John Brummett says there is rhyme and reason to the schizophrenic way U.S. Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor alternate in their loyalty to national Democratic Party priorities.
For instance, with regard to Lincoln's vote on last week's combined federal minimum wage hike/estate tax cut bill:
If there are two economic positions that Lincoln has held consistently, they are these:
1. She has poor folks in her constituency and they need help even if she must hold her nose to extend it. Do not forget that she voted for Bush's Medicare prescription drug plan because it supposedly would be better than nothing for poor people.
2. She also has long asserted that we need to reform the estate tax - i. e., raise the level at which it's applied - to protect others among her constituents, meaning farmers and small business owners. A Delta farm daughter, she professes to fear burdening farm and small business heirs with taxes that could force them to liquidate the family assets.
This Republican cynicism gave her a chance to cast a single vote for both purposes.