OC Political

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Posts Tagged ‘Thad Cochran’

Thad Cochran, the GOP Establishment, and Racial Politics

Posted by Walter Myers III on June 29, 2014

CochranIf you weren’t sure who the “establishment” was in the GOP, then if you were following the US Senate primary run-off in Mississippi between incumbent Thad Cochran and Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel, you found out to stunning effect. Sensing his political future was in serious trouble, Cochran, who was supported by the likes of Arizona Senator John McCain, Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, waged a campaign that stooped to the lowest level of tactics rivaling those of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Cochran, who has been in Washington, D.C. since 1978 (that’s 36 years), did not run as a conservative, but as a big government, pork-barrel senator who brought home the bacon for Mississippi. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part was that he reached out to Democrats, particularly liberal black Democrats, because without them he would have most likely lost. His message was that if the Tea Party candidate won, blacks would lose their welfare benefits and the Tea Party would continue their “disrespectful treatment of the first African-American president.” With friends like Cochran in the GOP, who needs enemies in the Democratic Party?

Ostensibly, the establishment backers felt Cochran had a better chance against the Democrat in November, but was it worth it to violate core principles of conservatism and to even further falsely sully the reputation of the Tea Party caucus, who they might have forgotten are Republicans too? The charges of racism are going to stick to the larger party as well, so Cochran may have done himself a favor but he has done no favors for the party. Perhaps some will view his “outreach” to blacks as a good thing for the GOP, but this wasn’t outreach. It was a bribe. In effect, Cochran told black people that he was going to keep bringing big government benefits to them in Mississippi. He owes them now and they will be looking to cash in. So there are no pretenses now that the supposedly Republican senator will fight for smaller government, against Obama’s socialist agenda, and greater opportunity for blacks. His job is to “bring home the bacon” and support Obama from the attacks of racist Tea Party conservatives. Who would have ever expected the Republican Party would devolve to such a shameful state. But then again, this is politics and politics is all too often about personal survival at the expense of the country and our Constitution. And even more tragic is to see blacks across this country place so much faith in government only to be used as a voting block and forgotten when no longer needed (who are notably much worse off under Obama than Bush). The much needed economic opportunity and chance for upward mobility never seem to arrive, and it will be status quo with Republican Cochran.

Thad Cochran and his ilk, in my view, are fundamentally no different from Democrats. This is precisely why the Tea Party came about, which was to revitalize a once-proud grassroots party that has sadly lost its way. The milquetoast, go along to get along politicians such as Cochran simply don’t share the same core values as the conservative base of the Republican Party. To use blacks in such a manner that he has previously paid no attention to in order to keep what he arguably believes is “his” seat, and to spread falsehoods about his opponent as well as the Tea Party sets a new low for Republican politics. And we didn’t hear any protest from McCain, McConnell, Barbour, or political pundit Karl Rove when this man used racial politics as a tool to win. So you know where their loyalties are in what they obviously see as nothing more than a game of hustle. This just shows you where the party is going and what its leadership is truly like. The Republican leadership doesn’t want to turn this country around from its headlong run into a socialist welfare state. They just want to convince us that they will run the socialist welfare state better than Democrats. So much for bold colors or a vision of a city on the hill. This is the wrong prescription for America, and it is why the Tea Party cannot give up but must continue to fight. What I do hope the Tea Party learns from this is that it needs to actively reach out to minority communities with a message of hope, optimism, and economic opportunity. Minority communities cannot be ignored any longer, and what we have learned from this race is that establishment Republicans will pander to minority communities when it serves their purposes. The Tea Party should be on notice.

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