Right wing gets it wrong in Mississippi

Filed under OPINION

00-georgecurryIf you ever doubted that conservatives were sore losers, the recent Senate election in Mississippi should remove all doubt.

After complaining for a half century about Blacks not voting  for Republicans, African-Americans did just that in the GOP runoff between incumbent Senator Thad Cochran and State Senator Chris McDaniel, a staunch Tea Party supporter. And because Blacks did not vote for McDaniel against their best interest, right-wingers are livid.

Rush Limbaugh called Blacks who voted for Cochran “Uncle Toms.”

According to a transcript of his radio program, he said: “I wonder what the campaign slogan was in Mississippi in the past couple of days: Uncle Toms for Thad? ‘Cause I thought it was the worst thing you could do as an African-American. Voting for a Republican is the absolute worst thing you could do, but somehow they were made to believe that voting for old Thad would be fine and dandy.”

Beck, Hannity chime in
Glenn Beck chimed in: “I have a question for every Black Democrat in Mississippi: What the hell has this 90-year-old fart –  a White Republican, the same White Republican that for years the Democrats have been telling you are nothing but old racists – you tell me exactly what Thad Cochran did for you.”

Sean Hannity, speaking on his June 25 edition of his radio program, said: I am so angry at this Thad Cochran/Chris McDaniel race, I can’t even begin to tell you. … And Thad Cochran, seeing his power slipping away after many decades as a senator in Washington, you know, knew that his career was on the line here. And rather than run with dignity and honor and integrity and honor and decency, what did he do? He did just the opposite. And he was appealing to Democratic voters.”

Hannity contended Cochran “perpetrated the worst libel, the worst smear against conservatives, against the Tea Party, which is this false narrative that you hear every election cycle from Democrats: that conservatives are racist, that conservatives are mistreating the president because he’s Black. None of which is true.”

Let’s take these idiotic comments in reverse order.

Yes, Hannity, Cochran’s career was on the line. McDaniel had edged him by 1,400 votes in the Republican primary and there was no way he was going to win the runoff without appealing to Black Democrats. It wasn’t an issue of “dignity, honor and integrity,” it was about his only chance of winning. Of course, some conservatives are opposed to President Obama because he’s Black.

Those who think otherwise are the same ones who believe Fox News is “fair and balanced.”

Glenn Beck, I will answer your question about what “old fart” Thad Cochran has done for Blacks in Mississippi: Nothing.

There is doubt that Thad Cochran would not be the Republican nominee without the Black vote, which is why he courted it. All 24 counties with a Black majority went with the incumbent.

Perhaps more telling, the turnout in the runoff was up almost 40 percent in those Black counties, compared to just 16 percent in the other counties.

It was deeper than that. It’s time for everyone to give Black voters in Mississippi credit for knowing what was in their best interest. What all of the pundits seem to miss is that Blacks were not necessarily voting for Thad Cochran. They were voting against Chris McDaniel. Either way you look at it, they were successful.

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA.)

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