Delegation’s unity is both rare and confounding|OUR OPINION

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 5, 2008

Commentators have been having a hard time pinpointing — as they love to do — why a financial rescue package continued to meet with disapproval by numbers of House Democrats and Republicans as it moved to final passage Friday.

Truth is, as with the economy itself, many factors are in play.

All three Democrats from Mississippi, to illustrate, voted twice against the package.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Rep. Bennie Thompson of District 2, not facing a substantial re-election challenge, noted that the bill sent over from the Senate had grown to $850 billion. Lest anyone think Thompson has become a conservative, he quickly added that he was looking for some district-specific benefits. Thompson would have no problem with the cost, but wants more goodies for his constituents.

We’re tired of the term, but Rep. Gene Taylor of District 4 is a “maverick.” We’ve suggested that he be cloned due to the way he has retained his humility and voted his conscience rather than the party line time and again. His quote, that he voted “no” but would have voted “hell no” had that been an option, speaks to his belief that the last thing the American public needs is more public debt.

Rep. Travis Childers is Mississippi’s version of Sarah Palin. In office only a few months, he faced probably the biggest spending bill in American history. Representing a conservative district, he said “no.”

Overall, it was a sight to see Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank so cheerful about passing Bush-backed legislation. And if we need more proof of the diversity among the lawmakers and their reasons for opposing the legislation, we can turn to the Senate. There, the state’s two Republicans, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, voted “nay” when the Senate passed the “enhanced” rescue package by a 75-24 margin. To do this, both had to reject the urging of their president and watch as it was embraced by Democrats.

The only Mississippi congressman supporting passage was Rep. Chip Pickering of District 3, who is not seeking re-election.

Washington continues to make it hard on the pundits who want everything summed up in a sentence. Write this down: We are in difficult days. When Mississippi’s delegation — usually all over the map — votes with near-unison on any topic, we are in difficult days.