BY: B. Keith Plunkett @Keithplunkett

The struggle between “for” and “against” is the minds worst disease.”~Sent ts’an

Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate Travis Childers announced yesterday that he had signed the FAIR pledge against amnesty for illegal immigrants, becoming the first Democrat ever to sign the pledge. It was a big moment for a few different reasons.

First, it gives Childers pro-working class stance more depth than the regurgitated liberal talking points of wage regulation he started out with at the Neshoba County Fair.

Secondly, it showed he wasn’t going to be easily defined as “Harry Reid and Barack Obama’s boy” in the Senate.

Thirdly, it may be the first time that the dog whistlers at Y’all Politics have ever called a Democrat a racist. What’s even more amusing is that in doing so, writer Frank Corder referenced the far left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center. Strange bedfellows indeed.

There is no question that Corder and Alan Lange at Y’all Politics have been in the tank for Thad Cochran from the very beginning. They made no attempt to appear otherwise. Lange was one of the first to cry racism during the GOP primary in an attempt to connect Chris McDaniel to a vendor at a gun rally.

At what point does going back again and again to the well to cry racism become so silly that it discredits the people pushing such drivel? Lange’s attempt to connect an unknown vendor to McDaniel was one moment, to be sure. But now, with Corder’s new found love of the many times discredited Southern Poverty Law Center as a means to his end, one has to wonder if there is any intellectual honesty left to be found coming out of Y’all Politics. Frankly, it causes one to wonder if there ever was.

Being “for” a person or a party means by definition that one will be “against” any opposition to that person or party. I get that. But when one can no longer get outside of their own prejudices and low-brow partisanship to discuss the actual differences, then that person, whether they be for McDaniel, Cochran or Childers; conservative, liberal or moderate, has become a political hack more content with brownie points than principles.

Creative writing to make a point is one thing. But, positioning the facts for personal expediency is political deception. As I have said before, no one owns the exclusive rights to that. We owe it to ourselves and our neighbors to shoot higher.

Will the signing of the FAIR pledge be something that will help push Childers past Cochran in the general election? I don’t know. That’s a discussion that can be had by looking at how it might help or how it might hurt him with the current mood of the Mississippi voters. However, platitudes and plausibilities aren’t necessarily the same as honest assessment. Calling people racists certainly isn’t.

Has the challenge to Cochran uncovered how some are more consumed with personal position than honesty and reliant on schemes over dialogue? You bet it has.

If the challenge over the past year to the established political order has done anything, at least it has uncovered that. Whether we come out of this with a more honest dialogue remains to be seen.

What should not be hard for calmer heads to understand is that when anyone reaches to such lengths to call others racists its not an honest dialogue they are seeking and they immediately place their conclusions in question. What’s worse is it turns people away from participating in the process.

To call Childers, McDaniel or anyone who agrees with them racists as a knee-jerk reaction is a means to escape the more difficult conversation. And, whether some want to admit it or not, Childer’s forced a very difficult conversation onto the Cochran camp with his signing of the FAIR pledge yesterday.

About Keith: Keith Plunkett has worked on communications and policy issues with a range of public officials from aldermen to Congressmen, and a variety of businesses, government agencies and non-profits. He serves or has served as a board member of several non-profit, civic and political organizations. Contact him by going to or follow him on Twitter @Keithplunkett


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