Why do the attacks on Chris McDaniel continue?

Ryan S. Walters | @ryanswalters73

Although our friends at Y’all Politics, the Sun Herald, and throughout the Republican Establishment will not like me saying this, it doesn’t make it any less true: Senator Chris McDaniel has become the preeminent state legislator in all of America.504267449

There is no one better known or more influential, particularly in the conservative movement. Few state lawmakers, if there are any at all, write for national publications or speak at national events.  They are not the head of a newly created PAC that is focused on bringing conservatives together, nor do they sit for interviews by national radio and television hosts.

This is a great thing for Mississippi and should be celebrated by every Republican outlet and officeholder across the state.

But instead of seeing him as a rising star in the movement for conservative reform, Senator McDaniel is reviled, ridiculed, denounced, and dismissed by the Establishment Press. In nearly every political piece written by the Establishment’s hacks, masquerading as they do as pundits and journalists, they take shots at him. Yet he’s still standing, much to their chagrin.

In the most recent episodes, we can feature Bill Crawford in the Sun Herald, Emily Wagster Pettus for the AP, and Alan Lange of Y’all Politics, who cobbled together a column using the Pettus article to sling yet more mud, as if enough had yet to leave their poisoned pens.

Crawford’s piece, mostly rehashed from an earlier Lange column (they often rehash the arguments of one another), pondered why “tea party conservatives” did not offer any challenges to the state’s top leaders:

Could it be that most in the Tea Party are satisfied with current leaders? After all, Republican statewide leaders are all pro-gun, pro-life, anti-tax, anti-spending, anti-regulation, free market, small government, anti-Obama constitutionalists. That matches up pretty good with the ultra-conservative Club for Growth mantra that McDaniel et al mimicked.

First of all, Chris McDaniel didn’t mimic the Club for Growth or anyone else; they supported him because of his true conservative beliefs, particularly his support of economic freedom, which Crawford obviously loathes. Senator McDaniel also gained the backing of FreedomWorks and the Madison Project for the same reasons.

Each of those organizations gave their support to the only true conservative in the Mississippi Senate primary and they are not enamored with any other state leaders in Mississippi. If anything, Tate Reeves and other Mississippi Republicans are mimicking McDaniel, at least in this election year when it’s time to fool voters once again.

For her part, Pettus assailed the supposed ineffectiveness of McDaniel’s Conservative Coalition, showcasing a little spat between Senator Will Longwitz of Madison, who recently quit the coalition, and McDaniel. With the coalition seemingly in shambles, writes Pettus, it “never lived up to its own billing as a study group to create serious policy proposals.”

The motive behind such an attack is to discredit the Conservative Coalition in the public’s mind, making it seem like an extremist organization that can accomplish nothing but the promotion of Chris McDaniel, it’s only intended goal, at least that’s what they would have us believe. The problem, though, stems not from the coalition itself but from the Republican Establishment that dominates state politics and seeks to crush movements like McDaniel’s.

So why does the GOP Establishment continue to assault Senator McDaniel in the press? If he were a nobody, if his political career was on the ash-heap, if he was no more than a loud-mouth extremist and do-nothing state senator, they would spend not a drop of ink to assail him. But that is not the case; the assault continues almost on a daily basis.

Simply put, they fear him, and what he could accomplish in the future. If he is successful, their way, the corrupt establishment path, will come to an end and they know it. They are desperate, not for positive change and reform, but to maintain the status quo at all costs, as we saw during the June 24 runoff.

In Massachusetts in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, a young, handsome, well-spoken and intelligent congressman named Jack Kennedy was seen by many regular Joes as an agent of change, someone unwilling to go with the flow, reluctant to wait his turn, and who refused to follow the advice and counsel of Boston’s political bosses and their established rule book. In fact, he openly and quite brazenly flaunted the leadership at every turn. He went out on his own, spoke to citizens across the state, and upset the established order with a US Senate victory over an “unbeatable” Establishment opponent, the venerable Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. And his career was off and running.

I argue that Mississippi’s political establishment sees Chris McDaniel much the same way. They look at a young, vibrant, dynamic, and principled state senator and see a very dangerous man, someone who threatens the established order and the “good ole boy” network that has been entrenched in Mississippi from time immemorial and has succeeded only in keeping the state in last place.

Yet the Establishment doesn’t mind bringing up the rear, their rhetoric to the contrary, so long as their goodies continue to flow unabated. But Senator McDaniel hates it, as do most Mississippi conservatives, many supporting McDaniel in last year’s Senate primary race.

Senator McDaniel wants to push the state, and with it the nation, forward with a positive agenda of reform and change for the better, change that comes with conservative principles and policies, which made this great nation what it is today.

Those in the Establishment, like Tate Reeves, who seek to maintain the status quo, will do anything to stop him, and have shown it. Many of Senator McDaniel’s bills found their way into the law books early in his legislative career, but as soon as he made his move for Cochran’s seat, many of his more recent ones have been outright blocked or co-opted by Reeves, who hasn’t had an original idea in his life.

In fact, Reeves’ list of legislative goals, which did not appear until this election year mind you, are ideas that have been previously put forth by McDaniel and other members of the Conservative Coalition in past sessions. Reeves’ goals are nothing new.

But despite Reeves’ obstructionism, Senator McDaniel’s influence has been felt across the state in his two Senate terms.

Let’s take an example raised by Crawford. The state’s leaders are all pro-gun, he writes, but our laws to protect gun rights have become stronger in recent years. Why? Because of Chris McDaniel. Crawford simply failed to mention that immutable fact.

As I’ve previously written, Senator McDaniel’s legislative record is second to none. How about the issue of religious freedom? Or our private property rights? All strengthened by Senator McDaniel. Our taxes? He’s authored tax cuts. And how about Obamacare? He took that fight on almost single-handedly. And the list could go on and on.

The Republican Establishment, through their minions in the press, has one aim and that is to marginalize and discredit Senator McDaniel, and by extension the whole conservative movement.

Their operation should not be passed off as journalism, nor is it in any way a form of political punditry; it is a process aimed at stopping true conservatism, personified in Chris McDaniel, from spreading in Mississippi and across the country. If they can kill McDaniel, they can kill conservatism.

If the Republican Establishment would fight for the conservative values, which they profess to believe, as hard as they oppose them, we would see monumental change in this state and in the country. But, as things stand at the present time, we will never change without changing our leaders, overthrowing the good ole boys, and charting a new course based on conservative reform.

Otherwise we are destined to remain the nation’s most corrupt and economically unattractive state. And to those in the GOP Establishment behind this scheme, I say: shame on you!



  1. Ryan, you must stop drinking so much McGOPer spiked Kool-aid. It’s causing you to write things that you would otherwise not say if you were clear headed. You and Keith know very well that The Anointed One continues to be criticized by the mainstream media and other Mississippi conservatives because he brings it on himself. I’m sure he loves his wife, his children, and the Lord, but doesn’t it tell you something when most of his legislative colleagues in the MS Legislature shun him? Not all of the proximately 200 members of the legislature can be wrong about him. Therefore, instead of attacking and challenging his colleagues’conservative bona files, (which is only designed to cause friction between himself and others) he should be joining with his Republican colleagues to pass meaningful legislation that is consistent with classical conservative principles, that also addresses the needs of the people of our state. After all, there is no such creature in MS as a liberal Republican–only those conservatives who are pragmatic, and those who lean towards anarchy when they don’t get their way.

  2. I have to agree in part with Fraizer….McDaniel is trying to stick a finger in the eye of everyone who does not publically support him and thus is losing credibility and taking us down with him. He is not helping himself with mindless, continuous negative commentary. There is a time for all things: A time to sow and a time to reap. But also a time to shut the hell up!

  3. Is the GOP Establishement still smarting from the disenchantment of those who DARE to say we don’t buy their corrupt behaviors and obviously contemptuous attitude to 180,000+ voters who identify as Republicans and REJECT them (the GOP establishment) resoundingly?

    Is this an attempt to smack down on the FREEDOM McDaniel exercised daring to challenge them? Do they believe they have the right continue questioning the voters’ choice? And do they believe that they have the right to deny us the right to FREELY associate with like-minded Republicans WITHOUT being FORCED to associate with Democrats who do not have the same conservative values as those who voted for McDaniel? Yes they paid for for votes for Thad Cochran from Democrats. I know because I witnessed it with my own eyes.

    Laura Van Overschelde

    On Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 8:23 PM, Mississippi Conservative Daily wrote:

    > mississippiconservativedaily posted: “Ryan S. Walters | > @ryanswalters73 Although our friends at Y’all Politics, the Sun Herald, and > throughout the Republican Establishment will not like me saying this, it > doesn’t make it any less true: Senator Chris McDaniel has become the > preeminent state”

  4. Right on, if we are quiet and complacent then we lose. If the establishment is corrupt when we are voicing our opinions and trying to keep an eye on them just guess how bad it will get when we just let them have their way. Just how much corruption and good ole boy politics and cronyism are the establishment supporters willing to accept while allowing our conservative values to be swept away? Seems like a lot.

  5. William Smith says:

    Ryan, you write re what those you regard as opinion writers who represent “the establishment”: “Their operation should not be passed off as journalism, nor is it in any way a form of political punditry; it is a process aimed at stopping true conservatism, personified in Chris McDaniel, from spreading in Mississippi and across the country. If they can kill McDaniel, they can kill conservatism.” Do you honestly think there is a difference in kind between this column of yours and and theirs? Are you engaging in journalism? Is your column serious politcal punditry? Do you have an agenda – to attack and discredit Tate Reeves and others you do not regard as “true” conservatives, to sweep away “establishment” values? The point is that what you accuse others of doing is what you do here. There is no difference of kind or quality. The only way you can justify what you do when it is the same as theirs is to contend, “Well, to do what I am doing in the service of what is right is justifified, but since they are wrong it is unjustified on their part.”

    Time will tell whether your hopes of McDaniel will be fulfilled. Will he be a MS JFK (btw JFK did not attack and beat the Democrat establishment – he as a Democrat attacked and beat the Republican which is something quite different from what McDaniel attempted last year)? Will he rise to national prominence? Will his PAC make a difference in races in MS and across the nation? Will he bring Tate Reeves down? Will he become an effective legislator? Will he be able to rebuild the now crumbled conservative coalition in the Senate? Will he really prove to be “the preeminent state legislator in all of America”?

    I’ll tell you why my money would not be on him. He has not shown yet the ability to work with others. He a maverick who has isolated himself from even his former allies in the Senate. People don’t like being used for the sake of another’s ego. Reagan was likeable. JFK was likeable. They built state, national, and party constituencies. So far McDaniel has not demonstrated he can do that same.

  6. Like I said, MS Republicans are all conservative. It’s just a matter of whether we choose to be political Pragmatists or Anarchists. The former attempt to improve/reform the system within the existing framework. It’s sloppy at times, but that is how the Framers designed it to (dis)function. The latter seeks nothing less than destroying the existing framework and starting over from scratch. However, history shows that the anarchist is so compelled to control, that once the previous existing order has been destroyed, he then looks to replace it with a totalitarian regime that only he controls. So, once again I challenge all Constitutional McGOPers who want to see change. Step up like Keith and the UCF are seeking to do, and run for state office. However, unless I am mistaken, there are very few McGOPers who chose to run for the legislature against the Republican incumbents at this time. Now, why is that? Could it be that they know in their hearts that the Establishment Republican legislators of their districts are overwhelmingly supported by the GOP base of voters? Reality can be a cruel companion in the realm of politics.

    • Thad Cochran is a conservative? In what way?

      • William Smith says:

        In the sense that, while he does not always vote as you would like to him to vote, or as I would like for him to vote, he is a conservative by any reasonable historical/political standard. As David has pointed out, in MS tbere is no other kind of Republican than a conservative one.

  7. Johnny Smith says:

    Was that the GOP base who had to recruit liberal democrats to haul Thad Cochran’s carcass over the finish line, the same Thad Cochran who didn’t sign on with the 47 others Senators to try to keep america safe from a nuclear Iran. Just because you say you are a republican does not make you one and especially just saying you are conservative does not make you one either, you do conservative things. Like reform voting laws which disenfranchise real conservative voters in the supposed GOP runoff.

  8. michaelw says:

    I have something that the established republican supporters of Senator Cochran on this blog can do and believe in. How about going to Washington and help guide him to the places he is suppose to be going and help him get a clear mind as his record has not been conservative for some time. I hear he is having trouble finding his way around (really). And you want all Mississippians to put their faith, hope, and values in this old man who is way past his prime and is definitely not the man he used to be and is being led around by a political machine run by the Barbour’s for their personal wealth and gratification and that of their families and cronies. What they have done to Senator Cochran borders on elder abuse. Why haven’t you weighed in on that if you have so much faith and support for this old man that you consider to be such a great senator with conservative values for Mississippi?

  9. William Smith says:

    For me I have not because I do not think he needs my help getting around or deciding what to do. As an old guy myself I get weary of the kids who lack the wisdom and experience of years. Sen Cochran seems to be handling things without my help.

  10. Don Taylor says:

    There is no bellowing so loud as when sacred cows are being gored, ergo, the attacks on Chris continue!


  11. TruBleever says:

    Could somebody please repost the link to Senator Cochran’s conservative accomplishments over the decades; I have misplaced it. I would like to have it to reference when I encounter the McGOPers.

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