by Max Brantley
Today, Alex Daniels of the Democrat-Gazette rounded up congressional feelings on gay rights following U.S. Supreme Court arguments on the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act. I didn't expect much from Mark Pryor.
As Politico noted, he's among the red state senators with re-election battles who've been dancing around, if not running directly against, the growing national tide of greater tolerance toward the country's sexual minority. And the Arkansas House yesterday whooped through a resolution in support of gay discrimination (but not even Republicans demanded a roll call for election year use and nays were audible and many, on top of the wonderful Deborah Ferguson's impassioned speech.)
But get a load of this tiny slice of the D-G reporting:
Rep. Tom Cotton, a Republican, denied an interview request.
“He doesn’t have a lot to say on that topic,” said his spokesman, Caroline Rabbit.
And now our senator, potentially facing a match with Cotton next year:
Michael Teague, a spokesman for Sen. Mark Pryor, the delegation’s only Democratic member, said Pryor had a “moral belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.” He said that he didn’t know the “ultimate” answer, but that he believed that homosexuality is a choice, not a characteristic people are born with.
Marriage is one thing. Advancing the non-reality-based argument of the worst sorts of bigots that homosexuality is a "lifestyle" choice is something else entirely.
When you can't say something good, don't say anything.
Tom Cotton 1; Mark Pryor 0.
If Mark Pryor thinks he can say and do anything because he need not fear centrists and progressives abandoning him, he best think again about how a lack of enthusiasm can be disastrous to a candidate. He could call up lobbyist Blanche Lincoln on that.