Dot Ward: Moving Forward With GOP

Moving Forward with GOP

By Dot Ward, Clarion Ledger, November 17, 2014

Charles Krauthammer, in his Washington Post column following the Nov. 4 general election, nailed it when he said in a “memo” to the GOP, “You had a great night on Tuesday. But remember: You didn’t win it. The Democrats lost it.”

How right he is! I dare say that many of the votes cast in Mississippi were not enthusiastically in support of the Republican Party. When Obama stated a month before the election that “these (Obama’s) policies are on the ballot — every single one of them” the American people spoke and they spoke loudly in rejecting those policies. It was not an endorsement of the GOP.

Joe Nosef, chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party, in a recent op-ed piece touting the 60 percent statewide vote cast for Senator Cochran, states that “Mississippians can be proud of our Republican team in Mississippi and in Washington, D.C.”

As a life-long Republican, proud I am not, especially in the way the Republican primary was conducted. I lost a tremendous amount of respect for Haley Barbour and nephew, Henry, who used “big boss” tactics to affect the outcome of the run-off. Haley’s far reaching influence as former chairman of the Republican National Committee even squashed an effort by some in the RNC to censure the questionable and unethical tactics used in the senatorial primary run-off.

I also detest the Republican leaders of our state using the office they hold to endorse one Republican candidate over another Republican candidate in a primary election. This particular practice has been on the increase in recent elections and it does much to damage the party.

First off, the office holder does not own that office. It has been entrusted to him/her for a time by the vote of the people who elected them and should not be used to damage the candidacy of another candidate of the same party. Do those office holders realize that in using their office to endorse one candidate over another they are alienating those voters who support the other candidate? At some point this practice may come back to bite them.

In the most recent primary, almost every sitting Republican from congressman, to governor, to mayor, to dog catcher (and all those in-between,) publicly endorsed one candidate over the other. If the Party really wants, as Joe Nosef says, “to remain open and welcoming” this is not the way to go.

When the establishment gangs up on one candidate and shows favoritism publicly to one candidate (incumbent, or not) over another, it stifles the ability to attract young, viable candidates as office seekers. Who in their right mind would want to spend the money to mount a campaign to run in a Republican primary when they find they are not only running against opponents but running against sitting Republican office holders as well?

The Republican Party in Mississippi has seen phenomenal growth and success in recent years, but the damage done in the wrong-doing of the primary election has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many…especially conservatives. Former senator Trent Lott is right when he recently said that there may be “a need for change in party leadership.” The wealthy RINOs who are trying to be kingmakers and the disreputable political operatives need to go.

As far as the national scene goes, the Grand Old Party isn’t so grand anymore and the American people are dissatisfied with the direction the country is going. The Democrats are to blame since they have set the agenda but the Republicans have contributed to the downfall as well. With the decisive victory in the mid-term elections Republicans have been given the opportunity to prove that they can govern and move the country forward. But will they?

It’s high time for each and every member of Congress, Democrat or Republican, to forget about party and start thinking about what’s best for the country.

Dot Ward is a guest columnist for The Clarion-Ledger. Contact her at



  1. says:

    This article is so very true. I am extremely unhappy with the present GOP officials that call themselves conservatives. They should be ashamed of how they treated another republican! So many Mississippians are having to live with their gross behavier and refused to let the voters choose their Senator. They have their nerve to call and write me for funds!!

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more. Having ALL the elected GOP office holders endorse Thad just shows what a strangle hold the Barbour cabal has over the entire state…all except the really savvy voters that is. The GOP is having growing pains. We can’t grow in our current configuration; can’t move ahead with moss-backs who no longer represent the thinking of the voters. And as far as the future is concerned it has to be bright because so many younger folks are endorsing the Chris McDaniels/Michael Watsons, who are not afraid to stand on principle instead of being in lock-step in line with the Barbour gang. Too much money has for too long been aligned with Cochran/Barbour and these folks are willing to lie, cheat and defame others to keep their noses in the public tax trough. Just remember this: when you hear something defaming about Chris or Michael it is coming from a person without character who fears the truth. These willing, lieutenants of the Barber cabal reek with the foul odor of mendacity.

    • “The Republicans should be ashamed of how they treated another Republican”??? Really? Because we all know the Tea Party Republicans did nothing but show respect for Thad. Very respectfully they lied over and over about his voting record, very respectfully they accused him of being an adulterer, and very respectfully they slipped into his sick wife’s nursing home room to take her picture without permission to use against her husband. Yes, the McD supporters really treat fellow Republicans with respect. And “savvy” voters voted for McD? Oh dear, just look at the comments on his FB page and I’m sure “savvy” would not be the term most would use to describe his supporters.

    • Actually, not every GOP elected official endorsed Thad Cochran. On Chris McDaniel’s website, I count at least eight current state senators and the mayor of Petal who backed him in the primary. I voted for Cochran, but I’m not too concerned about the elected officials who supported one or another candidate. Whether it’s right or not, it seems to be a common practice these days. What concerns me more is whether any national or local Republican party organizations were too involved in the primaries. That, I think, is the more pressing question Ms. Ward would do well to address. Generally, party organizations should stay out of primaries between well-established elected Republican officials like Cochran and McDaniel.

  3. Dot makes some valid points. There have been times over the years when I have been exasperated with certain aspects of the MS GOP. This was particularly true when Kirk Fordice was governor. He was a loud mouthed, hypocritical buffoon who managed to embarrass the state and eventually alienate almost everyone with whom he came in contact. In looking back, he now reminds me of an older version of Mr. McDaniel. I just wish that MS GOP leaders had intervened back then. In this respect, there are times which call for drastic and emergency measures to be employed. The leaders of the MS GOP, as well as the RNC knew that the Democrats were salivating at the possibility of having The Anointed One–someone whom they could portray to the country as David Duke Lite–running as the Republican Party nominee for the Senate. The GOP was trying to head off what they viewed to be a potential disaster for the state and for the country. It was about saving the state and the nation from a train wreck. That is why every single Republican statewide office holder, as well as every former chairman of the MS GOP indorsed Thad over Chris early on in the campaign. This highly irregular move by our party and government leaders was an act of desperation to keep Shawn O’Hara’s political heir from unseating a proven/tested fellow conservative from office. Instead of complaining, I suggest that on this Thanksgiving we should all give special thanks that the guiding hand of Providence inspired our political leaders and the voters with the wisdom which passes all human understanding to do that which was right in the eyes of the Lord.

  4. I can agree with more of this post than most of the other posts on this website. However, I don’t think that the post’s author is correct to focus her attention on Republican office-holders and endorsements. The real question is the extent to which actual Republican Party organizations are involved in endorsements and funding during a primary election. That practice is generally problematic and is a different matter than whether elected officials endorse another candidate. Whether appropriately or not, elected officials are involved in primaries on behalf of both the Tea Party and the establishment. Chris McDaniel, for instance, had Republican elected officials (Melanie Sojourner and Michael Watson among others) that were staunchly behind his campaign. Mr. McDaniel himself, as a sitting elected official, endorsed a candidate in the Senate primary in Louisiana. So having elected officials endorse seems an accepted practice whether it should be or not. The practice that is currently more questionable is when party organizations themselves intervene in primaries.

  5. So true. They need to remember that they work FOR US. The Senate seat does not belong to Cochran or Barbour. It belongs to the PEOPLE of MS. We need to take our state AND our country back from the GOP ELITES!

  6. They made me so sick of politics “Mississippi Style” that I actually voted for Shawn O’Hara. That is really sick.

  7. Sorry Dot. I believe you are totally wrong, unfortunately. Cochran is an empty suit, and at the right point he’ll step aside, and hand his seat over to an acceptable thug. What we’ve seen in the past few months is no less than white collar Thuggery, at its best. And there is about as much chance for changing it, as there is for those poor kids in Hong Kong having Beijing agree to giving in to ‘free and fair’ elections. They (both Beijing and the GOP) are quite content with what they did, how they did it, and have no plan to alter their plans. I’m either a pessimist, or a fatalist. You pick it.

  8. Kathy Heindl says:

    Dot Ward, I have missed reading your editorials. I think we were cheated out of getting a true conservative (McDaniel) elected to represent Mississippi in Washington. I was shocked that our case against Thad, Haley, and Henry for their dishonest use of race-baiting, vote buying was not allowed to go before the MS court. Now I am waiting to see who get appointed to Thad’s seat when he retires in two years. It will be interesting to see who our Republican governor selects to finish out the term. It might alert us about whether we should ever vote for the governor for any future political position he runs for. Those of us who are conservatives are not going away.

  9. The extreme right wingers should form their own party. They have nothing in common with the Republican Party. They hate the party. Evidently they are so few in number that they have to be leaches on the GOP or go out of existence. I am sick of them. I wish they would latch on to some other party.

    • Don’t you just love how these folks call us extreme but never define what that actually means!

      • I agree. I have always referred to true McGOPers as Anarchists who are the lint that clings to the fringe of the GOP base. Others should be more specific than just using the word “extreme”. It does not really say much.

    • Horace, I could not agree more. Start your own “true conervative” part and leave the Republican party. Seriously, MCD? You don’t know what people see as extreme? Cutting off all federal funding (including education) to the poorest state in the union would be extreme. Not being sure if you would vote for hurricane relief money for your state would be extreme. Making racist and sexist comments on a radio show would be considered extreme. Quoting people like Charles Johnson is beyond extreme. Having Tea Party “leaders” that do horrible awful things to the weakest among us is extreme. Having Tea Party “officials” locked in a courthouse with ballots on election night is extreme. Saying you would never, ever under any circumstances reach across the aisle to work with anybody is extreme. Saying BEFORE the election that you did not know if you would endorse Thad if he won. That is EXTREMELY childish and immature to say the least. Shall I go on, MCD?

  10. William Smith says:

    Mrs. Ward quotes Dr. Krauthammer’s spot on statement that the country did not endorse the GOP but rejected President Obama and the Democrats. The country taken as a whole is unsure it wants what Repbublicans want to do. But what Mrs,Ward does not call our attention to is that Dr. Krauthammer’s statement is not at all an endorsemet of what Sen. McDaniel his his supporters want. Dr.. Krauhammer and other smarr conservatives warn against falling into an Obama trap by attempting such things as shutting down the government or impeaching the President. The important thing now is to show that the Republicans have good ideas and can accomplish some good things – all to earn the voters’ trust. If that happens we could see the Republicans hold both houses of Congress and elect a President 2016. At that point there can be real change for the good. If the voters get fed up with the Republicans during this two year period, then the November victory will go down the drain. I hope that conservatives will heed all of Dr. Krauthammer’s message.

    She notes also that the MS GOP has grown by leaps and bounds. Republicans hold all the statewide offices except Attorney General. They hold both US Senate seats and 3 of the 4 US Congress Seats. But it also needs to be noted under whose leadership all this was acomplished. It was accomplished by the leadership of those of whom she is now ashamed. Could it have been accomplished by the McDaniel GOP? Some may say yes, but I think that is highly doubtful.

    She also says the GOP is not so grand anymore. She does not say when it was grand and what its characeristics were when it was grand. I assume she means when it was more “truly conservative,” But when was that? I think that, if you look at the whole GOP Senate caucus and Congressional caucus, you will find it is more conservative than it has ever been. The Party as a whole is much more to the right than it was in the Eisenhower-Nixon-Ford years, and more conservative than it was in the Reagan years. Perhaps the GOP is grander now than it has been since 1950.

    I know the Republican tent is big enough to include the TP. The question before us now is whether the TP wants to be inside the tent with other Republicans or out.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: