From the Arkansas Statehouse...

More tussling over Obama resolution.

In Dan Greenberg, Resolutions and Ceremonies on 29 January 2009 at 5:01 pm

On a ho-hum day at the Legislature, the failed Obama resolution continued to generate commentary.

Rep. Dan Greenberg, one of the legislators who voted against the resolution, writes at the Arkansas Project that he found it ‘historically inaccurate, divisive and perhaps a little insulting.’ He also told John Brummett today that he objected to its mention of specific demographic groups. (Including, presumably, white people, who the resolution notes voted for Obama in greater numbers than they did for John Kerry in 2004.)

The purely ceremonial resolution would not have been half as divisive, of course, if its opponents had swallowed their objections and passed it. It would have been quickly forgotten, as a similar measure in the Senate already has been. Instead, the House State Agencies committee gave the country further reason to believe the common Arkansas stereotype.

And if Rep. Greenberg feels insulted, perhaps he should ask black voters what they think about this whole affair.

Another twist to the plot: The Arkansas Project reports that parts of the resolution were copied verbatim from an L.A. Times article. That’s bad. Complex law is sometimes copied from other law, true. But it’s reasonable to expect that a resolution, which is not as rigorous as binding statute, will be the writer’s own words.

Still, plagiarism or not, the paramount issue is that the committee voted against a measure because it (accurately) referenced the country’s history of slavery.

Rep. Greenberg says there will be a new resolution congratulating Obama in short order. Too late. The damage has been done.


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