By Ryan S. Walters
Even before the votes were cast, I had already decided not to write an election analysis for the 2014 midterms. Honestly, I was actually glad to see it come and go. But seeing some of the pure silliness pervading the net I quickly changed my mind.
One piece in particular caught my eye, and not because of the personal attack against me and other good conservatives who are spearheading the movement. Alan Lange at Y’all Politics had an interesting, and wrong-as-usual, take on Cochran’s victory:
“It’s hard to overstate how impressive a 20 point victory in this sort of anti-incumbent environment is. … [T]his 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.”
I found it most interesting that Travis Childers is now a “poor and unqualified candidate” but all we heard for months was how bad he would have beaten Chris McDaniel had they faced off in the general election.
But, that aside, let’s look at the Cochran-Childers race with a bit more detail and show Lange that, yes, you can overstate this race and you just did!
Cochran did indeed win by 20 points with 59 percent and a total of 370,208 votes. Lange calls that a “butt-whooping” but not so fast there my liberal friend!
In previous elections, though, Cochran did much better. In 1996 his vote total was 71 percent and 624,154 votes, and 2008 he won 766,111 and nearly 62 percent of the vote. Those were presidential election years so the vote totals are always much higher. But in the 2002 midterm, he had 533,269 votes and won a total of nearly 85 percent of all votes cast. And 2002 was nothing like 2014 in terms of voter anger.
So you can easily see that this was by far Cochran’s worst general election showing, particularly in a midterm, in what has turned out to be one of the biggest Republican election years in history. And, I should add, with very low voter turnout across the state, which can only mean that a lot of McDaniel supporters stayed home.
But I will agree with one thing Lange said: Childers was a “poor and unqualified candidate” who would have been beaten worse by Senator McDaniel, who did gain 60 percent of Republican voters in the June run-off. If the Democrats in Mississippi had anything like a decent candidate, Thad might have had some trouble.
Lange also goes on to make another interesting comment:
“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.”
This logic is off-the-charts strange. So if Chris McDaniel had been the GOP nominee in Mississippi, none of this success would have happened across the country? This falls in line with a New York Times hit piece on Senator McDaniel, showcased by Y’all, where they surmised that the Democrats would have used McDaniel as the poster boy for all Republicans and labeled every Republican candidate as a “mini-McDaniel.” The reason the Times gave was McDaniel’s “history of making sexist and racially insensitive remarks” on his radio show.
The Times wrote that candidates “like Scott Brown, running for the Senate in New Hampshire, called the National Republican Senatorial Committee to complain that if Mr. McDaniel was not stopped, he could drag the whole party down.” But Brown worried about McDaniel’s conservative comments, not about any references that might be racist or sexist. And we all know that Scott Brown was no true conservative and lost a second US Senate bid on Tuesday, this time in New Hampshire to a weak and vulnerable Jeanne Shaheen.
Now, let’s look at this silly radio business a bit deeper. Chris McDaniel hosted a radio talk for more than three years for two hours a day and the only thing his opponents could find was one instance where he said “mamacita,” which is actually a compliment in Spanish, and another where he said “boobies.” In fact, there are many Mexican restaurants in Texas that use the “mamacita” name. I bet you didn’t know that! And as for the “boobies” reference, McDaniel was actually reading from a news story, so it was not his words. And like all talk radio shows, on both the left and right, much of what is said is tongue-in-cheek comments, and these little nothing comments were made nearly a decade ago.
Even Slate.com, a very liberal publication, called the attacks on Senator McDaniel “unfair.” Lange, though, seems to forget he’s not in New York (where I’m sure he would feel more at home); he’s in Mississippi, and such remarks would have made very little difference in any election. Cochran’s team trotted them out, not once, but twice during the primary season and they flopped both times! It didn’t move the needle one inch in the polls! People have more important things to worry about than what someone said in jest on a radio show a decade ago.
Along with his nod to the Times is Lange’s near-euphoric belief in Cochran’s “impressive victory” in this “anti-incumbent environment.”
But this was NOT an anti-incumbent environment. That’s the line being used on MSNBC and CNN, so when you consider this statement, along with the New York Times hit piece, I guess we now know where Lange gets his news.
This was an anti-Democratic year and a repudiation of Barack Obama and his party. People are really upset with the direction of this country and that’s where they lay the blame. In fact, Democratic candidates who espoused such liberal causes as gun control, global warming, and abortion, and had major financial backing from those special interest groups, lost big time.
As a result of this mood, Republicans swept the entire country, and would have even if Chris McDaniel had headed the ticket in Mississippi. Case in point: only one major GOP incumbent lost a re-election bid, and that was Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.
And even where the Democrats had star power, they lost. Jimmy Carter’s grandson, Jason, lost a bid for Georgia governor, and Sam Nunn’s daughter lost her bid for a US Senate seat there as well. Mark Udall, of the famous Udall family out west, lost his Senate seat in Colorado. Wendy Davis was wiped out in the Texas governor’s race, as was Sandra Fluke in California, who came crashing down with a 39 percent showing in her bid for a state senate seat. Where the Clintons showed up, especially Hillary, Democrats lost and lost huge in most races.
As of this writing, Republicans have a net gain of seven US Senate seats, with Sullivan ahead in Alaska by more than 8,000 votes. Virginia is, quite unexpectedly, still tight and too close to call, while Louisiana is headed to a run-off, where Landrieu is expected to lose, especially since she won just 40 percent of the vote. So it’s at least conceivable that the GOP might gain as many as 9 or even 10 seats. That’s pretty remarkable.
The Republicans also added to their US House total and will control nearly 250 seats, their largest bloc since Herbert Hoover was in the White House. Such a majority will take several election cycles to reverse, maybe even decades. In one side note, Arkansas now has a House delegation that is totally in Republican hands for the first time in 141 years.
Aside from the loss in Pennsylvania, Republicans picked up more governorships and now control 32 statehouses. What is particularly shocking is that the GOP won governor’s races in three heavily blue states – Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois.
But in my mind it was the state legislatures that really showed the Republican wave. Republicans gained control of more chambers: Colorado Senate, New Mexico House, West Virginia House, both Nevada houses, New Hampshire House, Minnesota House, New York Senate, with several more still pending and undecided. As of now Republicans control a record 67 state legislative chambers.
Republicans now have total control of 24 states, where they hold the governor’s mansion and both chambers of the state legislature. By contrast, Democrats only have such control in 6 states. And it’s in the individual states, like Texas, where the best reforms are taking place, not in Washington.
In a side note, Wendy Davis’s old senate seat in Fort Worth went to a Republican woman, Konni Burton, who is one of those fanatical Tea Partiers. In West Virginia, 18-year-old college student Saira Blair won election to the state house of representatives running as a very conservative pro-life candidate. She’s the youngest ever elected to the state house.
So in terms of state legislative control, the Democrats are at their weakest since the 1920s.
And how about the makeup of the upcoming GOP congressional caucus? The “war on women” is now dead, as well as the race card, or at least it should be. Democratic women were trounced nation-wide: Allison Lundergan-Grimes, Kay Hagan, Michelle Nunn, Amanda Curtis, Wendy Davis, Martha Coakley, Mary Burke, and Sandra Fluke were all beaten. Yet Republicans elected a host of women: Joni Ernst in Iowa, Shelley Moore Capito in West Virginia, and Elise Stefanik, who became the youngest female ever elected to the US House at age 30, just to name a few.
Several prominent African Americans were also elected on the GOP ticket. Tim Scott won election to the US Senate in South Carolina by a wide margin. Mia Love became the first black woman ever elected to the US House as a Republican in a Utah district that is only 1.4 percent black. William Hurd, a former CIA operative who is also of African-American descent, won a US House seat in San Antonio, TX in a district that is less than 3 percent black.
And when you look at who was elected, this ought to really upset the folks at Y’all Politics. Many of the new members of the House and the Senate could very well be charter members of the “mini-McDaniel” club, meaning they ran conservative campaigns and espoused conservative principles. And they did so by actually speaking to the voters and debating their opponents, putting their ideas before the people. In fact, every new Republican member of the US Senate pledged to repeal Obamacare during the campaign, unlike the establishment-run national party, which seems to be running away from that issue. Mississippi might have found out Cochran’s true position if he had actually talked to the voters.
In short, these folks campaigned and were elected to STOP OBAMA and roll back Washington, not to compromise and pile on more spending and more government. The Republican base is seeking fighters, not compromisers.
But sadly that’s what probably going to happen with the present leadership and some of the old bulls we keep sending up there. Within 24 hours Mitch McConnell was already capitulating to Harry Reid and Obama, vowing to work with the other side and not to shut down the government over the debt ceiling. And by the way, to you establishment hacks, the previous government shutdown that you blamed on the Tea Party and Ted Cruz did not hurt Republicans in the election, as you said it would. As usual, you were all wrong again!
For conservatives, especially in Mississippi, now is the time to hold Republicans’ feet to the fire and watch them like a hawk, especially Mr. Cochran. Let’s see how he votes on the debt ceiling next year. Let’s see how he votes on Obamacare bills. Let’s see how he votes on spending, being the conservative champion we all heard he was. And let’s see how he votes on amnesty, especially given his backing by the Chamber of Commerce. In short, let’s see which agenda emerges victorious, that of the leadership or these new, conservative members. In the end, the leadership of both chambers might need to be overthrown.
As for me, my take on this election was said best by former congressman Ron Paul, who tweeted this soon after the election:
Well said indeed!
And, finally, as for the personal attack on me and others, here it is verbatim:
“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.”
Why is it that the GOP establishment constantly refers to us as radicals, fanatics, extremists, and, Lange’s favorite term, zealots? And these are terms that they never define. And have you noticed that they never refer to Barack Obama as an extremist? Why not? Do they have more in common with him than with us? Say, yes they do!
So here is some advice for Alan Lange: Since you seem to like liberal Democrats more than true conservatives, then YOU join the Democratic Party! And take Thad Cochran with you! You have more in common with them anyway and would be a much better fit. We aren’t going anywhere! We are staying right where we are and will continue our fight for constitutional government until the Second Coming! See you on the battlefield!