At their meeting last week in Chicago, the Republican National Committee failed to censure Henry Barbour for his racist ads leveled against Chris McDaniel in the Mississippi US Senate primary. After seeing similar tactics in his own state, Missouri State Chair Ed Martin asked for the disciplinary action but, in a move surprising to some, the committee did not even hear the case.
To true conservatives, those of us who are rightly skeptical of the RNC, it was not surprising in the slightest. In fact, it was expected.
Most of the Henry Barbour race-baiting came from the All Citizens for Mississippi PAC, an illegal group headed by Bishop Ronnie Crudup, Sr., pastor of New Horizon Church International. In a detailed report by the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund entitled “Mississippi: A Case Study in Republican Race-Baiting,” blame is laid squarely at Barbour’s feet through the work of Crudup.
We won’t rehash all of the garbage but here are a few highlights:
- All Citizens for Mississippi PAC produced and disseminated at least one flyer that claimed, “The tea party intends to prevent you from voting.”
- All Citizens for Mississippi PAC also produced and aired radio ads. One said, “A victory by tea party candidate Chris McDaniel is a loss for the state of Mississippi. It is a loss for public education … It is a loss for the citizens of this state in a time of natural disaster, for our public universities and particularly our historically black universities. A victory for Chris McDaniel is a loss for the reputation of this state for race, for race relationships between blacks and whites and other ethnic groups. Mississippi can’t afford Chris McDaniel.”
- A second radio ad produced and aired by All Citizens for Mississippi PAC said, “I’m Pastor Siggers, Pastor of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church. These are some tough times … And tough times call for tough decisions. A time when there is an effort to roll back the hand of time. I’m talking about the race for the U.S. Senate between Thad Cochran and tea-party candidate Chris McDaniels [sic]. I know that traditionally we as a community don’t vote Republican, but for this special election, we need to turn out in record numbers to push back against this tea party effort …”
And where did All Citizens for Mississippi get its funding? From the Mississippi Conservatives PAC headed by, you guessed it, Henry Barbour. In fact, Barbour did not run away from the ads; he stood by their content.
But to be fair and honest, though, the RNC has denounced race-baiting ads in the past … that is if GOP state parties directed them against Democrats.
In 2008 the North Carolina state party ran a Jeremiah Wright TV ad, showing clips from Obama’s infamous pastor. Both the RNC and John McCain condemned the ad. The RNC’s statement read in part: “The RNC has been in contact with the NC GOP and communicated that we do not believe the ad is appropriate or helpful and have asked that they refrain from running it.”
In Tennessee during the 2008 primaries, the state party issued an advertisement that referred to the leading candidate as “Barack Hussein Obama,” the now-President’s full legal name. The RNC, headed by Mike Duncan, spoke out against the ad. “The RNC rejects these kinds of campaign tactics. We believe this election needs to be about the critical issues confronting our nation.”
Where was that kinda talk in Mississippi in 2014?
What about when Democrats hurl them against Republicans? The RNC has fought with a vengeance against many leftwing attack ads, especially those with racial overtones, directed against their own.
In 2004, Moveon.org, a George Soros operation, put out a TV ad that compared President Bush to Hitler. RNC Chair Ed Gillespie called it the “worst and most vile form of political hate speech” and called on all Democratic presidential candidates to condemn it.
In Florida in 2013, one of the most despicable ads came right out of the campaign of Alan Grayson, among the vilest of Democrats.
In the fall of that year he sent out a fundraising email with the image of burning crosses, likening the Tea Party to the KKK.
RNC Co-Chairwoman Sharon Day issued this statement in response: “Congressman Alan Grayson’s appalling comparison of the Tea Party to the KKK is pathetic and it’s insulting that anyone would stoop that low for a fundraising plea. It’s time that he apologizes and Democrats condemn his actions, especially fellow Floridian and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.”
Soon after, Grayson called a female lobbyist a “K street whore.” The RNC also called on President Obama to condemn Grayson. But what did he do instead? At a Florida fundraiser he praised him as an “outstanding member of Congress.” So much for the Republican “war on women.”
Democrats are no strangers to using women and their plight to get after Republicans. In 2011, Vice President Biden used a rape analogy to criticize GOP efforts to cut spending. Such a plan, he said, was like blaming the victim for the attack. The RNC quickly asked for condemnation. Chairman Reince Priebus wrote on Twitter: “Using a rape analogy to describe one’s political opponents is inexcusable & beneath the office of the Vice Presidency.” As usual, though, none was forthcoming from any Democrats.
So what made Mississippi in 2014 different? Because the GOP Establishment was attacking a true conservative reformer in Chris McDaniel.
After the RNC’s failure to discipline one of their own, in the person of Henry Barbour, or to even condemn the sickest of ads, shows not just hypocrisy but where the Republican Party really stands and how much they loathe the Tea Party. The Establishment of the GOP hates the Tea Party as bad as Democrats do and will stop at nothing to smear the movement. As they say, birds of a feather.
So, if their own state party organizations use what they consider racist attack ads against Democrats, the RNC will issue a public rebuke. And, if Democrats play their infamous race card against Republicans, the RNC will fight back with a fury in the hopes of getting a condemnation from the DNC, usually to no avail. But if Republicans use them against fellow conservative Republicans or those they consider radical Tea Partiers, then race-baiting seems to be just fine. The hypocrisy astounds me.
After this blatant attempt to smear a good man with the brush of racism, and after the efforts to condemn it were rebuffed, the RNC now has no cause to ever complain about dirty Democrat ads aimed at Republicans again.