There are 246 Republican members of the U.S. House. Approximately 40 of them are members of the Freedom Caucus. That’s less than 17 percent of the GOP membership of the House. It should be called the “Nut Job Caucus”. The caucus would rather be pure than govern. The Freedom Caucus will not list its members but there are a number of internet sites that list the suspected members of the group. In reality, the Freedom Caucus should be known at the Tea Party Caucus. The Wall Street Journal reported that when the Freedom Caucus got involved in the leadership fight to oust Speaker John Boehner and oppose Kevin McCarthy to take his place, U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin resigned from the group. Rep. Tom McClintock of California also left the caucus of tea party members because as Ribble said, there is “no room for dissent” in the Freedom Caucus. WSJ said that the Freedom Caucus “demands absolute fealty from members.” Ribble said if 80 percent of the caucus members agree about a course of action, all members are required to vote that way. Too bad members of the Freedom Caucus do not have the same rule when they participate in the larger Republican caucus for the entire House. It’s their way of saying that their group of 40 members are more important than the 246 Republicans of the entire House. The Freedom Caucus, the Tea Party, RedState, and Heritage Foundation all talk about Republican “moderates” in the House. From their rhetoric you would think that the old Rockefeller wing of the GOP is still in power. Give lots of credit to Mississippi Congressman Gregg Harper. Harper told a Gannett reporter of his irritation with the Freedom Caucus. Harper said, “I am also proud to live in Mississippi where our people have common sense and are not misled by outside groups whose purpose is to raise money.” Harper could have added that Republican in the Freedom Caucus spend more time attacking Republicans rather than Democrats.
Congressman Palazzo, you must be kidding?
U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo of Mississippi has endorsed Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee for Speaker of the House to replace John Boehner. In a radio interview, on Twitter and in an Associated Press story, Palazzo said he would support Blackburn if she decides to run.
Of course, there is a nice Mississippi connection since Blackburn is from Jones County and graduated from Mississippi State University. That aside, I hope Palazzo is joking but I’m afraid he’s not. Blackburn is not only a lightweight, but she is a real whack job. Knowing what I do, in a secret vote in the GOP caucus, Blackburn would probably not even get the support of a majority of the Republicans in the Tennessee delegation. There’s been a suggestion that some other of Palazzo’s colleagues in the House would like to see Blackburn run for speaker. If that’s the case, there should be mandatory drug testing for Republican members of the House. The only thing more ridiculous than a suggestion that Blackburn should be Speaker is if a Republican candidate from president would suggest that talk show host Mark Levin would be a good candidate for Speaker. But excuse me. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has suggested that Levin would make a good Speaker of the House.
Jeb Bush to attend Egg Bowl but will his candidacy still be alive?
Former Florida governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush will attend this year’s Egg Bowl in Starkville between rivals Ole Miss and Mississippi State. It has been rumored that he will attend for a couple of weeks and has now be confirmed. However, Bush’s campaign seems to be stalled. The Daily 202 of The Washington Post is one of the very best daily political reporting sites around. On Friday, James Hohmann wrote that Bush “has become just another guy in a crowed field of presidential aspirants.” He added that Bush has spent 86 percent of the money he has collected over the past three months, “burning through $11.4 million of the $13.4 million that he raised.” A major GOP fundraiser said Bush should have raised at least $25 million during that period and that he has less cash on hand than Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson. “The struggling campaign has slashed staff salaries and tried to cut costs in other ways, including the use of cheaper hotels.” Despite tons of Bush ads and an aggressive schedule by the candidate, Hohmann notes that Bush’s “numbers are lingering and languishing in the single digits.”
Good choice by Rubio to head his Mississippi campaign
While I haven’t seen an official announcement yet, Arnie Hederman will apparently direct the Mississippi campaign of Marco Rubio. Hederman, a veteran political operative and former chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party, is a very good choice by Rubio.