Monday, May 12, 2008



Desperate GOP calls in the mounted police

It will probably take a magic touch-- or some good ole fashioned voter theft-- for the GOP to win in one of the reddest and most dependably backward districts in the country tomorrow. The run-off to fill the House seat of newly appointed Mississippi senator, Roger Wicker, who is filling in for school teacher lobbyist Trent Lott. Wicker has already distinguished himself as even more of a rubber stamp wingnut than the 2 Georgia Klan kooks, Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chamberpot, each of whom scores a .5 (out of 100) on Progressive Punch's Chips Are Down ranking of every senator. Wicker has a zero, his first votes in the Senate all being to guarantee retroactive immunity to criminal elements in the telecom industry and within the Bush Regime.

The GOP's Don Quixote tomorrow is undistinguished rubber stamp wannabe Greg Davis, who will face conservative Democrat Travis Childers. Childers have been endorsed by virtually every newspaper in the district, as well as yesterday's highly influential Memphis Commercial Appeal which found Davis' total lack of political independence reason enough to endorse the Democrat. "Davis has given no indication that he'll stray far from the Bush administration's stand on important issues, including the war in Iraq. That fact should not be lost on 1st District voters, especially when opinion polls are showing that the majority of citizens believe the country is headed in the wrong direction."
Childers, who labels himself a conservative Democrat, has stressed the importance of voting against trade deals that cost American jobs. He is a strong supporter of public education, saying it's time for the nation, as a whole, to provide schools with the materials and support they need. That is important in a district where only 65 percent of teens graduate from high school and only 10 percent of the population has a college degree.

As for Iraq, Childers believes it is time to bring the troops home "honorably, safely and soon," while providing them with material support until that happens. He recently told this newspaper's editorial board that it is time to bring the troops home and spend the money we are sending to Iraq on projects in the United States.

Childers had already been endorsed by the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and the Commercial Dispatch. Today Davis has Cheney in the district trying to salvage his campaign which has, up to now, just been basically about Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the only "issue" Republicans think they can run on. Davis hasn't appeared in a sheet and pillowcase yet but maybe he'll use the occasion of Cheney's visit to go that one small extra step. But will Cheney do Davis any good-- even in a district with a PVI of R+10?
Conventional wisdom says Southaven Republican Greg Davis should be delivering the political equivalent of a knockout blow to Democrat Travis Childers today.

Davis is scheduled to appear with Vice President Dick Cheney in DeSoto County the day before voters go to the polls to decide who will represent Mississippi's 1st Congressional District until January.

...Bush carried DeSoto County in 2004 with a whopping 72 percent of the vote.
A lot has happened since then, though. More soldiers have died in Iraq. Gas prices have shot up. And the economy has taken a turn for the worse.

Last November, the Rasmussen Reports polling firm asked Mississippians to evaluate Bush's job performance.

Thirty percent of the respondents rated Bush's performance as "excellent," 17 percent rated it as "good," 13 percent rated it as "fair" and 40 percent rated it as "poor."

...Opinions could have shifted a lot since that poll was taken, anyway. The question is whether Bush's rating today would be better or worse.

Naturally, Davis doesn't see Cheney as a political liability. "I think in the 1st Congressional District, he (Cheney) still stands for the conservative principles most voters have," Davis said.

However, the district's voters weren't shy about selecting a Democrat three weeks ago.

Childers won 49 percent of the vote April 22, coming within a few hundred votes of getting the majority he needed to beat Davis outright and avoid Tuesday's runoff election.

Cheney's endorsement of Davis could also help Childers' efforts to portray his opponent as a pawn of big oil companies.

It is widely rumored that if Davis loses tomorrow, John Boehner will demand the resignation of the hapless RNCC chair, Tom Cole, whose dismal record has led to defeat after defeat for GOP candidates. His latest in a long line of excuses is to proclaim that the candidates themselves, although they follow his strategy to the letter, are terrible and incompetent choices unworthy of office-- which kind of begs the question about why he has invested millions of dollars in them. It is also insulting to the Republican base which has chosen them in open primaries. McCain-- after suffering a severe embarrassment in Illinois campaigning for Oberweis, has stayed clear of Davis and Mississippi, afraid that Republicans will figure out his coattails are not just nonexistent but actually toxic.


From the media coverage in northern Mississippi, one would think the rubber stamp wannabe the Republicans have up for Roger Wicker's old seat must be running against Jeremiah Wright or Barack Obama or perhaps some other person of color.
In advertisements and speeches, Republicans have repeatedly associated Travis Childers, the white Democrat threatening to take the seat away from the Republican Party, with Mr. Obama. Republicans say Mr. Obama’s liberal values are out of place in the district. But for many Democratic veterans here, the tactic is a throwback to the old and unwelcome politics of race, a standby in Mississippi campaigning.

Former Gov. William Winter, a Democrat, expressed shock at the current campaign.

“I am appalled that this blatant appeal to racial prejudice is still being employed,” said Mr. Winter, who lost the 1967 governor’s race after his segregationist opponent circulated handbills showing blacks listening to one of his speeches. Mr. Winter went on to win the governor’s office 12 years later.

“I had thought we had gotten past that,” Mr. Winter said. “That was a tactic that was used against me in the 1960s.”

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