Arkansas Media

Introducing: The Max Brantley Conspiratometer

Longtime readers of the Arkansas Times blog have noticed that hidden, sinister forces play a large role in the thoughts of its chief writer, Max Brantley. Occasionally, after reading his blog, I become curious about what conversations with Brantley must be like. I wonder if they’re something like this:

Balanced, stable person: Hmm. Looks like it’s about to rain.

Brantley: Yup. I imagine ALEC is responsible.

We are therefore honored to announce the premiere of a new series here at The Arkansas Project. For the first time, we have decided to scientifically measure the degree to which Brantley is, um, absorbed by such matters.  We call it “The Max Brantley Conspiratometer.”

In this series, we will quantify Max’s remarkable attention to conservative forces that promote dangerous and heretical ideas like limited government and fiscal responsibility.  Some of these groups include the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Koch brothers. As a control, I have included an actual Arkansas political figure — Arkansas’s Secretary of State, Mark Martin. (We wanted to be even-handed and include mention of George Soros and the Council on Foreign Relations too, but for some reason on these topics Max is as quiet as a mouse.)

Here’s the tally of Arkansas Blog mentions from last week [April 22-28]: 

Brantley’s fury over ALEC reached something of an apex last week, given his endorsement of Common Cause’s notion that when conservatives get together and talk about ideas, this constitutes “lobbying” that must be monitored by and disclosed to the government. One might almost suspect that what Brantley really finds objectionable are ideas as such – requiring voters to show ID at the polls, permitting those who are attacked to defend themselves, and requiring disclosure of the burdens that Obamacare places on state governments. Unlike many of the ideas that are regularly flogged on the Arkansas Times blog, these are ideas that enjoy broad popular support. And notably, as has already been discussed on this here blog, the majority of these proposals are ideas from Arkansas legislators that were brought to ALEC, not the other way around.

Can Brantley top 66 mentions of ALEC in a week?  Will Brantley continue to be shocked and appalled by measures to oppose vote fraud, protect taxpayers, and promote self-defense? Is Brantley campaigning to be this century’s version of a left-wing Robert Welch? We’ll see.

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5 thoughts on “Introducing: The Max Brantley Conspiratometer

  • With all the companies dropping ALEC like a hot potato seems like Max has lots of like minded people.

  • Simplemente Conservador

    During essentially the same period of time, Max the Apologist has written of the Democrat Senator Joyce “I’ll Raise Your Taxes But Not Pay Mine” Elliott saga 6 times, going back to April 25th. In the latest post, his rant is essentially the “she-did-it-but-so-did-Republicans” story and the “it-was-for-the-children” story and apparently in his world that makes it OK. This is the blog post where he provides a huge photo of her in campaign regalia speaking at what is presumably a campaign event, i.e., a campaign advertisement of sorts for her. In another story, she is mentioned in a long litany of others who have run afoul of the law related to taxes, apparently again in the “she-did-it-but-so-did-Republicans-so-it-is-OK” vein. She is mentioned twice more, but buried in stories about Occupy Little Rock or the Technology Park and then it is as a hero facing down corporate America/Arkansas/Fred Allen. Another story focuses on the primary battle heating up between Elliott and Allen, again posing her as the hero and Fred as the corporate stooge.

    Not once did he write simply that what she did was wrong in illegally accepting the job and in illegally intentionally failing to pay her taxes.

    Amazingly enough, in the middle of all this demagoguery, Max manages to post up a story with a headline declaring Sen. Missy Irvin the hypocrite of the day, but never once mentions in any of his posts that Sen. Elliott manages to vote for 19 tax increases, some rather huge in nature, during her career as a Legislative-Tax Scofflaw-Law Breaker, but couldn’t deign to pay her own taxes of both a personal and business nature. Apparently it is not hypocritical to raise the taxes on everyone else while refusing, yes refusing, to pay her own.

    You see, in Max’s world, it is OK to be a tax cheat if you can ever find an example where a Republican failed to live up to his or her duty. It is OK to break the law or act unethically if you can ever find an example where a Republican failed to live up to his or her ethical responsibilities.

    And you never, ever, read in Max’s rantings any stories about local leading liberal legislators who are accused by their lesbian lovers of fraud in a lawsuit filed in Chicago. Never.

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