Duck. It’s time for arrows to fly every which way, chasing politicians flying hard into each other like blackbirds over Beebe on New Year’s Eve.
⬇ Donald Trump — Someone said the other day that he is the worst president ever to have compiled a good record. The economy is fine. He’s accomplished a couple of things. But we barely are a year into this seminal and dangerous experiment to determine whether a spoiled toddler can function as the American president.
Other presidents have shown over the years that one needn’t be a high-quality human being to perform the function. But at least Nixon had the decency to talk to portraits in private.
Donnie the Menace is the first to flaunt utter behavioral instability and brazen dishonesty — the first to be a regular Michael Bloomberg on gun control in the afternoon and a regular Wayne LaPierre by nightfall, and a lover of Dreamers in the afternoon and a deportation partner of Tom Cotton by supper time.
This child’s favorite toy is his ego. He sits in the Oval Office and plays with it constantly. If the grownups try to take it from him, he gets really upset. The grownups back off, calculating that it’s better that he plays with his ego than his nuclear button, which he says is bigger than anybody else’s.
⬆ Robert Mueller — It looks for all the world like he’s closing in on Trump, but the Republicans in Congress won’t convict the man-child, which is good news to anyone who’s taken a look at Mike Pence.
⬆ Tom Cotton — That talk of his becoming director of the CIA has died down, and, with it, any hope of fruit-basket turnover in Arkansas Republican politics. On the other hand, it’s a great relief for a great nation.
⬆ Asa Hutchinson — For everything there is a season, and this is the season for pragmatically effective and regularly conservative governors to put on their ultra-right-wing britches and call for open carry of assault weapons by teenagers, classroom teachers and poor people just kicked off Medicaid.
⬇ French Hill — Two years ago the Democrats came up with one candidate for the state’s four congressional districts. This time they have four running for Hill’s alone. What happened? Just three things. Trump. The health-care debacle. Women.
⬆ Women, speaking of — Yes, women happened. As a relic of a patriarchal age, I offer no quip, for I am a white male and afraid, to repeat myself. The arrow speaks for itself, and women speak for themselves.
⬆ Tim Griffin — Arkansas Republican insiders tell me that he, having nothing else to do because he’s lieutenant governor, has so well-tended to his politics that he is a near-lock to be governor after Hutchinson, unless Jan Morgan is. He’s so adept at assuaging the kook-right that even Jan tells audiences that she senses he’s for her. Of course, she could be making it up.
⬇ Arkansas — See immediately preceding item. Or just look around.
⬆ Leslie Rutledge — Jan Morgan without the polish, a blend of Granny and Elly May, the attorney general went to the CPAC gathering a couple of weeks ago and drawled that she was God-fearing, Glock-toting, liberal-loathing, Hillary-sickened and lamestream-media-abhorring, and that she’d just have to live with the consequences of such thoughtful nuance.
⬆ Democrats, nationally — They have all the energy, all the motivation, all the momentum, for the midterms. They have everything but a message, except that Trump is crazy, which could be enough.
⬇ Democrats, locally — Not so much the above. Benton County is changing, but not that fast.
⬆ Mike Anderson — He’s not Eddie or Nolan, but he’s not Heath or Pelphrey either. Win 20 and go to the tournament — that’ll suffice at what seems now to be a baseball school.
⬆ Chad Morris — He remains undefeated at Arkansas. Reports are unconfirmed that, after getting a look at his players at the opening of spring drills, he’s changed the marketing brand from “hammer down in the left lane” to “slow, construction ahead.”
⬆ The United States — A great nation alternates between spending borrowed money and rolling its eyes.
John Brummett, whose column appears regularly in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a member of the Arkansas Writers’ Hall of Fame. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his @johnbrummett Twitter feed.