Tea Party slithers to a new low in its Mississippi ageism jihad

An answer to a bizarre mystery plaguing me is becoming clearer thanks to the Tea Party.

An old Navy friend in Mississippi, now an attorney, linked a story on Sunday about actions I found as worthy of head-scratching as well as despicable. It seems as if a Tea Party blogger and later, others, was arrested in connection with photographing the wife of senior U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R, Miss., inside her convalescent care room. Rose Cochran is bedridden, suffering from dementia.

Thad Cochran took office in the U.S. Senate in 1978, the year I processed out of the Navy in Mississippi. The state had been a large part of my military life. I had spent six weeks in “A” School at Meridian Naval Air Station, and two and a half years at the Navy Seabee base in Gulfport. Had I not decided to see what “Join the Navy and See the World” was all about I could have spent my entire time in Mississippi. But I transferred for a year to a World War II-era destroyer and rode it to various exotic destinations in the Western and Southern Pacific.

Although Mississippi was often derided then and remains slandered, I came to like the Gulf Coast. This was before casino gambling took over and the coast suffered the deadly and devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

I considered coming back to Mississippi after the Navy to live and work. I had friends there, after all. No mind that most were Navy people who would leave in a year or two, or who would be gone for months on end during deployment. While at home on leave — between leavingĀ  the ship in San Diego and processing out with the then 20th Naval Construction Regiment — I met a young girl only a couple of years out of high school. I fell in love, or fell in love with the idea of falling in love. It nonetheless didn’t take but I ultimately moved back to Texas.

That is the origin of my half-lifelong interest in Mississippi. My interest coincidentally took place when the first two Republicans since Reconstruction — Old Miss cheering squad mates Cochran and Trent Lott — were elected to the U.S. House from Mississippi. The old cheerleaders also became Republican U.S. Senators with Lott eventually Senate Majority Leader, only to fall after praising the old Dixiecrat racist, reprobate Strom Thurmond’s failed 1948 bid for president.

Lott is gone and Cochran now is fighting the Tea Party for a return to another six years of the “upper” House. From what I can gather, it seems the photography of poor Rose Cochran in her demented state is part of the newest jihad from the ultra conservative Republicans. Although I doubt his fingerprints are anywhere near this, the hideousness can in part linked to GOP wonder boy Karl Rove.

It is Rove who has raised questions about the age of Hillary Clinton and her health. Clinton would be the second oldest president behind, by mere months, Ronald Reagan. Clinton would be 77 at the end of two terms.

That Rove raises the question is of no matter. It is a question that should be raised. The Dems raised the questions upon the candidacy of Reagan, Bob Dole and John McCain. Although signs and the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in Reagan came after his presidency, many wondered if he was showing signs of the dementia while in office.

As Americans continue to function in all sorts of endeavors while aging beyond what were formerly known as “natural” years, the question as to fitness will continue. It might not be always pleasant such as having the family “talk” about Grandpa giving up his car keys. What is not useful is the exploitation of age. And there is absolutely no place for the stupidity exhibited by those Tea Party geniuses who think it acceptable to sneak into the residence of an elderly, demented woman for a photo to harm the woman’s politician husband. If this is the message that Karl Rove is sending out, no matter how distorted the message, then he needs to shut the f*** up.

But I would suggest that for Rove in any event.