by Max Brantley
Darn it. We're unable to run our video camera out to the 10 a.m. rally sponsored by the Arkansas Business and Professional Women at which, for the first time in 10 years, an Arkansas governor will endorse the Equal Rights Amendment -- an amendment that happens to be favored overwhelmingly by American citizens according to all the polls I've seen.
Retrograde male lawmakers, particularly in Southern states like Arkansas, have stood in the way of the amendment's adoption. But some gutsy women in the Arkansas legislature continue to wage the fight, which needs only three more states for ratification.
Rep. Lindsley Smith of Fayetteville will ceremoniously drop the House resolution, with 65 co-sponsors, in the hopper to kick off the event. Sen. Sue Madison has 11 sponsors so far in the 35-member Senate. We hope that's simply because the process isn't completed and not because the Brotherhood is as disappointing on equality as it is on sound governance.
But back to the original point. Kudos to Mike Beebe (and Bill Halter, Charlie Daniels and Martha Shoffner) for the breath of fresh air in standing up for simple equity (and if you think we've achieved it yet, check the pay rolls and executive office suites in Arkansas). Jim Wood, Mark Wilcox and Dustin McDaniel, why weren't you listed in the D-G article this morning? UPDATE: We're told it was at least a partial screwup. Both Wilcox and McDaniel were at the rally. Now what about you, Jim? UPDATE: A reader says Wood was there, too.
Good. With all statewide constitutional officers, a commanding majority of the House and support of most Arkansas congress people, do you think that's enough cover to produce a majority in the Senate? Let's call the roll and figure out who needs to be shamed by the womenfolk back home.