Fallin leads by wide margins in most polls, although some political watchers suggest the race could wind up being close. Askins, after all, was thought to be a longshot against Drew Edmondson during the primaries but basically worked her hind end off and defeated him. Over the last month or so, several ads have been run by a national group, the Republican Governors Association, which attempt to tie Askins' beliefs and policies to President Barack Obama's, suggesting that Askins is "too liberal" for Oklahoma. Newspapers, including the conservative-minded Daily Oklahoman, editorialized against the RGA ads, saying in essence, "Y'all butt out."
Askins herself as well as others have highlighted what they say are distorted statements in the ads, which is really no surprise, since they are political ads. If you want a one-word substitute for political ads, you may use "blatherskite" instead, so that's probably as much of that as needs be said.
I do believe that the election of more conservative, fiscally responsible governors and legislators is a must, but it always is, especially when it comes time to replace those fiscally responsible souls who turned into money spigots when Washington, D.C. or their respective state capitols began rotting their brains. And I believe that a significant spanking from the ballot box might wake up my former party (I'm now an independent) and open the door to a return of Democrats who didn't open their own checkbook for every nutjob with a grievance and try to write laws that made you open yours, too. Also Democrats who want to improve our nation -- not because they thought it sucked, but because it's the best doggone place on the planet and it only gets better when it tries to make sure everyone plays on the same field. Those Democrats exist, but they're rare, getting rarer, and mostly ignored.
Now, it's probably true that Jari Askins isn't as conservative on a lot of issues as is Mary Fallin, so a person's decision is clear if they are simply looking for who ranks higher or lower on a particular scorecard. But a few years of watching Fallin gives a strong impression that her positions are less reflective than reflexive. She doesn't give much indication of the thought process that brought her to particular beliefs and positions and seems more likely to have arrived at them because they are what conservatives think or are supposed to think. A reflective 2nd Amendment supporter, for example, has considered that handgun proliferation could prove dangerous and tries to figure out the safest way for U.S. citizens to exercise this constitutional right. A reflexive 2nd Amendment supporter, on the other hand, may be more likely to simply oppose any an all handgun regulation as someone "trying to take away our guns." I use that example without intending to attribute either position to either candidate, by the way. For one, both have "A" or "A-" ratings from the National Rifle Association, and for another, state governors don't write federal law.
I'd originally thought I'd be writing an "only in Oklahoma" piece, about how only in our state could a woman who's earned that kind of rating from the NRA and staked out some pretty conservative positions on many issues be thought of as too liberal. But then I realized that the ad which said Ms. Askins was "too liberal for Oklahomans" wasn't made by Oklahomans at all, so it's not really a matter of "only in Oklahoma" after all, but a case of an interest group trying to hornswoggle me and other Okies into doing something we may -- or may not -- want to do. That kind of folderol already got us a wacky state question to have to deal with, and we don't need any more help, thanks a lot.
So y'all butt out. And remember. According to the Republican Governors Association, even our liberals get an A- rating from the NRA, so you might want to listen.