Of course, Barbour couldn’t have done it alone. He needed help, and he got it, from the national level where his tenure has been marked by an increasing leftward lurch by the national Democratic Party. This has made it easier to force officeholders and candidates at all levels to quit clinging to the “Mississippi Democrat” label and increasingly align with national party philosophy rather than state and local tradition.
Is Mississippi on its way to becoming a different kind of one-party state? While we’ll likely never return to the days when one party could hold its meetings in the proverbial phone booth, Democratic officeholders are an endangered species in all but majority-black communities and districts in Mississippi. Yes, Democrats hold a majority in the state House and at county courthouses around the state. But that could change just as quickly as it did at the statewide level.
Philosophical issues are a big reason. But organizational competence and effectiveness are another. Between Democrats and Republicans, it’s simply no contest.
By LLOYD GRAY – NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI DAILY JOURNAL (Tupelo)