BILL CRAWFORD: Rock-brain politics ruining America



“If (re-election) means more to you than your country,” he said, “when we need patriots to come out in a situation when we’re in extremity, then you shouldn’t even be in Congress.”

That was former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson crying out for some “good ‘ol common sense” in Washington, particularly from his former Republican colleagues.

“Common sense…seems to escape members of our party,” he said.

Don’t misunderstand. Simpson is as much against Obamacare – the root of the current constipation in Washington these days – as the next Republican.

“It can’t work, because all you have to do is use common sense” he said, pointing to the costs to sustain it.

But, he’s not willing to mulishly decimate America over that one issue. The unwillingness of leaders to find common sense compromises on the budget and the debt ceiling galls Simpson. As does their willingness to put the economic well-being of citizens at risk as they posture for re-election.

“If you want to be in politics you learn to compromise,” he said. “Show me a guy who won’t compromise and I’ll show you a guy with rocks for brains.”

Common sense, not rock-brain posturing, helped the United States to its extraordinary position as world’s shining example of functional democracy.

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote “Democracy in America,” volume one, in 1835, hailing Americans’ “strength and common sense.”

President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 linked American common sense and politics saying, “I do not believe that any political campaign justifies the declaration of a moratorium on ordinary common sense.”

Simpson was a friend and colleague of the late Sonny Montgomery. He, Sonny, and the late Senator John Stennis exemplified patriotic leaders willing to use common sense and put America first, ahead politics and self-interest.

Today, allies wonder if our democratic republic will ever function properly again. Enemies see us as vulnerable and growing weaker. An extended government shutdown plus a government default over the debt ceiling would cause more harm to America than anything dreamed of by Iran, Al-Qaeda, or Karl Marx.

And, it would be self-inflicted ruin.

In 1814 former president John Adams warned, “There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Speaking of rock-brain Republicans, did you see the story published in CQ Roll Call about the Tea Party darling state senator considering a primary challenge to Senator Thad Cochran? When asked about such a challenge, little known Chris McDaniel of Ellisville said, “We are keeping all of our options open because we want to do the right thing for the conservative movement.”

The right thing “for the conservative movement,” he said, not “for America” or even “for Mississippi.”

Shall we now pledge allegiance to the conservative movement?

Pray for less nonsense and more common sense patriotism.

Bill Crawford ( is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.

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  • Kevin

    “Common sense, not rock-brain posturing, helped the United States to its
    extraordinary position as world’s shining example of functional

    This is what Americans say to describe their government, but currently and historically few people the world over accept this because it’s merely an ethnocentric assumption. If you read material from overseas other than de Tocqueville, then you’ll find lots and lots of criticism directed at the U.S. and its form of government. And Americans deserve this criticism because the promises that Americans take for granted, i.e. freedom, liberty, equality, and rule of law have hardly ever been realized.

  • guest

    Conservative Movement????????? What Conservative Movement??????

    You ask any of these radicals what they offer or what they stand for and all you will get from them is some fantasy based ideology rant that requires people to live a certain way and gives large corporations free reign to do want they want.

    The American people need to really check themselves before they vote any anti government official to office – they simply do not know how to govern.

  • Jack Makokov

    The Conservative Movement: a 5-year summary–

    Oct 2008: “You’ll never get elected and pass healthcare.”
    Nov 2008: “We’ll never let you pass healthcare.”
    Jan 2009: “We’re gonna shout you down every time you try to pass healthcare.”
    July 2009: “We’ll fight to death every attempt you make to pass healthcare.”
    Dec 2009: “We will destroy you if you even consider passing healthcare.”
    March 2010: “We can’t believe you just passed healthcare.”
    April 2010: “We are going to overturn healthcare.”
    Sept 2010: “We are going to repeal healthcare.”
    Jan 2011: “We are going to destroy healthcare.”
    Feb 2012: “We’re gonna elect a candidate who’ll revoke healthcare NOW.”
    June 2012: “We’ll go to the Supreme Court, and they will overturn healthcare.”
    Aug 2012: “American people’ll never re-elect you-they don’t want healthcare.”
    Oct 2012: “We can’t wait to win the election and explode healthcare.”
    Nov 2012: “We can’t believe you got re-elected & we can’t repeal healthcare.”
    Feb 2013: “We’re still going to vote to obliterate healthcare.”
    June 2013: “We can’t believe the Supreme Court just upheld healthcare.”

    Of course, they’ve had plentiful moments of derp, this is a condensed summary of what it’s like to negotiate with simpletons.
    July 2013: “We’re going to vote like 35 more times to erase healthcare.”

    Sept 2013: “We are going to leverage a government shutdown into
    defunding, destroying, obliterating, overturning, repealing,
    dismantling, erasing and ripping apart healthcare.”