Talking tensions with Democratic women

Tomorrow’s online-only ¬†column at will be about speaking to — and being spoken to by — the Pulaski County Democratic Women’s Club last evening.

A few things that didn’t quite fit into that essay are nonetheless significant and bear mentioning here:

1. I sense a bit of tension within the partisan Democratic base over the state Democratic strategy to oblige overwhelming poll numbers and distance Arkansas Democrats from President Obama.

There were several African-American women in attendance, but they were not alone is making this point: We’ve now run two Arkansas elections trying to pretend our party’s president doesn’t exist. How’s that working for us?

2. A growing two-party culture forces both parties to run to their philosophical bases in primaries, which become smaller party-only affairs.

Thus I heard this from the audience: Do you think Bill Halter might run for governor as a real Democrat who supports the president?

I think he is just opportunistic enough to do that very thing. And I am quite sure it makes nervous the attorney general, Dustin McDaniel, who already has raised more than a million dollars for a gubernatorial bid that will be (1) a general election challenge considering the prevailing climate, and (2) a greater challenge still if he gets gauntleted with a money-sapping, energy-sapping and general election-hampering primary forcing him to leftward places he doesn’t want to be in the general election.

We have some experience with an opportunistic Halter challenge in a Democratic primary. But I think Blanche Lincoln was going to get creamed either way.

3. While on the subject, I found myself at one point saying these words, “I don’t ever know quite what to do about Mark Pryor,” when, suddenly, a woman down front said, “Primary him.”

The use of “primary” as a verb ¬†for a punitive or behavior-modifying political purpose — that interested me.

And the idea that Mark could get challenged from the left in the primary of 2014 — well, that interested me, too.

4. These Democratic women — some of them, anyway — were excited by how well Herb Rule did against Tim Griffin, especially in Pulaski County, which Rule carried, and they wondered if (a) Griffin might be vulnerable to a stronger Democratic challenger without Obama directly on the ballot, and (b) whether a Democrat has a decent should the seat open up if Griffin goes against Pryor, a possibility.

I thought not. The district is too-far-gone outside Pulaski County, unless you had an uncommonly strong Democrat who could mobilize the Pulaski base and stem hemorrhaging in Saline and Faulkner. Vic Snyder retired.

Finally, I should say that there was some jesting speculation that Herb Rule’s campaign signs, saying simply “Herb Rule,” were interpreted as signs in support of medicinal marijuana





5 Responses to 'Talking tensions with Democratic women'

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  1. I’m ready for the Arkansas Democratic party to grow a set and stand up against the hatred of the right wing. How many children will die from a lack of lack of health care before this happens? How many gay teenagers will commit suicide? How many children will go to bed hungry as a way of motivating mommy to work a third minimum wage job? How many millions of dollars will be taken from the people and redistributed to the Chamber of Commerce, the real estate development industry and titans of industry whose only merit consists of having a rich daddy?

    Right is right, and to take a stand for right takes courage. Unfortunately, most of the AR Dems are too scared of the racists and rabble-rousers who run the Tea Party.


    13 Nov 12 at 10:21 am

  2. Fisherman,
    I challenge you to watch the two videos below from Anita Moncrief before you spouting off about the racists and rabble-rousers of the right wing. John, it might do you some good, too.


    13 Nov 12 at 1:34 pm

  3. I keep saying this and nobody’s listening; Abortion is a Republican created problem, and until Democrats stand up and tell people this, they’ll continue to blame the Democrats for it.
    Remember it was 6 Republican appointed judges that decided Roe v. Wade (+ 1 Demcratic appointee), the Republican dominated Court has had 200 opportunities to hear other cases that might overturn it, and they refuse to do so.
    Now let me ask one more time the question; If you had an issue when has been buying you votes for forty years, would you give it more than lip service, knowing that removing it as an issue would mean that voters could look at real issues, and your party would lose?
    I think not. The Republicans will NEVER do anything about abortion except talk about it. Actions speak louder than words.

    Bill Kennamer

    13 Nov 12 at 4:34 pm

  4. The first and third posters are the ones speaking real truth.


    13 Nov 12 at 5:26 pm

  5. Why doesn’t Pryor switch parties?


    19 Nov 12 at 8:45 pm

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