by Max Brantley
John Lyon of Stephens Media rounds up early-session failures on the agenda of what he describes as social conservatives. I think it's important to differentiate between mainstream conservatives and extremists. Conservatives are not monolithic, though it's useful to Republicans to have you think that is so.
Many conservatives approved the lottery.
Many conservatives — particularly true libertarian conservatives — believe in medical self-determination for women and abortion choice. Indeed, a majority of Arkansans still support preserving a legal right to abortion, particularly in cases of rape and incest. Republican-brand conservatives say to hell with rape and incest victims, even if the cost of ending an unwanted pregnancy is only a morning-after pill.
Some conservatives — particularly of the good Christian variety — don't oppose providing health care for the needy.
Many conservatives find it irrelevant and maybe presumptuous that the Arkansas legislature — a serial offender of religious freedoms over the years — needs to pass a bill to "reaffirm" the 1st Amendment's promise that government won't impose religious dictates on citizenry. That is, of course, exactly what the Family Council wants to do in the area of gambling and abortion and sexual orientation— impose its religion and bigotry on others.