Dear Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus,
Please reassure the millions of patriots who represent the grassroots of the Republican Party that leading from behind only happens at the Obama White House, because your silence on what’s happening in Mississippi is being taken as tacit approval. Please prove to us you really represent us, too, and not just the corporatists who think they get to call the shots behind the scenes.
How else do you explain the fact everyone else seems aware that something rotten has happened to conservatives in the state of Mississippi, except for the chairman of the political party that claims to represent those same conservatives?
In case you had forgotten, exactly one month ago on June 24th, Sen. Thad Cochran mysteriously defied every credible poll and beat tea party challenger Chris McDaniel, who won the primary three weeks prior but failed to cross the necessary 50 percent threshold. Mr. Cochran won the Republican run-off despite Mr. McDaniel winning Republican voters by about eight points, because turnout in Mississippi counties President Obama won by two-thirds of the vote in 2012 skyrocketed 43 percent statewide.
Which begs the question, why would a bunch of Obama voters suddenly take an interest in a Republican U.S. Senate primary? Well, there are two options. Either all these folks just suddenly discovered after Mr. Cochran’s five decades in office that he really was one of them after all, or something nefarious occurred.
Immediately after the shocking result, stories of the GOP establishment using Obama/Alinsky race-baiting tactics against their own base began to emerge. As I detailed here in The Washington Times last month, just in case Reince, you and your staff missed that one, too.
Oh, I get it, those claiming Democrat money was used to smear Mr. McDaniel with race-baiting propaganda are all “kooks” and “spoiled sports.” So I guess that means former Reagan White House political director Jeffrey Lord, talk-radio titans Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, Erick Erickson at Red State, and writers for National Review and Breitbart (among others) are now “kooks” and “spoiled sports” as well. My, what a tremendous “big tent” we have.
Reince, last summer I attended a closed-door event where you asked a group of pastors to lay hands on you, and pray for you to be a good steward of the power you’ve been entrusted. So come now, and let us reason together.
A month has gone by and you’ve said virtually nothing about perhaps the greatest betrayal of the conservative base in the history of the Republican Party? A betrayal that appears to have been at least partially master-minded by Henry Barbour, a member of your very own RNC? Those pastors that laid their hands on you prayed for you to be bold, transparent and a man of integrity. Reince, will you honor the prayers those men said for you that day and prove to the people you claim to represent that this is still a political party that believes in honesty, rule of law, and defending the principles the base believes — not betraying them?
I’m not the only one asking, Reince. Ed Martin is the chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, a member of your very own RNC, and he sent you another open letter recently urging you to investigate this matter. Furthermore, some of the biggest names in the conservative movement recently expressed their “outrage” to you over what is going on in Mississippi. Accusing the RNC’s Barbour of coordinating a campaign in Mississippi that led to “casting of illegal votes, walking around money, race-baiting radio ads, race-baiting robo-calls, race-baiting fliers, and questionable financing.”
Some of the leaders who signed this letter to you, men like Richard Viguerie and Brent Bozell, have been leaders in our movement since before either of us graduated elementary school, Reince. Surely they are not “kooks” and “spoiled sports,” too.
Reince, in case you need to get up to speed on this whole thing, allow me to introduce you to a young, enterprising independent journalist named Charles C. Johnson. He was the first on the scene with the grisly details here. His website, GotNews.com, has an exhaustive list of evidence an election was stolen here that no one wants to believe is true, but no one has proven is false.
Have you looked at any of this yet, Reince? Can you verify for us if Mr. Johnson — and what he calls his “network of spies, housewives, autistic people, and government officials” — has uncovered here is fact, or can you discredit Mr. Johnson so we can get back to unifying to beat Democrats again?
Mr. Johnson says: “ I think we have rather conclusively proven that the national GOP and Mississippi GOP establishments conspired to steal an election so that their government-funded gravy train could continue. My team and I have shown that Karl Rove, Haley Barbour and his nephews, Romney consultant Stuart Stevens, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee were engaged in a disgusting race baiting campaign to scare black voters into voting against McDaniel lest the Klan return.”
Mr. Johnson’s work on this story has shown up nationwide in several other conservative media outlets, Reince, so surely we can’t just ignore this. After all, didn’t we just pan President Obama for golfing and fundraising while Israel was under attack and the country was falling apart?
The approval rating of our party is even lower than President Obama’s. People like our ideas, but don’t trust us to actually follow through. Now many in our own base don’t trust GOP leaders anymore, either.
You hold in your hands, Reince, the power to restore that trust. If you fail to lead here I suspect your successor will be writing another “RNC autopsy.”
Everyone who wants their Republican Party, and their country, back.
(Steve Deace is a nationally-syndicated talk show host and the author of “Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.” You can like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.)