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by
Rick Moran

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June 22, 2014 - 12:34 am
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On the surface, the runoff for the Mississippi GOP Senate nomination on Tuesday between state Senator Chris McDaniel and six-term incumbent Thad Cochran appears to be a clash between populism and traditionalism — the Tea Party vs. the “Establishment.” But the fight being joined in the Magnolia State resists such easy labeling simply because the battle lines are so starkly drawn.

There is a generational aspect to the race that goes beyond the fact that Cochran is 76 and McDaniel is 41. Cochran represents the old guard of the Republican Party whose notions of conservative governance are being relentlessly challenged by McDaniel and those who back him. The challenge is nationwide and it hardly matters that Tea Party candidates haven’t won every race. Those thousands of volunteers who flocked to campaigns in Kentucky, Virginia, Iowa, and many other states are exerting influence and are slowly changing the core philosophy of the Republican Party.

Cochran is an old-fashioned politician who believes it’s his job to bring federal dollars back to his state. In this, he’s been hugely successful over the 36 years he has been in office. There’s hardly a county in Mississippi that hasn’t benefited from Cochran’s single-minded reliance on pork-barrel politics. Schools, hospitals, health  clinics, roads, bridges, post offices, old folks’ homes — tens of billions of dollars to give the residents of his state what he saw as a decent quality of life.

But what have all those billions actually done for the citizens of Mississippi? When Cochran became the first Republican senator elected from Mississippi since Reconstruction in 1978, it was the poorest state in the union and ranked dead last in almost every category relating to economics, education, and income.

Today, Mississippi still ranks dead last in income, poverty rate, life expectancy, and four other metrics. It is second to last in percentage of high school graduates, infant mortality rates, and obesity, and is ranked 48 in “well being.” All those schools, all those hospitals and clinics, all that money — and the people of his state are hardly better off than they were when he took office.

Mississippi is ranked fifth in federal tax dollars spent per capita. The state budget is more dependent on federal money than any other state is. Washington — with Cochran’s help and support — has lavished tax money on Mississippi only to see their efforts end in total failure.

It appears that something more than cash from Washington will be needed if Mississippi is ever going to become something more than a basket case. Cochran obviously doesn’t see that, while Mr. McDaniel does.

Or does he? Earlier this month, in response to heavy criticism from the old guard and education advocates in Mississippi, McDaniel trimmed his sails a bit and now says Mississippi should accept federal funding for primary and secondary education.

From the Clarion-Ledger:

U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel has changed his statements about federal school funding in the past two weeks, after coming under sharp criticism from former Gov. Haley Barbour and state education leaders.

Barbour and other critics say McDaniel has dangerous ideas that could rob billions of dollars from one of the poorest states in the nation.

McDaniel, a tea party-backed state senator from Ellisville, is trying to unseat six-term U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in a Republican primary runoff Tuesday.

McDaniel told The Associated Press in April that Mississippi could afford to forego federal funding for elementary and secondary schools. He now says Mississippi should take federal money.

“We don’t want to hurt public education, but we don’t believe it’s best dictated to us by Washington, D.C.,” McDaniel said Thursday night at a campaign rally in Madison.

Cochran has said repeatedly that the federal government should help finance education but should not dictate policy.

Politics as usual? McDaniel has run into the political reality that one man’s wasteful spending is another’s bread and butter. Where philosophy meets the practical mechanics of politics, something usually has to give. In this case, McDaniel made the logical choice to give ground to keep his opponent from initiating a potent line of attack.

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Top Rated Comments   
Roger Wicker is a U.S. Senator who was appointed by King Haley Barbour in 2007 replacing Trent Lott. Lott himself served three full terms and one year into his fourth, he resigned in December of 2007 and opened a lobbying firm in January of 2008. Phil Bryant is the current governor of Mississippi and has been in state politics since 1990. He also served as Barbour’s Lt. Governor. Tate Reeves is next in line, currently serving as Lt. Governor and was Treasurer of Mississippi while Barbour was governor.

This is the apparent House of Cards in Mississippi politics.

Corrupt crony lobbyist King Haley Barbour wants the next senator from Mississippi to once AGAIN be "selected" by himself in 2 years when he tells Cochran it is okay to retire NOT elected by the people is the problem.

Anyone who threatens to drain the swamp will be vilified.

It's the corruption, stupid!
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (32)
All Comments   (32)
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Rick: "...how do you turn those [six] principles into an agenda? How do they play as a legislative program?"

Yes, but those six principles Mr Brat articulates merely add three to the three "core principles" generally embraced by the myriad independent Tea Party advocacies. Those principles characterize the general nature of a political platform but intentionally avoid specifying individual planks in the platform. Identifying planks is left to individual candidates and office holders to suit themselves and their own constituencies, as well as adoption by one or more of the established political parties if and when they find Tea Party core principles compelling.

Thus "the" Tea Party is a loose collection of broad-interest advocacies which evoke the name of that 18th century colonial event in Boston Harbor and which may back political candidates but is not itself a political party in the usual sense.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
The two principles alluded to in my post were adherence to Constitutional limitations to Federal authority (as related to the mess we have gotten into because the principle has been largely abandoned by the GOP establishment) and secondly honesty in campaign rhetoric. Mr. Perkins seems to object to these principles. I wonder what principles he holds in these regards.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I support those principles wholeheartedly. What you have not demonstrated is that Cochrane supports them, or that his opponent traduces them.

In fact, in claiming it is dishonest to hold his record against Cochrane because "we all know how legislation is cobbled together", you show you don't understand how business as usual is part of the problem.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks, Rick. This the most coherent treatment of the Republican situation I've seen from you. It's also the most generous toward the Tea Party. We must finally be changing some minds.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Old politicians, regardless of party, are like old coaches. They just don't know when to hang it up.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
" the niggardly gains "

Umm! You said niggardly! The PC crowd will soon ride you out of town on a rail, just like that teacher a couple years back!

:P
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The philosophy that Cochran and the traditional Republicans stand for is based on the post-World War II consensus that emerged regarding the role of government in American society — an activist government that refereed the free market, worked to end discrimination, created conditions for a healthy economy, and spent lavishly on the inner cities."

So you admit the Establishment GOP has been in bed with Democrats for decades? That for all the good they've done--giving the Democrats 90% of what they want when the donks are in power, and giving them half of what they want when the GOP is nominally in power (in fact, they only difference is which Progressives are in power)--for all that good, they should be banished from every position of responsibility in the party?

As they should.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
"So you admit the Establishment GOP has been in bed with Democrats for decades?"

It might be better to say they are in bed with power and its spoils.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Cochran has said repeatedly that the federal government should help finance education but should not dictate policy."

We should move from vouchers at a per head rate at 90% of current spending, to ever smaller federal vouchers, inviting the states to pick up the difference if they so choose, and draw the federal vouchers down to zero.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bingo.

School Choice, Privatizaiton, Vouchers Funded Statewide that Follow the Child
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Excellent start.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well written Rick - you managed to criticize both sides of the republican party for a change. Maybe you're finally seeing, and accepting, the inevitability of the Tea Party as a force for good in the party? Times change and the republican party needs to come out of that 1950's slumber and get with the program. Cochran is a dinosaur.

Cochran is the face of the 50's era of republican lawmaker - he gets great marks from the NRA and checks most the boxes that ID him as 'conservative' - and he brings home the 'bacon' but for whom? His time has passed. States like Mississippi need to realize what really is holding them back and fix their own troubles - quit relying on the federal $ so much. Its patently obvious that much of those billions of dollars that Cochran brought home went down a rat-hole. The reason is most of those $'s probably went into the pockets of cronies of Cochran - and some of it 'filtered' back into Cochran's campaign coffers. The cronies get the bacon and the citizens get the bone. It isn't difficult to know how this works. It is exactly how Patti Murray in my own home state of Washington operates - she's one of the best at 'bringing home the bacon' - yet those 'projects' never quite manage to be what they were touted as being. She's always securing money for 'studies' and pet projects - projects that her political cronies get the funding for - and no surprise - donors to her campaign come from such people. Its called the money cycle - anyone studying it can only come to the conclusion that the 'bacon' she brings home is funding her next campaign. Cochran is no different except he has an 'R' by his name. The end result is Murray and Cochran are no different even being from 'opposite' political parties.

And that is why we need the Tea Party to shake things up and begin creating new realities going forward. If we don't - and soon - we will be a has-been nation.

Even a fool can see that!

26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The reason is most of those $'s probably went into the pockets of cronies of Cochran "

Beat me to it. All this talk about money coming home to the district or State is really just going to the well-connected.

That's how you fight a guy like Cochran. Just make it about the cronyism. Show where the money really went.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here’s an inside view from a Miss. resident, namely me. I confess to doing something I have never done before. I sat out an election. I simply couldn’t bring myself to vote for either of these candidates. I abhor what the GOP establishment has brought to this country and I was personally jeopardized by one of Cochran’s well intended Katrina recovery projects.
On the other hand, I have been disgusted by the cherry picking in the campaign advertising on McDaniel’s behalf. We all know how legislation is cobbled together. You have one omnibus bill with all the irresistible motherhood and apple pie stuff and then there’s one little amendment providing thirty lashes for schoolchildren chewing gum in the classroom. So your opponent crucifies you for voting for child abuse. This dishonest approach has been used against Cochran in a variety of issues.
In particular, we have been inundated with advertising claiming Cochran is anti Second Amendment and yet Cochran has been endorsed by the NRA. I have been an NRA member all my life and I know we do our homework meticulously. The NRA has given Cochran an A+ rating. Go figure.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
" We all know how legislation is cobbled together."

We don't all accept it. You've no right, if you do accept it, to complain about Obamacare, since it was created by the same means.

"The NRA has given Cochran an A+ rating."

Why should that impress me? The NRA fought tooth and nail against Heller going to the Supreme Court, and only signed on when they failed to preserve DC's gun laws.

If you don't have better principles or more conviction that what you've shown here, I hope you vote nevermore.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
The two principles alluded to in my post were adherence to Constitutional limitations to Federal authority (the abandonment of which is my beef with the GOP establishment) and secondly honesty in campaign rhetoric. Mr. Perkins seems to object to these principles. I wonder what principles he holds in these regards.

It's easy to question conviction when it's not you yourself faced with the choice between a sclerotic RINO and an essentially unknown greenhorn running behind dishonest advertising, some of which is diametrically opposite to exhaustively studied voting history.

Finally, I object to the insinuation that I was "accepting" the cobbling of legislation. My remark about cobbling was intend only to explain how this deceitful practice of cherry picking becomes possible. That seems to have gone over the head of Mr. Perkins.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't object to them in the slightest, it's that what you are complaining of in McDaniel has nothing to do with their derogation. At best you are deluded and at worst you are a concern troll.

If an A+ NRA rating actually meant you for gun rights, you'd have a point about honesty in politics being a principle you were observing--I have related how an A+ NRA rating has very little to do for being "for" gun rights. The NRA opposed the greatest gun rights victory to date.

And yes, claiming there is any principle being violated by McDaniel and his supporters, when they accuse Cochran of having voted against/for a half dozen wonderful/awful thing--in a backhanded way apologizing for Cochrane's in fact doing just that, because, "We all know how legislation is cobbled together."--when McDaniel stands for changing how things are done...

...Sounds like you object to a change in how things are done.

Welcome to obsolescence, and like any RINO being the part of the 5th column that's just another part of the problem.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
I give up. Obviously Perkins lacks the capacity to comprehend. There's an old saying about whom not to argue with but I won't go there.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obviously you lack the facility of saying what you mean.

Actually, what's worse for you, I think you've said what you think.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
My son just came back from NOLA (which is still a s hole, he says, with panhandlers threatening you at every corner and really lazy workers at everything they went to) and he gained 15 lbs in a week.
Now, he's a pretty big boy himself, but he was laughing that, although he was fat, he still was nowhere near "Southern Fat".
To tell you how big he is, he lost 12 back last week.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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