Kate Cochran’s father, Senator Thad Cochran, won the Mississippi run-off by a hair Tuesday, buoyed in part by support from Democrats who have no desire to vote for him, but prefer him as the “lesser of two evils,” should the Democrat challenger lose in the election.
A CNN report noted that Democrats played a “key role” in keeping Cochran’s challenger, State Senator Chris McDaniel, at bay.
Thad Cochran, described by his daughter as a “Statesman,” was funded by donors such as former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and actively sought used black Democrat voters to swing the tight race in his favor. Cochran’s campaign may or may not have been behind robocalls to Democrats that bashed the Tea Party as racist, further lamenting that “[I]f we do nothing, Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel wins and causes even more problems for President Obama.”
As a commenter observed at the Daily Kos,
“Blacks did not vote for Cochran – they voted against the tea bagger who blatantly tried to use 1960’s era intimidation tactics to discourage them from voting.”
While the comment is decidedly “anti-intellectual,” it likely represents the well-honed perception of the Democrats who illegally voted for Cochran. While the Mississippi statute has been described as “unenforceable,” it is still dishonorable (and unlawful) to exploit the unenforceable law by actively encouraging people to break it.
You are a “lawmaker,” @SenThadCochran. So, if a law is unenforceable, does that mean that you can openly encourage people to break it? #tcot
— Renee Nal (@ReneeNal) June 25, 2014
Although Senator Cochran claimed in February that “[T]he Tea Party is something I don’t really know a lot about,” his daughter has plenty to say about the people she refers to as the “New Right.”
Kate Cochran, an English professor at the University of Southern Mississippi with an eclectic and small body of work, is not happy with the “New Right,” i.e., the Tea Party, who she describes on a Facebook post as representative of a “horrible strain of anti-intellectualism,” consisting of people who have “no training, education, or experience shouting down those who bring expertise to the table.”
As usual with these types of statements, no evidence is provided.
Sounding very much like a dedicated progressive, Kate Cochran writes condescendingly that she is “struggling with this election,” because of her “personal feelings about the Mississippi electorate.”
“I think that Mississippians are being snookered by neocon zealots on talk radio, Fox News, and elsewhere. The New Right values extremism, obstructionism, partisanship, and–frankly–ignorance.”
Cochran continues to say that she is “disappointed” that the “New Right seems to want to walk hand-in-hand with the horrible strain of anti-intellectualism that sees universities as vocational schools and vilifies anyone expert in a field as somehow not living in the ‘real world’ or representative of ‘real people.'”
Cochran is generalizing an entire group of people, without examples, substance or explanation. She does not attempt to understand the Tea Party, opting instead to use vague trigger words like “extremism” to evoke a response from her readers. In the process, she manages to come across as what she seemingly despises, i.e., “anti-intellectual.”
The English professor continues,
“Mississippi used to be recognized as the most backward, prejudiced, ignorant holdback in our nation, hands down. This sea change makes me very afraid that we might deserve that mantle.”
Moving on to bash State Senator Chris McDaniel, her father’s challenger in the Mississippi run-off election, she writes:
“I think this is the reason that so many seem swayed by my father’s opponent: he is valued for his lack. Lack of experience (he is not a ‘career politician.’) Lack of wisdom (he relies solely on Jesus, the Constitution, and common sense*–combined in the veneer of ‘goodness’).”
Later in her post, Cochran clarified that “common sense,” means McDaniel’s “version of common sense, which is not sensical at all; that is, reasoning that keeping one dollar and refusing three from the federal government makes Mississippi come out on top.”
She continues, that McDaniel also illustrates,
“[L]ack of judgment (he vows to refuse federal monies and to try to impede legislation). Lack of specificity (what are ‘Mississippi values’?). Lack of perspective (how does he believe for one moment that a junior Senator from the poorest state will have any influence in Washington? How can he believe that he will not want his family to live with him in the D.C. area?).”
From the author’s perspective, Kate Cochran describes exactly the type of representative needed in America. The establishment Republicans may have more political clout, but America is hungry for principled representatives.
Cochran disagrees, as she writes,
“I see these ‘qualities’ as a disingenuous pose, engineered to appeal to the very worst in our electorate.”