Senator Roger Wicker supports changing Mississippi’s state flag and it’s because of the inclusion of the banner of the Confederate army, which he deems “offensive” to many of the state’s citizens. And he has not been shy about his newfound position.
On June 25, 2015, Wicker appeared on CNN with his fellow Senator, New Jersey’s Cory Booker, one of the chamber’s most liberal members, and called for the flag to come down and be placed in a museum.
The day before, June 24, 2015, he released an official statement about his stance:
“After reflection and prayer, I now believe our state flag should be put in a museum and replaced by one that is more unifying to all Mississippians. As the descendant of several brave Americans who fought for the Confederacy, I have not viewed Mississippi’s current state flag as offensive. However, it is clearer and clearer to me that many of my fellow citizens feel differently and that our state flag increasingly portrays a false impression of our state to others.”
To drive his point home, Wicker used the Holy Scriptures. “In I Corinthians 8,” he wrote, “the Apostle Paul said he had no personal objection to eating meat sacrificed to idols. But he went on to say that ‘if food is a cause of trouble to my brother, or makes my brother offend, I will give up eating meat.’ The lesson from this passage leads me to conclude that the flag should be removed since it causes offense to so many of my brothers and sisters, creating dissension rather than unity.”
But there is a huge problem with using this particular Scripture in this particular case: What about the “brothers and sisters” in the state who oppose replacing the flag, who see such action as an offensive trampling of the history of the state and the sacrifice of so many for the Confederate cause? Is Wicker trampling on them? Is their offense any less than that of other Mississippians?
Like Booker, liberals will jump for joy, especially if Wicker has to publicly invoke his stance even more forcefully in a very public campaign in 2018. One state columnist, Bobby Harrison, is already singing Wicker’s praises. He believes this position on the flag will only help Wicker if he is challenged next year.
Harrison recently wrote that even though Wicker “is expected to cruise to an easy victory,” if he is challenged and prevails, he “will become the first Mississippi Republican to win a statewide election after definitively calling for the state flag to be replaced. A matter of fact, the Tupelo attorney may be the first Republican to wage a statewide campaign after endorsing changing the state flag, which includes the controversial Confederate battle emblem as a significant part of its design.”
Who then might challenge Wicker? The prevailing view is Senator Chris McDaniel, who came within a hair of knocking off the “unbeatable” Thad Cochran in 2014, falling only after an unprecedented smear campaign topped off with a massive vote-buying scheme. Harrison poses that very question, asking if it’s possible that “McDaniel or someone of his ilk” could “run a serious campaign against Wicker next year?” And, if so, “could the flag be part of that campaign?”
Aside from Harrison’s low regard for conservatives with his “ilk” remark, the flag issue will most likely be a major part of the campaign no matter which conservative decides to challenge a very vulnerable Wicker in 2018.
But why would Wicker make the flag an issue for a future campaign? Why would he engage in such a risky tactic that could only alienate many in the conservative base of the Republican Party in Mississippi?
Perhaps it’s because he greatly fears a McDaniel campaign and knows that the Jones County Senator, and the state’s top conservative, will suck up almost all of the support on the right, especially after a months-long campaign of showcasing Wicker’s less-than-stellar voting record he’s amassed over the last 22 years in DC. In fact, according to Mark Levin’s Conservative Review liberty scorecard, Wicker scores an “F” with a grade of just 30 on the nation’s top issues.
With an abysmal record like that, Wicker needs votes to win and with conservative support harder to come by, he is likely to use Cochran’s tactic of looking to his left, feeding off moderate to liberal Republicans and Democrats. By making the flag a major issue, Wicker is looking to persuade many of the state’s black Democrats to support him, as they did for Cochran in 2014.
So here we go again: Roger Wicker, like Thad Cochran, is willing to engage in betrayal and sell out the conservative base, and the proud history of Mississippi, to gain leftist votes in order to keep his seat. And liberal praise of him is all the proof we need of this brewing dastardly deed.
Mississippi needs a real courageous conservative in the US Senate, not another liberal in conservative sheepskin.