I don't want to look but I can't turn away from McDaniel

July 5, 2014 

Hampton

Chris McDaniel is barefoot skiing toward that dorsal fin slicing through the water ahead. This, I tell myself, will not end well, and yet I can't stop rubbernecking.

McDaniel and his supporters insist they are well on their way to gathering convincing evidence that the results of the runoff should be overturned. Just who they are trying to convince has never been clear.

He hints he'll sue. Great. Same circus, different venue.

The dreaded "establishment" isn't backing down either.

"Put up or shut up," Austin Barbour, a key supporter of lefty Sen. Thad Cochran, said Thursday.

Let's pause for a moment and reflect. Thad Cochran is a liberal and some voters just shouldn't be allowed to vote in a GOP primary. Oh, and when contacted by Ouija board, President Ronald Reagan gave McDaniel a thumbs up and a bag of jelly beans.

Where's the rest of me?

Personally, I expected to be jostled a bit more when I slipped from reality into an alternate universe.

If Thad Cochran is a liberal, I'm a fighter pilot. And as for Democrats picking the GOP candidate, I think it's safe to say Cochran received more votes from Republicans than Democrats. Folks who say they revere The Gipper should know he would not have been elected without Democrats either.

Not that there wasn't GOP resistance to reaching out to the blue collar immigrants, the base of Reagan Democrats.

"The scions of the Republican Party didn't want these people with funny last names traipsing around their country clubs and private estates," wrote Craig Shirley in "Rendezvous With Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America," explaining why "those people" became Democrats in the first place.

The elephant in the room

The only "big tent" McDaniel cares for is the big top at the media circus.

Most days finds him on talk radio exposing yet another "flaw" in the state's electoral process. Most know that storyline by heart: McDaniel deserves to win, therefore any other outcome is evidence the game is rigged.

He's been a state senator for some time now. Wonder where he was when the media was griping about the state's wimpy open records law. You know, the law that stood in his campaign's way when it asked to see election records.

Why didn't he push the state to have closed primaries if he thinks that would be the route to fair elections?

He was probably too busy championing a child's right to spread communicable diseases in our public schools.

He clearly loves campaigning. Maybe he loves it too much, misses the adoring crowds too much. He's having a devil of a time giving that up.

But the campaign is over so he's reduced to gaming the system for publicity. His latest play goes something like this: Give me money so I can give you rewards for exposing voter fraud. Never mind that he says he's already exposed voter fraud. Seriously, don't look behind the curtain.

It is undoubtedly tough for him to give it up. But he should.

It's time.

Paul Hampton is politics editor at the Sun Herald. Reach him at 896-2330 or jphampton@sunherald.com.

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