
* Keep fracking chemicals secret? The people don’t like it.
* Secretive deliberations to pass anti-abortion legislation? Not popular.
* Overly restrictive abortion legislation? Not popular.
* Grafting anti-abortion measures onto motorcycle safety and Sharia law bills? Not cool.
* Republican leadership? Enthusiasm is ebbing.
I’d bet that the individual North Carolina Republican legislators are undeterred by findings such as these, sure in their beliefs and reinforced by their support groups and a vigorous base that urges them on.
I’d hope they will reap the whirlwind. But who knows?
I’m reminded of how I felt when Republicans turned on a media blast to scorn, deride and attempt to politically profit from AEDC Director Grant Tennille’s public pronouncement that Arkansas could help its image by ending discrimination against gay people. Many major corporations, after all, are striving to have non-discrimination policies themselves and to recruit the best people possible for their jobs, sexual orientation not a factor.
Arkansas Republicans, by recent resolution, indicated they not only support discrimination, they want the world to know they support it more than ever, despite changes in opinions in the outside world. And they oppose abortion, period, in even hours after conception. And they want to limit availability of contraception. And they want more guns in every facet of society. And they want low taxes for the wealthy. And they want limited redress for workplace injuries. And they want no rights for worker organizations. And they want limited environmental controls. And they would permit resegregation of schools in the name of choice. And they don’t favor equal educational opportunity for immigrant children raised as Arkansans. And they want to allow Christian prayer in public venues. And they don’t want to teach evolution. And they want to funnel public money to churches. And they want to reduce spending on medical and nutrition programs for poor people. And they view critically public investments in aesthetic enrichment.
I know the proponents of all these things are deeply sincere and see a better world with their adoption. I merely ask: Do you really think this creates a state that is a magnet for the business world? And what sort of business are you getting that hews to this agenda, too?