Saturday, July 22, 2006

A Rankin County Dilemma: Ross or Bryant

Next year, two leading politicians in Rankin County will be running for the most powerful job in the state of Mississippi: Lieutenant Governor. They will face off in the Republican primary. And believe me, it will be a heated primary.

On paper, Phil Bryant has the most political experience. He was a state representative from Jan. 1992 to Nov. 1996 and State Auditor from Nov. 1996 to the present. Charles Ross has been a state representative and later a state senator from Jan. 1997 to the present. Phil Bryant has more name recognition and probably more money.

I know both of them. Phil Bryant is friendlier, but he has lied to me and I have no use for him. As his race develops, I will post more information. I had the misfortune to serve with him on the Rankin County Republican Executive Committee for a couple of years (1988-1990). I could not stand him. I did not consider him to be very smart. I know former employees in the State Auditor's office who think he is a dim bulb. One former employee told me he is nothing but a pretty boy who probably gets his hair coiffed at Monique's.

Charlie Ross is arrogant and aloof, but he is very intelligent and honest. I've dealt with him before and found him to be straightforward, even though I was no friend of his. Charles Ross has served as State Senator for a couple of terms and he knows the legislative process quite well.
I believe he would be honest and fair in his dealings with the State Senate if he became Lt. Governor.

As far as looks and charm go, Bryant has Ross beat by a country mile. If you want brains and knowledge, Ross beats Bryant by miles. If I were to bet, Bryant would beat Ross in Rankin County and the state in the primary. But in the general election, I think Ross would be a lot tougher to beat. In a debate with the Democrat, Ross would club the Democrat but the Democrat would cream Bryant.

In Rankin County, Bryant would win. Chances are excellent Bryant would carry every major section of the county. He would easily win Pearl. But that is today's forecast. As I wrote before, this will not be a pretty primary. In a debate, Bryant would look handsomer and more debonaire but would be exposed as an empty suit. Ross would slaughter Bryant in a debate. It wouldn't even be close. You'd have to pick Bryant off the floor because he would be so badly beaten.

I'll make no bones as to whom I will vote for: Charlie Ross. At least he is honest and forthright. That is a lot more than what I can say for Bryant.

As for the general election, I'll wait and see who's the Democratic nominee. There's no way I would vote for Barbara Blackmon or State Rep. Jamie Franks, two flaming liberals. But if the Democrats can nominate a conservative, I could vote for him (her). If Ross is the nominee, I could vote for him no matter who the Democrats nominate. But there is no way on God's green earth I would ever vote for a phony like Bryant. I would either vote for the Democrat or leave it blank.

As time goes on, I will place more postings on my blog about this race. It promises to be a doozy.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Romney's Religion Problem

There is no doubt Mitt Romney is running for the Rpublican nomination for President. He seems like a fine person, an excellent husband and father and a good governor of Massachusetts. He is the only current governor running for President (although he has not announced). I followed his career as governor and I can tell you he was a good governor--considering he had a 6-1 Democratic margin in the state legislature. And most of those Democrats would make Lenin look like a flaming John Bircher.

Nevertheless, Romney is wasting his time running. My box turtle Pokey Jo would stand a better chance of getting on the Republican ticket in 2008 than Romney. Why? His religion.

Romney is a Mormon and a fairly devout one. Romney can call himself a devout Christian and tell people he believes in Jesus. It may play with liberal Protestants and some Catholics. But it will not play with fundamentalist Christians (which I am one). The great majority of fundamentalist Christians live in the South, which is the cockpit of Republican Presidential primaries.

In the Deep South, the Southern Baptist church is the main church of fundamentalist Christians. In the Baptist church, there is a thing called "Discipleship Training" (It used to be called "Training Union.") This training is usually held on Sunday night, an hour before the evening service (For more time, some of them are held on Wednesday nights.). During this training, one of the classes deals with cults. The Mormon church is considered a cult.

In one very large (5500 members) fundamentalist Baptist church, I remember going to a class years ago on the Mormons. We all freaked out when we read their beliefs and theology. The Mormons believe Jesus is a lesser prophet or god than Moroni. They believe you can baptize your dead ancestors. They believe if you follow the book of the Mormon, lead an exemplary life and have a large family, you can become a god on another planet. It is a secretive religion, which definitely conflicts with the openness of the Baptist faith. And Mormons wear some sacred clothing, which spooks a lot of us Baptists. The polygamy thing didn't use to bother us. But with the Supreme Court overturning sodomy laws and Massachusetts allowing homosexual marriage, will polygamous marriages become legal?

There is no doubt Romney is very charming and intelligent. At first blush, he'll appeal to Southern audiences. But once his religious beliefs become common knowledge, he'll be toast. He will have a horrible time explaining his beliefs to fundamentalist Baptists.

His religion will not be openly discussed. But in most Baptist churches, there is an organization called the "Men's Brotherhood." It's a bunch of men meeting very early (6AM) on a Sunday for breakfast. We discuss church mission projects and what to do, church events and secular politics. There are tens of thousands of meetings like this throughout the South. You can rest assured Romney's religion will be discussed. And you can also rest assured Romney will get no votes from Baptists who are aware of Romney's religious beliefs. If you think fundamentalist Baptists will vote for a Mormon, you are new in the South or you have been living in a swamp free from civilization.

Romney can have ten thousand people trying to mute Romney's Mormon beliefs and do all they can to convince us he's a Christian. Under NO circumstances will I vote for Romney if he's on the ticket. And take my word for it, there are hundreds of thousands of people like me throughout the entire South who feel that way.

If you want more information on Romney's religion problem, go to and check the link on Romney. I wrote a little commentary on Romney. The website is excellent and very informative.