by Max Brantley
Alabama's draconian new anti-immigrant law is bad enough. Now that state's attorney general is imitating George Wallace in demanding proof that the U.S. government has a legal right to investigate civil rights abuses there.
Really. The New York Times has a good editorial with plenty of background.
Episodes like this — and Mississippi's "personhood" amendment, which will imperil treatment of ectopic pregnancies and in vitro fertilization and restrict birth control choices — are current topics worth considering in Arkansas. Why? Because the Arkansas Republican Party is intent on making Arkansas into Alabama and Mississippi. The current Republican legislative crop — with a bare handful of exceptions — has already demonstrated its extreme bent. Careful regulation of polluting industry? No. Morning-after pills for rape victims? No. Open arms for immigrants seeking a better life? No. Tax equity as opposed to tax cuts that favor the rich? No. Protection of public schools rather than diverting tax money to school vouchers and home schools? No. Protection of religious minorities from state-supported Christian religion, such as in pre-school programs operated by legislators? No. Court systems without a pronounced bias toward corporate interests? No.
It could be, of course, that voters here want to be more like Alabama and Mississippi. Just so they make the transition with eyes open.