by Max Brantley
I haven't read the D-G this morning and there could be further coverage there of Dick Dresner's appearance last night at the Clinton School. He's a political consultant best-known as the long-time -- and current -- adviser to Gov. Mike Huckabee. Someone who was there sent this account of the talk:
Dresner predicted a narrow Democratic take-over of the Senate (one seat), and a 20 or so seat takeover of the House, conservatively.
He expects a Democratic sweep in Arkansas."Asa Hutchinson was dead before the campaign began," he said, or something to that effect.
Hutchinson is too ideological, too regional, and generally too narrow for Arkansas voters, according to Dresner. All successful Republicans have run statewide and used the northwest for cushion. Hutchinson is trying to use the northwest as the base and balance of his campaign, which is a losing effort.
Dresner indicted the political process for its having been corrupted by money, though he did so on basis of his experience of working within it, and did not offer any regret or offer refund for any of the money he has made. Still, he seemed honest in his concern as a Republican conservative that the party has turned to lying (his word) about WMD and Iraq policy; has demonstrated incompetence (Katrina), and is running on issues that have nothing to do with political economy (my words), such as gay marriage, abortion, and most recently, respect for troops in Iraq.
Huck's man violates the First Commandment of Republicanism by speaking unkindly of others in the party. It is certainly a way, it occurs to us, to get attention in the 2008 cycle when the party might set about reinventing itself. Of course, if the pollsters are all wrong and the Republicans retain control, it will be more God, guns, gays, tax cuts and war.
UPDATE: Bill Simmons, the Democrat-Gazette's political editor, attended the Dresner talk and he comments on it at some length on tonight's "Arkansas Week" program on AETN at 8 p.m. He indicates our correspondent provided a reliable account.