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OPINION | JOHN BRUMMETT: Sarah steps in

by John Brummett | January 26, 2021 at 3:01 a.m.

The video is sheer and shameless demagogic claptrap.

It makes a cynical woman out to be our brave protector against Jim Acosta and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

As perhaps you hadn't heard, Acosta and AOC were last seen bearing down hard on our Missouri border accompanied by gun-confiscators and corrupt referees intending to cheat the Razorbacks.

The video by which Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced on Monday for governor bottom-feeds on the ignorance and resentment of the Trump cancer now metastasized in the bloodstream of a state that once flirted with progressivism.

To soft mood music, the video opens with a sappy troop moment and descends toward smarminess from there.

It declares war on sanctuary cities that don't exist in Arkansas. It says the governor must be on our front line in the last line of defense against our own federal government. It invokes the "radical left" a half-dozen times, which exceeds the number of radical leftists known to exist in Arkansas.

That is to say it is a video of pure exploitative mastery and beauty.

Hardened political pros produced this gem. And that's what Sanders is, you know -- a trained professional political operative, which one would have to be to spend years lying for Donald Trump.

The video's effectiveness makes even further evident that Sanders is odds-on to be our next governor. It makes it likely that our best hope is that she will be better as governor than the video.

We can only hope that, when the time comes, she will govern like her dad. He preached the right-wing blather -- still does, for a fee -- but governed moderately when it counted, on the Lake View court case and expanding public health insurance for children.

He even decried his right-wing detractors as "Shiite Republicans" and drinkers of a "different Jesus juice."

Dad said he was a conservative but not mad at anybody. Sarah has now been secondarily spawned by a president who is mad at everybody who doesn't worship him.

He is not mad at Sarah.

He will come here and campaign for her if not in prison, or make a video for her from jail if there.

It's obvious that Sanders looked at the current poll data and saw the path to the post-sanity governorship of Arkansas to be fully nationalized, as if in pursuit of the presidency or the Congress.

Arkansas already has elected five milquetoasts and sneering Tom Cotton to go to Washington to resist those evil national progressives.

For decades now the state has treated governor as its one non-nationalized office. It has elected well-liked pragmatists who gathered along a range from center-right to center-left to try to moderate our state's demagogic and racist political history and modernize its backwards economy.

Now comes the new generation bouncing off the knee of Trump to declare that our governors will turn to resentment and backwardness.

The now-fading generation learned its ways from Dale Bumpers, grinning and quipping, avoiding negative politics and saying his daddy taught him that politics could still be an honorable profession. Sarah's new Arkansas generation learned the political value of anger and blatant lying by going to Trump rallies.

Arkansas governors in modern times didn't fight grandstanding CNN reporters and Democratic socialists from the Bronx. They fought to keep right-wing legislators from passing bills that Walmart and Tyson warned would hurt the state in the new economic era of diversity and inclusivity.

They sought to advance continuing racial conciliation. They tried to keep poor people fed and sheltered and a budget balanced. They were neither demonic nor demonizing.

Most polls I've heard about show Sanders routing Leslie Rutledge and Tim Griffin without a runoff. They show Democrats irrelevant, able at most to get 37%.

So, on the day Sanders announced she'd go ahead and become governor-in-waiting, Arkansas Democrats were wondering what in the world to do.

With extraordinary times calling for extraordinary measures, some of these Democrats were telling me they were contemplating going to Gravette to implore Asa Hutchinson's evolving Republican nephew, state Sen. Jim Hendren, a fighter pilot and lifelong conservative now seeing some centrist light through growth and personal independence, to seek their nomination.

Hendren is Joyce Elliott's good friend and a sponsor of the hate-crimes bill.

On Monday, Hendren posted a tweet from his own experience about the inconvenience and exploitation of VIP holiday visits to troops. Whether that was a response to the opening sappiness of Sanders' video about accompanying Trump on such a visit ... we can only hope.

Huckabee versus Hendren -- what delicious irony that would be.

In the '90s and early '00s, Huckabee was the moderate and Hendren the Shiite Republican.

If Arkansas politics were a ride at the State Fair, reasonable people would be afraid to get on it.

--–––––v–––––--

John Brummett, whose column appears regularly in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a member of the Arkansas Writers' Hall of Fame. Email him at [email protected] Read his @johnbrummett Twitter feed.

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