How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.
On second thought, a column itemizing the legitimate reasons conservatives have for loathing the GOP Establishment would be longer than War and Peace. So why go through all that hassle when a picture – or in this case a snapshot of one southern liberal Republican – says a thousand words.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran.
Though he represents arguably the most conservative state in the union, Cochran has a failing “F” Liberty Score™ here at CR. He votes for conservative principles only 33% of the time. I guess I get the whole “the person who is my 80% friend isn’t my 20% enemy” thing, but what do you call someone who’s against you more than 70% of the time? One might call him an enemy.
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And Cochran is the man for which the GOP establishment may have stolen an election.
Recall about this time last year, when the GOP establishment was pulling out all the stops to save Cochran from being defeated by conservative Mississippi State Senator Chris McDaniel in the primary. Even going so far as to run a race-baiting campaign in an attempt to drive Democrats into the run-off to save the Republican Cochran from – get this – the Republicans.
Cochran survived a run-off because those accustomed to responding to race-baiting at election time answered the call once more. Mississippi counties, that President Obama won in 2012, saw a 43% increase in voter turnout between the Cochran-McDaniel primary and the runoff – allowing Cochran to win the Republican nomination despite losing Republican voters by almost eight points.
This subterfuge prompted an esteemed group of conservative leaders to send a letter to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, alleging Cochran had coordinated a campaign that led to “casting of illegal votes, walking around money, race-baiting radio ads, race-baiting robo-calls, race-baiting fliers, and questionable financing.”
Of course, Cochran probably hasn’t coordinated anything in quite some time. Let’s just say his better days are behind him, and there’s a shuffleboard looming in his future and leave it at that. However, the GOP establishment figures were the ones that coordinated his despicable re-election campaign in an attempt to preserve their figurehead proxy. The campaign was led by Henry Barbour, who was heavily involved in Priebus’ ridiculous “autopsy” report following Mitt Romney’s loss in 2012.
One of the side plots that developed during the primary was rumors that the Bible Belt senator had been in a long-time adulterous relationship with his “assistant” Kay Webber, and that Cochran had engaged in this adulterous relationship while his wife of 50 years, Royce, spent the last decade of her life in a care facility suffering from dementia.
The Cochran campaign dismissed these rumors as “silly gossip” and even claimed Webber is only “a member of the staff and a trusted aide.” Four people were actually arrested and charged with felonies for photographing Royce and posting them online in a video to expose Cochran during the campaign. One of those charged committed suicide shortly after the incident came to light. Royce Cochran passed away in December.
All of a sudden, over the weekend, “silly gossip” became tying the knot. On May 23rd, Cochran married Webber. Thus, either the Cochran campaign lied last year about him having an adulterous affair with Webber, or this was one fast courtship for a guy moving and thinking slower than molasses in January. Consummated less than six months after the death of the woman Cochran had spent most of his life with.
This is now the point in the story when we fire up the greatest of all country music songs: “Don’t pee on me and tell me it’s raining.”
So to sum up, the GOP establishment fought harder and dirtier last year to keep an aging and largely disorientated liberal adulterer in the U.S. Senate, than they fought to get Obama out of the White House in 2012. They were more ruthless in defeating a true conservative like McDaniel, who actually represents the majority of Republicans both in Mississippi and nationwide, than they were in trying to defeat a full-blown Marxist in the White House.
With “friends” like these…well, you know the rest. I bet we could find a Democrat in a conservative state like Mississippi who would vote with us 33% of the time, and also has enough personal integrity not to defile the marriage covenant while his dying wife is withering away in a nursing home.
The GOP establishment is living proof the “lesser of two evils” eventually becomes “the evils of two lessers” when tolerated for too long.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.