In case you hadn’t noticed ( or forgotten);Thad Cochran is in line to be the next chair of the Senate Appropriations committee
Much has been written about the contested Mississippi GOP primary. How Haley Barbour and the GOPe..along with their K street pals… will do anything to hang onto power, etc….
As one who has followed the primary in Mississippi carefully for months, I suddenly realized that one simple fact has rarely, if ever been mentioned:
If Thad Cochran is re-elected, and the GOP takes control of the Senate (as seems likely) then Cochran will resume his chairmanship of the Appropriations committee, and have that seat for 4 more years.
And with Majority-leader in waiting Mitch McConnell promising to be the antithesis of Harry Reid, and return much legislative power to the various committees ( read: Chairs) then we are faced with the prospect that a feeble, and possibly senile senator, will have considerable influence over how, and how much, we spend as a nation.
Or rather, Barbour, the GOPe and K street will wield considerable influence over the Appropriations chairman.
As Cochran has boasted that a major reason for electing him is that he “brings home the bacon” to Mississippi..well, one can hardly envision a Cochran chaired Appropriations committee as a vehicle for fiscal responsibility and spending restraint.
When the GOP took control of the House in 1994, among the many needed reforms that were instituted was the elimination of seniority as the sole criteria for chairing committees, and putting term limits on chairmen.
The Senate, alas, is a far different story. Republicans there also adopted some term limits when they took control in 1994, ( a senator is limited to 6 years as chair AND 6 years as ranking member) but, like many prison sentences, they run consecutively….not concurrently.
Thus, if the GOP wins control… Orrin Hatch runs Finance, McCain gets Armed Services, and Grassley gets Judiciary, and Roberts gets Agriculture.
Does this sound to anyone like a really, really bad remake of “back to the Future?”
We gave them a chance 20 years ago, and for the most part, they did nothing with it. Look at the size of our government, our budget, and our debt. All the above names have been in office continually while our government has exploded in size, scope, and the power it exerts over our lives
And now, we’re just putting the same old gang in charge, and expecting things to somehow be different?
That’s called insanity.
It would be as if Newt had led the GOP to a landslide in 1994, and then announced that he was supporting Bob Michel for Speaker..because, well….just because….
A month ago, I posted a diary, “So, would it really be THAT bad if we don’t win the Senate in November?”
It generated considerable comment.
I wrote that “in a perfect world, McConnell would lose, but the GOP would win enough seats to take the majority in the Senate.
That would ensure a contested race for majority leader. And that could result in a major shake-up as to how the committee chairs are selected.
And that is long overdue. It is way past time for the GOP old Senate bulls to be put out to pasture. And yet, here we have McCain already talking about running AGAIN in 2016, and Lamar has reportedly told friends that if McConnell loses, he’ll run for majority leader.
These people just DO NOT GET IT!!
There’s an old joke about a just-married farm couple heading off on their honeymoon, in a wagon pulled by a mule. After a few miles, the mule suddenly sits down in the middle of the road and refuses to move. The new bride attempts to coax the mule, to no avail. She then tempts him with an apple..still no luck. Finally, her husband goes to the side of the road, picks up a log, and whacks the mule over the head. The mule the promptly gets up and starts to move.
Back in the wagon, the bride wails at her new husband..”What kind of a monster are you? How cruel! Why did you do that?”
His response: “First, you have to get his attention..”
I don’t know if McDaniel will succeed in his efforts to have the election overturned. I hope so. IF he is successful, Chris will join Cruz, Lee, and others in really shaking things up inside the Beltway. And we still have primaries in Tennessee, and Kansas which hold promise.
If McDaniel fails, if WE fail, then next time we’ll just have to get a far bigger stick.