Congressman Gene Taylor has been criticized for the some of words he's used to describe his Republican opponent in the November elections. Taylor has used words like ``clown'' to respond to Karl Mertz's call for a debate. On Tuesday, Taylor suggested the Long Beach resident belonged in Whitfield, Mississippi's state mental hospital. Some believe such comments slip the bounds of respectable political discourse.
Christy Dunaway, who works for a Jackson-based advocacy group for disabled people, says such comments promote the philosophy that ``people who have mental illnesses should be shut away.'' She says it's unacceptable for a congressman to talk that way. Holly Anderson, a spokeswoman for the National Mental Health Association, said her organization frowns on statements like that. Some political scientists are questioning why Taylor is bothering to acknowledge Mertz at all.