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Rule of Law

Race-Baiting Mississippi Senate Runoff to Help Thad Cochran

June 23rd, 2014 - 9:21 am

The final days of the Mississippi runoff for United States Senate has taken a turn to the bizarre. Leftist academics and their “journolist” friends in the media are warning that Mississippi is about to return to 1963, where vigilante racists lurk about trying to scare away blacks from the ballot box.

We’ve seen the scare tactics before. Usually the effort to stoke up a racially paranoid base swirls around voter ID laws. Now, it swirls around laws ensuring election transparency.

I am helping to manage a poll-observer program across Mississippi in Tuesday’s runoff election between challenger Chris McDaniel and incumbent Thad Cochran. Using the Mississippi election laws designed to bring transparency to the election process and to record any illegal behavior, trained observers will be watching the polls.

Listening to the New York Times, you would think Jim Crow was back. They’re feeding the same false narrative: the Tea Party supporters of Chris McDaniel are bucktooth racists that will break the law to stop minorities from raiding the Republican primary to help Thad Cochran. The election observer program by conservatives, the Times reports,  “evokes memories of the civil rights struggles of the state’s past.”

Seriously.

Mississippi has total transparency in the conduct of elections. Observers are permitted to observe the process to ensure that Mississippi election laws are followed.

Central to Cochran’s survival strategy is an organized and open effort to get Democrats to raid the Republican primary. Mississippi law has a prohibition against voting in the Republican primary if you do not intend to support the nominee in November. The law is still on the books. A case which undermined the statute was thrown out and vacated by a federal appeals court. The closest thing there is questioning the law is an old attorney general’s opinion questioning the enforceability of the law.

The attorney general’s opinion, issued by a Democrat in 2003, doesn’t do what the left is claiming it does. For starters, it is simply an attorney general’s opinion. When I went to law school, we learned that such opinions are not binding authority. These days it seems that they are binding authority, as long as the left agrees with the outcome.

But the AG opinion cites eight reasons a voter may be challenged. Number 8 says “(g) That he is otherwise disqualified by law.” “Otherwise disqualified by law” certainly might mean they aren’t supposed to vote in the primary because they don’t qualify under Mississippi Code 23-15-575.

When I went to law school, we also learned about the canon of statutory interpretation that “courts must not construe statutes so as to nullify, void or render meaningless or superfluous.”

The chairs of the Democrat Party and Republican Party recognize what the academics apparently do not. Both are calling for Democrats not to raid the Republican runoff Tuesday. But that doesn’t matter to the partisans who don’t mind a bit of illegality if it helps them get what they want.

This has led Rick Hasen, the “Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science” at the recently accredited University of California at Irvine Law School, to publish a series of brazenly false headlines such as “Conservative ‘Election Observers’ in Mississippi May Be Meant to Intimidate Democratic Voters in Cochran-McDaniel Race.” (Link to Hasen’s webpage here.)

A lie. But no matter, he’s a professor. He must be right.

Hasen

Hasen

It must be wrong for courts to render laws superfluous, but ok for law professors.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
"This is why open primaries are harmful to society."

Actually, "open" primaries are just the symptom of a larger problem.

Why on earth are these private organizations (yes, they ARE private organizations) being allowed to use the public voting process, funded by tax dollars, to conduct their private business?

This is insanity! Yet most Americans consider it insanity to question it!

22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Establishment Republicans (the Democrats' best friends) are truly getting desperate and are beginning to identify themselves.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (32)
All Comments   (32)
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When I see leftie dems going all out to help a repub, and attack another repub, and I also see a repub actively courting dem votes in the primary, that tells me pretty clearly which repub to support, the one the leftie dems do not like. Any repub who votes for Cochran after this is an idiot.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
The only voters who are not allowed to vote in today's primary runoff are those who voted in the Democratic Primary 2 weeks ago, and those who openly pledge to vote for Cochran's Democratic opponent in November. It does not matter if a voter voted in past Democratic primaries.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
"In 2004, I was a registered Republican and voted for Kerry. In 2008, I was a registered Republican and voted for McCain in the primary (closed) and for Obama in the general. "

Thanks for letting us know that you have nothing to say worth hearing.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
The number of black Republicans in MS is very low.
Busloads of minorities coming to the polls tomorrow
would be a clear sign of fraud.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is why open primaries are harmful to society.

Registered partisans should not be involved in picking the candidate of the opposing faction.

Independents? Fine. But not registered party members.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mississippi is like Virginia. There is no registration by Party, and thus no such thing as a registered partisan.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Declare a Party or don't vote in a primary. No 'Independents'. It is a function of the political parties.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
"This is why open primaries are harmful to society."

Actually, "open" primaries are just the symptom of a larger problem.

Why on earth are these private organizations (yes, they ARE private organizations) being allowed to use the public voting process, funded by tax dollars, to conduct their private business?

This is insanity! Yet most Americans consider it insanity to question it!

22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's a fairly good point.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just because someone is registered for a party does not mean they are "partisans." Ever heard of "Reagan Democrats"?
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, yes it does, by definition.

Perhaps you are confused about what a party-san is?

22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
@DT Fla, Oh, that's not your only error.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
What other errors did he make?
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Claiming Iraq was a lost war (by us) when we most recently went in, for one.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
You were quoted as saying “Mississippi law prohibits Democrats from voting in a Republican primary.” This is, of course, false. Mississippi has an open primary system, meaning Dems can vote in the Republican primary and vice versa. The prohibition is on people voting if they have no INTENTION of supporting that person in the fall. And how, pray tell, would you challenge that?

Second, neither present registration nor past voting history is indicative of whether a voter will or will not support the candidate in the general. Ever heard of a "Reagan Democrat," or "Republicans for Obama"? People switch over all the time, so past voting patterns and registration do not indicate whether you will support that same party in the future.

And how are you going to work this supposed "challenge" system? You don't know if registered Dems are voting in the primary unless you check the party registration of EVERYONE who votes. So short of that, are you only going to challenge the Black people who show up to the polls to vote in the GOP primary? Naw, that is not racial discrimination at all! [rolls eyes]

So what is it that Adams would be challenging, exactly? Black people who show up to vote in the primary for the Party of Lincoln. You would challenge voters ability to cast a vote for a Senator with an 88% rating from the American Conservative Union based on their skin color. And you would have an all White squad of "voter integrity" activists interrogating and trying to turn away Black people at the GOP polls, for having the temerity to . . . vote Republican . . . .

The Dems could not make this stuff up if they imagined it . . . .
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
You can challenge someone if they voted in the Democratic Primary 2 weeks ago. That's it.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
First and foremost, he never stated “Mississippi law prohibits Democrats from voting in a Republican primary.” Nope, you wont find that quote anywhere in this article. Go ahead, search both pages for it. The first hit on both pages is your post.

What he stated was "Mississippi law has a prohibition against voting in the Republican primary if you do not intend to support the nominee in November." Go ahead, search the first page for it, you'll actually find that in the article. Adams repeatedly refers to Democrats raiding the primary. So what did you do when the facts didn't fit your desired narrative? You conflated the two items and put them together to create your lie of a quote, which you then follow with an explanation "The prohibition is on people voting if they have no INTENTION of supporting that person in the fall." as if you were correcting Adams, when in fact, you are the liar.

You then attempt obfuscation by invoking "Reagan Democrats" and "Republicans for Obama" as examples of legitimate crossover voting as if that somehow discredits the idea that some Democratic voters might be engaging in primary raiding. One does not negate the other and your lame attempt at obfuscation falls flat on its face.

Then you get to your real narrative - the implication of racism. Your carefully constructed prose intending to sound like reasonable objection to someone who didn't fully pay attention to what was stated in the article, setting yourself up as a reasonable person. Of course your real intention was to build up the case that culminates in your question regarding exactly what Adams plans to challenge - which you gleefully answer yourself with an implication of racism.

Your post is despicable.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is a clear implication of racism when white conservatives imply they intend to challenge Democrat voters who tend to be black in a state which has a long history of racial oppression of black voters.

The demographic makeup of MS is 47 GOP/38 Dem, and racially MS is 60 white/38 black. Given also that 90+% of blacks vote Democrat, it's readily apparent then that the majority of Dem voters in MS are black.

Challenging Dem voters in MS means largely challenging black voters in a GOP primary. That is a terrible, terrible idea both politically and probably also actionable as a matter of civil rights law due to obvious disparate impact. Obama and the Dems would love nothing better than for Adams and his comrades to pull exactly that stunt in the primary election today - it would be ample fodder for all kinds of political and legal blowback.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nonsense. Your statement is a logical fallacy. Challenging Democrats doesn't equal racism just because some demographic says that the makeup is primarily of one race. That view implies that if 100% of the Democrats were of one race then nobody would ever be allowed to disagree with anything they say without being accused of being racist against that race. BS. I have had enough of that false equivalence.

The only people injecting race into this article are you and the poster to whom I responded. Shall I therefore conclude that you and the other poster are projecting your racism onto Adams? No. Because I have no evidence to support such an accusation. All I know is that you are concerned about possible racist motives, nothing more. Since accusing someone of racist motives is a serious charge, you need way more than demographic data to make that case. You need actual evidence of racist statements. You have nothing like that. Without that evidence, your implication borders on slander.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
bkolly - nice deconstruction of how liars lie. I wonder if BRob moonlights at TPM Muckraker? He has their style guide down pat.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Projection .... in your world, everyone who agrees with you is right, and those who have a different opinion are liars.

It is that kind of rhetoric that makes people like you difficult to have a civil discussion with.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Incorrect, I clearly demonstrated the lie. There is no doubt that the poster created a quote out of thin air - I proved that.

You respond as if no lie was demonstrated and then attempt to re-cast it with the false rhetoric that the poster is being called a liar just because Adams disagrees with him. He is being called a liar because he was caught in a lie.

Then, after spouting your false rhetoric, you have the unmitigated gall to to state that it is Adams' rhetoric that makes it difficult to have a civil discussion. No sir, you spouted the false rhetoric that makes civil discourse difficult. Nobody else.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anyone who didn't vote in the Republican primary should be stopped from voting in the runoff. If it wasn't important enough to show up the first time, then we've no need for you to screw it up now. My wife and I voted. She's since changed sides - we'll cancel each other out, but we'll still vote.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Voter fraud in many counties is the rule not the exception. Wilkinson County is one of the worst.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Didn't Thad Cochran say something really (really !) dumb recently about what he and his buddies did to animals as children ?

Shudder.

Senator since 1978, in Congress since 1973.

Geez Thad, time to take a hike.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Establishment Republicans (the Democrats' best friends) are truly getting desperate and are beginning to identify themselves.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
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