by Max Brantley
I posted a little something this morning about an Arkansas Democratic Party 'Save Our Session' rally. Struck me funny, for one thing, what with so many big things hanging and the Republican majority nothing if not full of itself already, but vitally important in the overriding issue of the session, implementation of Obamacare.
That rally has been called off. It will be held at some future time, spokeswoman Candace Martin said. The party decided, she said, that with important issues hanging that that hour could be better spent Wednesday with individual efforts directed at legislators still on the fence on Medicaid expansion.
Yes, and Republicans apparently were pretty well hacked off by a pre-emptive declaration of a lost legislative session with big stuff like Obamacare and tax cuts on the table.
Democratic Party coherence and messaging continues to command that familiar acronym — SNAFU. You could look it up.
I can see where a cool political operator like Gov. Mike Beebe might have counseled that an overtly partisan rally wasn't well-timed with the delicate balancing act underway currently on Medicaid and tax cuts. But ... there's also the fact that the Republican Party is about to tell working people and the giant health care industry, with its enormous ripple effect on the state's economy, to go to hell. At some point, you'd think you wouldn't have to be bashful about making that point, particularly when the Beebe administration and Democratic legislators have given Republicans just about everything they wanted on the shape of Medicaid, plus punitive and demeaning measures to grind dirt in the face of people who qualify for the assistance. Plus tax cuts for millionaires.
PS — You gotta love that the Koch Bros. currently seem to be in the lead in their quest to defeat Medicaid expansion, one day after the state voted to subsidize their investment in a Mississippi County startup steel mill. Imagine if the state of Texas proposed to pour $125 million into an oil refinery to compete with the Kochs' Texas refinery. Think they might be pissed?