We interrupt our coverage to bring you this special report.
With election suspense you could cut with a knife for at least the first 4 minutes after the polls closed in the state of Mississippi, the major news organizations called the race for Sen. Thad Cochran before the first vote had even officially been reported.
It’s hard to overstate how impressive a 20 point victory in this sort of anti-incumbent environment is. We’ll break down the “whys” in just a minute, but this was a butt-whooping of historic proportions given the circumstances and one I thought we’d be unlikely to see. Even with as poor and unqualified a candidate as Travis Childers was.
In the news coverage in the last 48 hours, there was a consistent theme of how important it was to defeat McDaniel in the runoff for Republicans nationally. Had McDaniel been the standard bearer all of the crazy stuff we were dealing with would have been used on the national stage to try and prove that Republican were zealots. The path to Senate control rolled clearly through Mississippi on June 24 and had Mississippi voters not responded as they did, I feel pretty strongly looking back that we would not have awoken this morning to a Senate control by the Republican Party.
The biggest takeaway from the night is, just as we’ve been saying at Y’allPolitics for 133 days, the Chris McDaniel/Tea Party wing of the party is more like a feather. They do not sit at the sharp end of 180,000+ angry focused voters ready to strike fear into the hearts of all that cross their paths. It looks like the vast majority of McDaniel’s primary/runoff votes were protest votes that were much more “anti-DC” flavored than pro-McDaniel/pro-Libertate. For all of the Tea Party leaders endorsements of Childers, he didn’t even crack 40%.
It has exposed without a shadow of a doubt that those folks that apparently won the screaming contest that determined the “leaders” of the Mississippi Tea Party are so far out of touch with their base (and reality in general) that it looks like they’re the ones that will be “purged” if the Tea Party as a movement in this state is to ever advance beyond the shouting stage and engage in effectively crafting and influencing policy. Joe Nosef did a good job of pointing that out last night.
There so many examples of these folks’ aberrant behavior, but the one that stuck out most last night was that of Laura Van Overschelde (“Ma Tea” as she is known in the YP Nation). “Ma Tea” apparently had a moment yesterday afternoon . . . see for yourself.
And his newsletters continue to tout his “care about disabled kids.” Did YOU vote for him to take care of his disabled kid?
That’s right. That’s one of the top leaders of the Mississippi Tea Party mocking US Congressman Gregg Harper’s “disabled kid”. Livingston Harper has Fragile X syndrome and is one of the nicest and most accomplished young men around. Fortunately, Rickey Cole, Chairman of the Democrat Party was apparently cool with her sentiments about Harper’s son as he “liked” the Facebook post as well.
Again, as we’ve said in the past, from the courthouse lock-in to the hijacked conference call to the nursing home photos to praying for God “to be violent against” their enemy . . . THIS IS WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE. These aren’t isolated incidents of bad behavior or poor judgment. These actions are a pattern and a true reflection of a very small band of very loud zealots. The numbers last night conclusively showed that a lot of self-identified Tea Party people could put principle over rhetoric as they came home largely (probably by an 80% margin) to support Cochran and the Republican Party.
So to the few of you that this applies to . . . Roy Nicholson, Ma Tea, Janis Lane, Ryan Walters, Don Tullos, Elaine Vechorik, Grant Sowell, Barry Neyrey & the South MS Tea Party folks, hear this. JUST GO AWAY. The Republican Party is not yours. You can’t have it. You can’t co-opt it. Go start your own party or better yet, go join Rickey Cole and the Democrats. He seems tickled to have you and I couldn’t think of a better fit for both of you. In fact, I’d be tickled to watch you join Rickey Cole only to continue to have you drive African American voters to the Republican Party.
When tallying the senate vote against the four house races and the hunting amendment vote, there was not a significant undervote or write in vote. I’m sure there were folks that “wrote in” McDaniel, but it turns out to be a pretty small number. For those that crossed over as they were instructed to do by their fearless leaders to vote for Childers, it looks like those numbers were likely offset but many in the black community that stayed with Cochran since the Republican runoff.
Folks, it’s been a long, strange trip. From the possum to the PurgeStar . . . from the recanting reverend to the hijacked phone call . . . from white pride vendors to the nursing home break in . . . from challenge fights to grand jury indictments . . . from courthouse lock ins to boobies and mamacitas . . .from Todd Akin to Chuck Woolery . . . from Ginger to Truth and Justice . . . from pre-teen sleuths to Bounty Hunters, this Hostage Crisis has been the very definition of weird.
And now, it’s over. For now. We hope.
At the end of the day, the hostages freed themselves. They had the power all along.
And all God’s people said . . . Amen.
That’s the way it was – Day 133 (and the last day) of the McDaniel Hostage Crisis.
Good day Mississippi – and good luck.
UPDATED – The offending facebook post (referenced above) was taken down by Laura Van Overschelde. We took the liberty of putting the screen shot of it back up so that she and her supporters can revel in her intolerance in perpetuity.