Thad Cochran Back To His Old Tricks

Ryan S. Walters | @ryanswalters73

We’ve been waiting and watching, knowing it would happen soon enough. And this week it came to fruition. As the adage goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks; he just sticks to what he knows.

In his battle against Senator Chris McDaniel last year, Thad Cochran bent over backwards, in the few public appearances he dared to make, to convince the people he was a genuine conservative. MCD even labeled that fib the political “Lie of the Year.” Yet somehow he was able to convince about 40 percent of Republicans that he was the best man for the job (as well as the thousands of Democrats who voted for him because he supported the liberal, trillion dollar welfare state).

Throughout his political career, as was pointed out time and time again, Cochran supported increased spending, debt, and debt ceiling increases. During the heat of the campaign, if you recall, he voted against raising the debt ceiling in a move that reeked of political expediency.

Yet earlier this week, Mississippi’s Old Dog of the Senate was back to his old tricks, voting with Mitch McConnell and eleven of the chamber’s most liberal Republican members, as well as every single Democrat, for a “doc fix” for Medicare, a bill that raised the debt by $200 billion. Most of those liberal GOP Senators, incidentally, just recently won re-election campaigns and won’t have to face the voters again for years, if ever.

Another major issue in the Senate campaign was the federal role in education. Senator McDaniel took heat for supporting the idea that the Department of Education should be closed down and the matter of educating children left to the individual states and local governments, as well as parents. McDaniel was simply following sound constitutional doctrine, which had been a key Republican policy position since 1980, supported by the likes of Haley Barbour as late as the presidential campaign of 2012.

But in a press release this week, Old Dog Cochran showed us on the issue of education he’s still just a liberal. As we pointed out during the campaign, time and time again, Cochran is a progressive on education, siding with Jimmy Carter and the teacher’s unions by supporting the creation of the department in 1979. He also got in on the attack against Senator McDaniel for seeking its elimination, as did Uncle Haley the hypocrite.

The press statement’s title says it all: “Cochran calls on Department of Education to invest wisely.” So Cochran still wants federal spending on education, something no true conservative will ever support because it has failed and failed miserably.

And supporting the continuation of federal spending on education shows he always has been an economic Keynesian, believing in government investments, which is the same word Obama uses repeatedly. But when has the government ever invested wisely in anything?

Cochran also said the “department must prioritize limited resources and respect state and local leadership on education.” But when has the federal government ever respected state and local leadership on anything? And since resources are limited, perhaps it would be good policy, conservative policy I might add, to close the bloated department, save the $110 billion in top-heavy bureaucratic spending, and use 100 percent of that money for local school districts.

But, sadly, we don’t have a conservative US Senator in Washington who believes in limited, constitutional government, and at least 60 percent of Republican voters in Mississippi know that.



  1. William Smith says:

    Ryan, re the doc fix. The Lee amendment failed 58 – 42 which is where you get your 12 Republicans. (BTW there were a total of 6 amendments offered, 3 from Democrats, 3 from Republicans.) But the doc fix itself passed in the Senate 92-8. Anyone who has voted in a deliberative body knows that when a motion is proposed, the body has an an opportunity to alter it (called “perfecting” the motion) to try to get the motion into whatever one thinks is its best form. You may vote for an amendment you like, or vote against an amendment you don’t like, but have every intention of supporting the main motion even if you don’t get an amendment you like added or even if an amendment is added that you don’t like.

    Suppose there is a motion to buy vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. You think buying the chocolate syrup is wasteful though you favor buying the ice cream, so you offer an amendment to strike the chocoate syrup. Your amendment fails. Now the original motion is before the house. What are you going to do? It may well be that you preferred not to buy the chocolate syrup, but you would rather buy both than neither, so you vote for the motion which is not as perfect as you like. This is the way deliberative bodies work.

    So, what happened with the doc fix is that the Lee amendment failed. So when the bill without the amendment came to the Seante floor all but 8 Senators voted for the bill because they judged that it was better to pass the bill than to vote against the bill lacking the amendment.

    That is how important the doc fix was and is. Without it doctors faced a 21% decrease in reimbursement for care of Medicare patients. Now of course someone can say and no doubt will tht there should be no Medicare. But Medicare has been around since the 60s and it is not going away. It is not fair to either the doctors or all the citizens over 65 who are covered by Medicare to impose a 21% cut on the doctors. All but 8 Senators thought is was important enough to vote for the bill.

  2. Thanks Bill for taking the time to research the issue and for providing to the rest of us the explanation and clarification of what actually went down during the legislative process. It’s one thing to promote your principles. But it’s another thing to publish half truths which you know are misleading to the readers. Ryan, I’m sure that you will do better next time.

    • Let me tell you two eggheads something: Concentrate on the part of the bill that was the center of my argument – THE NATIONAL DEBT AND COCHRAN’S CONTINUED ACCEPTANCE OF ITS INCREASE!!!!!!! DAMN DO I NEED CRAYONS?!!

      • William Smith says:

        If you have a coloring book, then you may need crayons. But crayons are not a good medium for communication. They don’t allow for accurate statement of the facts or logical development of an argument. I have on occasion done coloring with my grandchildren. But, when I want to state facts and develop an argument, I use a pen and paper or a computer. The problem with your piece as it relates to the doc fix is that you have a selective statement of hte facts and then try to use that selection of facts to prove what you already thought. Your conclusion exists before you ever look at facts or develop an argument: “Cochran is a low down dirty cheating dog and part of the evil Haley Barbour machine.” Starting with your conclusion you find “facts” and develop an argument.

        You do a similar thing with education. BTW, when you say no conservative can favor federal aid to education, are you aware that Mr. Conservative, Robert Taft, favored it? Are you aware that Reagan who, if anyone ever had a chance to abolish the Dept of Education had it, while calling for abolishment in the campaign, never made a serious attempt to get rid of it? That was 35 years ago.

        Cochran makes a statement as Appropriations Chair that the Dept of Education needs to recognize that resources are limited and there is a need to be smart about where the limited funds go. He also supported state and local control of education funds. What you want and seemingly think is possible is for Cochran as Appropriations Chair to defund the Dept of Education and zero out federal aid for education. But what you want is plainly impossible. He can’t abolish the department. If he supported abolishment and defunding the department and zeroing education funds, he could never get that out of committee or passed in the Senate. Morever, if he could somehow succeed, what would happen to education in MS? There woudl be a crisis of great proportion.

        You try to smear Cochran as a “progressive” (liberal) on education and friend of Jimmy Carter and the teachers’ unions. By the criteria you use you could so label just about every Republican since the Dept of Education was established – including Reagan. And, as you well know, progressives are not going to call on the Dept to recognize that resources are limited and would never endorse state and local control. McDaniel may get away with calling for abolishment of the Dept. because its red meat for a minority in the Republican Party but utterly impossible. But real Senators have an obligation to act responsibly. What Cochran is doing now is being a responsible member of the Senate.

        Re “investment” it is not really a Keynesian term anymore. It has come to mean “where we are going to put money to do the most good.” If my wife says, “We need to invest in a vaccum cleaner,” I say, “No we need to buy one; you invest in things you think have a chance to increase in value. The vacuum cleaner is going to lose value unless the vaccum cleaner manufactures shut down and people can’t get one.” Investment is not a good term, but my wife uses it about things that are not investments at all. You know what Sen Cochran meant. He meant, “With limited funds we need to direct them where they are most likely to do good.”

        As I say, you start from your conclusion and from the conclusion you find and use “facts” to support it and to develop an argument to undergird it. Using crayons would do nothing to make this piece more clear or convincing. But you could use them to make a poster: “I don’t like Cochran!” But then we know that.

      • Not everything Reagan did was good or conservative. He made a lot of mistakes in my opinion. I find Cleveland and Coolidge much more to my liking than anyone else.

      • “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.”
        – 1 Corinthians 4:3-4

      • I for one like to know all of the facts. You misled the readers into believing that Thad voted for a bill that just narrowly passed, when in fact Bill informed the readers that the actual bill that will be enacted into law was overwhelmingly passed 92-8. To be sure, this is your website. However, you run the risk of losing all credibility with non-MCGOPer Republicans when you intentionally miislead the readers. I don’t think that you want to do that. Ask Keith Plunkett if you don’t believe me.

      • I find it interesting that there are those who like to comment and criticize on various political sites but won’t put themselves out there. Those who are the biggest critics are generally those who do nothing themselves! I’m in the arena of ideas. I’ve written a book, articles, columns, and given speeches. I’m in the public sphere in my regular job. Some people just like to hide behind their computer, safe from criticism.

      • You miss the point of my piece and that’s sad. No everyone did. Most people got it.

      • says:

        When someone in politics starts quoting Scripture for cover, watch out. 99.9% of the time.they misuse it. This one is a prime example of it. And there are a lot of cased where scoundrels do it. Take Bill Clinton. Even.Obama does it. But their uses are no more egregious misuses than this one.

  3. Dubious Nom says:

    Crayons may make your lies more palatable.

  4. Brent Waller says:

    The two party monarchy does not work, the true conservatives should leave and create a new party. Call it the American Party!

    • George Wallace formed the American Party and ran for president in 1968. As I recall, he received 12% of the popular vote–mainly from the Dixiecrats, John Birchers, Kluckers, NeoNazis, etc. He siphoned off votes from the Democrat Party, particularly in the Southern states, thereby making it possible for Nixon to be elected over Hubert Humphrey. If MCGOPers want to begin electing Democrats in Mississippi once again to higher office, then there is no better way than starting their own third party.

  5. MichaelW says:

    Here is a dose of reality for the folks commenting on this site. Please go to the following website
    Please note that if you are a taxpayer then you owe about $154K and so does every other taxpayer. IIf you are not a taxpayer then you only owe $56K. Both are continuing to grow. Also please note that we are still spending more than we take in. Seems like as concerned citizens that instead of talking about what you perceive to be good management by our elected officials, that your time would be better served by contacting your congressman and senators and address your concerns about this national crisis. And if you don’t agree with that then, well that will explain your stance on national financial issues and the debt and possible bankruptcy of our country. If you want to talk extremism then this is what needs to be discussed and addressed as it continues to get worse.

    • Yep exactly! It’s DEBT!!!!!! That’s the point. I was saying that Cochran voted against the debt ceiling during the campaign but is now back on the “more debt” bandwagon. There’s not one single credible plan worth spit by the leadership to handle this growing situation. Not one! But most of the GOP establishment’s useful idiots on here don’t wanna face it. It will all collapse one day and they will be sitting around without their handouts griping that it was Tea Party that is at fault. They must have gone to the Obama school of blame everyone else.

      • Yes, it is hard to get away from or throw up roadblocks and commentary when it comes to that debt clock. It just doesn’t allow for excuses for the people that allowed it. It is just in your face, whether you are Democratic or Republican Supporters, like it or not. And guess what, the Representatives in Washington are responsible, including Ole Thad.

      • Ryan, we really do appreciate the service and the opportunity to debate the issues on MCD. To be sure, everyone expects one another to exaggerate and flavor their opinions. However, we depend to.a large extent that when someone represents something to be a “fact”, that it is not a half-truth which is designed to mislead the readers. Quoting scripture to justify one’s actions does not suffice. In this case, it takes Paul’s message out of context, and it is a cop out to one self in an effort to evade the issue I raised. Although I am not allowed to provide contributing articles, my desire for Ryan is to see MCD become the premier political blog for all Mississippi Republicans.

      • Are you going to complain about the deficit if the Federal Estate Tax is repealed on the wealthiest Americans? The bill has already passed the House and if it passes the Senate, it will add $269 billion to the deficit in lost revenues. The Tea Party conservatives certainly have a way of forgetting the deficit when it concerns the wealthiest Americans.

  6. Michael Bosley says:

    Just got deleted from the ole McDaniel Facebook page for trying to explain to people exactly what this bill was about. I think what really got me deleted was calling out a “lady” that wished for Cochran to “die already”. She had a couple of more people right there with her wishing for a man’s death. I got deleted. Her comment and others are still there wishing for his death. One question. who thinks this type of thing brings people over to McDaniel’s side?

    • During the campaign many people were deleted from his FB page for expressing opinions he did not agree with. He cannot stand any kind of criticism. That is one of the reasons he lost the election.

      • Michael Bosley says:

        Yes. When a politician leaves up posts wishing for a fellow Mississippian’s death and deletes the ones scolding the person for such a thing, that speaks volumes about character. I am still waiting for someone to defend Chris’s FB page for such foolishness. And on a side note, the woman wishing for Senator Cochran’s death admits she is not a Mississippian, yet Chris obviously agrees with her comment. Really Chris? You want to be a US Senator that bad?

      • William Smith says:

        Yes his “people” blocked people who disagreed with him without resortting to profane language, death wishes, vile accusations, etc. But he not only left those things up during the heat of the campaign. He is continuing to do so. Even today there are death wishes and such posted and left there. He does not even ask his followers to change their rhetoric. He/staff apparently welcome and approve such things.

      • Jane Green says:

        I have been reading those vile comments that he proudly leaves on his FB page. Is the guy so vain and self centered he does not realize how gross and disgusting that is and how it turns people off to him? Is he so immature and childish that he thinks that is ok? I promise you, I don’t get it. Maybe the person that runs this site that is so “pro McDaniel” can enlighten us.

  7. Stop enabling his bad behavior. Guys, are you serious? Thad is NOT a conservative.

    He’s barely a Republican.

    “In its new annual scorecard, which was shared with The Washington Post on Wednesday, the ACU shows Cochran, at 63 percent, with one of the group’s worst ratings during the Obama presidency. That’s more than 25 points lower than the ratings for many of Cochran’s GOP colleagues during the same five-year period, including others facing primary trouble, such as Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who has an 89 percent rating, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who has a 94 percent rating.”

  8. Ryan, with respect to your 9:55 a.m. post, as you know I have submitted for publication a number of essays to you over the past year that I have written, and I have even requested if their are any topics that you might be open to me writing about, and then submit it to you for your approval and publication on MCD. Unfortunately, you have never responded to my requests and inquiries. Therefore, please clarify for everyone that I have been, and continue to remain ready, willing, and able to “put myself out there” in the public arena. If your 9:55 a.m. comment is meant to be in the form of a challenge or invitation to submit articles for publication on MCD, then I gladly accept! Just please send me the information to follow. Thanks!

  9. says:

    Ryan re that same post of yours, I frankly don’t get it. Who hides behind a computer safe from criticism? Not I. Anything I write here, on my blog, or elsewhere is open for criticism. It goes with being in the arena of ideas. Not all of us are in the same arena as you. We have different callings and jobs. And we may not agree with you. But I expect we are as engaged as you. As for me, I do not regard politics as the be all and end all of life. It is important but not ultimately so and surely not eternally so. I have opinions. I express them. But politics are one aspect of life for me. And I don’t try to hang my views on Scripture or God. Politics are about the kingdoms of this world. Caesar’s world, not God’s.

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