Senate GOP leader complains of intraparty criticism

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LOOK WHO;S TALKING: Obamacare foe Jim Hendren is now complaining that some Republicans are using Obamacare votes against other Republicans. Bad for the party, he says.
  • LOOK WHO;S TALKING: Obamacare foe Jim Hendren is now complaining that some Republicans are using Obamacare votes against other Republicans. Bad for the party, he says.
Doug Thompson writes for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette about a talk by Senate Republican leader Jim Hendren, unhappy about intraparty criticism from a group that has made support of the private option version of expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare a chief rallying point for primary opposition to other Republicans.

Yeah! Let's you and him fight.

The Republican Party rose to dominance in Arkansas on Obama and Obamacare hatred, so there's more than a touch of irony to have poor Jim Hendren, long a leading Obamacare foe, complain that members of his party are catching grief from other Republicans for supporting something that he himself once decried.

Of immediate interest is a primary challenge to Sen. Jon Woods, one of the Republican in-crowd and the architect of the wallet-fattening, beltline-fattening and term limits-loosening so-called "ethics" amendment. He even improved it in the last legislative session to allow parasitic lobbyists like Ted Mullenix and the scandal-ridden Gilbert Baker to follow legislators to national conferences and feed them fancy steak dinners. He's got more to answer for than his vote for Obamacare, if Republicans really were the party of smaller, leaner government.

In Hendren's defense, this outfit that's stirring up trouble, Conduit for Action, has exploited every loophole in campaign finance laws in going after enemies. And if you had to choose only between flavors of Republicans, Hendren's group is  preferable, if still unpalatable.


Hendren says letting the conservative group have its way is bad for GOP business.

"If Republicans split and a minority of our party decides to hold the budget up over every decision they don't like, we'll have ceded control to the minority party," Hendren said. "If we do that, they can do it too. The minority party [Democrats] can say 'We don't like voter ID, so we'll hold up the budget.' If they don't like an anti-abortion bill, they can do that too."

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