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The unholy Beebe-Rapert alliance

So I went out to the Capitol to see the big steel plant announcement for Osceola, and, in the course thereof, picked up a little item about Democratic senators being irked at Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.

Understandably irked. Appropriately irked. Righteously irked.

Actually, all reasonable people in the state ought to irked.

Senate Democrats are beleaguered anyway, since there are only 14 of them in the 35-member Senate. But at least they have, or had, the governor on their side.

A few days ago some of them were approached by state Sen. Jason Rapert of Conway, the leading showboat demagogue of the Republican caucus, who handed them a copy of the governor’s centerpiece legislation — a bill to complete the governor’s proposed and popular drawdown of the sales tax on groceries as budget developments allow — and said he would be sponsoring the bill for the governor.

I have been advised as to several Democratic senatorial responses, most of them profane. “Are you [bleeping] kidding me?” was one. “Jason [bleeping] Rapert? Jason [bleeping] Rapert?” was another.

There are two issues here, in ascending order of significance:

1. Democratic senators were at least due the courtesy of a heads-up, which they didn’t get.

2. Jason [bleeping) Rapert?

Bipartisanship is one thing, and a good thing. But Rapert is singularly the most grandstanding right-wing blowhard in the Republican caucus.

But, more than that, a moderate Democratic governor with near-70 percent approval has just handed a marginalized, extremist, out-of-the-mainstream Republican new bonafides of credibility by letting him handle as lead sponsor the governor’s most popular measure.

More even than that, Beebe has placed his imprimatur on the Republican senator who is the lead sponsor of that bill — unconstitutional — to force women seeking legal abortions to endure a vaginal probing by a doctor for signs of a fetus heartbeat, in which case she couldn’t get the legal abortion without the doctor going to prison.

The sponsor of this atrocity to women is now the governor’s bosom buddy on getting rid of the sales tax groceries.

Beeebe told me Rapert was the first to ask and that he seeks bipartisanship.

Bipartisanship is one thing. Intergalactic alliances and betrayal are other things.

I asked Morril Harriman, Beebe’s right hand and chief of staff, if Beebe at least extracted a vote from Rapert for something. Harriman said Beebe doesn’t work that way, though there was some discussion between the two men about pending issues.

Beebe should have extracted nothing less than Rapert’s vote for Medicaid expansion.

Of course the last I heard from Rapert on Medicaid expansion was this little gem: If Arkansas expanded Medicaid and our adjoining states didn’t, all the poor people from those other states would flood us.

Like Democratic senators, I don’t get it.

All the ever-savvy Beebe would have had to say was that he welcomed Rapert’s support for the grocery tax repeal, but had already asked a couple of senators to handle the bill and that he needed to speak with them first.

Then he could have gone out and found somebody. I know three or four who would have been thrilled to handle the bill.

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15 Responses to 'The unholy Beebe-Rapert alliance'

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  1. I’m sorry, I don’t care if some Democrats (or Republicans, whoever) get their feelings hurt. This is about getting things done, not who does them.

    I think Rapert is out there past Pluto too, so anything that might drag him even an inch toward the center (even if kicking and screaming) is OK by me. I have a feeling something was extracted from him, even if it was implicit.

    Delta2

    29 Jan 13 at 12:52 pm

  2. Are you bleeping kidding me? You’re quoting John Bleeping Brummett these days?
    A response from tea party friends of mine

    mike graves

    29 Jan 13 at 1:56 pm

  3. I’m legally blind, my doctor told me I should leave Arkansas. she told me Arkansas treats the dogs better than they treat the handicapped in this state. I think it’s going to get a lot worse in Arkansas. I’m thinking maybe she’s right, I should move somewhere more civilized.

    tom mason

    29 Jan 13 at 3:51 pm

  4. I hear Seattle is nice, and I love coffee. I just feel so sad that my home state is so backwards and getting worse.

    tom mason

    29 Jan 13 at 4:02 pm

  5. [...] By jbrummett [...]

  6. [...] up. John Brummett did. And since it’s on his blog, as opposed to the regular D-G website, I think you can read it. He doesn’t get why Beebe dissed Democratic senators and gave this piece of legislative gravy [...]

  7. John, just a few days ago you were talking about putting away the partisanship in DC so that government could function effectively. Now when Beebe offers an olive branch, you criticize him. And the liberal democrats wonder what makes him so popular.

    Jmclean

    30 Jan 13 at 7:40 am

  8. bipartisanship is one thing and a good thing. betrayal of women, a deal with the devil — these are not good things.

    jbrummett

    30 Jan 13 at 10:41 am

  9. Jason Rapert is attempting his version of Sharia against women. As a Republican, I am mortified by his fanaticism. Shame on you Mike Beebe, the price of bipartisanship is too high for this woman.

    Rhonda

    30 Jan 13 at 12:26 pm

  10. John this is amazing but even more amazing are those people who think what’s gone in Washington, D.C. the last four years was a lack of bipartisanship? Good luck with what you so-called journalist have created and lead to people to believe. The chickens are simply coming home to roost.

    Nathaniel McGee

    30 Jan 13 at 12:51 pm

  11. hilarious article. looks like Mr. Brummet got his feelings hurt? My take is kudos for Beebe’s bi-partisanship. It’s easy to write articles about it, much harder to actually put it in practice.

    jc

    30 Jan 13 at 1:04 pm

  12. Interesting that your recommendation to the Governor was that he should have lied to Rapert and then gone out to cover up that lie. That your usual solution to problems?

    Milo Shult

    30 Jan 13 at 2:06 pm

  13. Should have given it to Charlie Collins. That’d be the only useful thing Charlie’s done in the legislature.

    Bill Kennamer

    30 Jan 13 at 8:10 pm

  14. John(bleeping)Brummett? LOL!!!! I would like to know what Osceola has that Helena, Arkansas doesn’t. Rail access,river access,slack water harbor, economically depressed,etc. When do we get our piece of the pie?

    Dallis Miller

    1 Feb 13 at 12:33 pm

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