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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A test of the Republican old order -- By Wesley Pruden, The Washington Times

The old order changeth, and he who does not get out of the way risks getting runneth over. This applies to senators, baseball players, preachers, poachers, Volkswagen mechanics and anyone else who isn't paying attention.

The rule threatens Thad Cochran, the senior senator from Mississippi, where the old order is much appreciated, though no longer revered as it once was. Mr. Cochran is polished and courtly, and when Hollywood casts a gentleman of the Old South it could model the character on him.

But he's in a race for survival, a classic struggle between the established Republican order and grassroots Tea Party Republicans, who have no particular affection for the old ways in a place where the old ways were once the common law.

Mr. Cochran is a senator most people have never heard of, but his colleagues in the U.S. Senate know him very well. He's the No. 1 pig farmer in Congress, dispensing pork from the Republican side of the aisle with firmness and gusto. With Ted Stevens of Alaska having departed this vale of tears, he has no rival in manipulating the national treasury. He's an advocate only for more spending to get the tax revenues a congressional pig farmer needs to spread the pork to his friends and interests. Ten federal buildings in Mississippi are named for him, and none of them are monuments to smaller, less-intrusive government.

Chris McDanielThe senator's nemesis is Christopher McDaniel, 43, a lawyer, radio talker and Tea Party favorite. He has pulled dead even in some polls with the June 1 Republican primary only two months away. He is best known as a talker on several Mississippi radio stations, but has the requisite legal background to command professional respect. He clerked for a federal district judge fresh out of the University of Mississippi Law School, and the Mississippi Business Journal ranks him among the state's top 50 lawyers. He has pushed the right buttons, a member of, among others, the Gideons (distributor of Bibles), the National Rifle Association, the American Family Association, giving him the trifecta of God, guns and family values.

In the old days a Southern senator — Russell Long in Louisiana, John L. McClellan in Arkansas, John Stennis in Mississippi for examples — could expect to be dispatched at last with flowery eulogies, loud laud and noisy honor. But these are not the old days and this year Mr. Cochran, now 76 and seeking his sixth term, has a strong, attractive young opponent and some disinterested students of the game reckon the senator the likeliest incumbent to come a cropper in a party primary this year.

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