Ah, the subtle racism (or not-so-subtle racism) of the modern white ultra-conservative, unsuccessfully shrouded in claims of fairness and voter fraud. When Eric Cantor lost his primary election to a Tea Party challenger, who spent less on his entire campaign than Cantor did on restaurants, the Tea Party was re-invigorated, several thinking they could now finally do what they dreamed: Unseat every “establishment” Republican they could.
One of the nastiest races this primary campaign season for the Republicans has been in Mississippi. For a little bit on how low it went, supporters of the Tea Party challenger snuck into a nursing home where the challenge-e’s wife resides due to Alzheimer’s in some attempt to smear the guy character-wise. And one of them later committed suicide.
But after Cantor’s loss, it looked like the Tea Party challenger, Chris McDaniel, was going to beat the current Senator, Thad Cochran. In the last few days before the election, Cochran decided to start to reach out to the “black vote.” Apparently, the laws are such that in Mississippi, there is no party affiliation for primary elections, and so long as you did not vote in the other party’s election that was before this one, you can vote.
In response, McDaniel’s Tea Party was talking about putting in election monitors, bringing allegations of voter intimidation. WND didn’t report on that, but they did report on “NAACP Monitoring Tea-Party Poll Watchers.”
And in the end, McDaniel lost. Tea Partiers rallied against it, claiming their own voters were intimidated, that there was fraud, that Cochran bought the vote with Democrats, and so that, yes, in the 21st century, we are talking about the legitimacy of Americans of African decent’s right to vote.
Meanwhile, token black female (I was corrected last time — there are one or two other black writers that WND publishes) Star Parker wrote about this in what, at least tag-line-wise, is sensible: “How McDaniel Blew It in Mississippi;” the tagline is, “Star Parker: Conservative Republicans ignore blacks to their peril.”
Here is her thesis:
Incumbent Republican Sen. Thad Cochran’s successful game plan, which drove his run-off victory over tea party challenger Chris McDaniel for Mississippi’s Republican Senate nomination, was unconventional.
But most incredible was the success of this game plan – to reach out to liberal black churches and get Democratic black voters to turn out and vote for Cochran – despite being executed in broad daylight.
Soon after Cochran lost to McDaniel in the primary, necessitating a run-off because McDaniel fell short of getting 50 percent of the vote, papers reported the intent of Cochran’s team to turn out black Democrats to overcome the thin margin by which Cochran lost.
McDaniel knew exactly what to expect. The Cochran campaign told him. Yet he remained a spectator through it all. His counter strategy was no counter strategy; he just continued what he was already doing – appealing just to Mississippi’s conservative, white electorate.
I generally agree with the basic idea: If you ignore a large constituency, you’re not going to win.
Many WND commenters disagree. Take the top-rated comment by “Rene Girrard,” who ranted: “Star, I’ll bet you voted for Obama. I’ll bet you’re part of the great hypocrisy in the black community. The black people are a strong church going culture and conservative by nature, but 90% still vote democrat. Somehow financial benefits and special job slots for blacks trump their Christian convictions? So what does it matter what McDaniel might have said to the black community?”
“ramblindon” claimed that there was voter fraud. “palinwhitehouse2016” (shudder) is actually musing about restricting the votes to whites-only, though I’m having a hard time determining if it’s a Poe or not:
It seems to me that America was a much more glorious and God-blessed country in a time, in living memory of some of us, when low information individuals were prevented from voting, across a lot of the country but certainly in the South, including Mississippi. Would it be so hard to re-introduce such laws again? Liberals might complain, but there is no doubt that we would be making a step back towards an America that readers of this site would love again.
While Star’s column was published on Friday, June 27, Leo Hohmann wrote his a day later: “Call for Volunteers to Overturn Mississippi Vote.”
As you may have inferred from the description above, it’s voter fraud that they think may have cost them the election. Remember, if a voter voted in the primary election for Democrats – which was held earlier – then they can’t vote in the Republican primary. So, that’s what they think (or are saying, but want to back up) happened:
McDaniel’s campaign said it is finding significant evidence of voter irregularities in Tuesday’s election and is mulling legal options.
Noel Fritsch, communications director for the McDaniel campaign, said the campaign is in heavy-duty research mode right now and will be making a decision soon on whether to file legal action.
“We’re examining all the data we are able to get a hold of, but we are having a hard time getting all of the data we need right now because about half of the circuit clerks are not cooperating with our requests,” Fritsch told WND. “Despite that, based on the data we do have, we have found a lot that is heartening for us. Our preliminary findings certainly indicate that a thorough examination is warranted.”
He said that as soon as the campaign has completed the research phase, “we will decide at such time whether any legal action will be taken.”
The article is much longer than that, going into lots of unsubstantiated allegations. In what many described as the nastiest primary in the country this year, I think it’s only going to get nastier. And, I think that it is going to cost Republicans – and especially the Tea Party – the black vote. In their 2012 post-mortem, the Republican party clearly recognized that they are, in general, the Old White Men party and they need to reach out to non-caucasians. It’s stuff like this that further alienate that growing demographic that may NOT be happy with Democrats … but when the Republicans are questioning their very right to vote, well, it’s a fairly clear choice.
Edited to Add (July 1, 2014): WND’s James Simpson points out that, “Mississippi GOP, State Sued Over Vote Fraud,” with some interesting allegations that – gasp! – a federal law about voting trumps a state law! I wonder if the hypocrisy was recognized here, since these folks are usually all about the “over-reach” of the Federal government into States’ affair.s
Edited to Add (July 3, 2014): Time is reporting that McDaniel is mounting a legal challenge to the primary election results.