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NRSC race card play against challenger hurts us all

NRSC race card play against challenger hurts us all

Saturday Night Card Game: If these tactics are needed against Chris McDaniel challenging Thad Cochran, maybe the race is worth a look.

I don’t know much about Chris McDaniel, who is challenging Thad Cochran in the Mississippi Republican Senate primary. I also don’t know much about Thad Cochran.

I haven’t studied the race, or taken a position. I don’t back a challenger just for the sake of backing a challenger.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, however, backs an incumbent just for the sake of backing an incumbent. NRSC is, in Prof. Reynold’s words, “an incumbent-protection club. That’s basically its job.”

Which means backing any Republican Senate incumbent, no matter how bad and no matter how good the challenger. That means Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey; Bob Bennett over Mike Lee, and so on.

Brad Dayspring is the Communications Director and Strategist for NRSC. While his Twitter feed has the obligatory disclaimer that his tweets are his own, he does seem to use his Twitter feed as part of his NRSC mission.

A tweet on April 3 by Dayspring about McDaniel accused McDaniel of “associat[ing] with white nationalists & segregationists” based on a linked story at Talking Points Memo. (H/t The Other McCain)

The TPM story reported that McDaniel backed out of an event after it was revealed — by a local pro-Cochran blog — that one of the vendors displaying at the event was pro-segregation.

That’s it. No allegation that McDaniels himself was pro-segregation, or speaking at a pro-segregation event. Only that there was a vendor at the event.

That’s the sort of guilt by remote association we expect TPM and others to use against Republicans. Robert Stacy McCain, who has an extensive write up on it, correctly states:

The attempt to turn this into a scandal is like saying that if a candidate campaigns at a county fair, he thereby endorses every rip-off carnival game at the fair.

It’s not surprising that NBC picked up on it, which Dayspring also tweeted out, asserting that McDaniel was not vetted:

Dayspring responded to criticism that he was pushing the Democratic Party line of attack on Republicans by suggesting he was simply reporting what already was out there:

Is this really where NRSC strategy is going? To defeat a challenger using the type of tactics routinely used against even Republican incumbents by the liberal media?

If there is evidence that McDaniel has a real segregationist problem, then give us the evidence. Otherwise, make the case for your candidate or say nothing at all.

Dayspring has not yet responded to an email requesting comment.


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Subotai Bahadur | April 5, 2014 at 9:24 pm

AND as Instapundit noted, it is like they don’t want Conservatives or TEA Party members to show up to vote in Novemeber. If what was in theory YOUR OWN PARTY calls you a racist, are you going to be all that eager to vote for the candidate on whose behalf they called you a racist, or are you going to consider cutting your losses and either go unaffiliated or work for a 3rd party?

Subotai Bahadur

Juba Doobai! | April 5, 2014 at 9:25 pm

The NRSC, doing its best to alienate the base. McDaniel should not have withdrawn from the event. It shows weakness; it shows he will fold easily under pressure.

Just vote Libertarian to show the Repub. establishment you can actually find the polls and vote for someone else. The elephant is dead.

It’s silly to go to war over this, but why are you lining up in a circular firing squad?

My goal is to see Dems defeated. Period. And any candidate that loses a winnable election (a la Akin, O’Donell, etc. detracts from this.

Let’s win the battle first, and then argue over any spoils. Victory first: victory only.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to mian9. | April 6, 2014 at 10:06 am

    We are not “lining up in a circular firing squad”. We are standing here minding our own business, literally, and are under open, declared attack by the GOP for nothing more than being conservatives.

    How can you have missed the fact that your way – do whatever the GOP says in order to win elections – has produced nothing but failure, while the conservative Tea Party in 2010 produced one of the biggest landslide victories of the past century?

    The GOP wants to ditch the conservative wing because they’ll insist on crazy stuff like lowering taxes, cutting spending, and following the constitution, and believes it can gain members by thus attracting more independents. This approach failed in 2006, 2008, and 2012. It will fail in 2014 and 2016 too.

    Yeah, this ‘shut up and do like we tell ya’ schtick from the GOP is over. Winners, not losers, dictate direction.

      2010 was a great year for REPUBLICANS, though it could have been better had we taken the Senate, which many thought was likely but didn’t happen due to a few bad candidates.

      I have nothing against the Tea Party faction of our party. The only thing that matters to me is that my party wins elections.

      Victory first, Victory only….

        Henry Hawkins in reply to mian9. | April 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm

        You are still not getting it. 2010 would not have been a great year for Republicans if you remove the TP vote. The TP saved the GOP in 2010. Now the GOP openly declares it wants rid of the TP GOP members. That will guarantee defeat for the GOP and quite possibly the beginning of the end of the party.

        Used to be the GOP could count on conservative support based on ‘where else they gonna go?’ Well, that ended the minute the GOP leadership announced its jihad against Tea Party members and conservatives.

      this ‘shut up and do like we tell ya’ schtick from the GOP is over

      I hope you’re right, Henry. It’s so pervasive, though. Even friends and family will say, “But you have to vote for Scott Brown (fill in your favorite RINO).” I’m proud to say I sat out both GW Bush elections. I’m embarrassed that I voted for Romney, but that’s the last time.

        I like the Buckley maxim to vote for the most small-government, constitutionally minded candidate as possible that will win the general election.

        Of course the problem is in discerning who this candidate is. Too often party selected candidates say the right thing and the govern differently. (This happens as well with un-vetted candidates.) This choosing comes in the primary campaign and not the general election.

        Example: who in NJ3 is truly the small-government, constitutionally minded candidate: Steve Lonegan or Tom MacArthur; and can both win the general?

        In MS we know that whoever wins the primary (assuming the candidate isn’t a basketcase) will win the general.

        Radegunda in reply to JerryB. | April 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm

        Meanwhile, leftists vote for Democrats they regard as too “conservative” because they know that letting a Republican win means they get farther from their goal.

        Romney may have been only halfway between what you want and what we have now, but the notion that it would make no real difference is crazy.

        So is the idea that letting Democrats win is a way of “sending a message” to the GOP that they need to be more conservative. The message it sends is that voters prefer Democrats.

        Campaign for your candidate in the primaries. Stop the Democrats in the general. Then keep pressing Republicans to do what you want.

          JerryB in reply to Radegunda. | April 6, 2014 at 7:15 pm

          Radegunda, if it would work, I’d keep with it. My take on it is that every time we vote for an establishment RINO, we tell them to give us more RINOs. Yes, it might slow the leftward progression, but it’s been going on so long that now we have RINOs supporting increased spending and debt, amnesty and Obamacare, and more. Dems in the 70’s were to the right of todays’ RINOs.

          The only way to stop the RINOs is to stop voting for them. They’ve shown that they’re willing to give the election to Dems if they can’t have their way. Now it’s our turn. If we can’t get a good candidate, let the RINO lose so we can eventually disenfranchise the RINO party.

These scorched earth tactics against primary challengers will continue until an incumbent scalp is taken.

Otherwise, the lesson will be they can ignore conservatives with impunity.

[…] Smearing a conservative candidate through the old “guilt-by-association” trick, it’s standard in the progressive left repertoire of dirty campaign tactics. The establishment GOP is doing it, too. […]

DINORightMarie | April 5, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Apparently Mark Levin either endorsed him or said great things about him on his show. He also has Sarah Palin’s endorsement.

Given that, I would say this is a lot like the race in KY for the over-the-hill candidate’s Senate seat – you know, Bevin vs. #mcconnelling.

If this is the only way they can take him down, he must be very good – and a real threat.

Thad Cochran is a RINO establishment guy. I’ll take Sarah’s word, and Levin’s, that McDaniel is the better man.

If the NRSC wants to support an incumbent, so be it. They don’t get a penny of my money and they can support whoever they want. BUT… when they lie and use progressive tactics against other republicans, it’s time to let their chosen candidates know that money from the NRSC is toxic.

    JerryB in reply to Sanddog. | April 6, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Bingo. I stopped giving money to anything “Republican” in ’92. The establishment faction shows again and again that they’re happier to throw the election to Dems rather than let a Conservative win. That’s what this hateful tripe does, it alienates us conservative voters. The NRSC, Rove, et al, will cost us a Senate victory this fall.

Thad Cochran is one of my least favorite Republican Senators. When you speak of a GOP guy bringing the pork, he’s the King, at least since Trent Lott retired. To an extent, it’s understandable since Mississippi is a dirt poor state, #50 usually. But he’s always been about the pork. And his lifetime ACU rating is just over 78, barely over the GOP Senate average of 76. I expect Southern Senators to be a bit more conservative.

I don’t know much about McDaniel. What I have heard is positive.

BUT this was a couple of tweets – which has to be something less than a blog post, right? – and people are going berserk over it.

Frankly, it’s embarrassing. Mountain out of a mole hill, Dayspring is one guy at NRSC and doesn’t pretend he speaks for them on his Twitter feed.

NRSC is of course an incumbent protection group first. It’s part of candidate recruitment – “we’ll have your back at reelection time.” It has ALWAYS been so, and the DSCC is the same.

casualobserver | April 6, 2014 at 7:35 am

Those with national platforms – at least Levin and Palin as noted here – need to make a big deal out of this. Not necessarily as a key effort against Cochran, but at a lesson. Every time anyone uses such despicable tactics, it should be brought to light and ‘disinfected’ for all to see. In this case, an attack on opponents with guilt by association and for the “R” word, no less, is not just unwelcome. It’s dangerous. Using TPM as a source says a lot, too.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | April 6, 2014 at 10:12 am

The establishment ALWAYS takes our vote for granted. They know that many of us would rather poke our own eyes out with ice picks than vote for a liberty killing statist Democrat, or any of the fringe parties (except maybe Libertarian). Our only choice is voting or not voting. In 2006, 2008, and 2012 many chose not to vote.

Despite the conventional wisdom that Republicans will win big in November, I am not so sure.

Republicans have already shown their loyalty lies with the Chamber of Commerce who wants them to grant amnesty to several million foreign invaders. I have no doubt that will be high on the agenda in ’15 whether Republicans win the Senate or not. And as I’ve said before, full repeal of Obamacare is off the table. Only Ted Cruz regularly pushes that. So they’re going to pretend they want to “repeal and replace” it, but whatever we end up with is going to be a Big Government payoff to the rent seekers who have bought the Obamacare lobbyists. And that ain’t us.

So when Republican voters figure out that amnesty is a fait accompli and Obamacare is effectively here to stay, why would Republican voters show up to vote?