Brett Favre, hero quarterback who rose from blue-collar Gulf Coast obscurity to Southern Miss icon to everyone’s All-American, is now a shill for everything that is wrong with American politics. Not that he doesn’t have the right to support Cindy Hyde-Smith, but because his name recognition alone might sway voters in a state with more than its fair share of ignorance.
So Favre appears in a commercial for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. That organization is very… VERY … pro Hyde-Smith. The Chamber is virulently Establishment, status quo, politics as usual. Judging their ads portraying Chris McDaniel living amongst the swamp creatures certainly was not a display of its ethics. The Chamber has big pockets from people who have a lot at stake for the chosen ones to throw a monkey wrench into politics.
That monkey wrench is McDaniel, the firebrand state senator from Ellisville. He speaks his mind, will answer any question and has a fierce sense of independence. He loathes the Haley Barbour wing of the Republican party — but it pales to the depths that they loathe him. His top priority? Term limits. Their top priority: Winning the next election.
The advertising campaign is deft. About once per month, the Chamber — with its multi-million-dollar ad campaign peppering TV and internet sites — sends us a downright-giddy email with its latest pro-Cindy, anti-Chris ad. Apparently, the Chamber wants its share of free advertising as well. Surely those TV stations aren’t running that ad for free. But when we ask the Chamber to pony up for those ads instead of us running them for free, the Chamber will not respond.
But back to Favre. So the hero quarterback, who is the epitome of toughness in a tough sport, is backing a loyal Haley Barbour soldier — a perfect Establishment puppet
Around here, we remember Brett Favre before Brett Favre was Brett Favre. We remember Ropers (although he might not have many memories of them). He was tough as nails, refused to back down from anyone, who played an amazing 297 straight games in a sport that delivers beating after beating. He gets knocked down and always — ALWAYS — gets back up. We admire him for that.
You know what, Brett, your toughness and grit are in lockstep with McDaniel. He was an undersized point guard, the son of a basketball coach, who could shoot a 3-pointer like no one’s business. Ask anyone who has played against him and they will say no one is more competitive. Sounds a lot like you, Brett.
But before we blame Brett, we really don’t believe for half-a-second that he believed the words he was reading in that ad. Here’s how we see it, Haley: The Chamber got in touch with Mississippi’s Boss Hogg about an ad campaign pushing Cindy Hyde-Smith. Of course, it was Barbour and his machine who hand-picked someone who would fall in line perfectly. As long as things stay the same, Boss Hogg and his ilk are laughing all the way to the bank. Now Haley knows that he can easily get Brett Favre on board. After all, Boss Hogg did pardon the quarterback’s brother Scott and had his record cleared in the death of his friend after he drunkenly drove in front of a train. So Favre agrees, reads the words and perpetuates all that is wrong with our federal elected officials. He backed a candidate who, less than a decade ago, was a Democrat who was outed by Ovett’s Rickey Cole as having voted for Hillary Clinton in 2008. That’s what we want, Brett? Really?
We’ll put our money on a fighter, who won’t kow-tow to whatever Haley tells him to. We will back the guy who won’t be the loyal soldier. Eventually, if enough candidates who won’t just be “loyal soldiers” get elected, we might finally see the drain plug pulled on the Swamp.
Oh, McDaniel will be hated by some … but he will be respected. Sounds a lot like this newspaper.
And a man named Favre.
Well, it used to …
Laurel Leader Call Editorial, Tuesday, July 3, 2018