Here Come the Stereotypes in Mississippi

Connoisseurs of Old South political shenanigans are having a field day with the MS GOP SEN primary. Before primary day, of course, you had the whole bizarre saga of a cabal of wingnuts taking photos of Rose Cochran in her nursing home room to show that Thad Cochran had abandoned his state and its paleolithic conservative values, symbolized by his own wife, for the godless liberal big-spending ways of Washington.

It’s unclear how that whole brouhaha affected the primary, if at all; the best bet is that Chris McDaniel would have probably won without the distractions associated with the hijinks of people who were all big supporters of his.

Now in the runoff there’s a new saga that raises more ghosts of the Old South than you can count. Seems a PAC run by Henry Barbour (Haley’s nephew, and one of the supposed co-authors of the 2013 “autopsy” report of the RNC), which took big contributions from the very godless Mike Bloomberg and Sean Parker, is providing “walking-around money” in Hinds County (Jackson) via a “consultant” named “Scooby Doo” Warren to turn out African-American votes for Thad Cochran on June 24. And it seems the two main complainants about this alleged arrangement are the chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party and the Houston-based lets-get-suburbanites-to-go-harrass-black-people-at-the-polls group, True the Vote.

I won’t even try to unravel this rat’s-nest of craziness until more facts come out, but there’s probably no way this turns out looking good for Thad Cochran. And if, God forbid, I were a supporter of Chris McDaniel, I’d give the whole thing a wide berth. But I’ll doubt they’ll be able to pass up the opportunity to claim that a bicoastal cabal of secular humanist sybarites are buying the Negro Bloc Vote for ol’ Thad.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.