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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

Friends don’t let friends vote for Thad Cochran

My first vote in a presidential election was cast for Jimmy Carter. Now that I’ve rendered my on judgment suspect, you can read more or not.

The outcome of the Mississippi primary was disappointing in many ways. A senile, adulterer whose sole value is providing government largess to the trough from which his donors feed won the nomination to be US Senator. To do this he surrounded himself with a coterie of dishonest and dishonorable individuals who enthusiastically did or said anything in order to win the election. In a way Thad Cochran’s life is a metaphor for the way the GOP treats conservatives. We are locked away in a nursing home while the GOP lives large — and in an open and notorious manner — with its “executive assistant.” We are ignored and disrespected except on those occasions when Thad shows up for a visit to demonstrate his loyalty.

Earlier in the year the GOP and especially the NRSC made no secret that conservatives, not Democrats, were the enemy. They’ve been able to do this in the past because we’ve played the role of an abused spouse, loyally coming home because we just know that he won’t dot our eyes again yet we know in our heart of hearts there will be a next time and a next and a next.

Cochran offers a chance to make a clean break with the past.

Strategically, a Cochran loss means nothing. Mississippi is a deep red state and a Democrat senator will be good for only one term.

Granted a Cochran loss could mean a Senate without Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader but having seen a Senate with Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader I’m not all that clear on how it differs from a Senate with Harry Reid as Majority Leader.

Mississippi conservatives should vote in November, they should turn out in massive numbers, and they should either vote Democrat for senator — and this is not disloyalty as Cochran was hauled across the finish line by trolling for Democrat votes — or not vote at all for senator. But it is important that the vote against Cochran and what he and his allies represent be easily identified.

I’m not yet at the point of advocating for a third party, I think conservatism’s best hope of becoming the dominant political movement in the nature rests on an symbiotic relationship with the GOP. Otherwise we risk becoming the Libertarians. But I am at the point of saying that it is wrong strategically and wrong morally to vote for a reprehensible individual or a man who allies himself with reprehensible individuals. In this case, a vote against Cochran is a two-fer.

I don’t believe that conservatives should win all elections but what I do believe is that the NRSC (if is can’t be hit by an asteroid or outbreak of Ebola) and the NRCC should stay completely neutral during primaries. The utter lack of integrity on display by the NRSC and other Cochran allies should make it impossible for anyone with a conscience, much less a conservative, to vote for Thad Cochran.

 

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