Posted on | April 5, 2014 | 97 Comments
You know the Republican Establishment is getting desperate when they stoop to cheap guilt-by-association smears in a GOP primary.
That’s National Republican Senatorial Committee “strategist” Brad Dayspring tweeting out a story from (wait for it) Talking Points Memo that is one of the flimsiest guilt-by-association attacks in the history of flimsy guilt-by-association attacks. A moment’s scrutiny of that story is sufficient to glean the relevant facts: Some grassroots folks in Mississippi scheduled a “Firearms Freedom Day” rally for May 17.
You may ask: “How grassroots is it?”
Go read the flyer and you will see that, listed among the various Tea Party groups, pro-gun organizations, state senators and country music singers, is “Pace Conferederate Depot.” This is a vendor of such merchandise as Confederate flag T-shirts and bumper stickers whose proprietor, Brian Pace, also happens to be some kind of segregationist. Because the flyer also listed Tea Party-backed Senate challenger Chris McDaniel as the “keynote speaker” for the rally, this tidbit of information about Pace was highlighted by a Republican blog associated with incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran. That was immediately picked up by Talking Points Memo, which played it as Another Scary Republican Racism Scandal. Once you get past the breathless liberal hype — “ZOMG! Confederates! In Mississippi!” — you realize there’s nothing to the story. Somebody asked McDaniel to speak at a gun-rights rally, as one of his supporters, state Sen. Melanie Sojourner, told TPM:
“There were several Second Amendment groups that were planning different events and we’re both very strong Second Amendment supporters and so there were several events that were planned and it was basically just kind of the discussion was ‘well when you get some things done and scheduled let us know’ but there was never any confirmation on exact events or what was happening.”
Organizers of the rally issued a statement on Facebook saying, “When a vendor asks to set up and sell lawful merchandise at one of our events, we don’t run a background check into their personal lives. That’s not our business.” The attempt to turn this into a scandal is like saying that if a candidate campaigns at a county fair, he thereby endorses every rip-off carnival game at the fair.
But this is what’s being promoted on Twitter by an official of the National Republican Senatorial Committee as part of the GOP establishment’s desperate effort to rescue Thad Cochran, who is 76 years old and has been in office since Jimmy Carter was president. With just eight weeks to go until the June 3 primary, Chris McDaniel’s campaign is surging:
Chris McDaniel has been endorsed by Mark Levin, Sarah Palin, Citizens United, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, the Madison Project, Tea Party Express and many more leading individuals and organizations of the conservative grassroots: Central Mississippi Tea Party, Gulf Coast Tea Party, Hattiesburg Tea Party, Leflore/Carroll Tea Party, Meridian Tea Party, South Mississippi Tea Party, The Mississippi Tea Party, Tupelo Tea Party and Vicksburg Tea Party. McDaniel also has endorsements from state Sen. Angela Hill, state Sen. Billy Hudson, state Sen. Chris Massey, state Sen. David Parker, state Sen. Michael Watson, state Sen. Philip Gandy, and state Sen. Tony Smith.
What all those endorsements represent, in total, is the effective infrastructure of a winning campaign. Chris McDaniel has the on-the-ground resources necessary to win this primary — and the GOP Establishment knows it. That’s why you see the NRSC forced to play the race card, pushing a left-wing smear against a young Republican leader, in a desperate attempt to halt McDaniel’s insurgent momentum.
Are you going to let them get away with this? Or are you going to fight back? I say, war to the knife, knife to the hilt.
CHRIS McDANIEL for U.S. SENATE
It’s Time for a Change