Thursday, June 26, 2014

I've lost respect for Thad Cochran, but I support my party's nominee; Chris McDaniels should, too

    I voted for Chris McDaniel on Tuesday and I would do so again. My support for McDaniel wasn't because Thad Cochran was a raving liberal, but rather because he was a squishy conservative.
    But my candidate lost. He lost because Cochran ran an immoral, unethical, race-baiting campaign that relied on scaring or bribing Democrats to come to the polls and vote for him. Cochran literally sent one set of messages to white voters while PACS supporting him phoned blacks telling them how much Cochran supported Barack Obama.
Click to enlarge
    The flyer at right was apparently distributed throughout parts of the Mississippi Delta. Note the lack of required statements as to who paid for the flyers. That's the kind of advertising that can be bought when people named "Scooby Doo" are given massive amounts of cash "walking around" money.
    Certainly McDaniel supporters have every right to be angry over Cochran's manipulation of Democratic black voters, many of whom made it clear that they would be supporting Democrat Travis Childers in the fall. We all have a right to be angry that Cochran and his handlers have nearly destroyed the Mississippi Republican Party. But anger doesn't change the fact that Cochran won.
    Sen. John Stennis had as his first and last campaign slogan "Plow a Straight Furrow." And Thad Cochran owes his electoral success in both his first and last campaign to the black vote. Cochran never would have been elected back in 1978 if Charles Evers hadn't siphoned off most of the black vote, allowing Cochran to take office with a mere plurality of 45.3 percent to 31.8 for Maurice Dantin and 22.6 for Evers. I know many people at the time wondered if Republicans had funneled just enough money to Evers to allow him to make the race, but I've never heard anybody make any credible claim to that effect.
    The respect I once had for Thad Cochran is gone. For as long as I live I will have a distaste for him, the Barbours, and the other big-money lobbyists surrounding him.
    But this November, I will hold my nose and vote for him. That's what Republicans agree to do when we vote in our party's primary. Anyone who thinks Cochran is "just the same" as Travis Childers is deluding themselves. For starters, a vote for Travis Childers is a vote for Harry Reid. I'm not the biggest fan of Mitch McConnell, but I do like him a lot more than I do Harry Reid. I really, truly can tell the difference in the things they do and don't support.
    Make no mistake, those of us who are conservative will have ample opportunity for payback. There will be a reckoning, in fact numerous reckonings. But failing to support the most conservative candidate this fall because we've gotten our feelings hurt isn't going to advance our interests.
    Chris McDaniel needs to stop with the hissy-fit and essentially say what I've said in this blog post. He then needs to say that he will support Thad Cochran in the fall for the reasons I've stated above. It's just my opinion, but if McDaniel fails to do this I believe he is finished politically.
    Let's concentrate on fixing the things we can. McDaniel ought to make a beeline to Jackson and file a bill creating a closed primary system for Mississippi. Now that this genie is out of the bottle this scenario is likely to be repeated again, with both Republican and Democratic victims. It's time for Mississippi to join a number of other states which protect party primaries from outside interference through proper party registration.
    There are more elections ahead, and we have a better idea now of who is a conservative and who is a kinda-sorta-maybe-sometimes conservative. We can fight these future battles accordingly so long as we keep our powder dry.

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