Some of them scrub up pretty good at the Capitol, but get a Republican politician on his own turf -- say the friendly confines of Cabot -- and you get a taste of the real thing. Want some xenophobia and a little patronizing of women? You don't have to look far in this account from the Arkansas Leader.
[Rep. Davy] Carter was warmly received when he referred disparagingly to “Barack Hussein” and “Blanche Lambert.” Lambert is Lincoln’s maiden name.
He accused her of “voting in our face every time she pushes a button.”
He warned that when the General Assembly meets in its first regular off-year session beginning Tuesday that he would be voting against all bills, no matter how good they might be, because the session was supposed to be dedicated to financial matters only.
Will Carter also vote against budget bills, too? That doesn't appear to be exactly what he's saying here (UPDATE: and he called me to say he was only talking about the expected headline-grabbing non-germane resolutions and such, including from his own party), but I raise the question because, separately, there's credible talk that some Republicans plan rump obstructionism even for financial matters. The Party of No has been splendid at the national level. Why not in Arkansas, too?
Why not? Because it would be stupid, which doesn't mean somebody won't try it. We owe the 30-day fiscal session with limited agenda and limited extension ability to the Republicans. If they contrive to make the very first one a sideshow, they'll prove their sincerity about good government. Plus, it won't work. Do they really want to go all Gingrich on us and shut down government? If so, vanloads of Medicaid nursing home patients with IVs attached should soon arrive at the Capitol, along with the hungry children of tens of thousands of state employees, including cops, to ask, "Have you no shame?" The Repubs have votes sufficient to stop non-education spending bills in the House, but not sufficient votes to pass anything. Perhaps the Senate, including a few Republicans, will be the adults this go-round.
Also in Cabot, Senate candidate Gilbert Baker bleated about Justice Sonia Sotamayor and said he wouldn't take earmarks if he beats Sen. Blanche Lincoln. All you west Little Rock Republicans, remember that the next time you're stuck in a traffic jam at I-430 and I-630, praying for a federal earmark to build the flyover ramps.