- - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Mississippi Republican Senate runoff election between incumbent Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel proved two things.

First, it proved a conservative, principled candidate can run in an election. It also proved the establishment wing of the Republican Party is little different from the Democratic Party.

Their goal is power, and they will do anything to hang on to power.

Thad Cochran’s campaign was a sleazy, dishonest effort that ultimately relied on Democrats to cross over and vote for him, giving him a narrow 6,000 vote majority.

The Haley Barbour machine behind Cochran blatantly asked Democrats to vote in the Republican runoff and distributed materials calling the tea party racist.

It is time for the tea party to have a simple message to the GOP establishment: No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Chris McDaniel ran a principled campaign, while Cochran and the GOP establishment decided to unleash a scorched earth campaign.

They scorched the Earth; they shall now reap the fire. “Cry ‘havoc!’ said he who fought chaos with chaos, ‘and let slip the dogs of war!’”

If this is how the Republican establishment is going to be, two can play that game.

But for the Democrats crossing over, Chris McDaniel would have won the primary. Now McDaniel should make plans to be a write-in candidate this fall.

In a three-way race, McDaniel will carry more votes than Cochran, who won’t have Democrats to vote for him. He also will carry more votes than the Democrat will.

During the Mississippi primary, not only was the Cochran campaign in the sewer, but the Republican Party, which is supposed to be neutral in primary fights, did everything it could to help Cochran.

Ordinarily, when the conservative candidate loses in a primary, conservatives pull up their socks, hold their noses and vote for the RINO.

No more.

Party unity? Forget about it.

When a Republican candidate has to seek Democrats so he can get the Republican nomination, he is not a Republican. He is not a conservative, and he is unworthy of conservative support.

That is exactly what we have seen in Mississippi.

The idea of McDaniel being a write-in candidate is not without precedent. In 2010, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski lost the primary to Joe Miller and then ran a write-in campaign that ended with her winning re-election.

Party unity is not a two-way street. Conservatives are supposed to let bygones be bygones and rally around the moderate when the moderate wins the nomination, but when a conservative wins the nomination, all bets are off.

No more.

The tea party and the conservative movement have proved that Chris McDaniel can win. He must try a write in campaign this fall.

Even if he loses, the effort will be worth it.

The worst-case scenario is that the Democrat, Travis Childers, gets elected.

If that happens, then the Republican establishment will learn when you try to scorch the earth, sometimes your own house is the one that gets burned down.

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