Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Republican clown car in Mississippi

I've been reading about the GOP primary in Mississippi for senate for several weeks. Supposedly it's the nastiest race in the entire country. I think it's most inept, like the Keystone Cops.

First, we have an old Senate hand, the 76-year-old Thad Cochran. He's GOP establishment, I suppose, so the Tea Partiers want to pick him off and install one of their own. I don't know anything about Cochran's record or whether he's still a political force. He's certainly not one of the big names in the Senate. The biggest news story I read about him was that he doesn't know much about the Tea Party. That strikes me as strange, especially since he's in the politics business. Maybe he's getting a little out of touch or senile, or maybe there's some other explanation (like he focuses on other more important issues).

His opponent, Chris McDaniel, 41, wants to be another Tea Party superstar like Ted Cruz. (My opinion of Ted Cruz is that he's all flash and no serious thought, so we definitely don't need another of that kind.) Unfortunately for McDaniel, a rabid Tea Party supporter filmed Cochran's senile wife in her nursing home, which is not only in bad taste but also against the law. The supporter and several others have been arrested and charged.

It probably should have been easy to defeat Cochran... unless you ended up looking more unsavory than him. That's what this supporter managed to do. It was emblematic of the Tea Party's desire to unseat all RINOs by any means possible, and it showed how they'll cross the line without a second thought. In the primary, the Tea Party challenger didn't win an outright majority and now has to compete in a runoff with Cochran (probably, not definitely). This looked like it should have been a win for the Tea Party, and that supporter blew it. What an amazing self-inflicted wound.


1 comment:

Dangerous said...

Barring some extraordinary events before June 24, Cochran is going to lose to McDaniel in the runoff. Since he couldn't fend off the challenge in the regular primary, his blood is in the water and his opponents are circling.

After Senate races around the country in 2010 and 2012 with Tea Party candidates leading the GOP, any such candidate has to be considered vulnerable. Their rhetoric is so over-the-top on so many issues, unless the voters blindly just choose the GOP candidate because he votes the way they like, or they hate Obama, or both, reasonable people might decide that they don't want a TeaPartier representing them.

Certainly, the candidates that do move ahead after the primaries have learned some lessons on style and language, but the substance of their positions still leaves them with little comeback against their Dem opponents. Their primary attacks are to tie any Dem to Obama and Obamacare, and predict catastrophe unless they are elected to "take the country back". This has become tired and somewhat silly to a large number of voters in every state, no matter what they think of President Obama. Hence, Dems could win in Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, even as Obama lost those states by double-digits.