Bo Hines is little more than Madison Cawthorn with an Ivy League education. Hines, the Republican nominee for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, recently proposed local tribunals to determine whether a woman or girl is eligible for an abortion. His plan follows Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Oz’s comment that decisions about abortions should be made by “women, their doctors, local politicians.” Hines has never had an original idea in his life and when he’s copying people like Oz, he makes bad ideas worse.
Like Cawthorn, Hines has never had a real job. He leveraged his extremism and youth into the GOP nomination in North Carolina’s only competitive Congressional seat. Hine’s primary victory really says more about the Republican Party than Hines. They rejected more qualified candidates to nominate one whose greatest strength is his ability insult and divide. Sucking up to Trump is probably his greatest accomplishment thus far.
I can go on about how Hine’s proposal further victimizes victims and how the “community-level review process” sounds like something akin to the Salem witch trials, but other have already done that. Sara Paqueño at the News & Observer pretty much dismantled the argument for those “rape panels,” as Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo described them. The bigger question for me is how did Republicans end up with so many candidates like Bo Hines?
Herschel Walker, the GOP nominee for US Senate in Georgia, has a history of physical and psychological abuse. He’s had multiple children by multiple women and he’s paid for several abortions. Yet, the GOP is behind him all the way. They recruited him to run. They almost certainly vetted him and came to the conclusion that his positives, a Black Republican in a state that’s trending Democrat because of African American voters, outweighed all of his baggage. He’s an awful human being and the Republican pundits and elected officials are making the case he’s better than a Democrat.
It’s the same logic that led to Donald Trump and brought us Marjorie Taylor Green, Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, Paul Gosar, Dan Bishop, and a host of the other Republican Members of Congress who sidle up to antisemites and White supremacists while their colleagues look the other way. In North Carolina, we also have Lieutenant Mark Robinson whose only apparent qualification is his ability to attract attention to himself by making inflammatory statements and demeaning his fellow citizens. The GOP establishment has embraced people they privately trash but publicly support because character and honesty no longer matter in the former Party of Lincoln.
In the days following Donald Trump’s victory in 2016, I went on cable news show with a Republican consultant. Before the interview began, we sat with the anchor discussing the election. The GOP operative trashed Trump and expressed his fear about the direction of the country. When the tape began to run, though, he lauded Trump and talked about the accomplishments that he would bring. I realized then that Republicans would put party over country.
Trump fundamentally changed the Republican Party. The GOP no longer cares about personal integrity at all. They will justify voting for people whose personal behavior contradicts their stated beliefs. Their core value is winning.
As for Bo Hines, he’s suggested government intrusion into personal affairs. Not long ago, such a suggestion would be anathema to Republicans. Today, it barely warrants a shrug. The GOP has shed its core values of limited government and personal responsibility. It now just wants the power to subjugate Democrats. That’s a scary party.