Tuesday, May 28, 2024

AR-Sen: Morrison Fires Shots At Lincoln, Halter; Remains Only Moderately Relevant

Suzi Parker interviewed James Stockdale Mike Gravel D.C. Morrison for Talk Business, and the “Democratic” candidate really seemed to open up on a variety of topics, especially his two opponents.

On Bill Halter:

“He is kind of an opportunist,” Morrison says of Halter. “He’s been out of the state for years. He was appointed to the boards not for his business acumen but because he had connections to the Clinton administration in my estimation.”

If Halter is counting on his lottery fame, Morrison said, “I don’t think the lottery is going to get Lt. Gov. Bill Halter any votes.”

Oh, snap! No he didn’t!

Seriously, though, say what you will about the lottery — I happen to think it was a great idea, and I think the reluctance to support it while AR dollars went to Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas is asinine — but if Morrison doesn’t think Halter will get at least some amount of support from people simply because of it, I can only assume he has never been at a local gas station when someone is buying $20 or $50 worth of scratch-off tickets with a Christmas-morning gleam in their eyes.  That has to be good for some votes.

As for the “out of the state for years” dig, so what?  I really can’t figure out how leaving the state matters when he chose to come back later on.  Are we really so xenophobic that even Arkansans who leave for a while become suspect upon return?  Are we really going to refuse to vote for someone because he had the temerity to make a living in a state with a better economy and more opportunities?

On Blanche Lincoln:

Morrison has traveled throughout Arkansas to towns like Wilmot, Fairfield Bay and Eudora. He and his wife visited Mountain View and handed out 1,000 fliers.

“We did not find one vote for Senator Lincoln,” he said. “There were people from all over the state. No one said, ‘Sorry, I’m voting for Senator Lincoln.'”

You didn’t find any Lincoln votes in Northwest Arkansas?  Absolutely stunning, D.C.  Nevermind the fact that Stone County actually went for Jim Holt over Blanche Lincoln last time, despite her carrying the state overall by nearly 12 points, or anything.

“Every time Senator Lincoln says that she has done something for Arkansas she should finish the sentence with ‘And I borrowed the money for that from the Chinese,'” he said.

Morrison said he was shocked when Lincoln walked out with a notebook at the recent debate between the candidates at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

“She had this notebook and papers in 28-point font and she read the darn statement,” he said. “Tell us what you think. You don’t have to read it word for word. She wasn’t a rocket scientist before she became a congresswoman.”

OK, I fully admit to laughing at that last comment.  And I am also going to use it as an excuse to link to this as an aside.

That said, why are we going to the we-sold-out-to-China chestnut again?  China is a problem; it’s deliberate undervaluing of its own currency (by roughly 40%) gives it enormous leverage against other countries in terms of trade.  However, the current economic crisis in the U.S. has people buying fewer exports, which has caused many people to speculate that China will revalue the yuan within the next few months in an effort to lessen their dependency on foreign trade.  (They’ve lost 1/3 of their trade surplus since foreign demand for Chinese products fell.)  A meaningful revaluation of the yuan would cut U.S. trade deficit by $50 – 100 billion and create between 250,000 and 600,000 U.S. jobs.  Point being, it’s not outsourcing that has caused the problem with China; it is China’s deliberate measures since joining the WTO that has caused problems, which have, in turn, exacerbated outsourcing.

More importantly, not every measure Sen. Lincoln touts as having helped Arkansas has anything to do with China or free trade or international currency exchange rates.  Trite one-liners, meaningless hyperbole, and a general dumbing down of political discourse is better left to the other side of the aisle, Mr. Morrison.  Speaking of which…

What happens if he doesn’t [beat Halter and get into the run-off]? Can [Lincoln or Halter] count on his support?
“No, no, no,” he said. “I will not.  I am here to beat both of them.  Parties don’t mean much to me, people do.  I’m no party loyalist.”

Any of the eight Republicans vying for the Senate seat could count on his support though.

“Great folks there, all eight of them,” he said.

I have few rules in life, but one of them is this:  if you would support Jim Holt for Senate but would not support Blanche Lincoln or Bill Halter, you are not a Democrat.  Thankfully, and despite his assertions to the contrary, Mr. Morrison has zero chance of actually beating either of the other candidates.  The only reason Morrison is relevant at all is because he looks like he will manage to pull enough protest votes that he will force a run-off between the two Democrats in the race; we might still be talking about the AR-Sen race on May 19, 2010, but no one will be talking about D.C. Morrison outside of that context.

(Heh…”wasn’t a rocket scientist…”)

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