By Ryan S. Walters | @ryanswalters73
Gary Pettus has been looking out his window for a sign, a sign that the “sky has fallen over Mississippi,” he writes in his latest column in the Clarion Ledger. He’s been doing this, he says, in the days since Chris McDaniel announced the formation of his new PAC, the United Conservatives Fund.
For all his efforts, Pettus simply can’t understand why Senator McDaniel would begin a PAC to help elect conservative candidates to office and push a conservative agenda since Mississippi is widely known as “the Most Conservative State in the Union.” The state must be on the verge of socialism and other flirtations with leftist causes, he writes in a snarky tone, for McDaniel to be taking such drastic steps.
His meaningless column, chock full of smart-aleck comments and poor attempts at humor, only shows us how foolish and ignorant Pettus, and those like him in and out of the media, really are. Republican, as we are coming to see more and more every day, does not equal conservative, and Pettus and those like him simply cannot, or will not, see it. We are the most conservative state in the nation, as a recent UCF analysis proves, but the study also shows that the GOP brand and conservatism are not synonymous. That’s because it’s the state’s people are the most conservative in the Union, not the Republicans in the media or the government.
As is widely been stated in conservative circles, Republicans became Democrats to defeat McDaniel in his storied race against Thad Cochran. But that’s not the whole truth. Sadly, many Republicans ARE Democrats in disguise. They talk a good conservative game on the stump but in reality they act like them, vote like them, and govern as they do. Senator McDaniel understands this and wants to change it.
For those skeptics out there, let’s look at the most recent evidence, shall we?
On the national level, the Republican leadership, fresh off a major midterm victory, has seemingly capitulated to Obama without firing a single shot. And those conservatives who do hit back, like Ted Cruz, are then attacked by their fellow Republicans. The leadership of a party that during last year’s campaign ran on a platform of stopping the radical Obama agenda, especially on vital issues like immigration, Obamacare, and spending, all of a sudden has lost its backbone, if it ever had one at all.
Republicans in Mississippi, though, have been no better, and may actually be worse. And we don’t have to go very far to find a sign for Pettus. In fact, it’s right in front of his face. Just this week there were at least three actions by Republicans that demonstrate that true conservatism resides in only a few hands in the state government.
The Mississippi House passed a bill that would outlaw texting, emailing, or using social media while driving. The vote was 98-22. Like the pending bill to give radar capability to the county sheriff departments, this is just another expansion of police power and not the conduct of true conservatives.
Think about it, how would such a bill be enforced? Would the police have the right to stop me and search my phone to see if I were, in fact, texting, which would be a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment? What if I were simply looking at my map app to find directions? That’s certainly not listed in the prohibitions. What if an officer wrongfully stops a motorist believed to be texting? Are there any punishments for the officer for violating the privacy rights of our citizens?
Looking down the road to the future, what lies next if this is enacted into law? We know from history that government never stops once it starts down a given road. Will there be prohibitions later against other acts that might be seen by meddling politicians as distractions? How about eating and driving? Talking to a passenger and driving? Adjusting the radio and driving? It might never end. True conservatism is about limiting government, not expanding it.
In the Senate there were more anti-conservative votes. This week, Republicans put forward a bill to mandate insurance companies to offer coverage for autism treatment for children, which is to tell insurance companies what they must sell. Just six senators, those comprising Chris McDaniel’s Conservative Coalition, voted against it. And for their efforts, they were derided and smeared as “Tea Party Conservatives” by the state media. As if that is a bad thing.
Now, let’s face the facts. What is the difference between this and the heart of Obamacare? It is a government mandate, no matter how you label it or spin it. And keep in mind, this was a Republican-sponsored bill.
The excuse coming from the Republican sponsors of this bill is a tried-and-true one from the Left: “It’s for the children!” But is that not the very same excuse used by liberal Democrats to pass every social engineering experiment and socialist re-distribution scheme in existence? Sure it is, and we’ve heard it for decades. We just didn’t expect to hear it from our side of the aisle.
Also this week, on the vital issue of Common Core, which Lt. Governor Tate Reeves has vowed to get rid of, at least in this election year, Republicans caved in and let it stand. The Senate killed an amendment by Angela Hill (R-Picayune) that would have effectively ended Common Core. While Reeves had his folks successfully scrounging up ‘no’ votes, only 13 Republicans supported the amendment as it went down to defeat. And Common Core, mind you, is a big part of the Obama agenda, what Utah Senator Mike Lee has called “the Obamacare of education.” And so-called Pettus “Conservatives” in the legislature just can’t seem to get rid of it.
So, Gary Pettus is still looking out the window for a sign, a sign that should be readily apparent to any common sensical person who will simply look at the facts right in front of them. Those signs are out there. These signs are well understood by Chris McDaniel, signs that were plenty evident to 60 percent of Republican voters who supported him, signs that are growing larger by the day across the country.
As the Democratic pollster Pat Caddell (one of the only sensible Democrats I know of) has said this week, the Republican Party is in bad shape. Polls are showing that 60 percent of conservative Republicans want new national leadership and that anywhere from one-fourth to one-third are “ready to bolt the party.” Try winning an election without a third of your base, which is where the GOP is headed for 2016, especially if they nominate another Bush or Obama-lite candidate, which they seemed poised to do.
And Caddell is dead on accurate about the true nature of the Republican Establishment, and understands it like we do: They “have lost election after election,” he says, while enriching themselves and destroying real conservative candidates. “They have no message. The problem with Republicans is that as long as they can keep their hands on their goodies in this town, a lot of these lawyers, lobbyists and others, they don’t care whether the Republican Party wins or what happens to the country.” Boom!
If Pettus and those who follow the Republican Establishment can’t see these obvious signs, then that is the height of political ignorance and stupidity. Their words can no longer have any real value, their opinions no real meaning. For it is the great tide of conservative people, those who believe in our Founding principles, those who follow true, courageous leaders like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Chris McDaniel, who will save this state and this nation. For if we continue to disregard our present path, it will lead us into the dark. That’s a sign we should never ignore.