He’s always turning up, like a bad penny. The drive-bys can ALWAYS count on our senior US senator to offer up something negative about conservative politicians or policies.
Thom Tillis has got to be feeling pretty good about himself. He’s pretty much neutered, co-opted and tamed newly-elected senator Ted Budd. The biggest threat from the right to Tillis’ 2026 re-election – Dan Bishop — is leaving DC for greener pastures in Raleigh and a run for attorney general. If Thom escapes the 2026 primary, he and his team will once again hit us with: “Hey, Thom is better than a Democrat.”
But IS he? Honestly?
Politico turned to Thom for thoughts on the fight within the US House GOP caucus. You might imagine Tillis is a little butthurt on the subject of conservative ire — given the fact that he got censured and roundly rebuked earlier this year by state GOP activists miffed by his quisling antics in DC.
Nevertheless, here is the wisdom Thom offered up to the holiest of the holy DC Swamp media outlets:
[…] In interviews on Monday evening, senior GOP senators said they believe Jordan’s come a long way from his Freedom Caucus founding days — and they largely welcomed the growing likelihood of him becoming speaker as soon as midday Tuesday.
Hoping to end the ‘nonsense’: As Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) put it in perhaps wishful-thinking terms, Jordan has “evolved.” The real question for Tillis is whether those eight Republicans who tossed McCarthy have “learned from their mistakes, and in my opinion, an embarrassment of leadership,” Tillis said.
“We can’t have this nonsense of a handful of people questioning a speaker every time we have to deal with difficult subjects,” Tillis added as he ducked into Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s suite for a leadership meeting. “So, give him a shot. This is not about Jordan. This is about a handful of people either providing a reasonably competent person to govern or not.” […]
Wow. Thommy is showing a little of his Xi / Putin side there. Questioning authority is “nonsense”? It’s a good thing to “evolve” from all that adhering-to-the-party-platform stuff, eh?
How about “leaders” who actually adhere to deals they make with their caucus to get elected? (McCarthy thumbed his nose almost immediately at the deal that ended his stalemate in January. He’s lucky he lasted as long as he did.)
It’s right up there with living up to your party’s platform and your campaign promises. What good is a government that you can’t trust? (Answer: Not much.)
Interestingly, Politico made an interesting point about Jim Jordan’s failure to get elected on his first floor vote. The common thread of the 20 GOP votes against Jordan? Most all of them are in charge of appropriations committees and subcommittees. (Included among the No votes: the brother of Lee County GOP chairman Jim Womack.)
The establishment likes to whine about eight “extremists” making trouble. Actually, you could argue that efforts by party establishment types to recruit and support candidates not too keen on the GOP platform has brought us where we are.
The GOP has won favor in the heartland by marketing itself as the party of small government, low taxes, less spending, and personal freedom. Yet the establishment sets a different threshold for the candidates they recruit: (1) a willingness to put the (R) by their name, and (2) a willingness to cater to the every whim of the millionaire / billionaire VCs and investors who dump big checks into party coffers. THAT’s IT.
A candidate who advocates a position that might result in smaller checks – or withheld checks – is anathema to the establishment. It would be nice to come across more big money types who cared more about saving the country than squeezing out personal favors paid for by US.
This game is a fraud against the people who vote to send these people to DC to represent them.
The people pulling the strings of the state and national GOP clearly HATE the folks who wear MAGA hats or attended Tea Party rallies or – God forbid – say nice things about Donald Trump. *Those people scare off the check-writers. So what if we offer 75 percent of what the Democrats offer? Maybe we’ll get some cash from their money people too.*
Dan Bishop was right when he spoke of his intention to vote against evicting McCarthy from the speaker’s chair. He said McCarthy was right where most of the caucus is RIGHT now. The state and national party structures have stacked the deck with unprincipled appropriators – like Thom – and shoved them down our throats, dishonestly portraying them as conservative fighters.
It’s like we’ve gone back in a Time Machine. Liberal Rockefeller “country club” Republicans owned the GOP through the first half of the 20th century. You were a Republican because you were rich and white. (Or because mom and dad were.) At one time, Republican representation in NC was relegated mostly to the vicinities of Greensboro and Charlotte.
Barry Goldwater came around in 1964 and shocked the Rockefeller crowd. Instead of being “team players” and showing unity, we got a lot of things like “Republicans for LBJ.”
In 1976 and 1980, establishment types went harder against Reagan than they did the Democrats. In 1980, they ran congressman John Anderson – a liberal GOPer from Illinois – as an independent in the general to try and upend Reagan.
The successes of Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms made it cool in North Carolina to vote and to be Republican. Many an establishmentarian grimaced and bit their lips but followed through with the charade. At least it would keep them “in power” and close to the public purse.
Conservatives can keep beating their heads on the wall. They can keep enduring and tolerating the label of “extreme” for demanding people adhere to the party platform.
Or they could rally and take over the party like they did in 1964 and 1980. The Thom Tillis – Mitt Romney crowd clearly doesn’t want us here, though. They want us to play nice when they’re on top, but won’t do a thing for us when elections work out better for us. (Remember Thom’s war on Trump’s border wall?)
Maybe it’s time to go more toward the European-style parliamentary arrangement. The two parties were not mandated by the Constitution. They are in place because it’s easier for the establishment to manage things – including US.
Let’s stop arranging our elections and government around parties. Let people form parties based on what they believe and want to fight for. The Low-Taxes, Less-Spending Party vs. The Nanny-State Party vs. The Appropriator Party. Let’s go for an arrangement that’s more honest than what we have now.
I’ve come across too many people who believe an (R) next to one’s name is a symbol of honesty and integrity. (So, no Republicans EVER go to jail? No Republicans ever lie to their voters?)
The folks currently running the General Assembly in Raleigh are seriously giving Marc Basnight, Jim Black and their crews a run for their money. A new set of grubby hands on the same pile of cash.
The same is true for the (D). R and D are simply letters that allow people to read into them what they want to.
Keeping things as-is will leave us with the same mess: a majority of unprincipled appropriators fighting to stomp out the folks honestly trying to represent the people back home.