Now, here’s why I wish McDaniel would just go away. First, it is just a fact, a matter of record, that McDaniel personally lied about Cochran’s record, and that his supporters repeatedly did so as well. This is especially true with regard to “amnesty,” where Cochran has perhaps the longest ANTI-amnesty record of anybody in either house of Congress. The campaign also fudged quite seriously when accusing Cochran of voting for taxpayer funding of abortion. That, combined with other tawdry tactics from McDaniel and his campaign or supporters (no need to go into all of them), combined with a history of rather “out there” remarks, make McDaniel hardly an exemplar for the national conservative movement.
But it gets even worse. With his announcement yesterday of the specifics of his election challenge, in which he asks to be declared the victor despite the announced vote totals, McDaniel pushed legal concepts to the point of absurdity and, far worse, played almost as badly in the matter of race as the Barbour ads did.
On the law, McDaniel did identify a number of obvious irregularities, of the sort that ought to be corrected. But he advanced the goofy argument that somewhere between 479 and 1,012 allegedly improper votes in one county should be used to jettison every single vote tabulated in that county, meaning 25,361 of them… and that, with that entire county thrown out, the new totals would more than make up Cochran’s 7,667-vote margin of victory. This is, to put it kindly, bonkers. One cannot throw out more than 24,000 good votes in order to get rid of 1,000 allegedly bad ones, but while keeping all the other votes statewide. Yet not only does McDaniel cite these and other alleged (and some already proven) irregularities to demand a new election, but he actually demands to be named the victor — as if it is possible to be sure for whom all the “illegal” votes were cast.
This is an affront to both the law and to right reason.