BY: B. Keith Plunkett | UCF Staff @Keithplunkett
To read all the recent ink spilled over Sen. Chris McDaniel, Sen. Michael Watson and Sen. Melanie Sojourner one might think they were expected to launch a coup d’etat of all state government in Mississippi .
Bill Crawford writes an opinion article out this week where he references serial race-baiter and despiser of the ‘peon working class’ at Y’all Politics, Alan Lange. Crawford attempts to fortify his opinion of why neither McDaniel, Watson, nor Sojourner decided to run for higher office this year.
Then along comes “Mister me too, me too” Sen. Will Longwitz. Never letting a moment in the spotlight go to waste, the conservative coalition quitter adds his two-cents to an article out by AP reporter Emily Pettus.
All this begs the question: Have the chatterers in Mississippi politics ever been as worried about people who didn’t run for a higher political office as they are now?
None that I remember.
Crawford quotes Lange as writing,
“For all of the campaign bluster in the McDaniel operation about sitting at the sharp end of 180,000 voters and how the Tea Party was going to topple the ‘establishment,’ the Tea Party in a statewide election year was unable to muster one single serious candidate for statewide office. Not one.”
This assertion attempts to do what Lange has tried to do for over a year now, form a line of guilt or responsibility that discredits McDaniel and the ‘politically meddling peons’ Lange despises.
In Lange’s world, when he can find, for example, a single vendor whose beliefs he can call in to question, and that vendor might be at a gun rally where McDaniel is asked to speak, then McDaniel by association is a racist and so is everyone else who believes in the Second Amendment. In Lange’s world, something is ALWAYS a sign of a greater ill within the camp of his chosen opposition. You can bet that at some point, whatever the perceived wrong, it is either the fault of McDaniel, or the much overgeneralized bogey-man TEA Party. (insert evil laugh)
While these may seem to be attacks purely for the sake of being childish, it portends a deep-seeded worry by those who love to play the “inside game”. Lange is in love with the preening Country Club Republican set, but he also knows what they all know; there is movement afoot that doesn’t bode well for the future of their sect, and they have to kill it NOW.
Crawford’s sardonic echo does nothing but reinforce the worry. He writes:
Could it be that most in the Tea Party are satisfied with current leaders? After all, Republican statewide leaders are all pro-gun, pro-life, anti-tax, anti-spending, anti-regulation, free market, small government, anti-Obama constitutionalists. That matches up pretty good with the ultra-conservative Club for Growth mantra that McDaniel et al mimicked.
Never has their been a more overgeneralized and dubious claim in Mississippi politics.
If these statewide leaders are ALL pro-gun then why was Lt. Governor Tate Reeves among the first to use tragedies in other states as a means to introduce restrictions on the Second Amendment here in Mississippi? If they are ALL anti-tax, then why did Reeves not support the repeal of the franchise tax until an election year, a bill that was introduced by McDaniel way back in 2009?
If they are ALL for small government then why do you hear none of them speaking out against the big government program of universal pre-k, which has been empirically discredited as unproductive, inefficient and possibly even damaging to young children?
If they are ALL free market then why does Mississippi still fund an economic development authority that rewards corporate cronies with tax incentives to come into our state with the promise of jobs that many don’t deliver, and leave taxpayers to clean up the mess?
If they are ALL anti-Obama constitutionalists then why was Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney so antsy about launching a state government insurance exchange that would have brought ObamaCare to Mississippi two years ago? Why did Lt. Gov. Reeves fight so hard to leave open the possibility of Obama’s Medicaid expansion? And why, pray tell, was no one willing to speak out against Common Core until these poor, hapless and hopeless conservative senators and the Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition did so?
Which gets me back to Longwitz. Poor fellow. He wants so desperately to be liked by the politicos. Methinks he tries too hard.
Emily Pettus writes today of the supposed demise of the Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition and reports that:
Republican Sen. Will Longwitz of Madison said he left the coalition within weeks.
“From the beginning, it was an organization to promote Chris McDaniel,” Longwitz told The Associated Press this past week. “I don’t see anything they have accomplished. It’s just policy losses followed by political fundraising. You lose, you whine, you raise money.”
Talk about “whining”!
And did you get that first line? Longwitz “said he left the coalition within weeks.”
The truth is Longwitz quit before the ink dried on the press release, because once the cameras were gone and the work began he no longer felt ‘compelled’ to participate. Had he stuck around he would have known that there have been several Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition meetings to discuss policy.
Longwitz showed up to only one.
Had he stuck around he would have known that the Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition has held dozens of functions across the state where senators have visited with voters and discussed potential legislation of all types.
Longwitz didn’t show up at all.
When the coalition began publicly questioning Common Core, Longwitz wrote an article taking the group to task for it. One wonders if now he is for Common Core or against it. It probably depends on who is doing the asking.
Gimme a break! Stand for something other than reelection and another opportunity to get your picture taken.
What perpetual political bottom feeders don’t want the voting public to know is that what they deride as “the TEA Party” is bigger, deeper and far more diverse than any single organization. It’s not just the members of the TEA Party. It’s a broad coalition that is getting broader by the day. The United Conservatives Fund is on the front lines of this newly forming coalition. We see it every day, and for those who care about something other than blind publicity it is pretty exciting stuff.
The attacks on Chris McDaniel and the Senate Conservative Coalition are cover to protect the political personalities that these attackers worship. It comes now in an election year because of the lack of “real conservative” policy substance that hundreds of thousands of conservative voters in Mississippi would like to see. The attacks are a typical political campaign move to play up the negative as a means to tamp down the fervor of opposition.
They attack because they know they are losing the conversation.
Bottom line, there are a large number of challenges in Republican primaries in Mississippi this year. Where did these challengers come from? And if the public is so pleased with their leaders, as Mr. Crawford hopes us to believe, then why are these challenges taking place?
While the political establishment are busy slinging darts at those that they believe threaten their sugar-daddy’s in statewide offices, they nervously refuse to acknowledge that they are now surrounded by an army of working class conservatives who aren’t going away.
They are playing single election year politics while conservatives are planning for the long-term with groups like the United Conservatives Fund.
I say let the political worshipers keep playing their games. By the time they stop slapping each other on the back and stepping on each others heads to hurl insults, it will be too late.
Keith Plunkett is the Policy and Communications Director for the United Conservatives Fund. He has worked on communications and policy issues with a range of public officials from aldermen to Congressmen, and a variety of businesses, government agencies and non-profits. He serves or has served as a board member of several non-profit, civic and political organizations. Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Keithplunkett