I had the opportunity to listen to some acrimonious political radio ads and view an assortment of campaign signs this past week as I drove across southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Actually, there weren't many in Missouri because in the few areas where there are races, the Republicans are lopsidedly favored. Rural Missouri likes their pols on the loony side.
And, in all honesty, Arkansas does too.
There are two big races in Arkansas. Democratic Senator Mark Pryor is in the fight of his career trying to keep his place at the trough in Washington. He is being opposed by Tom Cotton, a Republican congressman and Bush War veteran. Both men are Washington insiders who would like to convince the voters that they good old boys from just down the street. Pryor is blanketing the radio airwaves with a very negative ad portraying Cotton as wanting to raise the age for Medicare and Social Security to seventy. That's to scare aging voters. To frighten the young he notes that Cotton wants to raise interest rates on student loans. Other Pryor ads indicate that Cotton is being hypocritical on student loans because he used them himself for his education. The senator also accuses his opponent of being in the pocket of billionaires.
Cotton's ads, at least in northern Arkansas where he probably thinks he will win big anyway, are more positive. He talks about growing up on the farm that has been in his family for generations and fighting for freedom in the Middle East. Long on flag-waving, short on substance.
Sadly, I suspect that Mark Pryor is facing an early retirement. It's doubtful that even Claire McCaskill could parachute in and save him now.
The other lively race in Arkansas is the one for governor. The incumbent, democrat Mike Beebe, is leaving office due to term limits. The Democratic candidate to replace him is Congressman Mike Ross. He is running a solid campaign but will likely come up short - primarily due to being a decent human being. The Republican candidate is Asa Hutchinson, a former congressman and bureaucrat from the George W. Bush administration. Hutchinson, a graduate of Bob Jones University (sic), is the brother of Tim Hutchinson, a former congressman and one-term Republican senator from Arkansas. Asa has big billboards blaring that he is "Pro Life, Pro Guns, and Pro Morality," or, pro gun and pro God to impress the goobers. Hutchinson is campaigning to put computer science in every Arkansas high school - and to lower the state's income taxes.
How did lowering those taxes work out for your buddy, Sam Brownback, over in Kansas, Asa?
It looks like God, guns, and goobers may do very well in Arkansas this November.
Maybe it's time for Big Dog to fly home and straighten things out!