BY: Mark Thornton

It’s no secret that I supported Chris McDaniel for Senate. And it’s also no secret that I thought he should concede after the run-off, with his credibility intact, and live to fight another day.

He had exposed the despicable tactics of the state’s Republican Establishment, and conservatives were ticked off. They were ready to follow him wherever he wanted to take them. He could’ve won any office he wanted.

One day, he’ll still be able to, but it will take a little image-repair work. The same machine that took a win-at-all-costs approach to beat back his bid to unseat six-term U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran have successfully sullied his reputation.

They’ve painted his principled fight against the system as a fool’s errand by a selfish, egomaniacal brat. That’s a shame. But it’s part of the plan, too. By putting the focus on him and the election challenge, they’ve taken the spotlight off the real bad guys in this debacle — the power brokers of the Republican Party, who propped up Cochran, a la “Weekend at Bernie’s,” for their own bought-and-paid-for reasons.

Privately, a few of them have said, unapologetically, that no rules were broken and, hey, this is the way it is in big-boy politics. That’s understandable. I’m not some hand-wringing namby-pamby who is naive about the ways of the world.

Courting the Democratic vote to win a primary is one thing … But to sacrifice one of your own promising young leaders, with race-baiting and promising God-knows-what to your lifelong opponents … well, that’s un- acceptable.

Even worse than their tactics, though, has been their reaction to them. They’ve been unapologetic and unwilling to explain why they did what they did. I could at least start to respect someone who was willing to step up and admit something like: “Getting a Republican majority was so important that we were willing to win at all costs for the betterment of the state and the country. I’m ashamed that we had to take down a really good man to do that. It’s one of the unpleasant things about politics. I’m not proud of the way we did it, but we’re going to work every day to make you proud and to make up for the unsavory way that we stayed in power.”

That’s a speech you won’t hear, though, because it sounds too honest. Truth is, it wouldn’t be honest at all. The Cochran camp isn’t going to do a damned thing for you and me. They won’t answer our questions about the election because they know what happened is indefensible.

They’re all just circling the wagons so they can keep their little ring of power. That’s why they got Cochran to run one more time, against his will (several sources close to him have said) and that’s why they’re all being so complimentary of him, his service and what he can do for the state while the country continues to go trillions of dollars in debt. It’s not so they can do something for you. It’s so they can do something for themselves. Each of them is hoping to be appointed to replace him in a couple of years. And if they can’t be the man, they at least want to stay on the gravy train.

That’s why they keep avoiding the questions and demonizing Chris. It’s easier than explaining what they did.

Just a few weeks ago, Gov. Phil Bryant was here for the local economic development banquet. His handlers sent word to local media representatives that he would be available for a few questions before the event, but “politics is off limits.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. If you were a party to doing something you can’t defend, maybe you shouldn’t have done it. After all, this is big-boy politics, right? Scrutiny is part of it. I ignored the request and worked in a question about his friendship with Chris and endorsement of Cochran, which he graciously answered before being whisked away to the event.

I believe that Thad Cochran is a Southern gentleman. But like so many others who have been in power too long, he’s become a political prostitute. And considering that he allowed himself to be controlled to even run again tells me that someone else will be pulling the strings when he gets back in office. That’s why I feel better voting for Childers than I would pulling the lever for Cochran. At least the Democratic nominee is his own man.

A vote for Cochran is a vote for everything I deplore about politics.

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5 thoughts on “THORNTON: A vote for Cochran is a vote for everything I deplore about politics.

  1. I disagree, regarding Chris McDaniels fight for our votes to be heard, the conservative votes of MS. Should…down the road, he try again and hope very much that he does…if he were to say, then, I’ll fight for you…..I’d have not believed him. On this great injustice to silence/steal the votes from the conservative party, had he not fought – as far as he had to go, that our voices/rightful votes would be heard/counted rightfully, I’d not have wanted to hear him say anything he’d fight “for us” for. THIS was the fight!! I will believe him when he says then, next try – because the fight that should have been fought, all the way, he did that. Did not win, due to corruption in upward government – but was the fight that he should have fought. Had he not, had he let “this injustice to Mississippians” go, unfettered and sheepishly turned around and walked off, I’d have not wanted to hear anything ever from him about how he’d fight for us, IF he’d not fought this fight! Next time around, we do have a full frontal view of how corrupt a race they others are willing to do and we have a full view that Chris McDaniels, because he did fight for us on this matter which was the most important matter because it was for each of our individual voice(s)/vote(s), I will absolutely know, in fact, he will fight for us once he gets that office. This was not a wasted endeavor, it certainly highlighted further corruption up the ladder in our own back yard. It showed what I care about knowing about him. Thankful, he fought this fight “for us”, more than himself. thanks, Chris McDaniels. We will not forget.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly, Stormy Weathers. Chris McDaniel proved himself to be a man of principles.

      I am in my 50’s and this is the first time I have not voted since I became old enough to vote. I will not vote for Thad Cochran, Alan Nunnelee, or any of Haley Barbour’s minions anymore, but I can’t quite bring myself to vote for the opposing democrats either. As far as I’m concerned, a vote for either side still leaves me unrepresented.

  2. “At least the Democratic nominee is his own man.”
    Wrong, he is a socialist and will vote in lock step with the Communist, uh, I mean democrats. I will write Chris’s name in.

  3. I do believe in voting for principals and letting those stand, but there were two things in sight last night. I may have felt physically ill, putting mark by cockran’s name, certainly know he’ll do nothing for us. Making a loud statement, though, with my one vote “to show him”, and “chance” we’d not meet that 6 needed to “boot Harry Reid”, who is allowing obama to enjoy kingship and pulling down the entire process “that does work”, couldn’t be risked. Knew many in MS would vote for Childer’s because he is what he is, and too – more conservative than cockran. Had Childer’s won, though, and cockran (%G$**#%) heard us loud and clear, and we’d lost to Democrate, making it 7 HAD to have to boot Reid who making Holder and obama “able to do all damage, unchecked” to every citizen, to hurt every state in multiple ways – so cockran got it, we know we’re hurt but we Mississippians had no winning case, none. Now, though, investigations are going to be able to go forward “that need to” and hearings held. obama will be limited, where would have had no limits, on who will appoint to supreme court. All those things he is doing is hurting Mississippians individually also. So, given “choices we had, as bad as they all are, it was more worth Harry Reid getting the boot and rest of government process “will be able to proceed” even if cockran won’t be a part of the good done. It did play to the broader “outcome” how needed to for now. We Mississippians will just have to get a lot more organized and prepare because we do know our Mississippi politicians and I’ll leave it at that.

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