Miss Susie CAN’T be thrilled with the competition:
A full review of the rules, starting in the Republican Conference, with an eye toward big changes. Chairmanships no longer based on seniority. Members having to choose between leadership spots or significant legislative positions.
And most of all, says the former speaker of the state House in Raleigh, it’s time for Republicans to stop paying attention to process complaints about hearings and regular order and reconciliation and the way it gets played in the political media—voters don’t care about that, he says—and focus on passing bills that become laws.
“When people are fundamentally opposed to the policy, they start screaming process,” Tillis told me in an interview for POLITICO’s Off Message podcast. “It’s hard to debate the result. They may not like the process, but if they don’t like the process, change the rules. Otherwise, you should use whatever rules are available to produce the outcome.”
Tillis wants to be cremated, and he wants the urn to say: “Husband. Father. Grandfather. RINO.”
Except he likes to make the initials stand for “Republican in Need of Outcomes.”[…]
*SIGH*. (It’s STILL not funny.)
[…] Tillis needs outcomes in the Senate. And he needs them as the finance chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He’s sick of trying to explain to donors and voters how a year with full control of all three branches of government has so far lacked any major legislative success. The GOP-led Congress is now barreling toward Christmas facing huge doubts about pulling off tax reform—and with the expectation that failing to get it would be penalized at the ballot box.
“If we fail to produce an outcome, it will be a very difficult couple of cycles in the U.S. Senate and in the House,” Tillis says. “If we don’t, then I think we will be fighting hand to hand in every state to point to the record of the members who are up for reelection and then to point to the credentials and the quality of the candidates in these other states we’re targeting.” […]
Oh, and — big guy — you need to start showing some concern about your OWN reelection. Liddy Dole’s turn at the NRSC didn’t do a thing for her fortunes at the ballot box in 2008.
[…] It’s a delicate time to be a Republican senator. Only one of their number—Jeff Sessions—endorsed Trump in the GOP presidential primary last year, and he’s now attorney general. Their leader, Mitch McConnell, is increasingly unpopular with the GOP base. Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is trying to throw out many of them, using his visceral connection to the Trumpian grass roots to endorse insurgent bomb throwers like former judge Roy Moore in Alabama.
Tillis says he doesn’t know either of them. He figures Moore might change if and when he’s actually part of the conference. As for Bannon, maybe he won’t be as much of a problem for Republican incumbents as he claims to be. (“He’s a useful voice,” Tillis says.)
Yep. Keep throwing rocks at that hornet’s nest.
[…] Tillis doesn’t know what to make of Trump—just last week he was using his question time at a hearing with Sessions to ask Trump’s attorney general to explain a presidential tweet about the future of the Dreamers, which both men admitted they didn’t understand. But he suggests that maybe some of what Trump is doing is purposeful chaos, which reminds Tillis of people he used to work with during his career in research and development who’d throw out all sorts of ideas to see which ones stick.
He knows that this is a generous reading of the president, and not all of it is strategic.
I ask him whether Trump makes him proud to be a Republican.
“I’m actually proud to be a Republican based on the ideals that being a conservative stand for,” Tillis retorts. “So I don’t need any one person.”