WHAT'S WRONG WITH ARKANSAS? SKIPPING DEMOCRACY 101 THIS YEAR
Everything must be really great in Arkansas. Not a single member of the state's congressional delegation up for re-election in November-- Senator Mark Pryor, Vic Snyder, Marion Berry, Mike Ross, and John Boozman-- has drawn an opponent. Boozman is the only Republican and he's been a completely lockstep rubber stamp who virtually never opposes the Bush Regime on anything. Among Democrats, Arkansas' 3 congressmen can be described as right-of-center. Less generously, one would note they are Bush Dogs or Blue Dogs-- not out and out reactionaries like Jim Marshall (GA), Dan Boren (OK) or John Barrow (GA), but not exactly men you want to depend on to helping working families or clean up the catastrophic mess the Bush Regime has made. Mike Ross, an egregious Blue Dog was one of the 21 members who wrote a letter to Speaker Pelosi demanding that they be given the opportunity to vote for retroactive immunity for the criminal campaign contributors. Marion Berry joined him in that.
Over on the Senate side, Pryor consistently ranks as one of the Democrats most eager to cross the aisle and vote with the GOP. On substantive matters, he's actually about tied with Lieberman when it comes to rubber stamping the Bush agenda. Only Evan Bayh (D-IN, one of Hillary's probably VP choices), Mary Landrieu (D-LA, the only Senate Democrat whose seat is considered endangered this year; I wonder why), Benjamin Nelson (D-NE) and Tim Johnson (D-SD). So for Pryor to be able to waltz back into a second term without a primary is very sad. It makes complete sense that the Republicans are not challenging him. Why bother when he votes with them so often anyway?
Meanwhile Arkansas ranks near the bottom the states when it comes to health care (12.1% below the national norm; only South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana have worse health care for their citizens), education, and median household income level (only citizens of Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia make less). I bet if Arkansas' citizens held their elected leaders a little more accountable, they'd be doing better over all. Just guessing, though.