Tupelo, Miss. (Daily Journal) – I don’t agree with Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann on many issues, but I do think he’s done a pretty good job as our state’s second-in-command and particularly as president of the state Senate.
I appreciate his attempts toward bipartisanship, which is something you rarely see in any legislative chamber these days. As Senate president, Hosemann controls who holds committee chairmanships, and he’s made it a point to name both Republicans and Democrats to those powerful posts.
I certainly prefer Hosemann over his primary challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville. If McDaniel’s name is familiar to you, it’s probably because of some unfortunate remark he made during his two failed attempts to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
McDaniel tries to bill himself as Mississippi’s version of former President Donald Trump, but even Trump had some successes while in office. McDaniel, on the other hand, has a scant record when it comes to legislative achievements.
The senator, who was first elected to the state’s upper legislative chamber in 2008, sure does talk a lot, though, and mighty loudly, particularly on social media. He claims to be a “true” conservative, and he scoffs at the lieutenant governor’s work with Senate Democrats.
All I see when I look at McDaniel, however, is the embodiment of dirty politics and a bully who, if elected to a higher office, will stall any progress made by our state.
I was reminded this week of the senator’s brand of politics. One of his supporters another Republican state senator, Jeremy England, of being a “groomer,” a term commonly used to describe how sex offenders initiate contact with their victims.
What did England do to deserve such a label? Well, he has the nerve to support Hosemann, and he also dressed in a pink tutu for Halloween. He did it to support breast cancer research.
Another infamous McDaniel-adjacent scandal occurred during his first run for the U.S. Senate in 2014. He challenged incumbent Thad Cochran, a Republican, and waged a vicious fight against the six-term senator.
During this campaign, several McDaniel supporters entered a Madison nursing home and photographed Cochran’s bedridden wife, who was suffering with dementia. The pictures were posted online as part of a smear campaign accusing Cochran of engaging in an extramarital affair.
McDaniel denied involvement with both the England and Cochran incidents, and I’ll accept that at face value. However, if I were the Ellisville senator, I’d wonder what I was doing to attract such extreme supporters and inspire such nasty tactics.
It could be tied to McDaniel’s irresponsible vitriol. He’s still complaining about the state flag, which was adopted three years ago, and the process that retired the racist old one. That issue, which he has signaled he’ll re-open if he’s elected lieutenant governor, galvanizes his base like nothing else.
When he’s not griping about the state flag, he’s talking about “the swamp” or scaring his base with some exaggerated “monster of the week.” One day, the monster is illegal immigrants; the next, it’s drag performers. You never know what you’re going to get.
I want our state to move forward, and I don’t think someone like McDaniel has the political capital or foresight to orchestrate such a rise. He’s too stuck in the past and too far right to ever get anything of substance accomplished.
Hosemann may not be perfect, but he’s willing to listen, open up the tent and get to work.
Contact Managing Editor Joshua Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View Original Story (July 23, 2023)