I’ve hesitated writing about this simply because I’ve been pretty ticked off. I’m referring to the recent primary elections here in Mississippi. Down here on the coast, the only one that really mattered much to me was the Republican primary for Senator. Thad Cochran, long-time Senator from Mississippi was running against Chris McDaniel, an upstart newcomer who (in the opinion of some) is a bit controversial. Yes, there was another guy, but he didn’t really count.
It should have been just a normal primary election. Ah, but this is politics! I should have been ready. In the primary election, McDaniel actually got more votes than either of the other candidates, including Thad Cochran! The problem was that McDaniel didn’t get to the 51% mark, so that required a runoff between him and Cochran. This is where it gets interesting.
If you’re really interested in the details, you can read up on the news reports, but here’s my summary. The old-guard Republicans were evidently shocked at the primary results. Instead of allowing Mississippi’s registered Republicans to choose the candidate they wanted, the party chose to enlist the help of Democrats! There was a concerted effort to get Democrats to cross party lines and vote for Thad Cochran. It worked! In the runoff election, Cochran won, defeating McDaniel. I’ve read somewhere that if you remove the Democrat votes, McDaniel would have won the election by eight points, give or take a little.
So what’s the problem? Call me idealistic. Call me picky. Call me whatever you like, but if we’re going to have primaries where Democrats (voters!) get to choose their candidate and Republicans (voters) get to choose theirs, then let’s do it that way. Instead, we get an election where Mississippi’s registered Republicans didn’t elect their candidate. Democrats chose both theirs and the Republican candidate. One could fairly say that the Republicans don’t really have a candidate this time around. There will be the legitimate Democrat-chosen candidate (Childers), and the “illegitimate” Democrat-chosen Republican candidate.
So, here’s my heads up for the Mississippi Republican Party. Since all I have to choose from are two candidates chosen by the Democrats, I think I may as well just vote for the Democrat. I mean, why mess around with Thad Cochran who couldn’t get Republican voters to keep him in office? Since we’re going to allow the Democrats to decide the candidates, why not just go with them all the way?
Some will say, “Well, McDaniel wasn’t really the best candidate anyway.” I don’t know, maybe that’s right, maybe not. But we’ve usually allowed the voters to do the electing. That didn’t happen this time, at least the way it should have happened.
Thad Cochran has been up in Washington a long time. I think he’s been an overall good Senator for Mississippi. But everybody knows he’s going to retire. McDaniel offered a viable alternative. There was nobody else among the Republicans who either wanted the job or offered something the people wanted. If the Republican Party didn’t want McDaniel then throw him out of the party. He may now run as an Independent or a write-in candidate, and could result in dividing the Republican vote enough to get the Democrat, Childers, elected anyway!
If Cochran wins the election in the fall, then chooses to retire before the end of his term, Mississippi’s governor gets to appoint his replacement. Likely, it will be one of the old-guard Republicans who chose to not even run for the office. I don’t know about others, but I’m about tired of the games and tricks. No wonder Republicans are gaining a reputation as the party of, “No”, and viewed as the party of do-nothing.
Unfortunately, I’ve developed an attitude about politics and politicians. Especially on the national level, I do not believe there is a single politician who cares two-cents about me, my family, my friends, neighbors or anybody. All they care about is power, position and money. That’s it. They will sell me down the river in a heartbeat for any one of those three things. Call me jaded. Call me pessimistic. Call me when there’s a reason to think differently.
So, this is just a heads up to the Mississippi Republican Party. Right now I’m still a registered Republican. I might not be for long.