When Governor Phil Bryant had to choose a successor to Senator Thad Cochran, he had certain qualifications in mind, although we don’t know what many of them were. He said little publicly except that he wanted someone who could serve for the next 20-25 years, like Cochran. In other words, he was looking for longevity.
But it has become painfully obvious that one of his criteria must have been that the prospective replacement also think, act, and, most especially, vote like Thad Cochran. That’s probably why Chris McDaniel was out early in the running. And that’s why Cindy Hyde-Smith made the cut.
Like Cochran, Hyde-Smith claims to be a conservative. She “revealed” to the public on the day of her appointment that she was a “lifelong conservative.” Cochran said much the same thing, especially in his battle with Chris McDaniel in 2014. But their respective voting records tell a far different story.
Like Cochran, Hyde-Smith is a former Democrat who switched parties for political opportunities. She voted in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, for either Hillary or Obama in 2008 (I think it was Hillary), and switched parties in late 2010 in order to run statewide in 2011, and didn’t vote in a Republican primary until 2011. Cochran voted for LBJ in 1964 (he said he voted for Nixon in 1968) but didn’t switched parties until 1972 in order to run for Congress.
Like Cochran, Hyde-Smith votes against plans to balance the budget. Even though both tout themselves as conservatives, both Cochran and Hyde-Smith do not support plans to cut spending and balance the budget. They both talk the talk but have never walked the walk. His long career in DC, Cochran was one of the biggest porkers on Capitol Hill and once voted against an amendment to cut one-half of one percent from discretionary spending. Hyde-Smith recently voted against Rand Paul’s plan to cut just one percent from the budget over ten years.
Like Cochran, Hyde-Smith is rated an “F” by Conservative Review’s Liberty Score. Cochran was always rated as one of the least conservative members by Conservative Review and other such institutions. And although Hyde-Smith has only been in the US Senate for a month, she’s picking up where Cochran left off.
Like Cochran, Hyde-Smith is a supporter of big, bloated “farm bills” that spend hundreds of billions on food stamps. Cochran authored and pushed through a massive farm bill a few years ago that cost taxpayers three-quarters of a trillion dollars. Although Hyde-Smith is yet to vote on such a bill, you can bet your last dollar that she will.
Like Cochran, Hyde-Smith has the full backing and support of the US Chamber of Commerce, an organization that supports global free trade, open borders and amnesty, government bailouts, bloated spending bills, corporate welfare, and Common Core. The Chamber spent millions defending Cochran and attacking McDaniel, and they are doing so again on behalf of Hyde-Smith.
Like Cochran, Hyde-Smith has backed out of a candidate forum later this summer, opting to send a “spokesman” instead. Cochran did exactly the same thing in 2014 against McDaniel. If she is afraid to debate McDaniel, or to speak to the people of Mississippi, she is unworthy of the Senate seat.
Even though it is very early in her Senate career, and we don’t have a lot of votes and bills to consider, we can already see a pattern emerging. Cochran never introduced any reform bills of significance, except pork-filled spending bills for which he is most known. There were no Cochran plans to reform entitlements, balance the budget, reshape foreign policy, or reform the way Washington works.
Chris McDaniel has said the first bill he plans to introduce in the US Senate is for a term limits amendment to the Constitution, a much-needed reform on behalf of the people’s interests. By contrast, Cindy Hyde-Smith’s first bill was S. 2942: “A bill to amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to establish January 31 of each year as the Federal closing date for duck hunting season and to establish special duck hunting days for youths, veterans, and active military personnel, and for other purposes.” No, that is not a joke.
As we can see, Hyde-Smith is showing herself to be a carbon copy of Thad Cochran, not exactly what liberty-loving conservatives wanted to see.
So, the real question for the people of Mississippi this November is simple: Do you want a Cochran Clone in the US Senate for the next twenty years, even though we already have Roger Wicker, or do you want a real conservative who supports limited government, reduced spending, and has never been a member of the Democratic Party?
The choice is yours.