PHILLIPS: The King Pyrrhus of the Republican Party

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Greek King Pyrrhus fought with Rome during the Hellenic Age. He won his battles, but his victories were so costly that eventually his armies were destroyed. This is where we get the term a “Pyrrhic” victory.

Haley Barbour is the Republican Party’s version of King Pyrrhus.

Barbour is the former Mississippi governor and ultimate Republican Establishment insider. He decided that he would ensure that Sen. Thad Cochran would win at all costs.

He did.

Cochran won, though the campaign of his challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel is challenging the results.

Most people talk about the coalition of groups that make up the Democratic Party. There is also a coalition of groups that make up the Republican Party. These include fiscal and social conservatives, tea party activists, some big business interests and defense hawks.

In his strategy to crush the tea rarty and ensure that Cochran would win, Haley Barbour and his team reached out to Democrats to cross over and vote for Thad Cochran in the Mississippi Senate runoff election on June 24.

There are allegations that the Cochran campaign engaged in an old Southern tradition of what is called “walking around money.” That is money given to preachers in primarily black communities to get the vote out.

The Cochran campaign, and presumably Barbour by extension, passed out fliers in black communities accusing the tea party of being racist and telling Democrats to go out and vote for Cochran to stop the tea party.

Cochran got his Democrats and his win.

But at what cost?

Assuming McDaniel’s challenges are unsuccessful, Cochran will face Democrat Travis Childers in the general election. There are discussions about McDaniel attempting a write-in campaign, but there is a division of opinion whether this is permitted under Mississippi law.

Cochran and Barbour destroyed the Republican alliance. They made war on the base, and now they are paying the price.

Tea party activists now are considering the possibility of returning the favor to Cochran in the general election — assuming McDaniel does not win a challenge or isn’t doing a write-in campaign — by voting for Travis Childers.

The Republican leadership in Washington better be paying attention to this.

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About the Author
Judson Phillips

Judson Phillips

Judson Phillips is the founder of Tea Party Nation, one of the largest Tea Party Groups in the country and the number one national tea party site on the Internet.

A lawyer by profession, Judson has been involved in politics since his teens. “Ronald Reagan inspired me,” he says.

Judson became involved in the Tea Party movement in ...

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