One can easily sympathize with the members of the state House of Representatives who'd like to eject Nate Bell from the chamber. Indeed, it would be hard for fair-minded people to do otherwise, so atrocious were Bell's comments about the murders in Boston, and so harmful to his fellow Arkansans, held accountable for the sins of one of their legislators. "Bell must go!" is the cry heard across Arkansas today.
And yet, is expulsion really the best way? We'd prefer to see Bell resign from the House voluntarily, to be given and to accept the opportunity to do something far, far better than he has ever done before. (As one veteran legislative observer says, "He was a p..s-poor rep even before this Boston business.") He could show by his action that even the worst of Arkansans are capable of repentance. The example would be especially striking if he then devotes the rest of his life to making up for the evil he's done. There are no monasteries around Mena that we know of, but he could build a cabin in the woods, and retire there to reflect and read (he might need assistance), emerging only to sweep the streets and perform other civic chores. Not immediately, but within a few years, we'll bet, his former constituents would stop spitting on him.