Like it or not, Mississippi Republicans have elected their nominee. His name is Thad Cochran.

Protocol is as follows:

Chris McDaniel (or maybe Noel Fritsch on his behalf) calls a press conference. In attendence are McDaniel, his wife, Michael Watson, Melanie Sojourner, Angela Hill, Tony Smith, David Parker and Chris Massey. They’re all on the dais. McDaniel speaks and says something to the effect of . . .

“This obviously didn’t work out the way we wanted. But the voters have spoken. I am a Republican and Thad Cochran is our party’s nominee. Defeating the agenda of Barack Obama and Harry Reid is the most important thing. To do that, Republicans must now all focus on defeating Travis Childers and winning 51 votes in the US Senate and firing Harry Reid.”

Anything less than unconditional surrender at this point should result in permanent excommunication. It’s bad for the party. Reagan (McDaniel’s supposed idol) didn’t act like this in ’76. He came back to win in ’80. But to not be gracious in defeat now (like today) is an absolute deal killer and McDaniel and his band better get on board immediately, visibly and unequivocably.

If you run on the party ticket, you endorse the party nominee. End of story. And no number of talk radio heads or DC money guys can change that fact. And Joe Nosef and Phil Bryant better be front and center about making McDaniel et al do it – even if it’s just for the cameras.