Heaven help us, this Republican Primary really is ugly and in full view of a nosy nation who long suspected this southern neighbor to be full-blown crazy.
As we move forward, let’s consider a variety of realities, because several exist. The prevailing reality is “there is no story here.” Cochran won. McDaniel lost. Democrats voted their interest by switching parties to help Cochran win the run-off. The majority of those same Democrats will come right back out and vote for Cochran in November and against their own candidate, Travis Childers.
Did some Democrats break state law by switching parties to vote in the run-off election?
A 7,000 vote difference?
Could any lawyer use it to prove this run-off election was bogus in a Mississippi Court?
Heck, no. But that won’t stop a few from trying to make a little of the ridiculous amounts of money these campaigns possess.
But what about the sneaky, underhanded, and disgusting way the Cochran campaign purchased black votes to help destroy McDaniel in the Delta?
So what. Again, no story.
For years, everyone from Sheriffs and Supervisors to National PACs working campaigns in Mississippi have been throwing money at pimp preachers and passing around envelopes filled with “walking around money.” It’s politics in Mississippi. You may not like it, but you don’t win without it in the Delta.
The jump in votes for Cochran in the Delta was less about black votes and more the result of Establishment Republican volunteers getting out their base (white) vote, voters who initially were not too enthused with either candidate. Turned off by the ugly campaign ads, they thought Cochran would win in a blowout, recognizing almost too late the growing strength of the Tea Party in Mississippi.
In this reality, the race is now over. Sure it was ugly, but let’s move on. Cochran has been declared the winner, the election certified. McDaniel, therefore, and his entire camp of Tea Party Patriots should surrender and join the Establishment’s army in order to help take back the U.S. Senate from Harry Reid and Democrats who seek nothing less than the destruction of the American way of life.
Not so fast, Republican friends. There are still a couple of alternate realities remaining. The Reality of the Frankenstein Monster: the figurative monster created during the Nixon and Reagan campaigns. A monster envisioned by Mississippi’s Clarke Reed during Nixon’s sweep through the south. A monster built by GOP apparatchiks out of severed limbs and bloody body parts. A monster whose abnormal brain came straight from Lee Atwater, the political genius who encouraged Reagan to publicly present his Charles Manson-like fears during his 1980 Presidential campaign knowing a large and disenchanted group of Americans shared the same nightmare.
So the party of Reagan created an angry, distrustful electorate fearful of the threat of over taxation, lawlessness, big government, and black power. This anger has grown into a Monster that now must lash back in order to survive, even if it means killing its Creator.
Why are GOP Doctor Frankensteins surprised by the likes of McDaniel and his rabid supporters? It’s like building a bomb without expecting it to ever explode. They instigated our national resentment towards taxes, government, blacks, Hispanics, immigrants, labor unions, environmentalists, scientists, intellectuals, and the poor. They spread fear and loathing not just among the uneducated, but also in the seemingly successful, monied, church-going, college-educated communities. Their Monster is filled with very real and very concerned voters who know how incredibly close they came to knocking Cochran out in the first primary.
This Monster is no joke, no matter what liberal comedians and left-wing bloggers say. Even Cochran supporters have resorted to terrible name calling, seeking to belittle McDaniel and those urging him to fight on. The Establishment says these extremists are too blind to see they could end up aiding the Democratic opposition in the fall.
McDaniel is not blind and neither are the Tea Party Patriots in Mississippi. They are a major force. It doesn’t really matter anymore just how misinformed, ill-informed, and manipulated they were in the past by the GOP Establishment. They know exactly what they need to do now if they are going to save our nation.
Joseph Heller wrote, “the truth is whatever people believe.” Like those trapped in Plato’s Cave the reality for Mississippi’s Tea Party Patriots is a different one. It must be a very scary one. Beyond the basic belief the federal government must be downsized and deficit spending eliminated, some believe God is angry with America. Some believe our President is a Muslim terrorist hell-bent on turning us into a socialist nation. Some believe our nation will soon be overrun by immigrants. They believe Thad Cochran and the GOP establishment have been complicit in big government, overspending, and the rest of this God forsaken treachery. That for them is the truth, a truth that carries with it tremendous responsibility.
Let the rest of us show some empathy. For if this is what McDaniel’s supporters truly believe and they believe their uncompromising views alone are all that can preserve the America our Founders created, well, they must fight on. They must fight on by any means necessary. Fight on, Chris McDaniel, fight on!
» David Dallas is a political writer. He worked for former U.S. Sen. John Stennis and authored Barking Dawgs and A Gentleman from Mississippi.