Columnist John Brummett is trying to go all counterintuitive on us today, explaining how Gov. Mike Beebe’s sly little move of declining his gubernatorial pay raise wasn’t all that special, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is a big dummy.
Brummett is partially correct: He notes that Beebe’s move was a “hollow, grandstanding gesture,” in part because the $3,000 or so he declined will make little difference in the overall context of the state budget, and Beebe’s rich and he can afford it, so so what? That’s true enough, on substance.
But then Brummett goes on to give a pedantic lecture about Amendment 70 to the state constitution, about which nobody cares. Look, the point is, Beebe got a bunch of headlines saying “Governor Declines Pay Raise.” That’s about as far as most people are going to look into the issue, and they’ll probably approve of that gesture, in general, hollow and grandstanding though it may be.
In an earlier post, I deemed this a “politically savvy” move, and I don’t see anything in Brummett’s assessment to make me change my mind. Beebe’s move can be “politically savvy” and a “hollow grandstanding gesture” at the same time, can’t it?
(And to be clear, my earlier post on the issue was actually less about what Beebe did do and more about what a bunch of worthless Arkansas Republican legislators did NOT do, which was to find a way to use the pay raise issue to their advantage. Let’s keep our eye on the ball here, people!)
Anyway, all that said, it’s good to see Brummett calling out Beebe for being “full of himself,” because Beebe really is nothing but a pile of simpering self-regard, when it comes right down to it. So maybe on second thought, hooray for John Brummett, I guess.
P.S. Blogger Jason Tolbert, who enthusiastically stands by his declaration that Beebe did the right thing, puts his ninja-like video skills to work capturing the governor’s response to reporters’ questions on the matter (yes, I know this is a day old but I was gone yesterday and am only now getting caught up):