In the past week we’ve had a U.S. Senate runoff primary election that saw the incumbent/underdog come from behind and win based upon expanding the electorate beyond traditional GOP support bases. Then of course, of all the crazy, zany things that accompanied the election such as discussion of Thad’s boss-tenant relationship with senior staffer Kay Weber along Constitutional Clayton sneaking into Rose Cochran’s nursing home room and snapping a few photos, one Clayton’s alleged co-conspirators, GOP stalwart Mark Mayfield puts a bullet in his own head, evidently unable to deal with the pressure of being charged as Clayton’s co-conspirator. At this point it is worth noting it is not clear what, if any law Clayton, a now notorious dipshit, broke in taking Rose Cochran’s pic. Here is what I think is the best piece on the Mayfield suicide:
Just when you think someone has Boss Hogg on the ropes, he goes all biblical and whips out an old school trick from his Gris-gris bag. Turns out black Democrats still matter in Mississippi as Scooby Doo and political operatives like him got some paying work rustling up eligible black voters to participate in the GOP primary runoff. That act of engagement was the difference maker for Cochran. It has also infuriated half the GOP electorate.
Here is a three pack of worthy links, first up the straight news account:
For the time being, though, Tea Party populism is boxed in in such a way that it only further serves the establishment cause. But, unlike the perpetually moribund and bought off left, the populists on the right are the only players with even a slight chance of shaking things up. In many ways that’s a frightening prospect but it might also be the closest thing to a hopeful prospect one can imagine right now.
Jeffrey equates Bobby Jindal with the TEA Party and while I think it is true Jindal panders to the TEA Party he is not one of them. Same for Steven Palazzo. As for Cantor’s crushing primary election loss a couple of days ago The Economist had an interesting take:
Most GOP members have more to fear from their primary voters than from the general election in November. The Cook Political Report and RealClearPolitics, two political augurs, agree that there are only 17 competitive House races out of 435, so for most Republican congressmen the risk of suffering the same fate as Mr Cantor feels like the bigger threat to their jobs.
I noted a day or so ago on Twitter that I had burned off a couple of Louisiana based Tweeps, who were no doubt tired of my incessant Mississippi congressional election coverage on Twitter. I also know there are some of you that look at Twitter and scratch your heads in a manner that a horse and buggy owner must have likewise done a hundred years or so ago looking at the automobile. The bottom line is if you are a newshound or power user of information and want the best coverage of an important event like an election or a court proceeding, Twitter literally puts you in the middle of the action. Lest I digress because I have heard from a couple of good folks over NOLA way that have found the analysis contained in the Thad retiring post and comments highly enlightening. I appreciate the kind remarks and so this post is directed more to you and others from across the country that have watched the national political news on the McDaniel/Cochran Senate race and are trying to figure out if Mississippians are really a bunch of right-wing nuts as some of the media coverage implies or if there is something far more nuanced and complex at play.
First off about Thad. He is Mississippi’s kindly grandpa and he looks physically well for a 76 year old man. Thad’s had a remarkable career and is the quintessential southern gentleman. He has a powerful position in the United States Senate, spends most of his time in Washington D.C. engaged in Affaires d’États but more importantly appears to have lost touch with the people that elected him to the US Senate six times. But there is something else at play here and for that you gotta understand the history, which can found found in insightful reader comments sprinkled through out that earlier Thad retirement post. [Begin with this comment and scroll down]
“If you don’t vote, you don’t count”
To understand what is happening with the dead heat Senate election, you must understand some Mississippi history going back to the civil war. Paul Hampton over at the Sun Herald covered that part yesterday:
I remember as a college student back in the 80s having to attend an honors forum at USM where the featured speaker was Strom Thurmond. Man o man was that old geezer senile and yet there he was, still a US senator. The times are changing and the following from The Atlantic yesterday is devastating to Thad Cochran:
I followed Cochran from the square to a local diner, Jean’s Restaurant, where patrons swiveled away from plastic plates of boiled okra and corn fritters to shake his hand. On the wall were two framed photographs of Chris McDaniel. The restaurant’s owner, Diane Trammell, told me McDaniel had visited twice and stayed for an hour each time. “I don’t recall the last time I seen Thad,” she said. She’d always voted for Cochran in the past, but now she wasn’t sure.
Cochran didn’t pose for any pictures during his brief sweep. As he made his way toward the exit, the senator held out his hand to me. I had met and interviewed him less than half an hour before.
“Hello, how are you doing?” he said with a kindly smile. “I’m Thad Cochran.”
I can’t see a Cochran path to victory in the upcoming June 24, 2014 runoff.
The reasons they cite that make Gene the better Congressman are clear cut to all but the dumbest of the Fox News Kool Aid drinkers:
Accessibility – Gene was not an ivory tower guy, when he was at home he traveled the district to hear his people’s concerns first hand in town hall meetings. He conducted those meeting even when those meetings were disrupted and turned natsy in 2009 and 2010, the “disrupted and nasty” part supported behind the scenes by GOPers like Phil Bryant. Steven Palazzo’s solution to the problem his political party created was to not have any town hall meetings in favor of more scripted events that mostly excludes the general public.
Staff Quality – Gene’s staff was and will again be a seasoned bunch that know how to navigate the byzantine maze that is our Federal Government to directly help the people in Mississippi 4. Palazzo’s staff over these past 4 years? Let’s review:
First up is the update on Friday’s hearing in the criminal case State of Louisiana v Thomas “Haller” Jackson where the phrase “hurry up and wait” comes to mind. The procedural/evidentiary hearings were continued until July.
And finally we end with the Fluffer Congressman Steven Palazzo, a lightweight that refuses to hold town hall meetings with his own people and his primary challenger, the guy that used to make the rounds with all his people in Mississippi 4 regularly, Gene Taylor: Continue reading “Weekend Update”