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OPINION | JOHN BRUMMETT: As the arrows whiz by

by John Brummett | November 20, 2022 at 1:43 a.m.

A reader writes to say we need arrows because surely Joe Biden and Sarah Huckabee Sanders getupward ones and Donald Trump downward.

When they're that obvious, there may not be much need.

But we aim to serve. And I see an opportunity to dig deeper, to go partially against the grain.

⬆ Joe Biden--The relevant measurement is against expectations, and mine were that his party would lose the House widely and the Senate a little, largely because he's uncertain and inept. Apparently he isn't--inept, I mean--altogether.

One also measures against alternatives, and the Democrats have none and the Republicans are still not shed of the monstrosity they lacked the courage and conviction--the simple decency--to reject, time and again.

⬇ Donald Trump--See preceding item. He can't be elected president again, but he can stagger to 30 percent pluralities in Republican primaries and get nominated again by the insane caucus within the contemporary GOP.

⬆ Ron DeSantis--He's out there zooming in a sports car in the anti-Trump Republican lane. Asa Hutchinson is chugging hard at 25 miles per hour up an incline in a Camry. Mike Pence has the family van up to 40 mph. There's a multi-car wreck up ahead involving Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley and a couple of others whose next-of-kin haven't yet been notified. Trump is farther up the way in a bus with the Proud Boys, and they are strewing nails on the highway.

Credit on that last one to a Twitter respondent going by Danielle.

⬇ Sarah Huckabee Sanders--Yes. Down. You heard me. It's all about context. And the context is that, in statewide races, she got fewer votes than any other person on the Republican ticket--even, get this, Mark Lowery, the bankruptcy-filing, ethics-violating Maumelle-ian who will no doubt keep his campaign promise that there will be no critical race theory taught in the state treasurer's office.

There are a few thousand voters out there who cast a straight Republican ticket except that they voted for Democrat Chris Jones for governor. The Lowery-Jones voter ... Who? What? Why? We need photos, bios and full psychiatric evaluations.

And I'll tell you one other thing: Sarah will find it challenging to implement full-bore school choice and vouchers, even with this Legislature. Where are all these kids going to take their vouchers, especially in rural Arkansas, where the small communities value their schools and teams and there aren't nearby schools, private, charter or regular?

It may turn out to be more practical to try to make the existing schools better rather than rob them of students and money.

⬆ Tommy Land--You don't know who that is, do you? You think it might be a Vegas performer, don't you? So, let me tell you. You voted for him to be land commissioner, a clerical job comically existing in modern times as a state constitutional office.

It's like electing the person who takes your picture for your driver's license. I'll tell you one thing: The "R" photographer would win. We're not going to have "woke" photos down here.

In fact, more of you voted for Land than for anyone else on the ballot. He got 609,445 votes. Poor Sanders, for comparison, got 568,575 votes.

My political analysis is that you considered Land best for land commissioner because his name was Land.

Here, then, is some political advice for beleaguered Arkansas Democrats: Have Chris Jones change his name to Governor Jones, and have him come hard at the under-performing Republican governor in four years. Next time he might try criticizing her.

⬆ Tim Griffin--In the great job swap of 2022 among young Republicans vexed in their aspirations by Sanders' arrogant return from Trump service in Washington, Griffin, the lieutenant governor, got 603,536 votes for attorney general--almost as many as Land Commissioner Land--while Leslie Rutledge, the attorney general, got 575,126 for lieutenant governor.

Again, let's try to identify for evaluation these 28,000 or so voters who thought Griffin was right for the real job of attorney general, which Rutledge still holds, but that Rutledge was unfit for the job of lieutenant governor, which has no responsibilities.

Rutledge may need to change her name from Leslie to Lieutenant.

⬇ Leslie Rutledge--See preceding item. I regret having to fire this arrow, because Rutledge was kind enough on the Election Day afternoon to extend me an invitation to attend her victory party, saying she didn't think I needed to be alone considering what was about to happen.

I was unable to make it on account of not wanting to go. But I appreciate the gesture. Word of the invitation may have gotten out, causing Rutledge to run behind Griffin, who issued no such invitation.

⬆ Frank Scott--He got away with secrecy, FOIA-flouting, mismanagement and favoring friends. Let's all settle in to watch Little Rock "grow forward" for four years.

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

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