By Bill Crawford
History shows that our founding fathers struggled to determine how states should be represented in Congress.
“During the summer of 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia established equal representation in the Senate and proportional representation in the House of Representatives,” says the official U.S. Senate web site. “Called the ‘Great Compromise’ or the ‘Connecticut Compromise,’ this unique plan for congressional representation resolved the most controversial aspect of the drafting of the Constitution.”
“As early as 1776, Connecticut’s Roger Sherman had suggested that Congress represent the people as well as the states. During the 1787 convention, Sherman proposed that House representation be based on the population, while in the Senate, the states would be equally represented.” Delegates narrowly approved Sherman’s plan.
The point of this history lesson is that our Constitution intends for Senators to represent their states’ interests while Representatives represent the interests’ of the people in their districts.
This constitutional intent is relevant to this summer’s Senate primary election.
On one hand we have the challenger, espousing this and that in the name of the Constitution, but exhibiting little commitment to actually represent Mississippi’s interests.
On the other hand we have the incumbent, with a record showing reliable representation of Mississippi’s interests in military, agriculture, education, energy, and business matters.
Challenger Chris McDaniel was interviewed and vetted by out-of-state Super PACS the Club for Growth and Senate Conservative Action… Super PACS with national agendas. They seek Senators who, beholden to them, put their interests first, not Mississippi’s. They are the principal funders and promoters of McDaniel’s campaign.
Incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran was recruited to run for Congress in 1972 by Mississippians. He is beholden only to Mississippi and has consistently voted for the interests of his state. No doubt that is why Gov. Phil Bryant and other Republican leaders stand with Sen. Cochran.
McDaniel and his Super PAC allies claim Cochran is liberal. “Sen. Cochran has a liberal voting record,” proclaimed Club for Growth national president Chris Chocola.
Former Gov. Haley Barbour called Chocola’s claim “fraudulent,” pointing to a voting record that shows Cochran to be a consistent conservative. For example, he voted against the stimulus bill, for sequestration, and for the Budget Control Act; he has an A+ rating from NRA; he cosponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act; he voted 102 times to defund or repeal Obamacare; and so on.
But, yes, Cochran has been a champion of the Farm Bill since Mississippi has important agricultural and forestry interests; obtaining federal relief after Hurricane Katrina; and keeping our military bases safe from closure.
Reckon the Club for Growth or Senate Conservative Action Super PACS would fight for these or other Mississippi interests? Or let their beholden senator do so?
Bill Crawford (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.