Mississippi: The Tea Party’s Golden Opportunity

A great injustice recently occurred in Mississippi.  A GOP primary was stolen.   Crafting deals with the proverbial devil, Sen. Thad Cochran secured victory for “The Establishment.”


It was ugly. 


And yet, the biggest Delta crime could next be committed by the Mississippi Tea Party…against itself.  Don’t doubt me here.  Opting for vitriol over vision, Mississippi’s Tea Party may well violate that sacred capitalist principle, “When Opportunity knocks, OPEN THE DOOR.”


And Opportunity is knocking for the Tea Party, folks—with a battering ram.


Let’s don our thinking caps, ‘kay?  Cochran and his ilk used the moronic Open Primary system to recruit Democrat voters for help against the Conservative Base.  Now, how will the memory of this action affect Republican primaries in 2016?  How about 2018?  2020?


I’ll tell you how:  For all those middle-of-the-road Republicans in Mississippi (and nationally, as it so happens), the choice between Establishment and Tea Party just got easier.  In seizing one primary victory, the Mississippi Establishment just became “The Bad Guys”—big time.  They’re branded now.  They’re cooked.  Hindsight being 20-20, Republicans will forever see Cochran’s message to be, “My ambitions meant more than honesty, party loyalty, or even America itself.”


Goodness, this guy is so unpopular, President Obama might refuse to swap prisoners for him.


By comparison, thanks to Cochran’s exploits, the Tea Party can now acquire more GOPopularity than all the Info-Hotties on Fox News combined.  How?  Just be the good guys.  For instance:


Cochran was disloyal; so be loyal.

Cochran was childish and petty; so be adult and magnanimous.

Cochran was divisive; so be unifying.

Cochran panicked for the moment; so calmly act for the future.


Should the Mississippi Tea Party do these things, they will own the Mississippi GOP for decades to come.  I guarantee it.  The game plan is so simple, it almost writes itself:


  1. For starters, plainly condemn Cochran’s actions for putting personal gain over party loyalty.

  2. Call for the end of Mississippi’s open primaries, stating, “Only Republicans should choose Republican candidates.”

  3. Again, state the obvious: “Any division on our side will help the Democrats—who just undermined our side.  Their treachery deserves no such reward.”

  4. Finally, pledge to help defeat the Democrats by doing what they most fear:  Unite behind our repulsive nominee. 


Yes, I can already hear screams of, “We won’t settle for the lesser of two evils!  We settled in the past, and look what that got us!  Not this time!” 


But in this case, the Mississippi Tea Party wouldn’t be settling.  They’d be capitalizing.  To see how, just imagine what comes next:  Over the coming years, loyal Republicans will recall two things from the Mississippi campaign of 2014:  Cochran’s corruption, and the Tea Party’s response.  And if the Tea Party counters Cochran’s misdeeds with clearheaded wisdom, those memories will be, “Cochran loved himself, but the Tea Party loved their country.”


Contrarily, should the Tea Party lash out in bitterness, the only remembrance will be of another Rightwing spat—no good guys, no bad guys, just two whining brats in Conservatism’s back seat.  Nothing to see here, folks.


Understand, I’m not opposing legal challenges by Cochran’s opponent—those are right and good. But for all other Mississippi patriots, I’m proposing they seize the moment.  Carpe do-it, people!  Cochran just handed you the future tied up with a bow; you need only unwrap it!


Paraphrasing “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” I always give the following advice (especially in politics): “Do not empower the weaknesses of others to control you.”  Their provocation doesn’t dictate your response.  YOU dictate your response, seizing whatever opportunity their actions afford you.  Don’t panic at their pettiness; expose it.  Profit from it.  In so doing, you will gain influence much faster than if no one had wronged you.  USE THE OPPORTUNITY.


Suppose Cochran had done nothing wrong.  What then?  Sure, our side would now have a better candidate, but the Mississippi GOP would move forward more divided than ever.


I cannot state this strongly enough:  If Mississippi’s Tea Party shows the loyalty and vision that Cochran abandoned, they will own the Mississippi GOP for decades.  Opportunity is knocking, people.  Having lost for the moment, you can dominate the future.


So don’t rob yourselves of this chance.  Cochran’s crime will quickly fade, but to waste this opportunity, well…


…that crime could last for decades.


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Comment by W. Branstetter on August 16, 2014 at 2:40pm

Thanks for posting this article.

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