Sarah Huckabee Sanders turning her stint as head White House liar for Donald Trump into becoming the real-life governor of Arkansas remains one of the more remarkable reminders that our politics are a cesspit of the nation's worst people. At this point, American voters have been almost fully reduced to picking whoever they know best from their magic television box.
But that's on voters. If you vote for Sanders to run your state, then your punishment could very well become Sanders running your state. Now Arkansas has a governor who’s world-famous not for her keen mind or nuanced policy stances, but for her dedication to being the most prolific bullshit factory in politics.
Let's watch as Sanders throws some of the usual pocket sand into the eyes of the sad sacks who voted for her.
Oh, yes. Certainly, it's the talk of every town in California and New York and Texas and Colorado and in all those other states: This is nice, say Americans, but we sure do wish we lived in Arkansas. How we envy Arkansas laws, and Arkansas infrastructure, and not being governed by Clown Number Five from the Donald Trump All-Clown White House Revue. Nothing says Bastion of --d-mned Normalcy like having Sarah Freaking Huckabee Freaking Sanders signing your legislation.
Damn it, Disney Company, you've missed your chance. If you'd only put Walt Disney World in Arkansas instead of Florida, the state's Republicans would have made Goofy one of the state's senators by now.
You probably didn't watch enough of that video clip to get to the end because why the hell would you, but it closes with Sanders boasting that her laser-like focus on "no more men playing women's sports," stopping "indoctrination in our schools," and barring "gender experiments" is "making Arkansas the absolute best state in the union to live, to work, and to raise a family."
Sigh. Now here in the real world, across the Arkansas state borders so Sanders can't have us arrested by one of the roving Bullshit Enforcement Squads she likely dreams of unleashing on her state next, Arkansas has just a few problems standing between it and being the best state in the union for anything but losing fingers in chainsaw accidents.
Arkansas is in fact ranked in the bottom 10 states when it comes to child well-being. A fifth of its children live in poverty. Its teen birth rate is "nearly double the national average."
Arkansas ranks a miserable 48th in overall health rankings, and next to dead-last in food insecurity. It is the 47th most-educated state, which is poison when it comes to the state attracting major industry. It is also next to last in crime and corrections metrics, thanks to poor public safety and recidivism numbers.
Things are so dismal in Arkansas, in fact, that Sanders isn't even mentioning Republicans' actual most significant piece of recent legislation: taking an ax to child labor laws and allowing Arkansas parents to send their kids to work, no permits required, at the age of 14.
Sanders and her fellow elected Arkansas Republicans took a look at all that and decided that what would patch up the state's sky-high misery indexes was government-backed attacks on LGBT children and new dirt-wage jobs for all the others. They sure are dreamin' big in the Arkansas halls of power. This'll turn everything around right quick, eh? Well, that and racism.
Again, a plurality of Arkansas voters cast their ballots for this to happen, so the state's Republican "families" are probably quite content with their bottom-of-the-barrel public safety, educational opportunities, health options, and you name it, as long as they have someone on television telling them that state government is watching closely to make sure your children's teachers don't pipe up with any of that nonsense about "gender science" or why gay children shouldn't kill themselves. You can't say you don't know what you'll get, when you put one of Trump's most infamous liars in charge.
But do not come bullshitting to us, oh Arkansas Republicans, by propping up Señor Wences' fifth-best hand puppet to tell us how We Wish We Were You. The rest of us would very much prefer to not bite into a 14-year-old's severed finger at the local burger joint, thanks! We're good where we are.
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What do you do if you're associated with one of the biggest election fraud scandals in recent memory? If you're Republican Mark Harris, you try running for office again! On this week's episode of "The Downballot," we revisit the absolutely wild story of Harris' 2018 campaign for Congress, when one of his consultants orchestrated a conspiracy to illegally collect blank absentee ballots from voters and then had his team fill them out before "casting" them. Officials wound up tossing the results of this almost-stolen election, but now Harris is back with a new bid for the House—and he won't shut up about his last race, even blaming Democrats for the debacle.