January 8, 2012 by Mike Landry
In your opinion, what were the most significant political events of 2011?
While Occupy Wall Street (OWS) was probably the single biggest political news event of 2011, three other things provided an ongoing political backdrop to the year.
They were 1) the continued Obama administration attempts to remake America, 2) the up-and-down gyrations of Republican presidential candidates, and 3) the continuing change of Arkansas into a genuine, two-party state.
OWS claimed to represent 99 percent of the people, but the numbers were probably reversed — 99 percent of the population was indifferent to, or was disgusted by, OWS. Apparently engineered as the left’s answer to the Tea Party, OWS received White House endorsement (if not initiation – maybe OWS should stand for “Obama Works the Streets”). Following arrests, rapes, violence, and decadence, OWS antics became an embarrassment to Democrats. It even looks like the OWS plug has been pulled and the Democratic news media have stopped promoting it.
The year 2011 also represented the continued move by President Obama and the Democratic Party to change the United States into a European-style socialist state. And as the President steamrolled Congress, its members refused to defend their rightful powers.
Said the administration: Congress won’t do what we want? No problem. We’ll just do it with an executive order. The response of Congress: to roll over.
Then there is the bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Among conservatives, there is a shorthand reference calling Democrats the “Evil Party” and Republicans the “Stupid Party.” Republicans have been true to form, allowing mainly left-leaning media people to moderate Republican debates. That’s how Republicans have been tripped up by “gotcha” questions or goaded into turning their attacks on each other. And those blistering attacks have resulted in continued comparisons to a circular firing squad. The circular firing squad allows Democrats to collect loads of juicy sound-bite ammunition to launch against the eventual Republican nominee.
But the year provided good news for Arkansas in that solid Republican gains in the 2010 election continued to move us in the direction of becoming a true two-party state. Whatever one’s political persuasion (and some of us lament that “Republican” doesn’t always equal “conservative”), it should be evident having only one party in control is not healthy.
From Northwest Arkansas some solid, new conservative Republicans took their places in Little Rock, including Mark Darr as lieutenant governor, and Charlie Collins and Justin Harris as members of the House of Representatives (full disclosure: I campaigned for both Collins and Harris and am working for their re-election). Also, a veteran Northwest Arkansas legislator, Mark Martin, became Secretary of State.
Darr is considering a run for governor, the conservative activism of Collins and Harris have irked the Democratic establishment, and while stumbling at the start (and subject to some ludicrous criticism from the editorial board of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette), Martin has found his pace. Meanwhile, Arkansas Republicans expect major gains in the 2012 elections.
Thus, the old year.
And for the new, my wife, Barbra, and I wish you peace, prosperity and blessings.
To read Richard Drake’s response to the Observer’s question, click here