Apparently Donald Trump isn’t very popular with the Republican establishment in Mississippi despite winning the state’s primary by 11 points. Bretibart News reports that state Chairman Joe Nosef (yes, Joseph Nosef) threatened to have Trump or Cruz supporters removed by someone “with a gun and badge” if they try put up new delegates that have not been vetted (approved) by party leaders. The threat came in a text sent by Nosef to Trump campaign official Mitch Tyner. Nosef has confirmed the authenticity of the text.
Not to worry though, Nosef assures Tyner that he just wants to ensure safety at this weekend’s caucuses where delegates will be selected. And surely (surely!) putting up people for election that are not approved by the state party bosses is unsafe and requires police action. Strangely, the state GOP in solidly conservative Mississippi has thrown much of its support behind the quixotic campaign of John Kasich and they’re looking to control the delegates in the event the Cleveland convention goes beyond the first ballot.
Nosef Claims He Speaks For The Governor
Still, Nosef’s text to Tyner is disturbingly forthright. He threatens to use police power to maintain party control over the election – not so much the process or the venue but the outcome – and claims he is acting on behalf of Governor Phil Bryant. Tyner says that Nosef was clear in a recent meeting between the men that he would use the state Highway Patrol to work his will. The Highway Patrol report directly to the Governor. Just 4 years ago, they were sent to monitor elections when Congressman Ron Paul threatened to beat establishment favorite Mitt Romney. It’s the sort of thing one expects in a Russian election but not here in the United States – and certainly not from the party that claims to defend the Constitution.
Nosef tells Tyner in the text:
The bottom line is I told you this can happen one of two ways either we work together and include people that we trust and also happen to be Trump and Cruz supporters or we just put whoever we want to on there have a big fight and end up in the contest committee in Cleveland. And like I told you I can promise my cousin and anybody else if they even so much as raise their voice they’re going to be outside in the parking lot and they won’t be back in and no I won’t be removing them somebody with a gun and a badge will be.
The state GOP in Mississippi is a microcosm of what is going on nationwide. The people who make up the party apparatus do not accurately reflect the views of rank and file voters. But the party bosses are intent on using their control of the levers of power to frustrate the expressed will of the people. And in Mississippi they are willing to use the police to do their dirty work. Breitbart quotes Mississippi conservative activist this way:
“There’s no question he’s doing anything he can do to oppose conservative candidates like Trump or Cruz,” said Noel Fritsch, a well-known Mississippi conservative who worked for McDaniel. “When he says include people we trust, he means people we can control.”
“Governor Bryant should immediately call for Joe Nosef’s resignation, and more importantly, he should make it clear that the state police will not be used to silence political dissent in Mississippi,” Fritsch said.
This comes on the heels of similar controversies in Colorado and Wyoming and just days after RNC Chairman Reince Priebus went on national television and declared that voters “don’t give a darn” about such shenanigans. It’s the equivalent of Marie Antoinette saying, “Let them eat cake.” (She never actually said that by the way.) But the people leading the GOP are just as out of touch with the electorate and their attempts to override voters could prove equally destructive to the Republican Party.