The Day the Establishment Died

The strategy used in the Mississippi Senate runoff revealed just how desperate and out of ideas the GOP establishment really is.

Facing a candidate who pulled more votes in the primary, and was propelled by a massive network of grassroots enthusiasm, the Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) camp had no choice but to fire the last arrow in its quiver. They did what no self-respecting conservative would ever do: they went running to the Democrats for help.

In this most underhand of tactics, Cochran used Republican Party dues money to conduct get-out-the-vote activities for Mississippi Democrats, charging Chris McDaniel with “causing problems for President Barack Obama,” and accusing the liberty movement of indiscriminate racism.

That’s right: Cochran, with the help of establishment operatives like Karl Rove, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Chamber of Commerce, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, won the Republican nomination by campaigning as a Democrat, and getting Democrats to vote in the other party’s primary.

This was cynical, short-sighted politics at its worst. Now that Cochran has the nomination, who do the so-called leaders of the GOP think is going to support Cochran in November? Democrats? Do they honestly think Republicans are going to enthusiastically campaign for the guy who sold them out to the other party?