How Tea Partiers Flipped The Script On ‘Race-Baiting’

Since the runoff McDaniel and his supporters have argued that Cochran’s campaign won the primary mostly through getting Democrats and African-Americans to vote for him. They did that, they say, by using “race-baiting” ads, which allegedly motivated African-Americans to vote for Cochran because McDaniel is a racist.

The problem is, while this is a technically correct use of the term — which is defined as unfair statements about race — that’s not quite how the term race-baiting has usually been used. Typically, it’s been used to describe verbal attacks directed at people of a certain racial group to intimidate or otherwise undermine them.

But when Senate Conservatives Fund President Ken Cuccinelli went on MSNBC Tuesday morning, he used the term to attack establishment white Republicans for supporting a pro-Cochran super PAC that sought to get Democrats and African Americans to vote in the runoff election (and this outreach is largely credited with helping Cochran secure his win). That was race-baiting, according to Cuccinelli, who ticked off a partial list of Republican senators helping to fund the super PAC.