by Max Brantley
Making one last e-mail check before heading to the airport, I found this link to a conservative blog that says two Arkanarsas Republican legislators are backing away from runs for Mike Ross' 4th District seat because they fear their support for some sensible tax measures (giving the people a vote on highway improvement taxes) might poison their primary candidacies.
I still don't think responsible representation that provides an avenue to continue vital services with modest tax proposals should be cause for instant defeat — at least in the general election. The narrow-focus Republican primary is another matter. There, succor for millionaires and bankrupting essential services are paramount. From Red State on being true to the Tea Party or else:
Exhibit “A”: Texas. Governor Perry had to threaten vetos and actually veto, a Texas Congress that is overwhelmingly Republican. Even some Tea Party candidates folded like cheap suits when the pressure of big interest groups or party leadership came to bear. It was a monumental struggle to get a super majority to NOT raid the rainy-day fund and NOT increase taxes. In Texas. That should send shivers down the spines of every fiscal conservative nationwide.
This happened in Arkansas, too. Two Arkansas Republicans (ostensible Tea Party types), Rep. Lane Jean of Magnolia and Rep. Matthew Shepherd of El Dorado, want to run nationally for the U.S. Congress to fill Blue Dog Democrat Mike Ross’ vacated positions. Both of these state representatives violated their no-new-taxes stance. It’s convenient to be against increasing taxes when one runs for office. Tougher, when faced with an actual budget with other people’s money.