By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
After reading Ann Coulter’s all-out scathing attack on Chris McDaniel and grassroots conservatives yesterday, the question must be asked: what in the world has happened to her? Has her brain been mysteriously rewired by the political elite, like the vice-presidential candidate in Denzel Washington’s remake of the Manchurian Candidate?
First she takes a big fat fee to be the keynote speaker at a big pro-gay extravaganza, Homocon, then endorses Mitt Romney early in the 2012 campaign, and now she condescendingly attacks the Tea Party. With friends like this...
Worse, her attack on McDaniel and his camp is wrongheaded and unprincipled in almost every respect.
Coulter begins her column this way:
Chris McDaniel, candidate for the U.S. Senate from Mississippi, lost the Republican runoff to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran last month, and now he is being led down a primrose path to political oblivion. McDaniel's passionate supporters think that a moment of crisis for the country is a good time to treat control of the Senate as if it's a prom queen election.
This is condescending and patronizing, not only to McDaniel’s supporters but to McDaniel himself. This is hardly a “prom queen election.” It’s a hotly contested election for a seat in the most powerful deliberative body in the world.
And she treats McDaniel as if he is not his own man but some rube who is gullible enough to be led around by the nose by Tea Party hicks. McDaniel in fact is principled, articulate and strong, things that Coulter would readily recognize if she was basing her view on the facts instead of...well, I don’t know what she’s basing her views on.
Mississippi politics can be a swamp, and the skulduggery pulled by the establishment GOP in this race is enough to send the base fleeing the so-called Big Tent at warp speed.
There are credible accusations of vote-buying, from no less a personage than Rickey Cole, the chairman of the Democratic Party in Mississippi, who is certainly in a position to know if Democratic votes are being purchased.
And we now know that Amanda Shook, a campaign operative for Cochran, was walking around with almost $53,000 in envelopes stuffed with cash. Even the Cochran camp has admitted that they“screwed up” in properly accounting for this money.
Cole was openly critical of Cochran’s effort to induce Democrats into voting in the Republican run-off, calling it a matter of “honor.” His view is quite simple: gentlemen do not vote in other gentlemen’s primaries, and in particular, gentlemen don’t pay people to do it. When it’s the Democrat who holds the high moral ground, you know the Republicans behind this stunt are lost in the ethical weeds.
The Cochran campaign report says the $53,000 represented“reimbursement” to Shook, which raises serious ethical questions. Where did she get the $53,000 to begin with? Whom did she give it to? If it wasn’t to buy votes but to pay campaign workers, who are these employees, and is anyone withholding their taxes and reporting their income? And what exactly did they do for their cash money?
If anybody is behaving like children “at summer camp,” to use Coulter’s snide phrase, it’s the Cochran campaign. I’ve talked with seasoned campaign consultants who say they have never seen anything like the reporting sloppiness they have observed in this campaign. Even Cole, the Democrat, knows that in a federal election you just don’t deal in cash. The FEC wants a paper trail, and the Cochran campaign can’t provide one.
What’s worse, these reporting irregularities - which may be an effort to conceal criminal conduct - are just in connection with the June 3 primary. We haven’t even seen Cochran’s report on expenditures for the June 24 run-off. We can’t wait. It’s guaranteed to be a real doozy. I’m guessing the Cochran folks are right now spending some long nights trying to figure out how to massage the numbers so that somebody doesn’t go to prison.
On top of Cochran campaign irregularity, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has $175,000 unaccounted for, which was supposed to go for ads in its name that have never been produced or aired. Instead, that chunk of change was apparently laundered to produce ads in some other outfit’s name (All Citizens for Mississippi) that ran in African-American communities. These ads accused McDaniel of racism and created the impression he’d wear a KKK hood on the floor of the United States senate if elected.
The All Citizens for Mississippi group has yet to file its legally required forms showing where it got the money for the ads. Since federal law prohibits any coordination between the NRSC and any outside groups, such as All Citizens for Mississippi, the missing forms may be missing for a reason. Somebody has a pile of excrement they’re trying to shove under the couch..
Coulter falsely argues that Cochran actually won the majority of Republican votes. This is laughable as well as ignorant. Every experienced observer knows that Cochran owes his margin of victory entirely to the black community, which furnished him with 35,000-40,000 votes. Even the guy that took over Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight political analysis operation says flatly that McDaniel won the Republican vote by 8 points.
Bottom line: McDaniel won the Republican primary and Cochran won the Democratic run-off.
All this is hardly a “color war at summer camp,” as Coulter snarks at the end of her column. There are matters of justice and integrity here that by all rights ought to be resolved before the open gaze of the courts and the public.
If Ann Coulter can’t see that, it may be because she is looking through glasses she got from Karl Rove and Haley Barbour.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)