The Republican establishment crossed a line in their desperate attempt to rescue a crony in Mississippi. And I think they’re going to pay for this. I think we’re only starting to see the backlash.
For background, Senator Thad Cochran has been in Congress for almost 42 years—6 years in the House and 36 in the Senate. During that time he has had a remarkably undistinguished record of playing ball with the power brokers: voting to increase the debt ceiling, “bringing home the bacon” for Mississippi, and being complicit in the inexorable growth in the power and size of the federal government.
He lost his June 3 primary to challenger Chris McDaniel, 49.5% to 49.0%. But in Mississippi, you need to win the primary election with a clear majority or there has to be a run-off. So Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Karl Rove, the Chamber of Commerce, and others poured their influence into Mississippi to try to push him over the finish line. They helped Cochran edge out McDaniel in Tuesday’s runoff, 50.9% to 49.1%. It’s their tactics that are now coming under fire.
Here’s a copy of a flier they used to get out the vote for “Old Thad.” (Thanks to the Rush Limbaugh website for providing this.) This was reinforced by a radio ad that you can play by clicking here. And a robo-call that you can play by clicking here.
I’m waiting for Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Karl Rove, and the Chamber of Commerce to denounce this . . . .
I’m waiting . . . .
Well, I guess that’s not going to happen.
Mark Levin was furious last night on his radio show. (By the way, thanks to his show for providing me the audio to the radio ad and robo-call.) And he took calls from listeners who were also furious. One, from Arizona, a life-long Republican, was changing parties over it.
There is way too much sleaze in this Cochran campaign for just one blog post. But let me list some of it:
1. A recent line touted by the Republican establishment is that they don’t disagree with the Tea Party conservatives on principle, really, only on tactics. That’s obviously not true here, as they were willing to sell their souls in Mississippi to defeat a conservative. Lie number one.
2. The robo-call warned voters that McDaniel would oppose Obama, insinuating that such opposition was based on race. If there was integrity in the call, then it must be that Cochran intends to help Obama all he can. Right?
3. The radio ad said that it was a lie that people who voted for Cochran in the primary couldn’t vote for the Democrat in the general election. Actually, it is the law in Mississippi that a voter who votes in the primary for one party must have the intention of voting for that party, in that race, in the general election. So the flyer, the radio ad, and the robo-call are all encouraging people to break the law.
4. The ads are racist. A black conservative who called Mark Levin last night said that, and I agree. They stereotype African-Americans in a negative way. They get away with this in the establishment media because they are using racism to attack conservatives.
And the question naturally arises, was the Cochran campaign lying about what it thinks of the Tea Party, or does this represent what they really think? And by extension, all those who were pitching in here—the Senate Republican leadership, the Chamber of Commerce—is this what they think of the Tea Party?
Mark Levin said that if he lived in Mississippi, he could not vote for Thad Cochran. A caller from Mississippi agreed. I must say that I agree also. And I will add to it. If I were in Kentucky, I would not vote for Mitch McConnell. What about getting a majority in the Senate? you ask. And I answer that I would rather have a minority with integrity than a sleazy majority like we are seeing here. One of the things I fear for the 2016 election is that we will have a Republican majority in both houses of Congress leading up to that election and they will be a sleazy, big-spending majority that will blur the lines between Republican and Democrat as they did in 2006, thus depressing turnout, giving advantage to Democrats, and killing the chances for true reform.
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