GOP brothers at war | Arkansas Blog

GOP brothers at war

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Frank Rich has a pretty good summary of the fratricidal GOP battle for an upstate New York congressional seat. Already, a solid Republican has been driven out of the race by  a torrent of attacks from the Club for Growth/Beck/Palin conservative candidate.

I should add that the conservative is the chosen candidate of Jackson T. Stephens Jr. of Little Rock, a Club for Growth moneybags. Stephens may buy himself a seat in upstate New York. If he does, it won't be of much help to locals, not that Jacko cares. The candidate is a carpetbagger who doesn't live in the district and knows next to nothing about it. But he's solid on the starve-government orthodoxy of his patrons. Of course he's a hypocrite -- a recipient of government largesse himself and seeking to service a district that would die without a huge Army base.

The other angle is that heavy Republican hitter Mike Huckabee is staying out of this one, mostly likely because he's still simmering over the pounding the Club for Growth gave him in 2008. His words of late have been philosophically in tune with them, however.

The other interesting Arkansas angle is whether it could happen here. Will the true believers  beat up on the slightly more pragmatic types in the big Republican primary for U.S. Senate from Arkansas? They don't get much worse politically than Sen. Gilbert Baker, but his opponents are trying to paint him as a big-spending, big government type.  He somehow manages to seem sort of moderate, though that's a trick of personality not philosophy.The irony there is that one of his chief detractors is Benton County Judge Dave Bisbee, who's still nursing a grudge over Baker's participation in the coalition that cost Bisbee leadership of the Senate. Bisbee, had he won the Senate post, would have owed it to a solid bloc of liberal Democrats with whom he often saw eye to eye.

And that's my contribution to blogging today. It was a splendid morning for tromping through Pompeii. More pizza tonight. But for the foodies: Best I could do so far today was a panini from my favorite fast food chain in the world, Autogrill (wonder how this familiar freeway operator landed a concession inside Pompeii near the top of the ancient Via Dell' Abbondanza). Foccacia stuffed with prosciutto, arugula and cheese, then pressed in a grill, was my pick.

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