The media fallout over Arkansas Republican Party chair Doyle Webb’s anti-gay comments suggests even in red states people are in no mood for the politics of division. Last week Webb admitted the stump speech he’s given across the state has included references to the state legislature’s sole openly gay member, Rep. Kathy Webb of Little Rock. The two Webbs are not related.
Doyle Webb (pictured) has suggested voters should elect Republicans to keep in check the power of an out lesbian, who is a Democrat.
John Brumment, a columnist for the Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock, dissected Doyle Webb’s argument in a scathing column today, concluding:
Kathy Webb ought to be speaker of the House. Democrats know they can’t invite that trouble. So the next best thing is to assign her to start early and stay late on the nitty-gritty of the budget.
Republicans should appreciate that arrangement, actually. Kathy Webb will do the hard work so they won’t have to, which will free them to preach and preen about how gay people are bad.
Meanwhile the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, in an editorial today headlined “The irrelevant party,” opens:
The first sign of a political party without anything worthwhile to add to the political dialogue is when it chooses to make an issue not out of some difference over policy or philosophy but of race, creed, color, national origin or something equally personal. Like sexual orientation.