After a brutal month of fighting between the Tea Party and the establishment in the hotly contested Mississippi Senate race, tragedy has struck. According to the Clarion-Ledger, sources have confirmed that Mark Mayfield, a Mississippi Tea Party leader, has taken his own life. The paper reports:
Mayfield is vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, and is one of the three men charged with conspiring with Clayton Kelly to photograph U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s bedridden wife in her nursing home and create a political video against Cochran.
Mark Mayfield of Ridgeland, an attorney and state and local tea party leader, was arrested last month along with Richard Sager, a Laurel elementary school P.E. teacher and high school soccer coach. Police said they also charged John Beachman Mary of Hattiesburg, but he was not taken into custody because of “extensive medical conditions.” All face felony conspiracy charges. Sager also was charged with felony tampering with evidence, and Mary faces two conspiracy counts.
Apparently accusations from both sides got too heated for one man to take. Was Mayfield incorrect is his judgment? Absolutely. Beyond a doubt breaking into a senior citizen’s home to tape a bed-ridden woman is beyond the pale. However, the response, the pressure, and the horrible things that were said only exacerbated the emotions in Mississippi.
In fact, I’d go even further. Both camps, McDaniel and Cochran, owe the state of Mississippi and apology. The over-the-top outrage machine that has been grinding across the media has become a monster, and now has taken a life.
Politics are important, yet no one should die over it.
Mississippi needs to find a soul, and it needs to find it now.