Internal GOP Rift Widens With Cuccinelli’s Call To Defund The NRSC

MS collage

Chris McDaniel’s campaign manager and Mississippi state Senator, Melanie Sojourner, took to Facebook on Independence Day – not to express her patriotism but to swear she will never ever endorse Thad Cochran. In a litany of complaints spanning three paragraphs, Sojourner expressed bitter disappointment and acrimony with the avowed enemy firmly in her sights.

Melanie Sojourner's Fourth of July message

Sojourner then linked her Facebook message to The Minority Report’s Conservatives, Remember Mississippi which calls on all conservatives to defund the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “This will get their attention like nothing else” declares blog author, Ken Cuccinelli, President of the Senate Conservatives Fund. It will – though possibly not in the way Cuccinelli intends.

The blog’s introduction lays out a point-by-point complaint of the Tea Party’s grievances against the establishment with the focus on Thad Cochran’s runoff campaign.

The list begins with:

> We must remember that the establishment urged Cochran to run against McDaniel even though Cochran wanted to retire.

Then tosses in a mention of Reince Priebus:

> We must remember that the establishment opposed McDaniel even though, according to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, McDaniel would win the seat for Republicans in November.

Refers to the “gun-grabbing” Michael Bloomberg and devotes three points to “race-baiting” before concluding with:

> We must remember that Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — who vowed to “crush” conservatives “everywhere” – raised over $800,000 from Washington, DC lobbyists and other GOP senators to help pay for Cochran’s attacks against McDaniel.

> We must remember that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) continued to oppose McDaniel after he won the most Republican votes in the primary, and then spent $175,000 of party money to defeat McDaniel in the runoff.

Contrary to appearances, Cuccinelli, in a highlighted sentence, accuses the establishment faction of tearing the GOP apart. This contradicts the widely-acknowledged perspective that it’s the Tea Party who launched a sustained attack on Cochran’s camp, an attack which has included the shameful exploitation of Cochran’s wife, a courthouse break-in on the night of the primary election and a threatened lawsuit challenging the run-off election results. Cuccinelli mentions none of these events.

Instead, he encourages anger and urges vengeful action in another highlighted sentence:

Conservatives should not fund a Republican committee that recruits liberal Democrats to defeat constitutional conservatives.

In the cock-eyed style of Grover Norquist, Cuccinelli calls upon all conservatives to sign a pledge to defund the NRSC and links to the pledge page. Signatories can also “like” the pledge page on Facebook and link it to both Facebook and Twitter. The final line reveals that the pledge is organized and paid for by the Senate Conservatives Fund with the disclaimer that it is not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. At the time of writing, the pledges numbered 8,987.

Cuccinelli’s contentious contribution marks a sharp escalation in this internecine feud. No longer is it confined to the Republican disputants in the Senate race in Mississippi. The Senate Conservatives Fund has taken it nationwide and targeted the powerful NRSC. In the race to November, the GOP may well find itself hobbled by a fierce battle within its ranks – and that’s good news for Democrats everywhere.

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

  1. Mopshell, thanks so much for an excellent article. And believe me, the reaction to it here is anything but “meh”! This kind of reporting matters!

    Wow… what does it say when the candidates in a GOP race consist of a guy who seemed to be clueless to the fact that Eric Cantor lost in a huge upset (and who brags about what indecent things he’s done to farm animals), and a flaming extremist whose operatives think it’s okay to illegally photograph a poor woman with Alzheimer’s in a nursing home?

    Can a contest possibly get any lower than that?

    Well, maybe with Cuccinelli’s help other contests can — and will.

    This GOP civil war is — more and more — looking like the very crazy vs the very, very crazy. The Morally Bankrupt vs The Anarchist Nihilists.

    But the real losers in this war will be the American people — if they fall for the sales pitches of any of them.

    Please keep the reporting coming, Mopshell! Well done.

    • Thank you, kesmarn, thank you very much. I can’t tell you how uplifting this encouragement is. (◕‿◕) One thing you guys can be sure of: I’ll always be honest!

      There are already many Americans who are buying the snake-oil these salesmen are selling. If the Republican party implodes, at least the scales may fall from their eyes. They may be dismayed for a long time but they will be better off in the long run. I think then they’ll split into two reactions: some will disdain politics and not bother to vote while others will become critical thinkers who question. I think on the whole, that will be a win for these Americans.

      • You’re so welcome, Mopshell. It really is fascinating to watch this whole schism in the GOP play out, isn’t it?

        I sure hope you’re right on the potential for some critical thinkers to emerge from this situation. Because they’ve been few and far between on the right lately, that’s for sure!

  2. There really is nothing that I can add to the mess this group has created. No matter how they try to spin it, the Tea Party has positioned itself against Black America.

    Does anyone believe the outrage would have been as fierce had Cochran won with White Democrats?

    We have to remember that this is Mississippi. This state has a history, a painful one. It is a state that has lagged near the bottom academically and economically.

    Mississippi makes South Carolina look progressive.

    • It’s a good point, Brodie. There was no investigation first, no pause; the tea partiers just jumped straight in and blamed it on African Americans voting! Having never been to Mississippi, I wondered how they could latch onto that particularly demographic so damn quickly.

      Then, in Sojourner’s Facebook message, she says:

      “Where I’m from, in rural Mississippi, I grew up knowing lots a God-fearing, hard-working, independent conservative minded African-American family’s [sic]. On the McDaniel Campaign we had two young men from just such family’s [sic] on our staff.”

      To me there are two messages in this: “our African Americans are better than your African Americans” with the usual racism denial as though that nullifies the accusation. It doesn’t at all; it just makes us wonder what jobs these two young men were given to do. Likely something in the not-seen-not-heard department.

      Their quick and reflexive accusation against the Cochran camp was overt racism in all it’s swampy odium. I hope they get their court case. I hope it does irreparable damage to the whole GOP.

    • This is like watching a Little League game after the Incumbent team beats the Oppositional Disorders, who react to their defeat with a collective tantrum supported by their division, The Sore Losers, streaming onto the field to join in the head bashing fray.

    • McDenial!!! LOL! I have never seen this before and it is SO appropriate!

      I just did a quick google search on ACORN because, although I’ve seen the acronym before, I didn’t know what it was about. What happened to O’Keefe and Giles? Who was the money behind them? What a despicable pair.

  3. Very interesting- these behind the scenes struggle, the inside ball that makes or breaks a game- are the key to understanding the big picture.

    Each side is blaming the other.
    Each is shouting charges about ideological betrayal.
    Each threatens to undermine the others base.
    Each demands the defunding of the other.

    This is the very definition of civil war….or rather the uncivil war.

    I am hoping that each side digs trenches and fortifies for a long siege.

    • The article as written was a progression. I stumbled across Sojourner’s Facebook message first and thought that would make an interesting addition to the general mess down in Mississippi. I wrote up that part of the story then checked on the link she’d provided. I think I read it through three times before I took it all in. I couldn’t believe what I’d stumbled on -- and with Cuccinelli’s name on it just to top it off.

      Given all the talk about a rift in the GOP between the tea party and establishment factions (always denied by anyone who was asked about it directly with the exception of McDaniel whom no-one was really taking seriously), I thought “I’ve found it -- I found the opening of that rift which can split the party nationwide”.

      Very excited by the thought that I had a breaking story in my hot little hands, I stayed up all night to write it. Result? Pretty much a collective “meh”. LOL So much for that idea! Happily, I’ve finally caught up on the lost sleep!

      • I have discovered that stories like this still need to be written. I write “meh” reaction stories all the time. If they have validity, impact they percolate and bubble up. I have seen things I have written, appear as “new” or “breaking” a number of time with MY wording…..

        So….do not despair….

        May I suggest that your explanation here might be a good introduction to the article…Basically you are making the case for why it is an important discovery and worthy of the attention of others.

  4. Simple The tea party will take the whole GOP down with this infighting!

    OH i looked up the mortality rates on older americans.
    The GOP being about 10 yrs older as citizens, They are losing voters at a 2.8/3.0 to 1 ratio to the democrats of dying of old age.
    Since 2012 that means approximately 2 million less GOP voters in 2014.
    For 2016 it is about 4.5 million GOP voters total.

    SO the younger citizens favor the democratic party also.

    Essentially the GOP will need more votes then ever just to keep their own districts in 2014 and much more in 2016!
    Look for more voter blockage bills soon.

    A synthesizer can sound like any instrument in the world today.
    A synthesizer can create instruments not invented yet also.

    Always prosper in the music you love the best!!

    • Mr. Music, I feel young, THANKS!

      I play cribbage with the old folks at the senior center Thur. nights. Every one of them votes and vote D NOT R. I guess Vermont is bucking the trend or has smarter old folks.

      Nirek, music lover!

      • HI Nirek,
        Well a cribbage player!! 15-2 15-4 and a run of 4 for 8.
        Yes i play cribbage also. SO glad you do this on Thursday.
        Those stats are for people that actually die around the country. The red states make up more of the lose by republicans.
        There is a shift in the old age vote toward the democrats also.
        SENIORS NOW HATE THE GOP!!!!!!!!!!!
        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/25/1250561/-GOP-Has-Lost-Seniors-65-Unfavorability

        SO what groups of single artists in music do you like the best??

        MR music? I looked behind me for my father when i read that, he died a few yrs a go. humor!!

        The ghost is my nickname for many reasons. You can use that.

        • Hi Ghost, I like lots of different music. Doris Day has the best voice. Doo wop is great! Folk music may be my favorite. Big bands, country, and Celtic music are close, too. I enjoy the weekend music thread and the only stuff I don’t care too much for is the loud noise that some call music.

          • HI Nirek.

            YA you like some good music. Lets see you are most likely older then i at 56?

            Doris day sure does have a great voice.
            I like the big bands also.

            The weekend music thread i have just found and somethings are good but not all.

            I have been writing original music for 38 yrs. I use classical, rock and jazz as structure. MY favorite group is the band ( Yes ) but i listen to all types. Not in favor of rape through.

            check this out
            https://soundcloud.com/userghost

            this will lead you to 3 of my compositions. If you want to listen start with
            ( ON the wings of Love )

  5. The latest in this ongoing story is that the Senate Conservatives Fund has given McDaniel $70,000 towards the cost of the lawsuit he’s mounting to challenge the results of the run-off. McDaniel’s lawyers say they believe the proper response should be to re-run the run-off. Meantime, the GOP have certified the results of the run-off and finalized their ballot. Hard to see how that can be changed whatever happens in the lawsuit. Oh and Sarah Palin is publicly backing McDaniel too.

  6. Perhaps I believed too much on the tale of David and Goliath when I was a child but I never fell or the idea of David in Goliath as the Tea Party seems to have positioned itself. Why does this group not have the courage to stand freely in opposition to the GOP? Why has the GOP allowed their near death by allowing the Tea Party to get this far?
    I simply see the Tea Party as very damaging to the American fabric and thier lack of courage and integrity are but two facits of why.

    • History, my friend.

      I have often referred to this period as Post Reconstruction II.

      During the first incarnation, a Tea Party-like group was able to undo gains made from the Civil War and strip Blacks a newly found power. Remember that in the mid-to-late 1800s, there were more Blacks in the US Congress than there are today — and there were fewer states back then.

      Now that there is a Black president, the Tea Party today is attempting to revisit that old playbook, and they have had some success. But two key factors are hurting them:

      1. There are more Whites, Blacks, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans who reject the politics of exclusion — and when this coalition votes together, the GOP becomes a mere afterthought. Only gerrymandered districts have allowed them to have a voice.

      2. Modern media. The battles and the rhetoric are public, out in the open — there for the world to see and judge. The nasty rhetoric from Limbaugh, Santorum, Plain, Cruz, Ryan, et al, is coming back to bite them an ways not thought of a century ago. Their hate is being exposed to the light of day — and there is pushback.

      Over the next two decades, this version of the GOP will fade away and go the way of the Whigs.

    • I’m wondering if it was the Koch brothers who guided the tea party people into the GOP. They wouldn’t have survived as a party on their own.

      Their only chance was to beat out the establishment in the primaries (which they did in 2010) but it would have been a different story had they stood as a third party in the general. Having a two conservative candidates (one Republican and one Tea Party) against one Democrat would have just split the conservative vote and given more seats to Democrats. The Koch brothers would have seen that even if the tea party didn’t.

      So the best chance they had to survive and grow was from within one of the two major parties. The Dems would have rejected them outright but the GOP welcomed them with open arms. However, the scenery from within the GOP is changing to a battleground so we may well see the tea party finally break away and try standing on their own in the not too distant future. Not because this would be a good idea tactically (it wouldn’t) but because tea party and establishment can’t stand each other.