Barbour taking hits for ’11 gov candidates

A term-limited Gov. Haley Barbour knows he’s getting politically hammered for his explosive budget proposal that landed with a thud audible from here to Plantersville.

But critics need to know this: The governor doesn’t care what they think. He’s preparing for life outside the Mansion. For one of the few times in his gubernatorial term, he doesn’t have to worry about political fallout. Barbour, ever the strategist, is working to make life easier for potential GOP successors with last week’s shocking proposals.

He’s falling on the figurative sword for Phil Bryant, Tate Reeves and any other Republican aspirant to become Mississippi’s next chief executive. The political carnage rests with him, but it’s a position that forces lawmakers to do something.

While lawmakers are doing the “who does he think he is dance,” they shouldn’t be dismissive of some of Barbour’s ideas. Many make perfect sense. The ones that have the most merit are the very ones that some lawmakers will be afraid to address. They’ll have to go home and face constituents and most don’t have it in them to venture from the status quo.