In a previous post on May 16, I stated my opinion that Sam Hall, former executive director of the Mississippi Democratic Party, now executive editor of the Jackson Clarion.Ledger, is still a partisan hack for Democrats. That opinion was based on a lot of things that I seen in the left-leaning newspaper. In this case my comments were based on a particular commentary of Hall in which he wrote that there was a “bankruptcy of leadership” among statewide officials and the Mississippi Legislature. In a Tweet, Hall responded, “Partisan hack calls me a partisan hack. Irony lost on him.” Maybe so, but there is a big difference between writing a blog of political commentary and being the executive editor of the state’s largest newspaper. Hall’s comments also confirmed something I have known for many years. Journalists talk about politicians being thin-skinned, but editors and columnists like to dish it out but don’t like it when they get it back in return.
Liberal campus Gestapo leads anti-free speech march
Jason Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a columnist for The Wall Street Journal. In the May 4 WSJ, Riley wrote a column entitled, “I Was Disinvited on Campus.” His column is certainly worth reading. It should also be noted Riley is not only a conservative, he is a black conservative. In April, Riley was invited by a professor to speak at Virginia Tech this fall. Last week his invitation to speak was rescinded because the department head of the professor who invited Riley objected to the speaking invitation. Other VA Tech faculty also objected to Riley being allowed to speak. So much for another case of liberal tolerance, support for free speech, and open mindedness to other views. Riley’s entire column should be read, but I particularly found interesting his comments about a book written by two political scientists. The book is entitled, “Passing on the Right.” The research of the two professor shows that in the humanities and social sciences, about 18 percent of college professors identify themselves as Marxists. That is nearly double the percentage of professors that describe themselves as Republicans. Does this really surprise anybody? (Note: Because of widespread national coverage by print and broadcast media, Virginia Tech has backtracked and now re-invited Riley to speak on their campus.)
Contributions and enrollment fall at the University of Missouri
Most people remember the turmoil at the University of Missouri when the inmates took over the asylum. Mob rule was the order of the day when students demanded the resignation, and got it, of the school’s president and chancellor. They were joined by 32 Mizzou football players who said they would not practice and would also boycott games until the president and chancellor stepped down. It is now worth noting that two Missouri dormitories have closed because of decreasing enrollment and contributions to the university have taken a nosedive. Should we be surprised?
Tea Party’s circular firing squad takes aim again
The Tea Party sends out frequent emails asking people to join that organization or make contributions. Currently, one of their hot button issues is to seek money to help them
McDaniel term limit proposal creates a lot of smiles
Politicians are often the source of amusement. State Sen. Chris McDaniel can always be counted on to be a source. A few days ago, The United Conservatives Fund PAC of McDaniel issued a press release regarding term limits. The organization will seek enough voter signatures for a constitutional amendment in 2016 to limit state legislators and statewide elected officials to two consecutive terms in the same office. Of course, while advocating limiting legislators to two consecutive terms, McDaniel is seeking his third term in the Mississippi Senate. The next day I received more than a few calls and emails from people that were very amused that McDaniel is seeking a third term while advocating term limits. In regards to McDaniel, a lot of us are still waiting for him to concede his defeat by Sen. Thad Cochran and to congratulate his fellow Republican on his re-election to another term in the U.S. Senate. McDaniel’s ego, arrogance, and self-righteousness are never diminished. There will never be term limits for McDaniel in “The World is Flat Club.”
Republicans’ circular firing squad still has its guns loaded
Nothing illustrates the problem the Republican Party faces from the tea party and the far right than two quotes in a USA TODAY story about the conservative CPAC conference recently held in Washington, D.C. In an article by USA TODAY reporter David Jackson, he quoted a CPAC attendee talking about GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida. While some CPAC members called Bush a RINO (Republican In Name Only), one particular member from California said that Bush should be a Democrat. You can say a lot of things about Jeb Bush and his consideration as a 2016 Republican presidential candidate. He would not be at the top of my personal list of candidates, but those who claim that Bush is not a conservative and should be a Democrat are nuts. In the same story by Jackson, a quote from a 26-year old CPAC attendee made a lot more sense and should be heeded by all Republicans. The legislative aide to a state senator from Hawaii said, “We have a lot of disagreements—which is good—but I think we spend too much time attacking each other. We should be attacking Democrats.”
Harper makes sound statement; comments by Palazzo are weak
Following the vote that re-elected John Boehner as Speaker of the House, U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo issued a statement saying that many people asked him to vote against Boehner. Palazzo then proceeded to say that before the vote he met with Boehner one-on-one for more than an hour. With the full plate that Boehner has as Speaker, please forgive me if I can’t quite believe that Boehner took the time to meet “one-on-one” with Palazzo for “more than an hour.”
From that point on, Palazzo’s statement only got more pathetic. You would have thought that Palazzo threatened the Speaker and Boehner promptly quivered and caved in to Palazzo’s demands. Palazzo claimed that he extracted a pledge from Boehner that the Speaker would “stand up to the liberal agenda of President Obama.” Wow, consider that. Without Palazzo’s demands Boehner would have probably become the leading supporter of Obama in the U.S. House.
The re-election campaign of three-term U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana may be on life support but she’s still alive thanks to tea party candidate Rob Maness. Under Louisiana’s version of the open primary, called the “jungle primary,” there will now be a Dec. 6 runoff between Landrieu and Republican congressman Bill Cassidy. Except for Maness, there would be no runoff and in January the liberal Landrieu would be an ex-U.S. Senator and Cassidy would be the junior senator from Louisiana. There’s no doubt that Landrieu is an underdog in the runoff but she now still has a chance because of the Maness candidacy. When the votes were counted on Nov. 4 and it was clear that Landrieu is in trouble for the runoff, she quickly challenged Cassidy to six debates.
Longtime and respected State Rep. Rita Martinson of Mississippi House of Representatives District 58 announced recently that she won’t see re-election in 2015. Republican Martinson has served in the legislature since 1992. Usually there would be a lot of competition for an open seat. I doubt very seriously if that will be case next year. Successful businessman Joel Bomgar, founder of Bomgar Corporation, has already announced he will seek to replace Martinson. The qualifying deadline is not until March 3 and the GOP primary is not until August 2015. While most of us prefer competitive elections, I don’t think conservative Republican Bomgar will have serious opposition unless it is a Shawn O’Hara type of candidate who runs numerous times for public office with no chance to win.
Much larger crowds on Thursday – On Wednesday, the first of two days of political speaking at this year’s Neshoba County Fair, the crowds were much smaller than the turnout on Thursday. Besides local candidates on Wednesday the headline were Central District Public Service Commissioner Lynn Posey, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, State Auditor Stacey Pickering, Attorney General Jim Hood, and Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves. Reeves by far pulled the largest audience at Founders Square. Pickering proved again that he is one of the best stump speakers among statewide elected officials. The larger crowds Thursday were probably because of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, his Democrat opponent Travis Childers, and Governor Phil Bryant. I expect the spectators also swelled because of the possible protest/demonstration by tea party supporters of Chris McDaniel and people didn’t want to miss the fun. The other speakers Thursday were Ag Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith, Treasurer Lynn Fitch, former governor William Winter, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, and House Speaker Philip Gunn.
Confession: I was snookered by Sarah Palin. She’s not the first politician to snooker me and won’t be the last.
When Sen. John McCain selected Palin as his vice presidential running mate in 2008, I was initially impressed. I heard her first TV speech after McCain selected her and I liked Palin. She was obviously the best looking VP nominee ever. I was at the 2008 Republican convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul and listened to her acceptance speech. I was still impressed.
It’s clear that the “Kamikaze” Republicans (a.k.a. tea party members) don’t intend to abandon their circular firing squad strategy. On Saturday, July 5, defeated U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel and his supporters held a rally at the state Capitol in Jackson. The following “tweet” is from McDaniel supporter Elaine Vechorik (@informative9). She is one of the Mississippi plaintiffs in the lawsuit that alleges fraud in the June 24 runoff and is also one of the leaders of a tea party group called Mississippi for Liberty. From the rally she tweeted: “The Speaker (not identified) begins ‘In order to defeat the Democrats we must first defeat the Republicans.'”
It should be noted that the person the tweet referred to was another tea party speaker, not McDaniel. But seriously, the Democrats should be paying these guys.
Statewide GOP primaries in 2015
State Sen. Michael Watson of Pascagoula, a strong Chris McDaniel ally and tea party darling, is considering a 2015 Republican primary challenger to Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. On the other hand, there are a lot of people in Jackson County, if Watson instead runs for re-election, who would like to elect someone else to the state senate. Watson apparently told some people on the Gulf Coast recently that there will be tea party opponents for all statewide elected GOP officials. Of course, that would possibly be all statewide GOP elected officials with the exception of Gov. Phil Bryant, who is a dancing partner of the tea party.