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Coming clean


It's hard for us, as it would be for any well-intentioned person, but some commendation is due the three Republican congressmen from Arkansas. In a moment of candor — a rare one — U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack have all admitted publicly that they're not opposed to higher taxes as such, only to higher taxes on rich people and big corporations — that is, the sort of people who contribute generously to the representatives' political campaigns, and to their party. (The three agree with the Supreme Court that corporations are people, only slightly more deserving than the average.)

Like the famous baseball triad of Tinker to Evers to Chance, Crawford and Griffin and Womack are capable of inflicting considerable pain on the opposition, which in their case is the working people of America. They just haven't been in the game as long as the Cub infielders were.

The Arkansas congressmen had professed repeatedly, tiresomely, their opposition to higher taxes in general. Yet when the time came to vote on a tax increase for millions of middle-class Americans, all three dropped the duplicity and voted to stick it to the working stiffs. Crawford, Griffin and Womack joined their fellow teabaggers in support of legislation to increase the payroll taxes on workers, and to cut unemployment benefits for those who've lost their jobs. Here's truth in government for you, harsh truth. (How cruel to the common man would they have been were it not the Christmas season? Repealed the child-labor laws, maybe. Closed the public schools.)

It now appears that House Republicans, including the Arkansas Three, have been forced to back down by the White House and public opinion, and that they will reluctantly accept delay in the proposed payroll-tax increase and unemployment-benefit decrease. Delay, but not surrender. The Arkansas congressmen have shed their lambs' clothing and enlisted in the raging class warfare for the duration. They'll still be dedicated enemies of the common people, but they'll be fighting out in the open, their malice visible to all. This new honesty may give them problems sleeping. Class war is hell.

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