by Max Brantley
The Republican Party of Arkansas has decided, as a matter of policy, that homophobia is a winner in Arkansas, up there as a tool with distrust of a foreign-sounding colored man. They could be right. But crude fist-pumping and in-your-face displays of animosity verging on hatred continue to strike me as disproportionate responses to the "threat" posed by a tiny, legally oppressed minority.
For what it's worth, we do know that Pulaski County, the majority vote in Griffin's 2nd District, voted overwhelmingly against the anti-gay ballot initiative in 2008 aimed at preventing gay couples from adopting children. The other counties, the usual base for Republican candidates, admittedly weren't so friendly to equal protection under the law. Polls say the world at large, even in Arkansas, has become friendlier toward gay people since 2008, Arkansas Republicans excepted. Griffin may defeat Democrat Herb Rule in November, but I'd wager a gift certificate at Schipper's Quality Kitchen that Rule beats Griffin worse in Pulaski than Joyce Elliott did two years ago.