Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Friday, October 21, 2016

This Will Get Messy: Conservative Senator Will Face Neo-Confederate Primary Challenge

This Will Get Messy: Conservative Senator Will Face Neo-Confederate Primary Challenge

Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) has an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association and a reputation for bringing in federal dollars. And now, after announcing he will seek his seventh term in the U.S. Senate on Friday, he has a tough primary challenge ahead.

Cochran — with his 81 percent rating from the far-right Club for Growth — will face Chris McDaniel, a personal friend of Fox News contributor and Red State editor-in-chief Erick Erickson.

Reports that McDaniel spoke at a Sons of Confederate Veterans event earlier this year prompted Erickson to reassert his support of the attorney/commentator.

McDaniel’s campaign said that the candidate did not, in fact, attend the event in September, because of a problem with a flight. But Mother Jones‘ Tim Murphy confirmed that he did speak at an event for the group in May and in previous years.

Tea Partiers are unshaken by McDaniel’s connection to the neo-confederate group and have began airing ads calling him the “rightful heir” to the incumbent’s seat.

Cochran was a conservative Democrat who became a Republican in the late 1960s largely, he said, because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. He was elected to the upper house of Congress in 1978. Though he’s reliably conservative, he is willing to forge compromises, which used to be acceptable behavior in the Senate before the Tea Party era. Conservative blogger David Freddoso believes the 83-year-old Cochran is running because the senator believes he will be the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee in 2015 if the Republicans take the Senate.

“I think it is a losing strategy, because the public knows what Cochran’s done,” former Mississippi governor and chairman of the Republican National Committee Haley Barbour told a newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi. “But you’ve got a bunch of money from New York and all over from these groups that are putting up all the money, and they are led by people who have said, ‘We would rather have 30 pure conservative senators than the majority.’ Well, I’d rather have the majority, so that conservatives can make the policies that set the direction for the country.”

Primary challengers have displaced two incumbent Republican senators — Mike Bennett (R-UT) and Richard Lugar (R-IN). Mike Lee, who defeated Bennett, went on to win the seat while Richard Mourdock lost his Senate race after making a controversial comment about rape.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), along with Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), are also facing challenges from the right.

“There’s definitely a war going on in the Republican Party, and I think the ultraconservative message of the Tea Party has gotten some traction here,” Otha Burton Jr., executive director of the Institute of Government at Jackson State University, told USA Today.

Burton predicted that if McDaniel wins, “It will cause a panic button to sound for the Republican Party’s establishment.”


Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • moelarryandjesus

    Of course teabaggers “aren’t shaken” by a candidate’s neo-Confederate connections. Teabaggers are all neo-Confederates. Most of them would support the return of slavery.

  • leadvillexp

    First let me say I am a Republican and NRA Life Member but not a teabagger. I find to many in both parties do not look at the legislation and do only what the Party tells them to do, not what’s in the best interst of the country. I really don’t think the Sons of Confederate Veterns would support the return to slavery. One only has to read historic documents of the time to understand most people, Union and Confederats supported slavery at that time. You can’t look at peoples thoughts in the past the same way we see them today. The “Sons” are just honoring their ancestors. One other thing. I voted Democratic in the last two elections, and for President Obama. I thought it might be different and Obama offered some hope. It just reaffirmed my opinon that both Parties are in bed together. They fight like a husband and wife ready to get a divorce.

    • Buford2k11

      Both Parties are not in bed together…sorry, false narrative…As a reasonable sounding Republican, there is a false narrative about “both sides are to blame”…there ARE problems and disagreement in both parties, but your party is directly to blame for the mess we are in today…history and the intertubes are available for all who want to inform themselves instead of being told what to believe by a think tank or church…

      • leadvillexp

        Sorry I don’t deal with think tanks or churchs. I have given serious thought of becoming an Independent but in New York I would not be able to vote in the primaries. I still believe both sides are at fault while the Republicans may have more culpability the Dems at times also through up road blocks. Neither side looks out for the Voters, just their Parties.

        • JohnnyZ77

          That is such BS, and I’m so tired of hearing the lies about the Democratic party being as bad as the Republican party. Ever ask yourself why things changed for the Republican party during and after president Kennedy and president Linden Johnson? Because all the Neo-Confederates infiltrated the Republican party during that period of time, since the Democratic party spit them out like the leftover white trash that they were and still are, “the sons of Dixie.”. At least the Democratic party is much easier to clean up than the Republican party will ever be, a few bad apples is all the Democratic party needs to take care of..

          • leadvillexp

            It’s not the Republican Party that is the problem. It is the Tea Party. The republican Party should dump them. It is not Neo-Confederates. The Tea Party embraced the religious fanatics and because the Mid West and South is the Bible Belt, that is where many of the Tea Party come from. These fanatics won’t compromise on anything. If you took the Tea Party out of the picture both Parties might be able to meet in the middle. The trouble is each Party wants to up the other so it’s a stalemate. When I say in bed together I refer to the point that both care more about votes than getting the countries business done.

    • mikem42

      I’m glad you voted for the Democratic candidate as you noted, as the alternative was not good for America. However, you do a disservice to those who fought for the Union in the Civil War. Most northerners did not support slavery, and would not have given life and limb if that were so. I am from a borderline state, and even here, most did not support slavery. Slavery was inhuman and anyone who “supported” it had no conscience.

      • leadvillexp

        You are correct that the alternative was not good for America and I still believe I voted for the correct man. I disagree about the Norths outlook on Slavery. While many did support Abolition many did not. Look at the Draft Riots in NY where Negros where taken out and killed. Even Lincoln was prejudiced. He wanted to send the slaves back to Africa. Both Lincoln and the North were more concerned in saving the Union than freeing the slaves. Most, but not all gave life and limb to save the Union. You are correct that slavery was inhuman and it was a dieing institution anyway. People were developing and most countries had outlawed it. It would have happened here too, but it may have taken longer with out the war. History has to be viewed in the context of the time that they lived. It can’t be compared to the way we think today.

        • mikem42

          Good points, thanks.

  • sigrid28

    Posts on this particular comment thread already show the need for a nuanced understanding of Neo-Confederate hate groups and their role in the Tea Party movement. These groups have expanded exponentially since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, according to the Southern Poverty Law Review, which deserves our donations for its role in tracking the growth and development of extremist organizations of all kinds, along with identifying individuals within them who might pose a terrorist threat. Candidates like McDaniel should alarm Democrats and Independents as well as the conservative Republicans who face primary challenges from individuals like him.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Thad Cochran became a Republican in the late 60s not because of Nam (a war wholeheartedly supported by the Republican President in the late 60s) but because his Democratic President abandoned the Southern Conservative Democratic cause by fighting for Civil Rights legislation. Ironically, due to Southern Conservative Democratic opposition, this was passed with Northeastern and Western Moderate Republican Support. The guys who used to make up the majority of the Republican party and who are now considered RINOs.

  • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

    “rightful heir” What a strange term for Tea Partiers to use since they claim President Obama thinks he is a Ruler not a President, a King or Dictator. Yet they refer to one of their own candidates as the “rightful heir”; is that the rightful heir to a throne and what kingdom will he rule? Well that certainly proves what purist they are about the Constitution!!!!

  • howa4x

    The tea party that enjoys only a 14% approval rating will push the republican party off the national stage. As for the senators facing a challenge they deserve it. Lindsey Graham, and Mitch McConnell have only been obstructionists so what is the difference if they are gone? I would rather see a neo-confederate since we will know exactly how he thinks. The majority of voters see the tealiban as kryptonite, so what the difference who they put up? As for the national GOP they let the tea party grab the base, so this is the outcome. At least we will have an avowed racist instead of ones in the closet. Taking away food stamps is a cowardly, racist act. With people like a Neo confederate there will be no excuses to hide behind. We will know why he would do it.

    • stcroixcarp

      It is time for Mitch Turkey-neck McConnell and Lindsey Graham Cracker to be turned out of office because they are obstructionist raciists dripping with southern charm and twisted notions of christianity.

      • howa4x