We Should Be Skeptical Of Governor Bryant’s Election Year Stand With Conservatives

As this midterm campaign season winds down, to the relief of most of the nation, a new one is just getting underway in Mississippi. Next year state elections will determine the occupants of every state office and control of the legislature. And there is ample evidence that Governor Phil Bryant is slyly shifting his political position in order to gain the support of the state’s vast conservative bloc of voters.10.4-Bryant-with-Tom-King-and-Terrell-Tisdale-copy

During the summer months, Governor Bryant came out against Common Core, the hotly debated education program loathed by conservatives across the country, even though Thad Cochran supports it.

We have a few questions for him: What took so long? Common Core has not changed, so why did you wait until now? Where were you when conservatives took a stand against it on the Senate floor?

The answer is pretty simple. He was not facing re-election when the Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition, led by Senator Chris McDaniel, was facing off against Common Core. He was not facing a split party.

Just wait, Governor Bryant is only the first among many Mississippi pols that will join the call to end Common Core in the upcoming legislative session. But last year it could have ended, yet Governor Bryant remained silent.

But Common Core is only one issue that he seems to be shifting on, or at least more loudly advocating. In his speech at the conservative-rich Neshoba County Fair, in which he proclaimed publicly his opposition to Common Core, he also stoked the fires of illegal immigration, suggesting that he might even send the Mississippi National Guard to Texas to aid Governor Rick Perry’s effort to stop the surge of illegals crossing the border.

In his latest ploy, Bryant is praising Senator Chris McDaniel in McDaniel’s own backyard in Jones County. A heavily GOP-dominated area, Jones County went for McDaniel by a more than 10-to-1 margin in the June primary and run-off. In an obvious and pathetic attempt to warm to Jones Countians, Bryant praised Senator McDaniel, telling a crowd that he has “a bright future” ahead of him. “Chris is a dear friend of mine,” the Governor said. “I know it’s been tough on Chris and tough on his family.” The issue is “in the courts now, so we’ll see what the courts decide,” Bryant said. “Chris McDaniel will have a future in whatever he chooses to do, and I continue to hope the very best for him, whatever that may be.”

To this we have still more questions: Why did you wait until now to praise Senator McDaniel? Where were you when the Barbour/Cochran machine was smearing your “dear friend”? Why did you not stand up as the state’s governor and call for an end to sleazy election tactics? Why did you not take a stand for a free and fair election process?

Had Governor Bryant done so, perhaps things wouldn’t have deteriorated to the point they have. But he decided to play politics instead, just like he is doing now.

We have witnessed on social media, even those who call themselves true conservatives, praising Bryant’s “new” stance. Are we going to also praise Lt. Governor Tate Reeves if he decides to support legislation that he killed last year in the Senate? Are we going to praise the others who voted to fund Common Core one year, but then in an election year decide to vote to end it?

First of all, we should never praise a politician for doing their job and carrying out the promises they made to voters. But even more than that, we should never praise a politician for shifting his position on important issues, even if it is in the right direction, with a re-election campaign upcoming. That should be blatantly transparent to us all by now.

As our state election season approaches, let us all consider how our leaders voted for their full term in office, not just those cast in the months before the vote. Let us be ever mindful of the positions they hold throughout their time in public service. Please remember when they fought for what was right and when they didn’t. Don’t let them fool us once again.



  1. I think that MCD has made some excellent points in this article. If Phil Bryant would focus on his responsibilities as Governor, and quit trying to be the State’s Lord Protector, he might get things right the first time. At times, he acts like he is Kirk Fordice with a learning disability. The best thing going for the Governor and the State these days is that he has Lucien Smith as his Chief-of-Staff. LS is known by all as a dedicated, and brilliant young conservative. The problem is that the Governor has a habit of keeping his own counsel on many things–often times causing himself and the State to look ridiculous. So, you are correct on his tendency to flip-flop on some key issues. But if not PB, whom else is out there who could be a viable conservative opponent to challenge him in the GOP primary?

  2. I have broad vision and a long memory. I am not fooled at all by these career RINO’s who have brought much devastation to our state and threw Chris Mcdaniel under the bus repeatedly. I, along with thousands are not fooled and will not vote these guys back in. Period!

  3. William Smith says:

    Prediction: Phil Bryant will be elected to another term next year. Insight: Did anyone notice that in the same comments about Chris McDaniel, he also pretty well disimissed him.

  4. William Smith says:

    Sounds to me like the Gov is saying, “I tried, but he didn’t llearn much:

    “Chris is a dear friend of mine,” Bryant said. “He first came in when I was elected lieutenant governor. He was part of a very small group I tried very hard to mentor.”

    Sounds to me like the Gov doesn’t think that future is in MS Republican politics:

    “Chris McDaniel will have a future in whatever he chooses to do, and I continue to hope the very best for him, whatever that may be.”

  5. Monica Boudreaux says:

    who else is running for governor in 2015?

    • At this moment we don’t know. Hopefully a challenger will step up to the plate, if nothing else to make the race more interesting and see how Bryant reacts. Challenges, as we have seen, sheds a lot of light on stuff that we wouldn’t otherwise see!

  6. Chris and Watson split with Barbour over the strength of eminent domain legislation: Barbour turns his back on both of them and so now they are persona non gratis for all other RHINOS. Bryant, while he doesn’t like Barbour, he nevertheless fears his strength. The same is true of Delbert and Tater Tate. So, like the dark room full of roaches that scramble when you turn on the light, so it is that everyone scrambles when Barbour steps into the room. We really don’t need any more roaches; we need men(and women)of strong Conservative convictions.

    • Hey Catty: You may be correct on Haley having turned his back on Chris and Michael. But he has nothing to do with their roles or duties as senators. Such being the case, whom do they have to blame but themselves for their inability to serve the State and their constituents effectively. They’re both nice guys. But like so many Tea Party Patriots, they have a very difficult time reaching compromises on important legislation. This is important since our whole system of governance is based on the ability to compromise in order to accomplish the greater good. Because of their unwillingness to work with other conservatives, not only are they ineffective, but they are not trusted as being competent by their Senate colleagues.

  7. The word “compromise” is the new lexicon for Progressive/moderate/establishment Republican which is not representative of the majority of Mississippi Republican voters. To perceive this otherwise is to be on the outside looking in and is blind to the 187,000 voters who, being the majority of Mississippi Republicans, voted for McDaniel over the “compromising Thad Cochran”. Who are you to say Watson or McDaniel are not doing their job when their constituents say otherwise. ” Go along to get along” has no place in serious governmental politics if one has conviction instead of ambition….(i.e. see Tator Reeves, Stacy Pickering, Gregg Harper, Phil Bryant, et. al.) Lawyers are compromisers and are paid to be so; but for the more than 60 per cent of GOP voters in MS. we prefer our leaders to be more representative of OUR VIEWS!

    • Hey Catty: I said that they are ineffective as legislators and not trusted as being competent by their Senate colleagues. If their constituents think that by being ineffective and incompetent is “doing their jobs”, then that is fine. However, Michael is one of my local legislators. It grieves me knowing that he is worse than useless in the legislature since his colleagues do not trust or respect him. He is considered to be toxic. Over the years, it would often been better for South MS if his seat had just remained vacant. And that was before the Senate election with all of the unnecessary drama that they have created.

  8. William Smith says:

    Catty, the way legislatures work, is that you have to cobble together a majority to pass anything or prevent something passing. To do that it is often necessary to “compromise.” Politicians need discernment, wisdom, statesmanship to be effective. To start out you and some colleagues say, “We want this pie.” At some point it may become obvious that you are not going to get the whole pie. So you ask, How much of this pie can I get? How much must I get to vote yes or no in good conscience? The problem Chris has had is that he has not been able to work well in the Senate by working with colleagues, chairmen, the Lt Gov, and the Gov. There is reason to think he would be even less effective in the US Senate. It takes mature judgment to be effective. This is what it appears he lacks. To change metaphors, sometimes you fight the good fight and then have to fall on your sword. Sometimes you fight the good fight, accomplish a lot, and put up your sword satisfied you have done the best you can. The problem with Chris is that he falls on his sword too often. Reagan had what McDaniel lacks – discernment, wisdom, mature judgment, and statesmanship. I come nowhere close to thinking Thad is right on every vote. He is not. But, given the two choices of men, Chris or Thad, for me it comes down to thinking that Thad makes the better Senator for MS and for the country. Sometimes compromising means in good conscience doing the best you can, given the political realities. And you can’t win a war against reality. Reality wins everytime. It is easy as one who is running for office to say, “I will do this,” or, “I will not do that.” But then, if you get elected, you find (if you did not really know before) that the whole system works and is meant to work by working with your fellow legislators, figuring out a compromise, and cobbling together a majority. That’s reality. Reagan knew how to work with the political realities of his day. Cochran has done a pretty good, though not perfect, job of working with the politcal realites of the US Senate during his terms. I judge that McDaniel would not do nearly so well as Reagan or Cochran. What some McDaniel supporters are saying is, “We will have our whole pie or we will have no pie at all.” Or, we will attain absolute victory or we will fall on our swords.” What we will see on election day is if Sen. Cochran can cobble togehter a majority of Mississippians to win another term. If he cannot then we will have a Democrat who will of necessity (reality) have to carry water for Obama, Reid, and Pelosi. Given the reality that is, for me it’s clear choice of voting for the one who will organize the Senate by caucusing with the Republicans.

  9. Pappy and Smitty: I really don’t need a refresher course on legislation. What I am trying to convey is just what the two of you represent….that compromise if preferred over principle. We have had nothing but compromise and look where we are now! No, we must swing the country back to Center as we have moved way too far to the Left. Now, as this relates to our state legislature, if
    Watson or McDaniel are toxic as you suggest then that means the power of Barbour is overreaching. That Tator Reeves would not allow Conservative- driven legislation to come out of committee and to the floor suggest HE is the problem and Tator is obviously too liberal for MS. He favors Common Core, for example, when clearly it is not favored here nor nationwide. So I am suggesting that Tator needs to realign his views with those of the voters instead of your suggestions that it is Batman and Robin who are the evil doers. Compromise is the buzz word of Liberals…we saw the Harry Reids insist it was their way or no way and the country has been suffering ever since. Honk if you despise Obamacare: the noise would be deafening. To call Watson ineffective is to align yourself with the same element we voted against in the Run Off. We have no common ground here. RHINOS are saying they want to destroy Watson and that tells me the power of Barbour is what needs to be destroyed because he was the fair- haired chosen one until he opposed Barbour so don’t bother to lecture me on ideology. Conservatism is for capitalism, for freedom of the individual; smaller government allowing for self reliance instead of the over-reaching bureaucratic control we now see invading all our lives. I lived in Europe and visited Egypt and spent time there learning more about their government and saw first hand how socialism is ineffectual and is the final stage of ineptitude…allowing for radical ideology to take over, which it almost did in Egypt thanks to Obama’s pro-radical Islamic effort to unseat Mubarak. We here in our state face the same type of impact with an influx of illegal aliens in our schools, draining our tax dollars in medical care and on and on. One must have a larger view of both the economical as well as governmental impact to better understand the basic ideology of Conservatism and why we as a Nation have flourished: we don’t punish the effective to placate the ineffectual. But we, as individuals and collectively provide for those in need. As the daughter of legal immigrants I learned this early on….opportunity over welfare: Teach the man to fish instead of giving him a fish, etc. McDaniel and Watson represent that element within our state, our Nation, who are trying to get back to Center and clearly will NOT compromise on Common Core, open borders, full tax benefits for all illegal aliens, amnesty, and it goes on and on. Statistics have been published time and time again that Conservatives give more to the needy than all others yet we are chastised by the media and you liberal/moderates as being unconcerned about the down-trodden, the needy. I bet a comparison between even our own approach to this would put you both in the cellar against true Conservatives. Walk the walk before you the talk the talk.

    • William Smith says:

      Catty, you can call me a liberal, moderate, RINO, as you.like. It won’t make it true. I don’t have to pass.your tests. You don’t get to create the definition. I am a Reagan conservative. But that’s not good enough for you. The only thing that bothers me is the inaccuracy A and untruth of your bare assertions.

    • Hey Catty: l have been called a lot of names before, but being classified as a liberal, a RINO, or a moderate has never happened before. Maybe I’m starting to mellow with age. BTW, “compromise” is not a dirty word. If the Founding Fathers had not all made huge personal compromises, our Constitution would never have been drafted and ratified. Our secular democratic republic would never have been born, and we would not be here today enjoying the privilege of living at all, let alone in a free society. The U.S. Constitution is one huge compromise. No one delegate was successful in getting all that he wanted or thought was vitally important in principle. But that is how a republic works–through compromise! The truth is that you and many Tea Party Patriots don’t really want to live in representative democracy. You would prefer to live in a Commonwealth where there is a Lord Protector who serves with his appointed designees whom he knows will usually agree with him on most things. There is no need for compromise because everyone represents the same set of interests. Under the best of circumstances, you have a benevolent dictatorship like the English experienced under Oliver Cromwell.
      Usually, however, you get something akin to the Chinese Communist Party Congress and Central Committee.

      • Compromise among individuals who respect and follow the Constitution is one thing, but the majority of most compromises are conservatives caving in to liberals and this is what real conservatives are sick of. Chris is accused of not compromising; he compromises as much as Harry Reid, yet Reid’s lack of compromise is never brought up.

      • Hey Joey: On the contrary, Reid’s refusal to to compromise is brought up all of the time–on TV as well as the printed news media. That is one of the reasons that this congress is considered by many pols to be the most ineffective congress in our nation’s history. But that’s okay. Compromise for the sake of compromise alone is where the problem lies. With BHO in the White House, we really don’t want
        to see his liberal domestic agenda being successfully pursued. But being able to compromise with your fellow GOP senators in the MS Senate where they are all Conservatives, the Lt. Governor is a Conservative, and the Governor is a Conservative just makes sense.The problem is that the Anointed One wants to return MS to a 19th century socio-economic plantation state where Mammy sits on the porch telling the uppity coloreds to hush their mouths when Chrissy walks by. That is not going to happen. When he says that he wants to get government out of or lives, he and Michael don’t just mean ObamaCare. Rather, they want to eliminate Medicare and Social Security for our Senior Citizens. They want to do away with FEMA and other emergency relief agencies. They want to dramatically reduce our intelligence community during this very dangerous period in U.S.and world history. They want to eliminate government agencies that protect the average American from the psychopaths who prey upon trusting folks with their savings and investments. They want to eliminate completely the Departments of Education, Energy, and Commerce. Without the financial assistance from the Department of Education, most school districts in the U.S., and particularly in MS would be shut down.The list goes on. To be sure, there are things that need to be cut back, or eliminated altogether. However, these guys want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Their hero is Ted Cruz, when perhaps they should be deferring to the pragmatic conservati sm of Rand Paul. Therefore, I say that The Anointed One is no Patriot, but rather, he is an anarchist who is intent on taking down the Establishment, with no plan of his own as to how to rule effectively. He and his fellow travelers just produce a lot of noise–redneck noise.

  10. I read the Mississippi Conservative Daily (MCD) post critiquing Governor Bryant, and I was concerned about its tone. Chiefly, I came under the impression that MCD is criticizing Governor Bryant for being more supportive of Tea Party positions than he used to be. I understand being cautious about politicians who radically change positions right before an election year, but Governor Bryant allied himself with social conservatives years ago and expressed friendship with the Tea Party right after it came into existence. If he’s taking even more Tea Party-style positions now, it’s entirely in keeping with his political history. I have not followed the evolution of his policy views enough to venture an opinion on his motives, but at this point in time, allying himself with the Tea Party is probably almost as risky as the reverse. Tea Party conservatives want to oust politicians who disagree with them, and now they want to oust politicians who at least make an attempt to befriend them? Surely there are other politicians (such as Jim Hood, Bennie Thompson, or liberal Democrats in the state legislature) who are far more deserving of conservative criticism. If politicians are punished by conservatives for both disagreeing with conservatism and for agreeing with conservatism, I fail to see how the conservative cause (and I also am a conservative) intends to advance.

  11. William Smith says:

    Here are some things said to me today by McDaniel siupporter, Franklin Aldridge. This is, I fear not atypical.



  12. Pick a nut, any nut. It won’t prove your point. Surely in our discourse you can recognize I am above average and capable of clear thought and not a Jesus freak but a Christian. To attempt to discredit us in this manner reflects badly upon anything intelligent you may say in the future. Or in other words: CHEAP SHOT!

  13. William Smith says:

    Catty, I hope you are right. But this is no cheap shot. This guy is a realtor, says he is a fraternity brother with Cochran, and is a member and apparently an administrator for FIRE THAD COCHRAN and the GOP ESTABLISHMENT Facebook page. I did not just randomly pick a nut. The reason I think there are more of ths type guy is because I check the two different McDaniel Facebook pages. The administrators, of course, do not allow those who disagree with their pro-McDaniel stance to comment, but there are a lot of comments made (and not removed or denounced by the McDaniel adminstrators) by people who say things that are similarly nutty. But I do acknowledge that this guy’s comments are expecially vile and repehensible. Why don’t you check out the group facebook page and check him out as well.

    • JackTown601 says:

      The reason I think there are more of ths type guy is because I check the two different McDaniel Facebook pages.

      Your fixation on all things McDaniel Smith from far off in Virginia, your need to go on ad nauseum about the rightness of your opinions with 100s word comments and your repeated offering of “Reagan conservative” bonafides as some measure of opinion surperiority is nothing short of a massive obsessive compulsive disorder. You need help and the Pappy is right there with you.

      Both of you are top down hierarchical Internet trolls of the highest order. Your aren’t changing minds. No, with y’alls approach you aren’t even reaching the front door of opinion consideration.

      Both of you are the epitome of all you find political fault with. You don’t want compromise, you want 100% unquestioning compliance. Good luck with that.

      • Amen JackTown601. Spot on!

      • William Smith says:

        A psychiatrist and a Latin scholar!

      • Hey JT: I know that it is doubtful that I can change the minds of any McGOPers. And you are correct about me being obsessed at times in sharing my opinions on government/political matters. But isn’t it great that we have a forum like MCD where different minds are free to debate their thoughts and opinions without government oversight? This is better than pschotherapy!

  14. Another case of a politician telling us what he thinks we want to hear while at the same time appointing the same old lawyers to high paying positions and of course on our dollar. Yea, he is somewhat conservative but a career politician who still bows to the establishment because he is afraid to be his own man and possibly loose the big money boys.

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