Crawdaddy

Congress isn’t in it for the money, and other political fairy tales

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, left, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill confer at the Allied Conference in Casablanca, Morocco, Jan. 1943. Can you imagine our current leaders dealing with World War II?
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, left, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill confer at the Allied Conference in Casablanca, Morocco, Jan. 1943. Can you imagine our current leaders dealing with World War II? AP File

Some wonder who will run for Congress. I wonder why anyone would.

The 114th Congress has become a rudderless garbage barge off the coast of America. At the helm is the Balkanized Republican Party, its factions yapping like a pack of Chihuahuas awakened by a leaf skittering across the driveway.

It is a Congress adrift to nowhere, so empty of accomplishments of note that it can’t go home. It would be better off if the Earth were flat.

Back home, congresspeople have to worry about encountering that portion of the electorate that’s wise to their antics. Muttering vague aspersions about liberals and Obama start to wear thin if you can’t answer the question, Well, what have you done?

That’s why they’re scared of town halls. Our congressman, for example, worries people will scream at him. Imagine that.

And yet, there is never a shortage of candidates. And none of them, not one, have I ever heard say are motivated by the six-figure salary, otherworldly health care coverage and overly generous pension. That kind of honesty is no longer tolerated.

This week, they’re even running for a seat that isn’t up for election. Up until then, state Sen. Chris McDaniel was jockeying for U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker’s seat. McDaniel’s propaganda arm, the Mississippi Conservative Daily, posted that Steve Bannon was backing McDaniel over Wicker.

This week, the same “staff” urged readers to “Call Phil Bryant today, urge him to appoint Chris McDaniel to Senate.” It quotes Erik Erickson of The Resurgent who adds his voice to the chorus of those who believe should Thad Cochran step down, Bryant will appoint Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves to the Senate. He urges his readers to call Bryant and ask the governor to appoint McDaniel instead. After all, Chris was robbed the first time, right?

And what would McDaniel bring to the table? Voting against new taxes. Defending masculinity. Getting rid of Mitch McConnell. And making liberals unhappy.

But a most peculiar stand he’s taken lately was this one:

Sadly, a Mississippi school district has pulled "To Kill a Mockingbird" because it allegedly makes people...

Posted by Senator Chris McDaniel on Saturday, October 14, 2017

“Sadly, a Mississippi school district has pulled "To Kill a Mockingbird" because it allegedly makes people uncomfortable,” he posted on Facebook. “But then again, so does the IRS, EPA, Bill Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Harvey Weinstein.”

A lot of these folks seem to think they’re going to fly up to Washington and straighten things out. By picking fights, I guess. But so far that hasn’t been a winning strategy. (Note the garbage barge disappearing over the horizon.

It’s the same thing close to home in the 4th congressional district, where the incumbent seems to be feeling the heat. Rep. Steven Palazzo has called back a longtime staffer and campaign manager to be chief of staff, and the Sun Herald has had an influx of stories of congressional derring-do. On the social media front, he’s been insisting the June 5 GOP primary doesn’t exist.

 

In the other corner, challenger E. Brian Rose promises to be more conservative than Palazzo.

I reject the GOP establishment. They have hijacked the party I love and have become the status quo. I reject that status...

Posted by E. Brian Rose for Congress on Sunday, October 15, 2017

So let’s review. The conservatives are in power so everything that goes haywire is the liberals’ fault. Therefore, we need to be even more conservative.

Makes me long for the days of that failing liberal Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Conservatives didn’t like him either, even though he guided the country through the Great Recession and most of World War II.

“A chameleon on plaid,” Herbert Hoover called him.

Said columnist H.L. Mencken: "If he became convinced tomorrow that coming out for cannibalism would get him the votes he so sorely needs, he would begin fattening a missionary in the White House backyard come Wednesday. I am advocating making him king in order that we may behead him in case he goes too far beyond the limits of the endurable."

Still, historians rank FDR as the third best president of all time.

Congress? Its ratings are about to fall of the edge of the flat Earth.

Makes me wonder about those people trying to elbow their way in.

Paul Hampton: 228-284-7296, @JPaulHampton

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