by Max Brantley
We've said before that Asa Hutchinson's attempt to capitalize on closure of Paron High School, if it be a dirty rotten thing, is something of a self-inflicting wound. Fellow Republican Mike Huckabee, who Hutchinson hopes to succeed, is a convert to belief in strong state school standards and thus is responsible for Paron's demise through a determined state Board of Education and state education director, all appointed by the governor. They seem determined to end the existence of substandard schools like Paron. (That is a good thing, by the way, and a credit to my old pal Mike, lest you miss the point.)
And today, again, Huckabee provides comfort to a Democratic candidate. We'd heard early this morning that Republican Gunner DeLay, trailing badly in the polls, got ugly with Democratic attorney general candidate Dustin McDaniel at the Political Animals Club. His weapon was McDaniel's supposed softness on immigration, on account of McDaniels' vote to allow children of alien workers to win scholarships at state universities. As McDaniel noted, this was good legislation that the Republican governor Huckabee endorsed to benefit Arkansas students, not some sort of blanket admission to all foreign comers.
(Tip: Expect to hear more -- and soon -- on the issue of college scholarships for children of immigrants.)
But think about this, too. If colleges may not give scholarships to deserving graduates of Arkansas high schools, it would seem to follow that high school principals should enlist in Asa's promised get-tough-on immigrants police force and start trucking children of immigrant workers down to local lockups instead of enrolling them in class. Why wait for college to deny them the fullness of the American dream, right, A$a? Kick em out of kindergarten, too.