The vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party and one other suspect have been arrested in connection with the photographing of the bedridden wife of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.Attorney Mark Mayfield, a vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party and an officer with the Central Mississippi Tea Party, was arrested Thursday by Madison police. The second suspect arrested has not been identified.
But what hasn't been reported speaks to a larger issue in the narrative of this brutal Republican primary. Local journalists, national reporters, and Cochran supporters have been quick to point out that Mayfield was active in the Tea Party, but none have mentioned his longstanding connection and membership with the Madison County Republican Executive Committee.
The Cochran campaign would like you to view these people as radicals and outside of the mainstream. And they are correct.
What is truly unfortunate is that this does not exempt them from the establishment. Republicans (in Mississippi and elsewhere) have used the value of the Tea Party brand until it has worn thin; they are now looking to shed that brand. But as we've seen across the country, the only difference is how the words are spoken. Don't be fooled.
Meet the new Republican Party. Same as the old one.