I differ from critics on left and right and take Governor Hutchinson at his word.
He studied the bill to prohibit medical services for transgender children, consulted experts and decided the bill went too far and so he vetoed it, knowing the veto would be overridden.
He did little positive service for himself in parting, on even one bill (he’s signed at least three others), from the anti-transgender Republican national agenda.
The right-wing isn’t having it (see Tucker Carlson’s attack on Fox News). And in their criticism of Hutchinson, they reveal the growing unhappiness on the Republican Right with corporate America. Sen. Mitch McConnell and them want their money, but they just want the sources of the gold to shut up about voting rights for Black people, discrimination against LGBT people, persecution of ethnic minorities and abridging women’s medical rights. Cancel culture, you might say.
A couple of examples in the instant case of Hutchinson’s veto and the right-wing blowback, first from Tucker Carlson’s former roost, the Daily Caller:
Tucker Carlson segment on Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and how the Walton family praised his decision to veto the bill banning gender changing procedures for minors:
“We’ll be watching to see if Asa Hutchinson winds up on the board of Walmart. We really will.” pic.twitter.com/DUs9fleWmm
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 8, 2021
And then see this:
This is from the Hot Air article noted above.
Is it possible that Hutchinson is secretly in favor of these irreversible medical procedures being performed on children who are too young to provide informed consent, but he’s trying to mask that position by hiding behind the small-government conservative angle? If that’s not it, then it just seems like there has to be a political angle to this. The Governor is term-limited at this point, so he doesn’t have to worry about winning another statewide election when his term is up next year. Could he be considering a jump to Congress or even a White House bid? He might feel that some moderate positions would help him more with independents if that were the case. But even if that’s so, he’s certainly picked an odd hill to die on here.
The governor has been tight with the billionaires of Bentonville.They’ve spoken out a bit against Arkansas’s propensity for ugliness. Come 2023, I guess we’ll know whether these are coincidental.