Takeaways from Tuesday

Now that I’ve had some time to decompress and analyze it all, here are a few thoughts:

Conservatism is DEAD. Stick a fork in it.  On the eve of the primary, the alleged conservative revolution on Jones Street announced a ONE BILLION DOLLAR increase in state spending.  Here in Moore County,  we reelected a state senator who actually authored legislation that led to sales tax and lottery proceeds being diverted away from our county.  We also reelected a state House member who stood idly by and did nothing while his colleagues swiped our money.  To top it all off, we voted overwhelmingly to raise our own property taxes to pay for desperately-needed new schools that WOULD HAVE been paid for if we had actual representation in Raleigh protecting our cash from the vultures.

Meanwhile, all over the state, Republicans favoring subsidies for wind and solar energy got elected and reelected.  Same for Republicans opposing offshore drilling.  (Meanwhile, the gulf states are enjoying a $188 million revenue windfall thanks to the drilling going on  down there.)

Meanwhile, the Raleigh-based alleged guardians of conservatism in  the Pope Empire are waxing poetically about Lord Fancypants of Runnybritches and his 16th century ruminations on Keynesian sheep-breeding.

The Republican Party took off in North Carolina thanks to the conservative messages of Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms.  They made it cool to end your family’s tradition of voting Democrat.  Now, it’s all about more government spending and subsidies for alternative energy scams.

Yep.  Stick a fork in it.

Being Nasty and Dishonest Pays Off.  You hear people complain all the time about their alleged disgust with “negative campaigning.”  But time and again, it WORKS.

It worked well on Tuesday.  From Tom McInnis to Kelly Hastings to Bob Steinburg and Bobby Hang, folks who tried it ended up having victory parties.

I can think of one candidate who shunned negative campaigning and ended up having a victory party.  That’s Dan Forest.  He has a great personal following and has been running for a basically meaningless office.  Just wait until he steps in the ring to run for a big-boy office. 

How does the NCGOP get back together for November?  The consultants out-did themselves during the primaries.  We had Republicans attacking Republicans much more viciously than they’ve ever gone after Democrats.  After someone has been talking about your (or your candidate’s )mama and calling you (or your candidate) a thief, liar, adulterer, and scumbag for three months, how do you kiss and makeup and campaign  for that person in the general election? 

Rush is right.  WE don’t matter.  The political class loves us at voting time.  But on the other 364 days of the year, the guys and gals in the expensive suits and the fat checkbooks roaming the legislative halls of power are the focus of attention.  How do you run an honest grassroots effort when the Asssociation for THIS-and-THAT, which has interests in front of that particular legislative body, is bombing your voters with millions in mailers and ads?

The family values phonies (and the rest of the interest groups).  Political preachers are the worst in my book. Whether you’re talking about The Round Rev or any number of them allegedly on our side.  God and Jesus are about a lot more than party platforms.

I’ve watched religious right “leaders” endorse and campaign for candidates who spend an inordinate amount of time cussing people out, or intimidating and slandering people who they feel are in their way.  An awful lot of not-very Christian behavior gets blessed and sold to the flock.

And let’s not forget the gun lobby.  These guys played dirty tricks galore.  Challengers to incumbents didn’t get endorsement surveys mailed to them. Yet, the groups sure were diligent about posting the “fact” that said candidate “ignored” the survey.  Several candidates, running against incumbents, who were known NRA members and outspoken 2nd Amendment defenders mysteriously got hit with poor ratings.  And we got no explanation as to how they arrived at the ratings, or even what the questions were on the survey.  In a GOP primary, a C or D-rating from the gun-lobby is a kiss of death.

Just like with the “family values” crowd,  the actual issues don’t matter.  It’s all about staying in the good graces of the legislative leaders and the incumbents.

Maybe Ayn Rand’s John Galt had a point.  He recognized the mess was too big for him to “fix,” so he decided to drop out and take care of himself.  Believe it or not, this website is not some multi-million dollar empire.  Calling it shoestring is kind.  Nobody gets paid.  We get a little money from the ads you see.  But that doesn’t come close to paying the cost of bringing this info to you.  This is a labor of love for me and my small band of co-conspirators.  We’ve all got other things we could be doing with our time.

I know we’re getting the views — the eyeballs.  But I’ll have to admit it’s disheartening when  you so work so hard to dump all this info out there and people either don’t show up to vote or fall for consultant-generated nonsense. It often evokes the question:  What’s the point?

35 thoughts on “Takeaways from Tuesday

  1. I strongly suggest two reads. 1st THE CREATURE FROM JEKYL IALAND by J Edward Griffin and THE FAIRTAX by Neal Boortz. Having done that it is much easier to understand how “we the people” got in the mess we are in. It started with the power to tax any and all income, the 16th amendment.
    Browny Douglas

    1. I agree. I’ve read the Griffin book. Still need to work the Boortz book in.

  2. This election truly left me thinking, “What the f—— is the point in trying to save our people? They screw themselves over, happily.”

  3. Yeah, there’s plenty to be disappointed about. We might as well laugh as cry.

  4. On the Congressional level in NC, conservatives fared well. Walter Jones demolished swamp creature and lobbyist Scott Dacey, who ended up in third place after his vicious attacks on Walter Jones, and that inn spite of megabucks spent by the swamp for Dacey both put through Dacey’s campaign and the lying hit pieces of establishment dark money group Americans United for Values.

    Then there was the 9th district, where NC’s most liberal GOP congressman, Robert Pittenger was ousted by social conservative Mark Harris who ran to Pittenger’s right on just about every issue.

    Dacey and Pittenger both used liberal Republican consultant Paul Shumaker, who was 0 for 2 in the primaries this year. I note the Haymaker calls him an “Uber consultant”. Does this mean that with his lousy record, Shumaker will soon be driving for Uber instead of doing political consulting?

    1. While Pittenger is everything you said he is he should start a write in campaign for the 12th to try to take out Adams in the General election yea I know we already have a republican nominee now but does anyone think he has a chance. Pittenger once did serve part of the voters in the new 12th that was part of the old 9th and I would take Pittenger over Adams any day

    2. We can only hope that Paul Shumaker is driving Uber instead of doing political consulting. But I doubt it since he has Tillis and Burr wrapped around his fingers.

      This election just furthers the trend that has been going on for 10 years. The second the Republicans took power after 100 years in the wilderness, they started drifting leftward. They still have not stopped.

    3. NC House member, Michael Speciale’s re-election is another hopeful sign. The bad guys did NOT win ALL the races! Michael is and always has been a true blue conservative.

  5. Brant, the point is you NEVER, EVER surrender to these soulless bastards. One day you win and you roll out the tumbrils and even the score. ( Gloating and Retribution are all too underrated. ) Take advantage of the fact that so many are reluctant to admit they are Republicans. Big push to switch to Unaffiliated and rally against them in November and 2020. Keep their doings in the public eye, as yours is the only publication of record now in the Sandhills, given that the Pilot has become a reference source of Cheerleading for Dummies. Hang in there, and we will, too!

  6. You are spot on Brant on every single level.

    Recently I sat a meeting of precinct chairs where the discussion was that we should NOT talk about “Republican Things” at precinct meetings because you know it turns people off. Then the discussion turned to offshore drilling and “what do we tell people”. I reminded them of the Republican Party Platform. Several were stunned and asked where would they find such a document. And the party Chairman sat there and didn’t say a word.

    And as if that’s not enough, we had at least one, possibly more, precinct chairs sign a petition to put a liberal Democrat on the November ballot to challenge one of our Republican Commissioners because he refused to cave to the extreme environmentalists like two of his colleagues did.

    This same County party openly courts democrats and alienates and shuns conservatives.

    And the sheep just keep on doing as they’re told, without question or hesitation.

  7. Sorry for our common ailment—lying politicians Brant! We’ve felt it ever since we retired from the Navy and were active in Va. That was the year Mike Farris (founder of HomeSchoolLegal Defense Fund and founder of the now huge Patrick Henry College in Purcellville Va.) ran for Lt Gov and the RINOS were scared to death and ran Paul Trible against him to split the ticket. The Democrat won of course.

    We were a handful of Conservative Republicans in the late 80’s and left Va for NC in 96 when the Repub Convention Center was PACKED and ROLLICKING for Ollie North. But the RINOS struck again and split the ticket. I remember one dumb female standing up and spouting the liberal feminist mantra—we NEED A WOMAN TO RUN for this office… AND I’M IT….and the whole stadium stood up and BOOED. I always like to add, if that female was MAGGIE THATCHER, we women would LOVE AND SUPPORT HER!

    But this time we DO HAVE PRESIDENT TRUMP and he’s been watching the antics of the sleezeball spineless lying politicians for decades and is kicking a**!

    Hang in there Sir! Every once in awhile the REAL AMERICANS rise up and fight like hell to take back what’s been stolen…..but it is always a fight! God never promised us a Utopia!

    one more thing….we stopped buying the Pilot years ago because it was such a hate filled platform for liberalism.

  8. I concur that the despicable smear campaign that took down Boswell just cannot be tolerated. With what happened in SD 1 and HD 1, I would suspect that these districts should be very high on the target list of the Constitution Party. Ditto the ixexcusable meddling in SD25.

    However, there are some bright spots. The establishment’s Darth Vader against conservatives, David Lewis,did some severe gerrymandering in Cabarrus and Rowan counties to screw conservatives. He gerrymandered Freedom Caucus members Larry Pittman and Carl Ford into the same district and drew that district to favor a specific establishment candidate. Larry Pittman ran in that district and won handily. Carl Ford ran in a Senate district that had been intended for an establishment millionaire who was a recent switchover Democrat and handily beat the establishment guy, too.

    In HD3, Mike Speciale handily beat an establishment challenger who has been getting help from NCGOPe headquarters. Freedom Caucus member George Cleveland also beat off a spirited establishment challenge.

    What is needed is a conservative PAC to challenge the establishment.

  9. I had to wonder, just how lucrative is being a state house rep? I was flooded daily with mailers from Duane Hall(who I would NEVER vote for). It must either pay really well to spend that much to try to get the job or he just liked telling people what to do.

  10. It seems to me that too many have lost (or never had) the basics on what government is supposed to do and mean. For example, the House of Representatives is the people’s house, but all of us know that’s a joke. Most of the bottom dwellers are serving another master except on voting day.

    Also, the constitution does not establish a 2-party system or say that legislators are to vote the party platform.

    Neither does it say that those we elect have to support a President but should act as a check and balance on the executive and judicial branch.

    George Washington warned us about “factions”. We have failed to heed that warning, and the “factions” control the rest of us. If you step away from that line it is guaranteed that the establishment will target you.

    One of the “ideas” that is always thrown around is that any R is better than a D. Oh Yeah? How’s that working out? Principled folks will vote for the D just to tell the R that he or she has done nothing to deserve their vote. Try telling that to members of the tribe. Therein lies the rub. You can’t keep re-electing scumbags and expect anything to change.

    Some of us keep trying, but it seems to me that it would take a miracle from God to right this ship. And why should He bother when we have let the freedom He gave us slip through our fingers?

  11. Can’t rely on NCGOP for anything. It’s got to be the Districts and more importantly the counties, that drive the machine. Counties should continue to work together and share beat practices and districts support anyway they can. We’ve got great leadership across the state at the local level.

  12. Dumb Ass Voters truly kiss the asses of Lying, Corrupt Career Politicians by keep voting for them time after time. Once again Politicians laugh at them and their not caring about thieves and liars.

    Most of you still do not give a damn about the USA and what is going on.

    Louisiana Oil has made the Shrimp, Fish, Tourist grow and the water has not been affected.

    The “Do Gooders” want to eliminate everything for a damn turtle or bug to save the world because they are also a bunch of loonies who do not know their ass from a hole in the ground. This makes me to want to urinate off my porch more……so it will bathe the ants and bugs.

  13. After a scorched earth primary like HD1 or SD25, how does the winner realistically expect to unite the party? That is now a pipe dream. Nasty personal smear campaigns, outside interference, and general lying leaving lasting bad feelings. It is a good way to win the battle but lose the war. Many conservatives will not be motivated to come out in November, and some will be mad enough to come out but vote for someone else. A fall off in the GOP turnout due to anger over legislative primaries can also impact other races like the critical Supreme Court race.

    1. I call crap on this idea.

      yes it’s lambasted over and over again, Oh my guy didn’t win, so I’m not voting or I’m voting for someone else.

      Happened with Trump.

      For the record, I didn’t vote for McInnis, but I will in the Fall. I didn’t vote for Trump in the primary, but I did in the GE. In the end, with our current system it just comes down to, am I willing to have someone I agree with at least 90% (nobody will ever be perfect for every) or would I rather have someone I agree with, almost 2% of the time? That’s what SD-25 is faced with, with Mills.

      1. You don’t get it. These situations are far beyond “my guy didn’t win”. They involve improper outside meddling, lying, and character assassination, things that leave lasting hard feelings. This will be a low turnout election, and these tings sap an interest in bothering to vote. The congressional races,are the top of the ticket and the GOP is a shoo-in with both areas, with the legislative races being next but leaving lots of conservative voters unenthused. That is where the danger lies.

        1. Are you trying to tell me lies weren’t thrown in ’16 at all? Yeah, there were ppl both D and R who voted third party, but a majority of people in both parties ended up support each respective nominee for their party.

          Things can be forgiven, and it’s an election, it happens. You get over it, move on to election day, and then, try and change your representative in the next primary. Learn from what worked and didn’t, and make those adjustments the next time around.

          1. You obviously have not been involved in any meaningful way in politics for very long. There are lots of things that can indeed be forgiven, but some things go across the line so far that experience shows that many people cannot and do not forget or forgive. Those types of things happened in a few districts this year and they should not have. As they say, elephants have long memories.

            The scary thing is that the machine boys in Raleigh will decide that meddling in primaries works and do it more often. An upset in SD25 in November would probably go a long way to stopping that technique from being used again in the future, and in the long run may have more positive than negative impact.

            The same is true of those politicians who use character assassination.

            Spinning something happens a lot in politics, but outright lying is another matter, and that is hard for people to get over. I heard quite a few people who were supporting Walter Jones say that if he lost to Phil Law who was running a clean campaign, they had no problem getting behind Law in November, but if Scott Dacey, who was making up the most outrageous lies to attack Jones, got the nomination, they absolutely would not vote for Dacey. (Actually when I heard those comments, I thought to myself that it would not make any difference because neither the Democrats nor even the Libertarians had filed a candidate in that district)

            Races have been lost in the past when a party gets divided in a primary by things going beyond the pale that should not happen but do. Character counts and when a politician does something in a primary that shows he or she is a real low life, voters of whatever party are justified in spurning them..

        2. For some reason I can’t reply to your below comment, but your first point is wrong. I’ve actually loved electoral politics for as long as I can remember. I was up until 1 a.m. when they called OH for Bush in ’04.

          I’ve been huge into politics for most of my life, having grown up listening to Rush, and then taking it to the next step and giving to candidates for senate all over the country, and participating in our local Republican party, particularly the data side, since ’16, when I moved back to the area.

          I plan to continue having a presence and sharpening what we do here, and across the state, through winning races, and getting out bad candidates when the time comes. My goal is always, and will always be to elect the most conservative candidate who can win. I felt that was Michelle this year, and I worked with her campaign on the data side, and in other ways, even went to their evening party. I was very sad she didn’t win, but that’s life, and yes big lies were said, but unfortunately, that’s the name of the game. Plus, she was outspent very strongly, so that hurt her as well. The only person I’ve seen not really lose when all the money was against them, was Trump.

          As such, I have now moved on to focusing on Nov. I was devistated when Trump won the primary, as I preferred almost everyone else to him, but I still voted for him, despite my many misgivings about his personality, and behavior. I will do the same for McInnis, and in time, if he doesn’t change, I will support another primary opponent. It’s just how it is, and I’ve come to terms with that. You’re free to choose otherwise, but I prefer winning, and having as many Republicans as we can, as I feel it’s better for the country. They’re not always right of course, and there are many I’d like to see gone, but through primaries, not General Elections.

          1. Well, I for one, hope to see Mayor Lexo in Hickory next month and I’d love to see her friends from the local NCFRW as well. If they want to raise a stink about Phil Berger’s Meddling in gop primaries, they will surely have an ally in my county’s delegation.

          2. Phil Berger is becoming another Mitch McConnell, throwing principles under the bus and being all about power for power’s sake. Mitch McConnell tries to control every US Senate nomination that comes up, but he just got his ass kicked in West Virginia, where the candidate endorsed by the Senate Conservatives Fund whipped McConnell’s candidate in the primary. McConnell’s abandonment of principle has also gotten him one of the lowest home state approval ratings in the US Senate, even lower than Tillis, who is himself in the toilet on approval ratings.

            The other politician that Berger is reminding me of, more and more, is Marc Basnight. No principles; all power plays., The GOP can do a lot better.

          3. If dirty politics is allowed to “work” then we will get more dirty politics. Sometimes it seems to work for a time but then catches up to those who use it. Watergate politics worked for a while for Nixon, as he won 49 or 50 states in 1972 but it caught up with him in the end.

            If Berger meddling in primaries is allowed to “work” then expect Berger and Moore to be doing a lot more of it in 2020. If consultants and politicians who do character assassination smear campaigns are not called out on it and punished, that practice will spread.

            As to how poison from a primary can hurt in a general election, there are many examples, but a good one was one that was warned about before it happened and should have been prevented, but happened anyway. That was the 2012 Senate race in Colorado.

            In 2012, McConnell and the establishment were backing Gale Norton, a former Lt. Governor who had worked as a lobbyist for AARP on Hilliarycare. The conservative candidate was Ken Buck, then a rural District Attorney (and now a US Congressman from Colorado). Buck built a lead in the polls, and Norton’s campaign asked for the McConnell committee to give her the green light for some really viciious personal attack ads against Buck. Buck’s allies got wind of this and went to McConnell’s people and pointed out that Buck had similar types of material on Norton, which they did not intend to use as long as Norton ran a clean campaign, and that if both races got into a mud slinging dog fight, the party probably could not be unified to beat the Democrats. They pointed out that if Norton went nuclear, they would have no choice but to do so as well. McConnell’s crowd gave Norton the green light and a mud slinging gutter fight began. Buck won the nomination, but very narrowly lost a general election he should have won.

  14. We experienced the tyranny of the Republican Senatorial Committee here in Moore County with the lies they spread about our candidate for senate. It is now clear to me that Berger runs the state GOP and he uses the swamp dwelling PACs to do his bidding in return for something. He was determined to keep his lapdog McInnis in the Senate, but it cost his committee and the PACs a lot of money to do it. Thank you for trying to make the voters informed of these type activities. I am hitting the tip jar and hope others will too.

    1. Moore County just voted to keep sending our tax dollars to other counties. Tier, service tax, lottery funds. We are also just fine with tax subsided solar farms that also increase our electric rate. We approved two bonds. One we needed, and one a complete waste. Everyone will blame our County Commissioners when our property taxes go up. Just makes my head hurt. Last but not least, we are apparently okay with HB2 compromise. I’m self-identifying as one frustrated conservative right now.

      1. Republicans will do a lot of what the Labour Party did to electric rates in the state of South Australia. When they came to power, South Australia used coal, gas, and nuclear to generate electricity and had the lowest residential electric rates in the world. When they were kicked out of power a couple of months ago in an election billed as a referendum on renewable energy, South Australia was using 50% wind and solar and had the highest residential electric rates in the world, plus frequent brownouts and rolliong blackouts because wind and solar are not reliable.

        We have a faction of the GOP, including McInnis that wants to do to North Carolina what the Labour Party did to South Australia, and they are doing it against the principles of the NCGOP as set out in our platform.

  15. I know Steinburg was particularly nasty but I think Twiddy also committed a major strategic mistake in ignoring all of the counties in his district except the big ones. He only attended a couple of county conventions and all the rural counties took notice, while Steinburg was everywhere.

  16. Heavy handed “take no prisoners” primaries open opportunities for other parties. A vigorous back-and-forth on the issues is expected, but when you get into personal attacks and lying about issues, that crosses the line. Outside interference as happened in Senate District 25 also causes lasting damage.

    The Democrats are in a position to hand out goodies like prime appointments from the governor’s office to fine tune their ticket and replace candidates in races that have suddenly become marginal due to GOP infighting. The Constitution Party is also waiting in the wings and will be looking for districts where they can exploit these divisions to put some points on the board.

    Republican activists are highly unlikely to vote Democrat but they may stay home in disgust or skip races. They may see voting Constitution Party as a way to give some payback and show their disgust. But it is the swing voters where the Democrats in particular and also the Constitution Party can make hay from ;these fiascos.

    I would expect the Democrats to want a top drawer District 25 Senate candidate from Moore County and do lots of advertising within Moore County on McInnis not representing the interests of Moore County. I would expect the Constitution Party to also go with a Moore County candidate and zero in on McInnis’ HB2 vote and his vote for the green energy special interests and its impact on our electric rates.

    In the east, I would expect both the Democrats and Constitution Party to look for Dare County candidates. Dare County is used to having their own voice in Raleigh and got shut out in the GOP primaries. Their Chamber of Commerce (yucch!) had a secretive committee operating for months on trying to get someone from Dare County in the District 1 Senate seat, and they now have no Dare ;candidate for the Senate (the Democrat is from Washington County). Dare has lots of swing voters and a high profile Senate candidate from there would have an advantage over Steinburg. I am not sure where the Dem House candidate is from, but their odds would go up with a high profile candidate from Dare.

    The Senate district in the east, district 1, is highly marginal. Bill Cook only won his first term with less than 50 votes when it was a much better district for Republicans, and Cook is a much stronger candidate than Steinburg. In the gerrymandering to take out Cook, the district has been made more Democrat than it was. The House district (6) leans much more Republican, but with what was done to Boswell, it could be in play, too.

    I would expect the Constitution Party to also look for Dare County nominees to exploit the bad blood created by the establishment. I would not even be surprised to see them try to recruit Boswell herself to run. With all the changes in election laws, I do not know if the “sore loser law” would keep Boswell from a convention nomination for her current seat by the Constitution Party or not, but it certainly would not stop her from being nominated for the Senate, to cut the head off of the snake (Steinburg). If that
    offer develops, I would hope that Boswell stays in the GOP and runs again as a Republican in 2020. We need her there

    With Steinburg, the Constitution Party can eat him alive with the Obama green energy issue, no matter who their nominee is.

    Steinburg crapped in his mess kit when he recruited Hanig to run against Boswell. He cannot afford to lose any votes in that now highly marginal district, and the blowback from Dare County being deprived of a local voice in the legislature, together with the crooked attack on Boswell, is probably enough to do him in, and he deserves it. Steinburg is responsible for shutting out Dare County and he will pay the price for that.

    Twiddy blew his primary with not going after Steinburg on the issues. I hope that Dan Forest was paying attention and does not make the same mistake, especially in the general election. Beating “Rotten Roy” Cooper is going to take hammering him hard on the issues.

    The Democrats may end up picking up the pieces from the establishment’s heavy-handedness in the GOP primaries.

  17. After the heavy handed involvement of our elected state officials in many primaries, they should be excluded from any future party business, and I mean any. No showing up at Central, or Exec meetings, unless invited to give a state of report, and then leave.
    We are not democrats. We should choose our elected officials without their interference.

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