Don't know if this video on YouTube is planned for TV distribution, but Democrats should hope so.
Here's the thing: Arkansans historically have generally been content with their lot, even in some of our most hardscrabble days. Gov. Beebe is popular. The state is hardly in a boom, but we've fared better than most in hard times. The Republican messsage is that Arkansas is really sucking. Their solution is to cut taxes, which can only mean a reduction in important services — education, health care, public safety — on which a poor state depends more than most. Republicans hope to achieve this aim with a majority that includes a number of extremists, not just the Axis of Idiots.
It's a simple message. Mike Beebe and the Democratic Party have been good for Arkansas. The alternative is too extreme. Don't let outsiders with a selfish agenda mislead you.
The Democratic smart boys tell me they've polled this theme and it doesn't resonate. Maybe they're right. But you got anything else?
I write on a morning when I read that Republicans continue to temporize on Medicaid expansion — a solution to a looming deficit in the existing Medicaid budget and a boon to a quarter-of-a-million Arkansans, many of them working poor. They are temporizing until post-election, when they fully intend to repudiate federal health care reform (again) and block expansion of medical services for working poor. It will destroy Arkansas health care and deliver a body blow to the state's economy. But Republicans will tell us we must swallow this bitter medicine. It's nearly unimaginable. But from a party that won't fully reject Fuqua, Hubbard and Mauch, anything is possible.