Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Sid Salter: Surprising Week in Miss. Politics Revolves Around Entrenched Division, Apathy

From the U.S. Capitol to rural polling places in Mississippi in midterm congressional primaries, it has been a week of surprises and political drama that revolved around both intense political division and at the same time political apathy.

As jarring and difficult to watch as the video of the riots was, will these hearings dramatically change the hard divisions in our country? Or to Democrats and Republicans alike, do these hearings simply serve to validate prior distrust and dislike that has been fomenting in this country since the Florida recount over 20 years ago?

First, the focus on the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol brought into dramatic focus the ongoing basic partisan and philosophical division in the country as the nation watch stark new footage of the insurgence into the seat of American government by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.

Recent NBC polling shows that about 45 percent of the U.S. public believes Trump has some level of direct responsibility for the riots – with 17 percent of those assigning sole responsibility and 28 percent saying Trump is “mainly” responsible. Those figures are down about seven percent from NBC polling on the same question in 2021.

At the same time, polling also shows about 35 percent say Trump is “not really” responsible for the riots, numbers up about six percent from the same polling question in 2021. Why does that matter?

First, the House Select Committee is not perceived as a bipartisan examination of the Jan. 6 riots in the same manner as the Watergate hearings or the 9-11 Commission hearing. It’s that way because Republicans in Congress opposed efforts – which they saw as directly political – to investigate the attempt to stop the certification of the election that ended the Trump presidency.

Mississippi Second District U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Bolton, was the face of the House Select Committee when the prime-time hearing aired, Regardless of one’s opinion on Thompson’s politics, it is inarguable that Thompson was more than up to the task of leading the proceedings. Thompson was prepared, passionate, and righteously indignant about what he called “an attempted coup” by Trump and his followers.

While the hearings were in progress, Thompson was slammed with a Tweet from the House Republican Conference that read: “REMINDER: Bennie Thompson objected to the 2004 Presidential Election.” Technically it was true but lacked any meaningful context.

After Democratic nominee John Kerry had publicly conceded the election outcome to President George W. Bush and publicly objected to any electoral vote challenge, Thompson was one of 31 House Democrats who voted to object to the counting of Ohio’s electoral votes due to what they called voting irregularities in that one state, not the entire election (although the race was close enough that flipping Ohio would have changed the outcome of the election). 

The effort failed as anything other than a civil rights protest vote by the 31 House Democrats. That motion to object in Ohio was successfully opposed by 88 House Democrats and 178 House Republicans.

Back in Mississippi – with midterm elections voter turnout abysmally low - the Fourth District Republican primary saw a remarkable tableau unfold. Incumbent GOP U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo was rejected by almost 68 percent of the district’s Republican voters and faces a runoff against Sheriff Mike Ezell. Remarkably, the other GOP challengers to Palazzo joined forces the next day to formally endorse Ezell in the runoff.

Palazzo then did something even more remarkable – as an incumbent, he issued a debate challenge to Ezell. That’s not something one sees often in Mississippi politics,

And in the Third District, incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Guest was forced into a runoff with self-proclaimed America First candidate Michael Cassidy - a Maryland native who relocated to Meridian recently. 

Cassidy, like TV celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and others perceived to have relocated residency for political advantage, was quickly branded with a term not heard much in Mississippi since Reconstruction – carpetbagger. 

Mississippi critics of Cassidy – from the political right and left – pointed to expensive social program proposals Cassidy initially proffered on his website including paying couples to marry and not divorce and the bizarre (for a Republican) adoption of the Bernie Sanders “Medicare for All” proposal. Cost estimates for those programs over a decade are projected at $48 trillion over the next decade.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Anonymous said...

Thanks Sid,
Water is wet and the butter is melting on the biscuit.

Anonymous said...

While I'm sure many will disagree with me, I am concerned that Trump will screw things up and we will have a continuation of Democrat/Marxist rule. Now hopefully Biden will not be the President if this occurs. Biden has caused quite a bit of damage to this country in only roughly two years where it took Carter four years. He did tell us he was planning on doing this prior to his election. And we all bitch about Jackson and Mayor Wheelchock.

Anonymous said...

Jan 6 hearing No.1: less than 20M viewed;
Jan 6 hearing No.2: less than 10M viewed.

Concerted, leftist agit prop, as effective as a vegetarian 'pressed ham' against a window near meat eating diners in SF or Boulder, just another hippie ahole, so what.

Anonymous said...

My conclusion on reading this epistle, “ Mississippi State University employee for Bennie Thompson “. Hard to believe the school I attended is becoming so woke so fast.

Anonymous said...

"Up to the task"? He's a joker from the Swamp and hopefully the actuarial tables are on our side. He stated one time in a meeting that 'No I will not vote to impeach "President" Clinton. Dare I say anyone of you here today has not gotten to be where you are having not climbed fools hill once or twice in your lives.." A complete scoundrel.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the reason the polling is different now than 2 years ago is that people are starting to realize that there are a lot of things about Jan 6th we simply don't know and cannot trust much of anything coming from DC or the media to dig into the truth.

Sid talking about no context on the tweet slamming Thompson for what he did in 2004 is rich. Especially when Sid just talked about Thompson's "righteously indignant" approach...which one could easily read as "not objective. But even richer when Sid explains why Bennie did what he did in 2004. He objected because there were alleged voting irregularities in a state (Ohio), not an entire election, where flipping said state would have changed the outcome.

No one has claimed that every ballot cast (ballots casts do not equal legal votes for those keeping up) was fraudulent in the 2020 election. However, there were serious irregularities and changes to state laws without the proper process being followed (there was a time that was called unconstitutional) which led to a number of ballots cast for Biden to be considered legal votes that changed the outcome of the election in those states. Flipping those states would have ultimately changed the outcome. There is NO difference.

Carpetbagger label or not, a number of people I have talked to are voting not so much for Cassidy as against Guest. The words "arrogant," "out of touch," and "entitled" have been used. And all three were on full display in every interview he gave after the primary election, as well as the spots since then.

Never take people for granted. It doesn't end well.

Anonymous said...

When you turn off the news and visit with your neighbors and others in your community...most of the divisions melt away. Not because you agree on everything but because it's much easier to see them as people and give them the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

riot? now thats funny. I didn't know this was satirical. Guest is in trouble b/c he's drinking the DC kool-aid

Anonymous said...

Riot? Why was the January 6 protest a "riot", but all other riots with looting and destruction of property in Seattle, Baltimore, Ferguson and elsewhere just "peaceful protests"?

Sid gets no points on this opinion piece from me. Good try but poor execution.

Anonymous said...

According to an internet commenter (8:59), in the 2020 election, there were "serious irregularities and changes to state laws without the proper process being followed"

So you must also think that every American court, which dismissed the election challenges on substantive and procedural grounds is also rigged against your preferential candidate.

So, not only are American elections rigged but also our independent judiciary. That's true faith in America right there, boyz!

Anonymous said...

Throughout the history of this country and certainly in a few recent presidential elections we have had shenanigans that could call close elections into question. What we did not have was presidential candidates who cared so little about the severe division caused when candidates refuse to accept defeat and affirm our electoral process. What we now have is a man whose own personal ambition outweighs any concern he has for creating national turmoil and fomenting serious conflict. Mr. Trump is a good businessman, a take no prisoners titan of industry but a despot as a statesman and we would do well to thank him for his service and move on.... while we can.

Anonymous said...

9:50 am
Courts generally don't want to decide elections, prefer that if people cheat, legislatures should fix it. Georgia did and just had an improved experience.

Anonymous said...

So moving here years ago as part of your service orders qualifies you as “carpet bagger?”

I guess all the people who serve in the military need to know according to Sid and the Guest campaign you are not welcome to stay after your service to our country. Sad mind set.

I guess we know how Sid and G campaign view the out of state students at MSU if they chose to live in MS after college too. May be why so few stay, they’re just dang carpet baggers anyway per Sid and G


Anonymous said...

Is "carpetbagger" really an appropriate label for someone from a formerly slave state lying below the Mason Dixon line of which many of its citizens fought for the confederate army and which has confederate monuments scattered all over it? Asking for friend. And are there really no racial implications associated with that term?

Anonymous said...

"the House Select Committee is not perceived as a bipartisan examination of the Jan. 6 riots...because Republicans in Congress opposed efforts – which they saw as directly political – to investigate the attempt to stop the certification of the election that ended the Trump presidency."

This is garbage journalism. It's not seen as bipartisan because it's not bipartisan. Pelosi declined to allow republicans to appoint their own members and the public at large is generally not stupid enough to think that democrats picking two sort of republican, vocally antitrump members don't make it bipartisan.

Anonymous said...

Second paragraph of Bennies opening remarks. Making sure to somehow inject race into the hearings where it is totally irrelevant. Proud of that too Sid ?

"I am Bennie Thompson, Chairman of the January 6th, 2021 Committee. I was born, raised and still live in Bolton, Mississippi, a town with a population of 521, which is midway between Jackson and Vicksburg, MS, and the Mississippi River. I am from a part of the country where people justified the actions of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan and lynching. I’m reminded of that dark history as I hear voices today try and justify the actions of the insurrectionists on January 6th, 2021."

Anonymous said...

If a guy wearing buffalo horns leading a bunch of of middle aged people armed with cameras and cell phones can pull off a coup in this country then we have bigger problems than "Bennie and the Jets" can solve with their little kangaroo court.

Anonymous said...

@950, I'm not sure where you got your law degree. I know where I got mine. A dismissal for procedural reasons does not address the substantive issues or merits of the case. In fact, that was one reason for Justice Thomas' dissent. If they didn't address what was taking place, which were in effect "agency head executive orders" rather than legislative changes to election laws (at one time this was called unconstitutional), the process would simply repeat itself again. Georgia (as another posted noted) corrected some of these issues. The turnout did NOT decrease.

Regardless, I didn't say in every instance. I said there were a number of issues of ballots being accepted as valid votes, when in fact the law was not followed, and therefore the ballots were merely that: ballots. They were not legal votes and should not have been counted.

I lose faith in a judiciary, a bar, and a populace that wants to turn a blind eye to the rule of law. When the rule of law becomes non-absolute, the very foundations of our country are in trouble. You and others like you are concerning to me in that you seem to either not care or not know the difference.

Anonymous said...

The Jan 6 thing is a joke. They are just trying to find a way to keep Trump from running for president again. It would seem like coming up with the Russian lies and trying to impeach Trump several times was not enough.
The movie 2000 mules showed how Slow Joe won the election with midnight voters. Maybe in the future, after all of the crooks involved have died, we will get the true report of the election.

Anonymous said...

It's partisan politics. No doubt. What's new? Go back to the Federalists, the Whigs, the Republicans, Democrats, BullMoose whoever. They divide, they seek power. But only now, have we had a presidential attack on the basis of our fragile democracy: the election itself. This man had decided months earlier he would attack any outcome short of his victory. That's a fact. And that's a damn shame. And that's why we find ourselves in this mess. Face it.

Anonymous said...

What people fail to see, is the last presidential election was run as if this country was nothing more than a democracy. Some people would say that is the correct way, not so.

We are a republic, with democratically elected representatives. For many years people said with pride, the United States of America, is a nation of laws. That is no longer the truth.

From the highest offices of the federal government, down to the mayors and city council members, lawbreakers abound. It seems that corrupt men, and women, are all that seek the political offices, not to serve their fellow citizen, but for greed and self empowerment.

It will take people with intestinal fortitude if this country is to be saved. I fear the tide of lawlessness cannot be stopped. The country I love, maybe too far gone. May GOD have mercy on us, and grant us leaders that will honor our laws once more. That people can say with pride America is a country of laws.

Anonymous said...

"Jarring Riots"? Which 'riots' 'jarred' you, Sid? Are you talking about all those riots the democrats ignored or the 'dust up' over which Bennie wants to lynch Trump?

Asking for you employer who wonders if you're on personal leave when you write this drivel?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn’t worry about Trump too much, James is about to send him away in New York, he will never get a pardon . Will the republicans run a convicted felon?

Anonymous said...

June 15, 2022 at 12:33 PM


Don Drane said...

Sid has been around so long I thought surely he would remember Maryland, for the most part, sided with the Confederacy in Lincoln's Unnecessary War. So, now he calls Marylanders 'carpet-baggers'. And six years residency is 'recently'? Show them non-biased colors Sid!

Anonymous said...

12:58 -
1. Legislature can delegate authority to agencies/executives. Do we really think the legislature cannot delegate certain election authority?
2. Various Trump/GOP election challenges were decided on substantive and procedural grounds. Some courts heard and dismissed claims on a substantive basis. Other courts dismissed claims on a procedural basis. Either way, a procedural loss is, in fact, upholding the rule of law.
3. Georgia has continued to elect D's since 2020. Are these elections invalid/fraudulent as well?

Anonymous said...

You all must understand something. Let me 'splain. People like Sidney and Jerry Mitchell know Mississippi won't elect a democrat from Guest's district, so the next best thing is latching onto an incumbent who votes like a democrat. Thus Sidney's not-so-veiled-support for the guy.

I'm left wondering how many times Guest has signed the guest-register at the door of Bennie's office.

Anonymous said...

Here is why Lil Lumumba thinks he is all
Powerful. His daddies buddy is an insurrectionist.

Anonymous said...

Hillary and the Democrats attempted to overturn the 2016 election by convincing electors to betray the voters and vote for her.

Anonymous said...

@445, you are making my point. Legislators and legislative bodies can certainly delegate their authority. However, in those states they did not. The only reason why the democratically controlled legislative bodies and Secretaries of State didn’t care about what was happening was because Biden was getting the harvested ballots and “mail in” votes. Further, as another poster noted, we are a republic, not a democracy. Basic civics. Unfortunately, civics aren’t taught as much anymore. Is anyone going to deny that had Trump been declared the winner that the Democratic Party would have done exactly what Hillary did in 2016. Never concede. Never admit she lost. She nearly threw her back out in dramatic disbelief during one of the debates when Trump said he might not accept the results unless he won. Clearly said in jest and to get a rise out of Hillary. It worked. And then she was the one that went on and on about it for 4 years. She’s still talking about it.

Anonymous said...

9:47 - which non-legislative approved change to a state election materially affected the outcome of the election in that state?

Kingfish said...

Probably referring to PA.

Anonymous said...

Common sense dictates the election wasn't stolen and the Jan 6th committee is proving that fact. Trump wanted Pence to decide an election...ONE MAN.

Do tell how voting machine shipped to the U.S.,then shipped to States, then to the counties and finally to the precinctslong before the primaries got " compromised"? How did anyone know that where the machines would end up where it mattered?
How many people would have to be involved from the day of manufacturing to the precinct to make sure A machine or 5 didn't end up in a overwhelmingly Trump precinct?

There is no one shred of evidence of a stolen election. But there is clear evidence Trump knew he was going to lose from his own campaign manager BEFORE the votes. He knew he LOST before the mail in ballots were counted. And, it seems forgotten DeJoy did all he could by removing mail drop boxes and mail processing machines in advance.
Eastman ,who gave Trump the "legal" theories to pressure Pence to deny the certified Electors in favor of " our alternate electors" or " send them back to the States" was illegal and un Constitutional .
Eastman took the Fifth before the Jan.6th in his deposition as he knew that. He admitted to sworn TRUMP appointee witnesses that this was a political effort, not a legal one. Guiliani knew as well.

Cassidy is your man if what you want are people who think the end justifies the means no matter if it's criminal or causes a Civil War or turns us into a dictatorship.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Cassidy is a carpetbagger. He moved here in 2021.
3 years at the Meridian military base isn't "moving here".
I moved here over 40 years ago and there is no way in Hell you are familiar enough with Mississippi issues in such a short time or even know all that many people well enough to know what matters to them.
I doubt he could tell you who has authority to do what in Mississippi State Government! Does he know what the largest businesses are in his district and know if it's the CEO calling him about a bill that affects them? Has he even come to the cities and towns? I haven't seen him or heard of anyone meeting him in mine or holding a gathering for him. Know any of his life long friends? I can't find anyone who has even met him!
I do know Mississippi Today writes that he has $48 trillion dollar platform that includes Medicare for All and a $20000 marriage "gift" according to Mississippi today yet his website makes him sound like a Trump guy. WTF!
When trying to do "due diligence" on a candidate is this hard, something ain't right!

Anonymous said...

Let me make it country plain for you. It ain't that people are for Cassidy, as much as it is people are against that arrogant self-righteous, pompous Guest.

Cassidy ain't winning, Guest is losing it. Do you understand, now?

Anonymous said...

PA established no-excuse mail-in voting in 2019. Covid occurred in 2020.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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