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Was Thad Cochranís Victory The GOP Establishmentís Most Pyrrhic Yet? (John Feehery mentioned again)
The Federalist ^ | June 27, 2014 | Mollie Hemingway

Posted on 06/27/2014 2:09:16 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

The Republican Party continues to enjoy a vibrant battle between its establishment stronghold and small-government insurgents sometimes described as the Tea Party.

Republican establishment political strategist Karl Rove responded to older-than-Methuselah, longtime-incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran’s runoff victory in Mississippi this week with a Wall Street Journal column about how Tea Party groups had “taken a beating” this primary season.

The column explained that entrenched incumbents with huge war chests and the backing of the party establishment have won more often than challengers, which is undoubtedly true. It is worth noting that Rove did not mention the tremendous victory local and national Tea Party groups had in Nebraska over Sen. Mitch McConnell and his establishment friends. But let’s move on from that and consider whether these establishment victories — and Thad Cochran’s in particular — aren’t somewhat Pyrrhic.

Now don’t get me wrong — Republican consultant Stuart Stevens did a fantastic job of winning a race for his client. The Cochran campaign has been criticized for winning by getting Democratic voters to cross-over and vote for the perpetual GOP incumbent. But it was an open primary and, assuming the laws were followed, that strategy is fair.

But what about the general behavior of the Republican establishment in this race?

In theory, the Tea Party vs. Establishment battle is about control of the Republican Party. Here, the “establishment” gained party control by attracting Democrats in what everyone reasonably assumes is a one-off situation. If not for these borrowed voters, Cochran would have easily lost. This is supposed to prove that the Tea Party is feckless and isn’t able to mount serious challenges.

But if the battle for the party is related to members of the party, it’s worth noting that the majority of Republicans who voted in Mississippi voted for the guy who lost the primary.

Another Thing

Chris McDaniel, who lost to Cochran, was not an ideal candidate, to put it mildly. He’s said some tough-to-defend things, done some tough-to-defend things, and had fans engaged in ridiculous campaign shenanigans, such as taking unwelcome photos of Cochran’s ill wife, who lives in a nursing home.

But if McDaniel is too crazy, supposedly, to be a U.S. Senator, what about Cochran, who might literally be senile? If the GOP cared about stewardship of the party, and didn’t want radicals to take over, leaving some senile fool in that position as long as they have was asking for trouble. The GOP should have managed this properly, landed Cochran a lobbying gig. We all know he was well connected with lobbyists. Here’s what one of them said when Cochran failed to win the June 3 primary:

John Feehery @JohnFeehery

I guess Mississippi doesn't want Federal money anymore. I betcha there are 49 states that will gladly take it.

10:16 PM - 3 Jun 2014

38 Retweets 13 favorites

Any nominally business-friendly conservative guy would have shut down McDaniel a lot earlier. The only way McDaniel had a chance was because Cochran was so senile and was such a foe of small-government conservatism.

So who cares?

As Robert Tracinski points out in “Here’s The Worst Part Of Thad Cochran’s Victory,” the victor won by playing up his support of the welfare state to black Democratic voters:

Is this what racial politics all boils down to—that it’s not about who is racist or who isn’t, but merely about who can deliver the federal dollars? This is more evidence, in case it was needed, that racial politics in America is no longer actually about race or racism. It has been co-opted as a bludgeon for supporters of the welfare state.

That worked for Mississippi voters, but that’s not the end of the story.

Because the tactics of the campaign were trumpeted nationally, all Tea Party voters now know what the establishment is willing to do to keep decrepit, long-time senators in office and keep small-government types out.

And it turns out they’re not so pleased.

Check out what this Republican Party member has to say about the tactics:

When it comes to whatever tenuous faith in and respect for the Republican Party I have held in the past, the Cochran victory in the Mississippi primary, and the GOP’s well-funded aggressive solicitation of Democrats to join in the vote against Cochran’s primary challenger is the last straw. I have none left. Zero. I have long struggled to see any real philosophical difference between the politicians of the Republican and Democrat parties. Now I am convinced that there is also no moral difference between them. They are perfectly morally equivalent.

He goes on to explain that he doesn’t even identify as Tea Party but that “what the GOP’s strategy in this primary demonstrates to me is that the disdain, if not hatred, by the owners and operators of the Republican Party for the ordinary voter (me) is equal to or only marginally less than that of the owners and operators of the Democrat party.” He says he’s leaving the party rolls.

Another writes:

Openly encouraging Democrats to vote for Thad Cochran is like giving away tickets to fill seats that the public apparently doesn’t think are worth paying for. Any businessman would see this as the beginning of downward spiral that will result in bankruptcy for the circus.

So while the establishment pats itself on the back for this win against Tea Party forces, it’s worth noting that it was only through their party mismanagement that the victory almost eluded them and that the victory may prove to be Pyrrhic in any case.


TOPICS: Campaign News; Issues; Parties; U.S. Senate
KEYWORDS: blacks; cochran; elites; gop; karlrove; mcdaniel; teaparty; thadcochran
Someone catch me up on the "tough-to-defend things, done some tough-to-defend things, and had fans engaged in ridiculous campaign shenanigans" part of this column... I heard about the nursing home business, but did they ever really pin that on Senator McDaniel?
1 posted on 06/27/2014 2:09:16 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Republican consultant Stuart Stevens did a fantastic job of winning a race for his client.

Frank Nitti did a fantastic job for Al Capone too.

2 posted on 06/27/2014 2:20:03 PM PDT by MUDDOG
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’m waiting for a Mississippi “Conservatives for Travis Childers” or “Republicans for Travis Childers” and then I’m going to break out the checkbook even if I have to cancel this summer’s vacation plans (with this economy, we’re used to that anyhow).

It won’t be enough to NOT vote for Cochran this November, conservatives will have to actively vote FOR CHILDERS. Each such vote will cancel a vote for Cochran cast by the low information / misinformed voters. I can’t wait to see Cochran thrown into the well deserved political death RINO bonfire to send the GOP RINO establishment a message they can’t miss!


3 posted on 06/27/2014 2:29:21 PM PDT by House Atreides (ANOTHER CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN FOR CHILDERS 2014 .... Don't reward bad GOPe behavior.)
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To: House Atreides

What is this “vacation” thing you speak of? Was that something from the far past when we had American leadership?


4 posted on 06/27/2014 2:30:28 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: MUDDOG

In much the same way.


5 posted on 06/27/2014 2:30:57 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

FU KR, you worthless Soetoro DemocRat.


6 posted on 06/27/2014 2:37:53 PM PDT by VRWC For Truth (Roberts has perverted the Constitution)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Chris McDaniel, who lost to Cochran, was not an ideal candidate, to put it mildly. He’s said some tough-to-defend things, done some tough-to-defend things, 


Not ideal, how? Following this campaign from Memphis I haven’t seen Mcdaniel say or do anything that deserves that accusation.


7 posted on 06/27/2014 2:43:29 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It did it for me. Sarah, push the button, I’m ready.


8 posted on 06/27/2014 2:49:13 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("The Arab Spring is over. Welcome to the Jihadi Spring." Jonah Goldberg)
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To: NonValueAdded

I am beginning to think this is a precursor of 16. These bastards are gonna corruptly push another version of Willard/McLoser on us as the RINO nominee and we can all say President Pantsuit or President Lie-a-watha.


9 posted on 06/27/2014 3:56:52 PM PDT by VRWCarea51
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