The shutdown, the debt ceiling and memories of Sonny Montgomery

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by Sid Salter and originally published on his blog on

Sid Salter--studio headshotAs the government shutdown and the subsequent rancor and gridlock reached new depths, I couldn’t help but think about the late U.S. Rep. Gillespie V. “Sonny” Montgomery.

Montgomery was a lifelong Democrat — a “boll weevil” Democrat, some called him — but a Democrat. But during his 30 years of congressional service, Montgomery was effective under Democratic or GOP leadership in the White House and in the Capitol.

I pass Sonny’s statue almost daily on the Mississippi State University campus. Through interaction with the Montgomery Foundation, I’ve had occasion to spend a significant amount of time going through his papers in the Mississippi Congressional and Political Research.

It was my pleasure to know Congressman Montgomery on a personal level. He was a man of great conviction who was guided by his principles and his fundamental love of God, his family and his country. But those principles did not lead him to doctrinaire political histrionics or lead him to conclude that the solution to the problems that vexed the U.S. government was to throw a wrench in the works of government.

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