E.J. Dionne, writing for the Washington Post, identifies Mississippi’s personality disorder with respect to federal funding. As a “conservative” state, Mississippi rejects federal waste, unbalanced budgets, and pork. At the same time, the state benefits from, if not relies upon, federal money.
The U.S. Senate primary race between Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel is forcing the issue. Cochran has made a name for himself as a master appropriator and is in line to chair the powerful Appropriations Committee should the Republican Party take the Senate in November. McDaniel has fashioned himself a warrior against federal debt, excessive spending, and pork and has won the support of a host of Tea Party groups advocating the same.
According to Mississippi State’s Marty Wiseman, “Our anti-Washington politics has been to make sure that we got as much of it here as we could. You’ve got the tea party excited that they’ve corralled a big spender, but he was bringing it back to Mississippi. That’s the paradox of all paradoxes.”
Democrat Party Chairman Ricky Cole is quoted, “If Mississippi did what the tea party claims they want . . . we would become a Third World country, quickly. We depend on the federal government to help us build our highways. We depend on the federal government to fund our hospitals, our health-care system. We depend on the federal government to help us educate our students on every level.”
Dionne identifies the apparent victor in this battle: “Yes, Childers could run as a Thad Cochran Democrat — except he wouldn’t be saddled with the need to appease an ideology that has to pretend federal spending doesn’t benefit anybody, least of all the people of Mississippi.”
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