by Max Brantley
Jim Powell and his thoughts on the Fort Smith area came to mind today as I was overcome by comments and e-mail suggesting a look at the hot race for House in Sebastian/Franklin counties. OK, dadgummit. The Arkansas Project summarizes and provides video, too. I hate to dwell on such ugliness. Democrat Steve Breedlove faces a tough re-election challenge from a Republican who's decided the most pressing issue of the day is Breedlove's failure to vote in committee in 2007 on the bill to keep children out of homes in which gay people might live.
Breedlove is a Church of Christ preacher. Not exactly a liberal. But Republican John Van Gorder is hoping gay-bashing, the trustiest tool in the GOP box (Messrs. Craig, Foley, McCain's campaign manager, etc., notwithstanding), will carry him to victory. I take some tiny comfort from knowing this card isn't trumps in Pulaski County.
A pat on the back for Gov. Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who, I was told, ventured into the wilds of Greenwood last week to attend a fund-raiser for Breedlove.
UPDATE: Since I mentioned Mark Foley, it seems only fair to mention his Democratic successor in Congress, who's apparently paid $123,000 to settle a score with a former mistress and staff member. Oops. But this would be OK in Greenwood, right? That was straight sex.
PS: I forget I'm old. As I've written on a comment, Jim Powell is the former editorial page editor of the Arkansas Gazette who explained some embarrassment in Fort Smith by saying it was "far from the civilizing influences of Central Arkansas." He also updated an old line to say of Fort Smith: "So close to Tulsa (or was it Oklahoma?), so far from God."