Democrats See a Break in a Gain for the Tea Party in Mississippi

The strong showing of the sometimes-unpredictable Tea Party favorite, Chris McDaniel, in the Republican primary offered Democrats the opportunity to highlight his controversial views.

Comments: 138

  1. One can sort of understand why older people in the older South would support McDaniel, but when you see pictures of the younger set cheering this man on, it gets scary. For some reason we hope youth will have a little more sensitivity than be aroused in a good way by the Tea Party.

  2. The photo shocked me as well. It's good to see young people involved in politics but not if they're not going to use their brains. Maybe one of the reasons they support Daniels is that he's so much younger.

  3. I have friends in the Tea party. They are good and decent people who donate their time and money to the poor and they are not racist.

  4. that is a bit specious, as a group their platform and planks have been anything other than compassionate or inclusionary.

  5. Instead of focussing on what some candidate in Mississippi may or may not have said in the past, you may want to ask your incumbent Senator whether or not they voted for Obamacare and if they would vote that same way today. That's what I'm planning on asking Minnesota's incumbent senator, Al Franken.

  6. My sister, who has MS, used to pay $1100 per month for healthcare insurance because of her pre-existing condition. Now, because of the ACA, she pays less than $600. That is still an obscene amount just for insurance but better than it was before the legislation passed.
    Why would you want to take that savings away from her and what is the real reason for your dislike of Al Franken?

  7. @RMac

    I am glad that your sister is saving money on her health care premiums. However, millions of Americans are paying higher premiums and income taxes for the same health care that they had before. Franken and the other democrats must explain why that is fair. The problem with Obamacare is that it harms many more people than it benefits.

  8. I don't think that's true, but the problem is in your probably equating the "hurts" of people who pay a few dollars more in taxes and those who die or go bankrupt paying for medical care. "Promote the general welfare", remember?

  9. republican mississippi voters may be tired of the non-descript cochran and yearn for the attention and energy of a mcdaniel candidacy. democrats must be able to win a seat if some 40% of the statewide voters are black and the republican candidate is a friend of "segregationists." put another way, there must be a core of white voters, says 15% in the state, prepared to support a competent, experienced democrat for us senator...

  10. You would think so...

  11. Even 15% may be a bridge too far. Apparently President Obama never managed to draw above 10% of the white vote in Mississippi, and that in years of a presidential election when turnout is highest.

  12. It seems like at least 15% should be possible, even in someplace as conservative as Mississippi. And if Democrats can mobilize black voters to come out in force, electing a conservative democrat should be possible.

  13. It is not particularly critical for the GOPT anywhere but especially Mississippi to shed the racist robe. They don't care and have done their level best to bring back as quick as possible the demise of voting rights especially in Mississippi. Why would any democrat vote in a runoff that would give the GOPT a stronger candidate to run the Fall.

  14. Harry Reid's comments about Obama "light skinned and no Negro accent" and Joe Biden's ill comment about Obama being "articulate and clean" did not seem to hurt their political careers. Put a tape recorder on every politician (or NBA Team Owner for that matter) and you would be surprised what they say.

  15. More false equivalency. Neither of those statements made were actually offensive, maybe just clumsy. Pandering to racists and bigots is something else entirely.

  16. Wow I don't remember Reid saying that! That's terrible. The difference, of course, is that he 1) said it privately and 2) apologized. I don't think it would ever occur to McDaniel that he shouldn't say the things that he does anywhere, but especially not in public.

  17. I saw the Democrat running against McDaniel/Cochran last night on MSNBC. I am not optimistic about his chances.

  18. Maybe instead of playing the game of mudslinging, maybe the Democrats should come up with concrete ideas. Both political parties, and the Tea Party, have fallen to a low level. The only thing that is important to these people is to run the worst of the worse, and beat down even worse people, to wins an office. Then, they go to Washington, and obstruct.

    All that Congress is doing is gaining wealthy, so they can go to work on K Street, so they can amass more wealth and obstruct the nation's business even further. Our political system isn't just broken; it is on life support.

    A person like Mr. McDaniel, should have not made it to run for dog catcher, let alone for Senate of the United States. Though, Mr. McDaniel is only voicing what many in his party say behind closed doors. For every politician who say these kind of remarks, there are dozens who do not. This is what is sitting in city councils all they way up to state legislatures, governorships and in the US Congress. Xenophobic, prejudiced, WASP, small minded individuals.

    Our political system needs a revamp, as our existing political parties need to be replaced. Our politicians no longer look out fro America, but for their own personal gain/power and the power of their party. And worse of all, there are voters, PACs, and donors who support and put these kind of people in office.

    The Founding Fathers. the Continental Congress, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice are rolling in their graves.

  19. The system is rigged. Both parties are basically two sides of the same coin. Sure, now and then they will argue about some social issue on camera, but behind closed doors, they are at the will of the bankers that owns them.

  20. You don't live in Mississippi. If a little mudslinging is what it takes to get a Democrat elected in Mississippi, I'll choose that over having McDaniels win. Far, far the lesser of two evils.

  21. If you bothered to read something besides the NYT, you would know that the Tea Party is the only significant reform movement in either party. We detest K street, lobbyists, and crony capitalism. That's the reason Cochran is in trouble.

    The Tea Party's major goals are limiting the size and scope of government, reducing government debt, and enforcement of existing immigration laws. Social issues are not on the front burner. There is also a strong isolationist sentiment among many of us.

    But it's so much easier for you to just swallow the Democrat talking points that it's racist, backwards, bla bla bla. When you wake up and see that you've been played again it will be too late.

  22. I made it through one paragraph before I stopped reading. Politics has never operated at a lower level in my lifetime and I've been around for quite a while. I stopped voting ten years and do not ever expect to do so, again. America will never have peace, prosperity and social justice while it is willing to participate in this kind of lowbrow political game.

  23. I've never been convinced by the purity position. We can't float above it all tsk-tsking. People like Elizabeth Warren will never get into office if no one votes them in.

  24. In his study of the then new American democratic system In the mid 19th century Alexis de Tocqueville observed that politicians are men of the second rank. Since then there have been times and politicians who have disproved that notion, though never generally but as you note these are not those times and though there are some politicians who would disprove that notion they are few and far between and their voices are barely heard. Additionally for some of our politicians these days de Tocqueville's assessment would appear generous.
    He also thought that the American Republic would endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. (As in I can bring home the pork)

  25. 10:57 am. By not voting, you give up the right to complain.

  26. "If Mr. McDaniel prevails in the runoff, they will also criticize him in areas that did not resonate in a Republican primary but could in the general election, such as his statements that the federal government should have no role at all in education or education funding."

    Why do we need good education whether funded in part by the Federal Government when Mississippi is last in SERI scores (Science and Engineering Readiness Index) and well below average, ranking 50th in the country? One might think that these figures would be disturbing to the citizens of Mississippi but maybe not.

    For rankings see:

  27. Democrats expressing Glee tells you exactly why Republicans aren't the only ones to blame for steering our country into decay.

    I would think all of us would want candidates on both sides to be highly qualified and ready to work with both sides to pass legislation that will move our country in a better direction.

    Democrats, Republicans and independents should want strong candidates running against each other who are willing to debate ideas and ultimately work together to improve our country.

    Nobody should be happy about inappropriate comments or behavior by any candidate or sitting member of Congress.

  28. @biggs-
    I agree, but what you have to understand is that the GOP by catering to the tea party and people like McDaniel have done is to make politicians a laughingstock. This is the GOP that ran Sarah Palin for vice president, who basically said outright that politicians who are intelligent, focused on getting the job done and willing to compromise are 'elites' and so forth, it is the party that as Bobby Jindal said, appears to be a party wanting to be the 'Party of Stupid'.

    The GOP claims that people like McDaniel are evidence of their big tent, but the reality is that as a party, the GOP has embraced people like him for the past 40 years, it embraced southern white discontent with civil rights laws, it embraced the urban white collar voters who believed their economic ills were caused by affirmative action, and with the whole Tea party have turned into the know nothing party, where somehow virtue is found in ignorance. It is interesting that in the GOP, big money donors are actively seeking out candidates to take out the Tea Party candidates, because they know that the Tea party is a boat anchor on the party.

    As far as this guy being only of interest in Mississipi, forget it, in the internet age every candidate running is going to represent their party on a national scale. long gone are the days when people would say "well, that's Mississippi" with a wink, in part because Mississippi has become in many ways the face of the GOP.

  29. Democrats shouldn't be getting their hopes up. First of all I don't see what's all that bad about what he said. I mean maybe it's a bit racy for a politician to say in public but I can't imagine anyone being offended by those comments in day to day conversation. I wouldn't pay reparations either. I never owned slaves. Big deal. I don't like the Tea Party but I don't get what the Democrats are getting so excited about.

  30. Hey, look, I'm considered a progressive, and while I wouldn't leave the country, if I had to pay reparations for slavery, I would do everything in my power, to see that such a silly and ill conceived idea, never happens!!!

  31. The Tea Party doesn't learn, does it?

    Indiana is of course a classic recent example. The Tea Party supported a rather extreme candidate, Richard Mourdock, in the primary for our most recent US Senatorial race. Mr. Mourdock defeated a long time, well liked, and very capable moderate Republican, Richard Lugar. During the campaign towards the general election which followed, the Democrats understandably highlighted Mr. Mourdock's extreme positions on some issues, painting him as too extreme even for the right-leaning state of Indiana. Mr. Mourdock gave substantial aid to his Democratic opponents by making a particularly vile comment about rape.

    And, come election day, a previously long standing GOP Senate seat was won by the Democratic candidate.

    And, as the well-known expression states, those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. It appears the Tea Party is indeed repeating itself.

    To those of us who support conservative economic and fiscal policies, and who are in favor of generally smaller government, this is really too bad.

  32. Thank you for the good news. BTW what's wrong with large government? YOu don't like driving on interstates, having airport controllers? people living in decent public housing, medicare for when you're old? The illusion that big government is bad government is merely an illusion...

  33. 'Brad Dayspring, posted on Twitter this spring about Mr. McDaniel, writing, “Candidates who associate with white nationalists & segregationists events give away #GOP seats to Democrats.”'

    Herein lies one of the biggest problems in the republican party. I wouldn't associate with a white supremacist or a segregationist, and not because it would hurt me politically. I wouldn't associate with them because their views are anathema to me, period. Dayspring's tweet belies his craven willingness to accept vicious, intolerant views in the dark, so long as they don't see the light of the public's ear. The republican party, through and through, yearns for an imagined antediluvian past that never was.

    Lastly, I know nothing about Mr. McDaniel, but I do know that fifty years ago or so, he, too, would be subject to discrimination--'drunkard,' 'Mic,' 'Paddy.' Those are only the semi-polite slurs I will list. There are many that are much, much worse. He must be somewhat aware of this, for, no offense, but what whiter name can one give a child than 'Cambridge?' The republican party is a place where the ignorant, the racist, the fearful, and the angry people of America can find a home.

  34. Must be a very large building where not one of three people could find there way out before closing time,"three McDaniel supporters, including a top campaign aide, were found locked inside the Hinds County Courthouse in Jackson after election officials had closed the building". Watergate, Travelgate, now Hindsgate just to name a few. Maybe the American electorate should show them all "the gate".

  35. It's interesting to find out that McDaniel staffers were locked in the Hinds County courthouse - where ballots were being stored - until 3:45 a.m on election night. Wonder if the result of this election has anything to do with that?

  36. 1) He sounds less offensive than Joe Biden. If you pick sound bites, a lot of people can sound bad - though Biden has been given a complete pass.

    2) Tea Partiers are opposed to the old boy Republican way of business, and so are Progressives. It seems there may be some common ground. Really.

  37. Cochran owes the Republican Party nothing. He should drop out now and after announcing that McDaniel's programs will doom Mississippi's future to 3rd World status, he endorses and campaigns with the Democrat! He can even (cheekily) say that he was born a Democrat and is "just coming home".

  38. Who says you can't energize the Obama voters (I use the term to describe those who DON'T turn out in mid year elections) by running ads that simply state in essence that even though your local slate of Senatorial and Congressional GOP candidates may be nice people, that to allowi Republicans further control of the Legislative branches also allows the fringe candidates--(insert here a mash up of Tea Party Loony quotes)--to create further obstruction, government-shutdowns , anti-women bills, Dangerous Climate Change inaction , and another 50 pointlessvotes against Obama-care.

    "End the deliberate Republican obstuction in Congress--let a Democratic House and Senate work with the President to get things done."

    " Stop the Senate filibusters and the Boehner refusals to even allow votes in the House on (insert list here) "


  39. When a candidate's operatives sneak into a nursing home for footage and photos of his opponent's ill wife and when they lurk in the state election office HQ after the building has closed, voters have all they need to know about the character of that candidate and how he will behave if and when elected to office. McDaniel would make Ted Cruz seem moderate by comparison.

  40. re : Brian Walsh thinks we in NH aren't paying attention ...
    I can assure Brian that he is wrong on this point and that we in NH are paying close attention to the mid-terms. Just for his information, NH tends to reject zealots or parties that represent and promote them.

  41. McDaniel's popularity says more about Mississippi voters than it does about national politics. It is a powerful argument that the Supreme Court was wrong when it decided that racism and white supremacy had declined sufficiently in the South to remove significant protections from the federal voting rights law. One picture is worth a thousand words. McDaniel's supporters aren't gray haired aging baby boomers or a diminishing voice from the past.

  42. "McDaniel's popularity says more about Mississippi voters than it does about national politics."

    What it says is a whole lot about the republican party that created the tea party. It's much too late for the GOP to distance itself from the rot it helped create.

  43. But Jack, his opponent IS gray haired. And that speaks volumes about how change has come to Mississippi on race. Thad Cochran, an "Ole Miss" cheerleader, is derided as a Liberal (verbatim). For that reason, we would appreciate Democrats calling for moderation and compromise, not victory at any price (despite the Tea Party). The anti-incumbency gate swings both ways.

  44. The Democrats are playing with fire if looking for the advantage of extremist views in the courting of moderate votes. The extremes are gaining a toehold for a reason in these places. Looking to Europe, we see both the far right and far left gaining strength due to economic struggles. Rather than stirring the embers so that we can roast marshmallows on the flaming debris of the Republican party, the Democrats should be partnering with the moderate Republicans to take out the extremes before any real damage is done.

  45. Never happen. Bush campaigned as a moderate and began his Presidency governing from the far right. Obama campaigned as a moderate and did the same as Bush except from the hard left,

    The future is dim. The democrats keep moving to the left and the republicans to the right.

  46. By most measures party polarization in the US is as high today as at any time since the Civil War. There simply aren't enough "moderate" Republicans to partner with. Thad Cochran is only a "moderate" in the topsy-turvy world of right-wing politics.

  47. Good God! This man will make Akin look like a boy scout. Relative youth, combined with extremist views, a good ole boy outlook and a poor education in a bigoted state like good ole Miss' and we will have some very amusing comments from this potty mouth.

  48. The Republican establishment has enough money to shut McDaniel down and they will.

  49. The rise of the Tea Party is actually good news for liberals--with some caveats. People are flocking to that party because they are fed up with Reaganesque trickle-down economics and the wholesale looting of the US economy by the very wealthy. They do so thinking that ultraconservatism is the way to correct the wrongs of the past generation. The challenge to liberals is to convince these people to redirect their anger and frustration against those who are really to blame for their pain--the very people behind the Tea Party. If the Democratic party is unable to do that we could very well find ourselves in a situation not unlike that in 1930s Germany where right wing corporations and a far right political party convinced the people that their pain came from "them." The current anger abroad in the land is an opportunity for progressive forces but if we fail to convince the masses of the truth about who is at fault for their circumstances, we could be in for a rough patch indeed.

  50. We keep reading two contradictory messages. First, the Tea Party has taken over the GOP by pushing even moderate Republicans (whoever they may be) further to the right. But second that the Tea Party is a threat to the GOP. This article is of the second variety. And, on balance, this is the better description of what's going on.

    Political parties thrive on internal discipline, and the one certainty about Tea Party candidates is that they are politically unpredictable. If they remain unpredictable after election, then party leadership can't count on them in a crunch to hold the party line. Instead, the elected Tea Party Republican will extort more of something (power, decision making, committee assignments, etc.) to deliver.

  51. If Mississippi wishes to un-confirm its "worst stereotypes," perhaps it should refrain from voting for racist, sexist, class-baiting candidates? Perhaps rather than embrace that past that disgraced it---when Bob Dylan opined it "should find another country to be part of," it should run from it. That might dissipate that "worst stereotype" they fear so.

  52. If McDaniel is elected, his Tea Party thinking should require him to end the practice of Mississippi receiving $2 for every $1 it sends to the federal government. What are the actual odds of that happening?

  53. When the country was founded the two groups most responsible were the Unitarians and the Knox-Calvin Protestant. Even then the founders recognized that the underlying religious and social philosophies were irreconcilable. The attempt to keep religion out of politics has run its course and until it is clearly understood that Mississippi and Massachusetts are not the same country the US is doomed to having a dysfunctional federal government.
    Democrats and Republicans are not traditional political adversaries their difference are philosophical and sociological and in the hyperconnected 21st century dialogue and compromise are simply nonstarters. Republicans and Democrats serve two very different Gods who require two very different response to life's demands.

  54. I have always sensed that the Puritan roots of American society are a cancer. Those people were religious extremists not welcome in England. Religious extremism never produces anything good; the dysfunction in USA today is directly related to that Puritanical stain in our history. I don't think it can be corrected at this late stage.

  55. Democrats should be careful what they wish for. Mississippi voters - the white ones, at any rate - will choose even the wildest, most unhinged right-wing lunacy over the sanest of Democrats.

  56. Wow, the Democrats are really reaching for straw here. Mississippi Democrat Bernie Thompson calls Clarence Thomas an "uncle Tom" to stir up his base. Thompson proudly stand by his comment when asked about it.

    Readers of the NYT might to surprised to find out people in Mississippi are just not as politically correct as NYT readers are.

  57. You may call it political correctness; I call it sensitivity to other people. We live in a multiethnic, multicultural country, so you gotta be respectful sometimes.

  58. The allusion to the so called "gaffes" in the article is generally much ado abut nothing. Who can blame him for what he said on the reparation issue? And saying, "(at least) she wasn't holding down a gay", was simply a facetious statement. He was lambasting the PC crowd by insinuating their absurdity.

  59. I suspect that the democrats will rue the day they decided to run negative against GOP rather than putting up anything new or original on their own. Obama's 6 years will be like cement blocks around their neck and GOP candidate's gaffes will not be enough to hand democrats a victory.

  60. Any Tea Party win in a regional race is a blow to the GOP on the national level. Anytime the GOP is associated with the Tea Party it diminshes them with the larger population.

  61. Any reasonable reading of our country's history will demonstrate clearly that such political speech has been very common since the beginning. This is not to say this particular instance is not deplorable but just that it is political business as usual. What is really deplorable though are the huge crowds that always seem to cheer such speech

  62. Okay, so one possible nominee in Mississippi made some off color remarks (who hasn't?) and otherwise has positions that may be consistent with those in Mississippi. And that's relevant to....the voters in Mississippi.

    The fact that the democrats want to demagogue this nationwide just shows how bankrupt and desperate they really are.

  63. Mostly people don't promote their ideology with off color and racist remarks. McDaniel is bigot and a hater - not worthy of any party.

  64. When you have a republican politicians who have attempted to make it as difficult as possible, if not outright to deny people of color their right to vote then you can hardly speak of democrats as demagogues. The GOP is just not happy unless it has the most vulnerable to either punish or demean.

  65. The basic tenet of the T Party is that everyone should take care of themselves, as much as possible. This was definitely the case on the frontier of the US in 1800. This is definitely not true today. A calm discussion of the principles of the T Party would be a very useful topic for all.

  66. Define "as much as possible."

  67. What is interesting is that the red states and the T-party states are the biggest takers of money transfers from the more educate, mostly northeast states.

    The GOP is being pulled from a reasonable if still objectionable right wing position into some extremist realm that is trying to destroy the entire country in a race to the lowest common thinking, no education, no culture....just guns and bigotry. Not much of a useful stand or a useful debate. Lack of morality is a national issue and a badge the GOP/T-party wears.

  68. Absolutely! Let's discuss how Tea Party principles are perfectly suited to life two centuries ago, which is where many red states seem to be stuck.

  69. I understand that not all Tea Partiers are racist bigots, but I believe it's safe to say that most are. Living in Mississippi for the past two years, I have been shocked by how racist most white people are, by how deeply segregated Delta towns are, by the quality of schooling for poor minorities, and by the fact that Mississippians still vote for people who refuse to run on a platform to change these things. It seems to me that the effects of slavery and systemic racial oppression are more apparent in the Mississippi Delta than anywhere else. Mississippi does not need to contribute another Tea Partier to the Senate. Chris McDaniel's comments should be huge red flags to any thinking individual.

  70. There are two prerequisites to having moderate politicians in power again: full public financing, in which candidates receive an equal share of a preset amount of money, and nonpartisan redistricting, so that one group of politicians doesn't get to draw friendly districts for another. Without those two, we will have nothing but extremists in both parties, with no adults left who understand our real problems, let alone how to fix them.

  71. We also need to enforce term limits on all political offices. Corruption is inherent in any situation where a politician has to turn to the big money to finance his campaign. The longer in office the more he owes his contributors and sure as heck he will push the programs that benefit them to the disregard of the well being of the rest of the citizens of his state.

  72. Politics are local. He'll win the runoff and win the general. this is what the people of Mississippi want. The people of San Francisco want Nancy Pelosi that's what makes the country interesting.

  73. Ed,
    It would be merely interesting if the Senate had proportional representation by population. In fact, because each state gets two senators, the whole country ends up being disproportionately influenced by people who are elected by poorly educated gun-obsessed religious fanatics. California gets one senator for every 15 million people. Mississippi gets ten times that, one for every 1.5 million. Even in your Maryland (6 million), you have only half the voting power of a Mississippian.

    That's why this far-away election matters so much to all of us.

  74. The Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the Voting Right Act as to Mississippi because the state had made so much progress in racial relations. Justice Roberts and his conservative brethren would surely benefit from a field trip to the Magnolia State.

  75. To constantly having to read headlines about "Democrats do this and so Republicans do that" OR "Republicans do this so Democrats do that" is the most depressing and disgusting communications I have encountered any where in the world. America you blew it big time.

  76. For decades the Times has excoriated so-called "mainstream" Republicans (if they're "mainstream", why can't they win primaries?). Now here comes the Tea Party, ready to rein in the excesses (NSA, NDAA, PATRIOT, undeclared wars, gifts to illegals, endless deficits) the "mainstream" has saddled us with, and the Times embraces the old-timers they pretended to hate.

    Just more proof that there is no difference between "mainstream" Republicans and the Times: all war, all NSA, all spending, all the time.

    Bravo to Mississippi! Bravo to Mr. McDaniel!

  77. This article is a joke. The Democrat has ZERO chance.

    BTW, Nunn in Georgia also has ZERO chance.

    You better focus on hanging on to Michigan and Iowa.

  78. So tired of MEN dominating the political system..... WHERE ARE THE WOMEN? When will the majority gender take up the responsibilities of leadership!!??

    BTW it would be great in the NYTImes would start publishing the academic achievements of all candidates everywhere... and SAT scores if available. Interesting to know to what degree opinions and education merge and if!!

  79. Must be a slow news day. The chances MS sends a democrat to DC? About the same as NY electing a Republican.

    Slim and none, and Slim has left town.

  80. I believe the story expresses that, and carries on to other more important issues. Try a reread + the vid.

  81. Kemp - You are right but McDaniel as the official party nominee will be used all over the U.S. to influence other races that may be closer. The name of the game is not who is elected Senator from Mississippi but who controls the Senate.

  82. From the quotes just in this article, McDaniel has already contemptuously insulted women, Hispanics, gays, and blacks. Why is this guy is in a runoff with Sen. Cochran? The answer to that question tells you why we have had enormous dysfunction in Washington the past four years.

  83. The "glee" expressed by Dems over the survival of McDaniel in the primary against Thad Cochran is entertaining -- only 17% of the electorate voted. Cochran brings homes the bacon to Mississippi, which gets back $3 for every $1 in federal taxes it contributes. All Cochran needs to do is enumerate what Mississippi loses with his absence from the U.S. Senate, and get as little as 25% of the electorate to bother to cast a vote, and he'll walk away with the Republican run-off; and, in Mississippi, the Republican nomination is equivalent to the election.

    Thad Cochran didn't even try seriously in this primary. But Democrats should be a little less insistent that they're seeing light at the end of the tunnel: you could run Ebenezer Scrooge against a Democrat in Mississippi and still see the Democrat lose.

  84. I suspect you're right that Scrooge would beat a Democrat in Mississippi, and I think McDaniel's about to prove precisely that.

    I wish I thought you were right that Cochran could head him off in the runoff, but I seriously doubt it. It's likely turnout will be down, not up; and as elsewhere, the most motivated Republican voters tend to be the most extreme. Cochran didn't try seriously because it's been decades since he had to; he seems to no longer know how. But we'll see soon enough...

    One thing we already know: were he to be elected, Mr. McDaniel will have a whole lot more power if the rest of us vote in a majority Republican Senate.

  85. McDaniel is clearly a bigoted person who feels entitled to frame the concerns of women and minority people derisively. It's also clear that because he tied with a conservative, Southern Senator that his attitudes are not unpopular in Mississippi amongst Republicans who voted on Tuesday. The Tea Party represents all that stuff our country tried to correct after World War II that made the U.S. seem hypocritical when it came to individual liberties, equality of opportunity, and of liberty and justice for all. That it can continue to exert such power in the Republican Party is rather sad.

  86. Well, if only 17% of GOP voters bothered to cast ballots in the primary, it's no wonder you end up with these kinds of candidates. But Mississippi isn't alone; turnout in party primaries around the nation have been abysmal, not just this year, but in every primary election.

    The result is that voters in the general election are left with poor choices, and the more that happens, the more voters will turn off to all things political. Which leaves the Halls of Congress populated with lightweights, ideologues, highly partisan anti-progress representatives, which leaves voters and moderate voters even more disenchanted.

    I don't know why there isn't more concern about this downward trajectory in voting and political interest. What I do know is that a lack of involvement, an estrangement from politics, results in candidates like McDaniel, who by all rights should never rise above well-deserved obscurity.

  87. It does seem that some of these southern states believe ignorance is a virtue and to be celebrated. The folks in these states also appear to love their demagogues like McDaniel and Cruz, and are much more comfortable with an authoritarian form of government than with a democratic one.

    Really, they are not "conservatives" but "reactionaries," and much more in synch with the life and values of medieval times--for some the Dark Ages.

    How long will it take for them to catch up to the Enlightenment of the 18th century that paved the way for the American and French Revolutions, constitutional democracies and human rights? They really don't seem to have a clue and they don't care. One thing for sure, I doubt I live long enough to see the transformation.

    No Democrat will have a chance, no matter how awful a Tea Party candidate is in MS.

  88. It isn't clear why Democrats should be rejoicing over the rise of far right wing candidates. Every day, we see and hear stories about Tea Party celebrities and their outrageous beliefs. It seems to be simple marketing - say it often enough, and people will except it as truth. By having these candidates continue to run for office, the Tea Party is successfully moving extreme political viewpoints into the mainstream conversation.

    From the Democratic Party, there seems to be no simple value proposition communicated with enough passion to move our nation in the proper direction - away from the polarizing effects of job loss, income disparity, and the sky rocketing costs of health care and education. Perhaps Democrats fear upsetting the conservative elements of their party by engaging in the nation in a serious discussion about these problems.

    Regardless of the reason for these political maneuvers and strategies, the nation is clearly not benefiting from the end result.

  89. I'm echoing some other comments when I say that, to the extent that this article is describing the truth, it is also describing one of the chief ills of are political system and our society at large. Politics and social discourse in general, should be about substantive issues and competition between thoughtful ideas from different political and philosophical viewpoints. Instead, we have political parties "gleeful" about their competitors nominating an outrageous candidate so they can tar their opponents by accusing them of colluding in that candidate's objectionable views. Next comes the hunt for more of his outlandish statements from the past. But political parties are not alone in using this tactic. Tune in CNN and you will find the same focus upon a political outlier's ridiculous statements and positions instead of the debate (when it happens, which is becoming more and more rare) on real issues. You can bet that Meet the Press will turn its attention to the same thing. Americans like to be outraged and they like to have their attention captured by titillating or outrageous events (nothing beats something "going viral"). But while the nation focuses upon circus-like side issues, such as the views of this clown (or Benghazi, or Sgt. Bergdahl), real problems are failing to be addressed by either our government, our news media, or our voters.

  90. In the poorest, worst educated state in the union, the people who would benefit the most from Obamacare, more funding for education and progressive taxation are dead-set against it. The mind boggles.

  91. Why would democrat strategists want to expose any perceived negatives of Chris McDaniel during the time he's campaigning to defeat Thad Cochran in a runoff election, if in their view he'd be the weaker candidate against them come November? Wouldn't they want him to win?
    I really think Mr. McDaniel brings new ideas and can electrify the electorate and the democrats truly fear his candidacy. That or the democrat strategists aren't very smart.

  92. Poorest state in the nation will stay that way, apparently.

  93. Gleeful? No. Saddened at the truth of the matter. Yes. Relieved to see it play out in the proper open forums.

  94. The GOP just says NO to everything coming from the democratic side. In order to move this country along in any direction you have to have a willingness on the part of one party to even sit down and willingly work with the other side. Republicans just refuse to do that with democrats, and precisely because republicans do not want to bring down the wrath of the tea party they created on themselves. For that matter, today's GOP doesn't even have enough moderates to hold a real decent tea party. They've let the mad hatters take hold of them for so long and have shifted so far to the right that if the republican party wanted to get back to the center they'd have to stop off and dig up Mussolini and have lunch first.

  95. You have to admit, McDaniel looks very sartorially senatorial. He and Cruz could be two grooms on a wedding cake. Maybe the Tea party is about to morph into something really out there, like the gay zombie party.

  96. The poor in Mississippi just get poorer yet so many of them will gladly vote overwhelmingly for McDaniel and why not? After all, a contempt for education and science etc breeds a mindset of voting against your own interests. If politics were sexual, most Mississippians would be hard core S&M affecionados favoring masochism.

  97. Choosing between Senator Cochran and McDaniel is giving the people of Mississippi the choice of either walking backwards,with a blindfold, for 100 miles going east or doing the same thing, but going south - either way, you they are going backwards, and will fall. McDaniels is not suited to be a U.S. Senator because of his insensitive statements, among other things, but Cochran has consistently voted against the interest of most people of his state like voting against the ACA, when Mississippi is at the bottom of most healthcare rankings in the U.S.

  98. BREAKING NEWS: Three Mississippi Tea Party operatives, one with close ties to the McDaniels campaign, were found inside the Hinds County Courthouse (where votes are tabulated and secured) in the middle of the night---long after it had been locked for the evening. And not one of them thought it might be a bad idea? That it might generate negative press? Or at least that that each one might think it 1/3 of a bad idea, so that when discussed together they might recognize that getting locked in the courthouse, with the votes, after hours, is one wholely ill-advised plan?

    Please follow up via the Clarion Ledger.

    I can see and individual going off the deep end and engaging in an attempt to tamper with the vote. But three? At once? In one locale? And after the votes had already been tabulated? The whole party seems a conspiracy of dunces.

    Or perhaps they're taking a Stalinesque position: the people can vote as much as they like, but [we] count the votes.

  99. That's a terrible headline "Democrats Are Gleeful Over a Tea Party Gain". This brings Democrats down to the level of Republicans. Concentrate on the issues, solutions - not your opponent.

  100. "Concentrate on the issues, solutions - not your opponent."

    When your opponent is a great part of the problem then your opponent is also an issue.

  101. I think McDaniel is the perfect man to represent the republicans.

    After all he's a vacuum.

  102. Those of us who are not political operatives don't need to engage in the tactics of electoral politics. We should simply hope for the best-qualified candidate to win at every level.

    I remember well how Democrats were thrilled when Ted Cruz emerged, because he is so extreme. Now he's one of the most powerful men in America, imposing his ignorant right-wing views on the entire country.

  103. Excellent point. I learned this lesson in 1980, when I rooted for Ronald Reagan to win the Republican nomination because he would be easier for Jimmy Carter to beat. The problem is, a nominee, no matter how bad, might still win. Democrats should never root for the worst Republican to win the nomination. We really, really don't need a Senator McDaniel.

  104. Many of the readers of the NYT tend to be urbanites and don't fully understand the southern mentality. Home, God and family are the sustaining pillars of many households here. Outside influences which challenge or disturb this balance are not welcome. They may not measure up to other states or the national average but that's OK; they take care of their own. Starting with Kennedy and continuing through the Johnson era, the war on poverty was seen as one big democratic lie in the south. In 40 years nothing has changed and there's nothing on the horizon that says a new day is dawning for them because of the Obama administration. No doubt McDaniel is a flake; but he's Mississippi's flake and a potential poke in the eye to any democratic administration.

  105. It's also quite interesting that Wall Street is looking forward to Cochran's loss so that a somewhat populist Richard Shelby moves out of Banking and into Appropriations. His replacement: A Wall Street Friendly Republican. Mississippi is seeing it's Senator picked by outside money. And Democrats would be wise not to cheer that on. Because McDaniel's mentors are Cruz and Lee.

  106. Is this really a front page story? VA hospital; Bergdahl questions, Iran basically slapping us in the face and something..and the best NYT can do is cover a primary in Mississippi?

    We can all feel the country slipping away due to the political process. When a private citizen can offer a 100 million bribe (Ted Steyer) to a party, and it is legal, we all lose a little.

    Understanding the NYT distaste for any Tea Party candidate (like MSNBC, borderline obsessive), but really, is the suggestion that the Democrat controlled Senate (since 2006) and Presidency (since 2008) has set the US in the right direction. Foreign policy has been an unmitigated disaster, while economically nearly 1 in 3 citizens are being supported by government aid.

    Dems from Biden to Obama have said similar stupid ignorant things. Somehow they get a pass....and a laugh.

    There has to be hope for those who want to get a legit 3rd party with no party alignment. Tea Party had some good economic ideas, but once again, like the Progressives, once it started a social agenda, it lost me.

  107. Those who comment and are not from MS or not familiar with MS are obviously basing their comments on gut feelings based on preconceived biases and stereotypes against this southern state. Believe it or not, we have conservative blacks in MS who support McDaniel. We have white Dems who voted for McDaniel believing Childers would have a chance of winning in November. Not a snowball's chance in ... well. The race in MS is not about race. It's between grassroots Mississippians and establishment politicians. Every Republican politician in state office in MS (except Sen. Roger Wicker) have backed Cochran. Yet, McDaniel won the majority of the votes. Cochran is rumored to be incapable of cogent thought. He's 76 years old. He's represented MS well, but it's time for new blood. And, young people are using their brains when they vote for McDaniel over Cochran. Those who say otherwise are clueless about this race. Bless their little hearts....

  108. Democrats are delusional if they think Childers will win against McDaniel. Most people down here don't understand that they get 3 1/2 times the money from Washington than they send in. McDaniel will run on the "spending in Washington is out of control" ticket and win against the porkmeister, Cochran. It will be interesting to see how people react when the only "bacon" they have will be the stuff you fry up in a pan. One of Mississippi's biggest problem is the overpowering religious fanaticism that is a weird brand of Christianity that knows nothing about the teachings of Jesus.

  109. more important than what has been said - what has not been said. neither cochran nor mcdaniel has offered a viable solution to any of the nation's growing set of problems.

    they keep talking and nothing worthwhile is coming out.

    as in many other races - neither candidate has said anything that makes them deserving of even one vote, now or in novemeber.

    this is the sad state of american politics - lots of words - but all of them useless.

  110. When is the Grand Old Party going to learn, that goobers like Chris McDaniel are terrible candidates. If McDaniel wins it is obvious that Mississippi's educational system is lacking.

  111. Forget it Jake, It's Mississippi

  112. Compared to the situation in Ukraine and elsewhere (Cairo) this is a lot of fun.

    Mamacita? Not being a native Spanish speaker I have not idea how insulting this is. Something like 'welfare queen'?

    Funny thing. These Southern Male Tea Party Pretty Boys look very similar to each other. This guy will do well next to Senator Cruz.

    Eventually, in some10 years, these creeps will be history. Not in 2014, though.

  113. How could anyone be "gleeful" about a guy like McDaniels that enough voters anywhere would vote for to force a run off. This is frightening.

  114. I've never been a fan of this two-party, 4-8 year power sharing arrangement we have between Dems and Repubs that we call a 'Democracy", but for the Tea Party to rise so quickly to become a viable party boggles my mind. We need a 'Rationalist' party to specifically conteract the irrationaliism in politics today.

  115. Biggs- The Democrat glee is because this McDaniel says publicly the things that Cochran represents but keeps hidden and comes out as government shutdowns and the like, not because McDaniel is incompetent. Do you really think that Todd Akin's comments on abortion do not represent a size-able portion of the republican party's candidates and voters? People who deny evolution because they cannot resolve the paradox with their religious beliefs any other way not only vote, but run parts of our government. This is a chance to show Americans what they would get with a Republican majority in the senate. The decay is because neither religious dogma, nor, separately, ignorance are compatible with a pluralist representative democracy, yet those things are constantly injected into politics. Your "idealism" towards candidates is admirable but maybe naive.

  116. This is Mississippi after all and I think McDaniel has a good shot at winning the seat. I doubt any Democrat can win there- regardless of who the Repubican nominee is. It's a sad statement but true nonetheless and sorry to say- not complimentary to Mississippi. Great fodder for Maher, Stewart and Maddow though...

  117. The President illegally traded five high level Taliban terrorists for 1 deserter who would have been in military prison if he had not been captured by the Taliban and we are worried someone who said mamacita wants to represent the state with the the at or near the lowest literacy rate, highest poverty rate, highest obesity rate, and and most Federal government support?

  118. “Process as process is neither morally good nor morally bad. We may judge results but not process. The morally bad agent may perform the deed which is good. The morally good agent may perform the deed which is bad. Maybe a man has to sell his soul to get the power to do good.”
    ― Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men

  119. Politics in this country have degenerated so far that voters are left with the choices of bad, intolerable and will someone please take me to the vet and have me put down.

  120. Since when does a candidate from Mississippi care what a New York Times article says about him or her. More fodder to allow him to be elected to the Senate. The Times isn't popular in the Deep South.

  121. I remember traveling through Mississippi with my family. It was a hot, sultry summer in 1962. We were in a rural area when I car overheated. We pulled onto a dirt road that took us to a falling down shanty. The black family who lived there didn't have water and sent their son to get water from a creek. After helping us put out the fire, my father tried to give them money but they refused it. Three years later my father would travel all over the South desegregating hospitals as part of his job with the Feds. He would come home with stories of the hostility and hatred that he met in every state including our state of Texas. The worse states: Mississippi and Louisiana. Take a look at the Kids Count Data from Annie E. Casey on how well children and families are doing in Mississippi - it's tragic. To me, Mississippi is stuck in some Confederate time warp unable to join us here in the 21st century.

  122. I am interested in the idea--mentioned in the lead paragraph--that Mr. McDaniel is "sometimes unpredictable." If he were "always unpredictable," would that make him more or less predictable?

  123. The only real difference between the tea and "establishment" folks is that the tea folks say in public what the establishment only says in the locker rooms of exclusive country clubs where there are no cameras.

  124. If all the Democrats can do is wait for the Republicans to self-destruct, it tells you why voters are not particularly enthusiastic about the Democrats.

    Yes, the Republicans will eventually self-destruct, as almost all political monopolies do, when real differences are transferred to intra-party feuds from inter-party disagreements. Meanwhile, though, it is the people who suffer, as the political machinery tries to adjust.

    Also, before Commenters get too indignant about the evils of Mississippi, I would just note that 300,000 people voted on Tuesday in California for Leland Yee, who is currently under indictment for arms trafficking and major corruption.

    It does no good in efforts to help the marginalized to play into the polarization game by stereotypying Mississipians or Californians.

  125. I've met a number of right-wing, anti-intellectual people over the years who have either been named or have named their children after prestigious universities to which they have no personal or family ties. There was the guy from Iowa named Yale (who attended Iowa State Univ.) and the lawyer in my Midwestern hometown, a cultural warrior of the first stripe (who attended a local college), who named his son Princeton. And now we have Chris McDaniel, graduate of William Carey College (a private Christian college in Hattiesburg), naming his son Cambridge (one wonders if there's also an Oxford in the family). Weird phenomenon. These people have such a love-hate relationship with "elite" cultural status, and such a warped sense of their own supposed victimhood.

  126. Yet Yale is populated by 1%ers, some fourth generation, who have multiple names to denote their prestigious blue blood families. So that the poor from Mississippi or other flyover states are left out and ridiculed. I guess the further irony is that a Yale study found Tea Party members to be more scientifically literate than average. The Yale professor stated "“But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the tea party,” he continued. “All my impressions come from watching cable tv — & I don’t watch Fox News very often — and reading the ‘paper’ (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused Internet sites like Huffington Post and POLITICO). I’m a little embarrassed, but mainly, I’m just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view.” I wouldn't vote for McDaniel, but he's not dumb, either. Just mistaken.

  127. Like the lone Japanese soldier hiding out on Okinawa 35 years after the war ended, there will be retrograde thinkers in Miss in the year 2250 who think the Earth is 6500 years old and there's an alien under glass at Area 51. Reality denial hardens under isolation, or as the psychologist Rollo May put it, "It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.

    Mississippi stands as an exemplary place, and so yes it does affect voters here in, for instance, NH. NH people do not want to be associated with Mississippians, period. When we think Mississippi, we think fat evil sheriff and police dogs tearing the clothes off a black man in a suit & tie, under a fire hose.

  128. look at the audiences at each speech made by both candidates - white faces all.

    i hear the words - 'cut spending' - yet mississippi gets $2.20 for $1.00 of federal tax revenue collected.

    what would happen to the state's economy w/o all that federal money?

    none of this adds up to anything positive.

  129. I've read that it's closer to 3 to 1. Either way, it's hard to believe they'll vote for being even poorer (McDaniel).

  130. “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”
    ― Eric Hoffer, The Temper of Our Time

  131. What one person finds controversial, another finds acceptable.

    An intolerance of any kind still makes you a bigot.

  132. It's Mississippi, for God's sake. I'm surprised they're letting either of those guys run -- both of them married out of the family.

  133. Jim, I don't think that stereotypes are helpful to the conversation. In this case, it's pretty ironic that, not only is the Tea Party candidate married to a beautiful and smart pageant winner, but his oppenent's elderly and gracious wife is in hospice and this has been a campaign issue involving dirty tricks. You think more alike with those folks than you will ever know.

  134. If Democrats were smart they would do to the Republican party what the Republican Party did to the Labor Unions. i.e. Take extreme examples of Republican politician and Pundits (Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh type) and project them onto the entire party (which is held hostage by the Tea Party during the primaries) in a frontal, non-stop attack through progressive talk shows on TV and Radio, white papers turned out by progressive think tanks, in Social and Mobile media, advertisements and so on. Force the main stream media to carry these stories of extreme, weird statements, policy papers and so on and debate whether they represent the Republican party view and force the Republican Party leaders into 'damned if they do (during primaries) and damned if they don't (in general election) to disavow or distance themselves from the Tea Party zaniness. Democrats have the opportunity to force the Republicans so far to the right during primaries that they would need a space shuttle to come back toward center where general elections are won.
    Learning to and actually fighting dirty is the only way for Democrats to sideline the Republican party for the next 2-3 decades.

  135. It warms my heart to see a potential, maybe, kinda hopeful possibility that a democrat may actually get elected. Overcoming the overwhelming national stigma of a party that has become corrupt, incompetent, and untruthful. And downright hurtful to the middle-class.

  136. Contests are set in approximately 50% of the states for November's elections, and with few contested primary elections remaining on the calendar, Republicans are enjoying clear advantages in their quest for a Senate takeover.

    Republicans have largely avoided the same mistakes of 2010 and 2012 in which the party nominated far-right, foot-in-mouth candidates who cost the party winnable seats in Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Missouri and Nevada.

    This year Republican nominees in Democratic-held seats in South Dakota, West Virginia and Montana have consistently led in polls and are favored in November. Victory in these 3 states would provide half of the six seats Republicans need to net gain for Senate control.

    The Rothenberg Political Report forecasts Republicans will gain 4-8 seats this November.

    The Republican Party has largely chosen candidates favored by the establishment this year but many are still untested as the races shift to general election mode.

    Republicans are defending only 2 Senate seats considered highly competitive — in Kentucky and Georgia — compared to 6 seats Democrats will be challenged to hold in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and North Carolina.

    Republicans have also sought to expand the map by getting strong candidates on the ballot in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Oregon, where Democrats continue to hold leads but where the party could be in trouble if 2014 proves to be a seismic election year against Democrats.

  137. Apparently some states never learn. All that poverty in MS and they continue to elect Republicans. Hey, you never know. Maybe THIS time the wealthy elites will do a little trickling down on MS.

  138. Todd Akin may have lost to Claire McCaskill in Missouri, but this is Mississippi where McDaniel's stands and off the cuff comments reflect the majority of the state. Get ready for Sen. McDaniel.