During a morning campaign stop yesterday, tea party insurgent Chris McDaniel reportedly got into a confrontation with an elderly Democratic voter. From the Wall Street Journal:
“How, with no seniority and a promise simply not to get along with anyone, will you accomplish any of the things you want to accomplish?” shouted John Davis, a 77-year-old retired teacher who was shopping at Kroger’s grocery when he noticed Mr. McDaniel about to begin a meet and greet session with about a dozen local retirees.
While I understand Mr. Davis’s point — and it’s a good one — it is completely lost on McDaniel’s rabid supporters because they don’t care how much money incumbent Thad Cochran brings to Mississippi, they aren’t trying to send McDaniel to Washington so he can accomplish things for their state, and they don’t care that his intransigence will make him as unpopular on Capitol Hill as Ted Cruz. Instead, they want him to at least maintain the current gridlock — and drown the federal government in a bathtub if at all possible. More from the WSJ:
After things settled down, Mr. McDaniel – who is supported by tea party sympathizers who are no foreigners to shouting matches in their political events – told the coffee club that he didn’t mind the passion and disagreement but that the man should have sat down to discuss it more calmly.
“Dissent is a good thing in this country but you don’t do it in that manner,” said Mr. McDaniel.
Ironically, McDaniel’s supporters have expressed their dissent by spreading really vile smears about Thad Cochran. Four of them were arrested for a bizarre plot to break into a nursing home and take pictures of Cochran’s comatose wife in a bid to fuel those rumors with visual innuendo. And whenever reporters have asked McDaniel’s supporters about that strange story, they have responded at volume:
“I think I know just about every one of you in the press here,” he said. “I think I have met just about every one of you. I have to tell you, I’m very disappointed in you. You keep going after the sensational. Go after the facts that are critical of the lives of people!”
The activists standing behind and in front of Nicholson cheered as he went on. “Why are you interested in the actions of one guy who’s done something that’s humiliating to everybody rather than the 42-year record of Thad Cochran?” he said. “Stand up and interview Thad Cochran and find out what he believes!”
Laura Van Overschelde, a fellow Tea Partier, took the mic from Nicholson. “The press is supposed to be the Fourth Estate,” she intoned. “It is your responsibility, it is your job, to report what is important to every Mississippian. Not some sensational story you might be interested in!”
So opponents of McDaniel are required to calmly and quietly discuss their issues from a seated position, but his supporters are allowed to stand up and shout down anyone who offends them with difficult questions. Davis violated this very simple double-standard of decorum, and according to the tea party’s rules that makes his point of view irrelevant to all of Mississippi. See how that works?