Last week (4/14) I wrote an article, based on several developments that had occurred in recent days, raising the possibility that our overheated politics might be making a turn to the mild side. I mentioned the backlash against Rush Limbaugh for his attack on Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke; also Mike Huckabee's decision to take on Limbaugh, head-to-head, with a lower-decibel talk show in the noon to three slot that has belonged to Limbaugh; and about Cumulus Media's concern that talk radio, including the long-running Mark Davis show on WBAP, may have run its course after 18 years. (D Magazine reported "Davis out at WBAP,'' but the issue seems to be a protracted contract dispute rather than a final splitting of the sheets.)
Of all the developments that suggest a possible change in the political climate, the most important was a Time magazine story about the activities of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has made a name for itself by disseminating pre-drafted conservative legislation to state legislatures, including, presumably, ours, since former speaker Tom Craddick is a bigwig in ALEC. One of ALEC's pet laws is the stand-your-ground legislation that was a factor in the killing of Trayvon Martin.
The Quorum Report's "Daily Buzz" section today carries the news that ALEC--faced with the loss of corporate support from the likes of Coca Cola, Kraft, Wendy's, McDonald's, and Intuit, and having the stain of Trayvon Martin's blood on its hands--has thrown in the towel on pushing social issues like Voter I.D and sanctuary cities. (Wal-Mart and the Kochs remain supporters). Kronberg writes that, in the future, ALEC will turn its attention to jobs, the free market, and economic growth. Kinder, gentler indeed.
- 1 week