Ryan S. Walters | @ryanswalters73
Although our friends at Y’all Politics, the Sun Herald, and throughout the Republican Establishment will not like me saying this, it doesn’t make it any less true: Senator Chris McDaniel has become the preeminent state legislator in all of America.
There is no one better known or more influential, particularly in the conservative movement. Few state lawmakers, if there are any at all, write for national publications or speak at national events. They are not the head of a newly created PAC that is focused on bringing conservatives together, nor do they sit for interviews by national radio and television hosts.
This is a great thing for Mississippi and should be celebrated by every Republican outlet and officeholder across the state.
But instead of seeing him as a rising star in the movement for conservative reform, Senator McDaniel is reviled, ridiculed, denounced, and dismissed by the Establishment Press. In nearly every political piece written by the Establishment’s hacks, masquerading as they do as pundits and journalists, they take shots at him. Yet he’s still standing, much to their chagrin.
In the most recent episodes, we can feature Bill Crawford in the Sun Herald, Emily Wagster Pettus for the AP, and Alan Lange of Y’all Politics, who cobbled together a column using the Pettus article to sling yet more mud, as if enough had yet to leave their poisoned pens.
Crawford’s piece, mostly rehashed from an earlier Lange column (they often rehash the arguments of one another), pondered why “tea party conservatives” did not offer any challenges to the state’s top leaders:
Could it be that most in the Tea Party are satisfied with current leaders? After all, Republican statewide leaders are all pro-gun, pro-life, anti-tax, anti-spending, anti-regulation, free market, small government, anti-Obama constitutionalists. That matches up pretty good with the ultra-conservative Club for Growth mantra that McDaniel et al mimicked.
First of all, Chris McDaniel didn’t mimic the Club for Growth or anyone else; they supported him because of his true conservative beliefs, particularly his support of economic freedom, which Crawford obviously loathes. Senator McDaniel also gained the backing of FreedomWorks and the Madison Project for the same reasons.
Each of those organizations gave their support to the only true conservative in the Mississippi Senate primary and they are not enamored with any other state leaders in Mississippi. If anything, Tate Reeves and other Mississippi Republicans are mimicking McDaniel, at least in this election year when it’s time to fool voters once again.
For her part, Pettus assailed the supposed ineffectiveness of McDaniel’s Conservative Coalition, showcasing a little spat between Senator Will Longwitz of Madison, who recently quit the coalition, and McDaniel. With the coalition seemingly in shambles, writes Pettus, it “never lived up to its own billing as a study group to create serious policy proposals.”
The motive behind such an attack is to discredit the Conservative Coalition in the public’s mind, making it seem like an extremist organization that can accomplish nothing but the promotion of Chris McDaniel, it’s only intended goal, at least that’s what they would have us believe. The problem, though, stems not from the coalition itself but from the Republican Establishment that dominates state politics and seeks to crush movements like McDaniel’s.
So why does the GOP Establishment continue to assault Senator McDaniel in the press? If he were a nobody, if his political career was on the ash-heap, if he was no more than a loud-mouth extremist and do-nothing state senator, they would spend not a drop of ink to assail him. But that is not the case; the assault continues almost on a daily basis.
Simply put, they fear him, and what he could accomplish in the future. If he is successful, their way, the corrupt establishment path, will come to an end and they know it. They are desperate, not for positive change and reform, but to maintain the status quo at all costs, as we saw during the June 24 runoff.
In Massachusetts in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, a young, handsome, well-spoken and intelligent congressman named Jack Kennedy was seen by many regular Joes as an agent of change, someone unwilling to go with the flow, reluctant to wait his turn, and who refused to follow the advice and counsel of Boston’s political bosses and their established rule book. In fact, he openly and quite brazenly flaunted the leadership at every turn. He went out on his own, spoke to citizens across the state, and upset the established order with a US Senate victory over an “unbeatable” Establishment opponent, the venerable Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. And his career was off and running.
I argue that Mississippi’s political establishment sees Chris McDaniel much the same way. They look at a young, vibrant, dynamic, and principled state senator and see a very dangerous man, someone who threatens the established order and the “good ole boy” network that has been entrenched in Mississippi from time immemorial and has succeeded only in keeping the state in last place.
Yet the Establishment doesn’t mind bringing up the rear, their rhetoric to the contrary, so long as their goodies continue to flow unabated. But Senator McDaniel hates it, as do most Mississippi conservatives, many supporting McDaniel in last year’s Senate primary race.
Senator McDaniel wants to push the state, and with it the nation, forward with a positive agenda of reform and change for the better, change that comes with conservative principles and policies, which made this great nation what it is today.
Those in the Establishment, like Tate Reeves, who seek to maintain the status quo, will do anything to stop him, and have shown it. Many of Senator McDaniel’s bills found their way into the law books early in his legislative career, but as soon as he made his move for Cochran’s seat, many of his more recent ones have been outright blocked or co-opted by Reeves, who hasn’t had an original idea in his life.
In fact, Reeves’ list of legislative goals, which did not appear until this election year mind you, are ideas that have been previously put forth by McDaniel and other members of the Conservative Coalition in past sessions. Reeves’ goals are nothing new.
But despite Reeves’ obstructionism, Senator McDaniel’s influence has been felt across the state in his two Senate terms.
Let’s take an example raised by Crawford. The state’s leaders are all pro-gun, he writes, but our laws to protect gun rights have become stronger in recent years. Why? Because of Chris McDaniel. Crawford simply failed to mention that immutable fact.
As I’ve previously written, Senator McDaniel’s legislative record is second to none. How about the issue of religious freedom? Or our private property rights? All strengthened by Senator McDaniel. Our taxes? He’s authored tax cuts. And how about Obamacare? He took that fight on almost single-handedly. And the list could go on and on.
The Republican Establishment, through their minions in the press, has one aim and that is to marginalize and discredit Senator McDaniel, and by extension the whole conservative movement.
Their operation should not be passed off as journalism, nor is it in any way a form of political punditry; it is a process aimed at stopping true conservatism, personified in Chris McDaniel, from spreading in Mississippi and across the country. If they can kill McDaniel, they can kill conservatism.
If the Republican Establishment would fight for the conservative values, which they profess to believe, as hard as they oppose them, we would see monumental change in this state and in the country. But, as things stand at the present time, we will never change without changing our leaders, overthrowing the good ole boys, and charting a new course based on conservative reform.
Otherwise we are destined to remain the nation’s most corrupt and economically unattractive state. And to those in the GOP Establishment behind this scheme, I say: shame on you!