The perils of “Party Unity”

claude popeConservatives are regularly lectured by establishment types to forget the silly issues and simply “take one for the team.” Never mind that Mitt Romney pushed through in Massachusetts something about as bad — if not worse — than ObamaCare.

Never mind that Pat McCrory regularly fought against conservatives to enact tax increases while he was mayor of Charlotte.  They’re both Republicans. They stand under the emblem of the elephant.  Shut up, and be a team player. 

What happens when conservatives win one against moderate establishment types?  You get pouting, and sitting on hands. Or you get something like what we had in our 2006 GOP primary for NC House here in Moore County.  We mounted a conservative challenge to supervillain Richard Morgan.  We took Morgan out in the primary.  We assumed — as we’ve often been told by moderates — that everyone will fall in line and support the party nominee in the general election.  Nope.  The establishment crowd that backed Morgan ran an “independent” candidate against the GOP nominee in the general election.

In the 2012 general elections here in North Carolina, we were all cajoled to get in line behind Pat McCrory.  Conservatives, for the most part, did so.  Establishment types, however, did not do the same for the more conservative Council of State candidates.  The vote total for GOP candidates fell off dramatically once you started moving down the ballot from the governor’s race.

NCGOP chairman Claude Pope is lecturing every Tea Partier in sight about party loyalty.  He’s tut-tutted Tea Partiers — including THIS writer — for being divisive and splitting the party here in primary season.  (Yet, he enthusiastically supported the vice chairman candidacy of Richard Morgan acolyte Carolyn Justice.) 

Claude is at it again, this time in an email shared with us by the recipient:

[…]  The NCGOP is steadfastly neutral in the US Senate Primary, and any speculation or attempts to tie our leadership to any endorsement of a specific candidate is simply nonsense – and merely an attempt by those supporters of certain candidates to continue to try and split our party for their own gain. […]

Splitting the party?  Isn’t this primary season?  Aren’t primaries all about having internal debates on the future path of the party?  Debates involve people taking sides.  Party loyalty is important in the general election battles against the leftists.

Want a lesson on how horribly awry this party loyalty thing can go?  In Ohio, Republican governor John Kasich is enthusiastically implementing ObamaCare.  The party establishment is falling in behind his efforts.  Republicans who dared to oppose ObamaCare implementation are being accused of party disloyalty and are being denied endorsements and support by the state party.

The Communist Party held things together in their empire, during the Cold War, by demanding “party loyalty.” So did the Nazis in Germany.  Imagine if Lech Walesa in Poland and Boris Yeltsin in Russia had stayed loyal to “the party” and not led protests.  

It’s not about the party.  It’s about living up to your promises to the voters.  It’s about doing what’s right.

Primaries are all about evaluating our choices for the general election.  It’s OUR choice — not the backroom decision of party bosses.



12 thoughts on “The perils of “Party Unity”

  1. All of this talk of party unity from the establishment ignores that it is the establishment that has decided to fight the conservatives. We have seen both Boehner and McConnell moving aggressively against conservatives in Washington, with McConnell recently ratcheting things up by vowing to ”crush them [conservatives] everywhere”:

    We are seeing the DC establishment go after conservatives who have stood up and fought tax / debt / spending increases like Walter Jones in our own state. And we are seeing Thom Tilli$ in Raleigh orchestrate challenges to respected conservative legislators like Robert Brawley and Larry Pittman[ that is after Tilli$ orchestrated the gerrymandering in 2012 of conservative legislators Glenn Bradley and Bill Cook. Their House seats sliced to ribbons, Bradley and Cook filed for Democrat held Senate seats instead, and the establishment orchestrated primary challenges in their Senate races. Cook made it, but Bradley did not. This year, there were calls made from Raleigh to try to gin up challengers to other conservatives as well, like Mike Speciale.

    At county party events we are seeing county party leaders abuse the powers of their offices to invite only one Senate candidate to speak to events, a soft but very potent endorsement. The State party does not utter a peep about those abuses, although The Pope preaches sermons at state party meetings about not taking sides.

    We have seen the state party itself play favorites. Under Robin Hayes, at the state convention, Tilli$ was given the prime speaking spot on the whole agenda while Brannon received a really crappy speaking slot. Even the Charlotte Observer noted the blatant favoritism there. At the Hall of Fame dinner straw poll, in a really bizarre procedure, only the top finishers vote was announced. I have never seen that done ever in a straw poll, but the reason was obvious. Tillis had called a House Caucus meeting just prior to the dinner so he could stack the deck and was thus certain to be first. Given all the stickers around, it was rather clear that Brannon was likely the respectable second place finisher. Only the Tillis vote was announced so as to stop any bounce at all for Brannon. Manipulative games were played by the NCGOP itself to favor one candidate in both of those instances.

    Two old sayings apply here. Talk is cheap. and actions speak louder than words. Conservatives here the words from the establishment, but whether unity is a forelorn hope of not really depends on the actions of the establishment, and to date, those are not looking good. If we have a climate of disunity in the Fall, then is will be because the actions of the establishment have fostered it.

  2. Pope lacks credibility. He was endorsed as NC GOP Chair by all the major GOP establishment figures in office including Thom “Tholl Road” Tillis. If Claude was committed to principle over party he would be in the process of changing the NC GOP POO (Plan of Organization) which allows those in office to endorse those running for party positions. It’s absurd to think he could objectively be involved in the senate primary. Claude is pushing for Tillis and it’s immoral in more ways than one.

    1. Where was Claude Pope to preach party unity when Tilli$, in an ego-driven snit, ginned up establishment primary challengers to conservative State Representatives Robert Brawley and Larry Pittman and tried to find challengers to other conservatives like Mike Speciale. Does Pope really think conservatives would give Tilli$ the time of day when he is out trying to destroy our conservative stalwarts like that? The failure to rein in Tilli$ in those extremely devisive moves is telling.

  3. The GOP cadaver still speaks, but no one is listening any longer. A stake through its heart by the Tea Party in 2014 and 2016. A bottom-up movement is in place, and there’s nothing the Establishment can do about.

    Mitch McConnell said today he’s going to destroy the Tea Party. Bring it on, Mitch.

  4. Right you are, sir!
    A perfect example of NC GOP not supporting the candidate was Mike Causey in his bid for Commissioner of Insurance. Mr. Causey ran a shoestring campaign, winning his primary, and then going into the general against incumbent democrat Wayne Goodwin.

    Goodwin had a 500K warchest. Causey’s total for the whole shebang including primary was about 60K. GOP help was meager if any. Causey ran the closet race of all the Council of State races, and finished with about a 3 or 4 percent lag, by which a 2 or 3 point increase would have swung the outcome.
    Heck, even 5K from the GOP would have made the difference.

    Earlier posters were right to advise not to give generously to the state party, but to give to the candidate that trips your trigger.

    When the party screws its supporters, then it’s time to screw the party. Politicians are just like corporations, in that they only understand money. Lip service, spin, misdirection, and cowardice is abundant, until their pocketbook is dented. Then they MIGHT pay attention. MIGHT.

  5. “The NCGOP is steadfastly neutral… ”

    except when we’re arranging meetings with out-of-state big money party machines with their preferred candidates months before a primary is held….

    If people like Tillis are your candidates…. why in the world would that be a party deserving of support and loyalty? I’d think if worthwhile candidates were being run, this “everyone get in line” thing wouldnt be an issue… 🙂

    I’m loyal to my principles…. if Mr. Pope has a political party that perhaps matches those principles, then I might lend my support. Otherwise…. well, these arent sports teams… I dont win anything when Democrats win, and I dont win anything when establishment Dem-lite crony capitalists with (R)s next to their name get elected either 🙂

    1. A state party chairman who supported a grassroots bottom-up party and wanted to advance party unity within North Carolina would have told outsiders like the NRSC and Karl Rove to not meddle in our Senate primary and warned them that he would get very vocal about it if they still monkeyed around in our primary. Instead the NCGOP seems to have rolled out the red carpet for both the NRSC and Rove. I have no problem with people like that coming in to help elect the nominee in the general election but NOT for outsiders to put their thumb on the scale to try to choose our nominee for us. That is also a concern about winning, since Rove has lost 10 of the 12 US Senate races he has gotten involved in, and NRSC has had some spectacular and embarassing misfires like Charlie Crist in Florida

      I keep hearing that some good candidates may have dropped out due to outside pressure. We don’t need that in North Carolina politics.

      1. I agree… if they had waited to “facilitate” those meetings after the primary, it’d be no big deal, and even a smart, responsible, productive role.

        But instead…. he’s either incompetent for NOT bringing up the subject and taking that stance, or….well, politely… the other option is that his actions dont mirror his statements 🙂

  6. Pope is not a credible leader. He is not only favoring Tillis, but he and others are actively subverting the will of legitimate county leadership. The disrespectful non-recognition of local party leadership along with a backdoor pipeline to illegitimate local establishment pals has created a gravely troubling situation within our party. And yeah, there are more atrocities to come.

    This Beaufort County activist is through with state party leadership. I vote no confidence in our state leadership.

  7. #defundtheGOP. Fund the candidates who stand on principle and let the GOP whither and die on the vine. The grapes are raisins already. One more election in full sunlight and the raisins will rot completely and fall to the ground. I will not be lectured to by Pope Claude. The pope sits in Rome and I don’t take marching orders from him either. We are adults and as such have the ability to do our homework and speak up about anything we want within the GOP or any GOP candidate. #IBackBrannon

    1. Ginny’s optometrist makes no money from her. She has perfect 20/20 vision. She gets it. Good job Ginny! Now go spread the word far and wide amongst us, the unwashed.

  8. Party Unity Hell ! Beat Tillis whatever it takes. Send Hagan back if that’s what it takes. Anyone But Tillis !

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