by Max Brantley
John Brummett welcomes Asa Hutchinson's recent re-emergence, particularly as something of a shadow government to Gov. Mike Beebe's so-far wildly successful reign. Speaking as someone enamored of Beebe, Brummett sees value in a counter-weight.
Asa happens to be wrong on most issues, and especially the severance tax, in my view. But it won't hurt Beebe - and in fact it would help him and, more to the point, the state - if he was forced to answer pointed questions about what he's doing.
Beebe tends to treat governing as an inside operation, seeking private compromise and consensus with business people and legislators. He's good at that kind of politicking; it distinguished him for two decades in the Legislature. But if Asa's loyal opposition forces Beebe out toward greater public accountability, that's all to the good.