Congressman Richard Hudson is ready to join the clown-car coup. He told CNN this weekend that “states should delay certifying the results [of the election] until the allegations are ‘adequately investigated.’” He said that he would support legislators appointing electors loyal to Trump even if Biden won the state. He told CNN, “Yeah, that’s the constitutional process.” It’s only the constitutional process if the president’s lawyers undermine the credibility of an election that virtually every election expert from both sides of the aisle has called fair.
The only people who really believe the voter fraud lies are Trump’s intellectually challenged base. While Trump’s lawyers make wild accusations in the press, they’ve refused to make those allegations in court because they would risk serious penalties for making false statements to a judge. Time and again, when judges have asked if the lawyers were alleging fraud, attorneys for the campaign have said, “No,” even signing affidavits saying they are making no such allegations.
The conspiracy theories have gotten so out of hand, the Trump campaign fired attorney Sydney Powell last night. The North Carolina native concocted a story about Venezuelan communists switching votes by hacking voting machines and she accused Georgia’s Republican governor of being in on the plot. Rudy Giuliani might make a spectacle of himself in press conferences, but he’s not willing to take the fall for Powell’s nuttiness.
Hudson called the Trump campaign’s allegations of voter fraud “breathtaking.” Other people call them batshit crazy. Still others call them sedition. Regardless, they are part of an attempt to steal the election from the American people and keep the White House in the hands of a family of grifters.
Supporters of the attempt to subvert our democracy fall into the four categories: the ignorant base, those in on the grift, the cynically opportunistic, and the silent enablers. Hudson doesn’t fall into the fourth category since he’s already vocal about supporting the effort. So where does he fall?
Maybe he’s just part of the Trump base. He could be that stupid, but I don’t think so. I’ve not seen any sort of intellectual heft coming from Hudson, but I’ve never seen him to reach Louie Gohmert levels of dumb, either. I suspect he’s more self-serving.
He could be in on the grift. His wife worked for former Trump advisor and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. Conway is famous for introducing us to the term “alternatives facts,” otherwise known as lies. Maybe Hudson is hoping he would get a plum job in a second Trump administration if they can only steal this thing.
That’s not implausible, but I suspect Hudson is revealing himself as one of the cynical opportunists. People like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton don’t really believe any of the accusations, but they go along with the charade to curry favor with the idiot base in hopes of securing their support for presidential campaigns that will start minutes after Joe Biden is inaugurated. Hudson doesn’t have his eye on the White House, but he might want Senator Richard Burr’s seat, since Burr has indicated that he won’t run for re-election in 2022. He wants the support of all those Trump supporters in rural North Carolina who believe the nonsense of Sean Hannity or Newsmax or OAN.
That scenario fits Hudson best. He’s spent almost his entire professional life as part of the DC establishment. He’s been living in Washington since he quit his job as district manager for former Congressman and convicted felon Robin Hayes and went to work on Capitol Hill for Republican House members. He decided run for Congress after the 2011 redistricting gerrymandered the 8th Congressional District for him. He set up a shell company and called himself a small businessman. He bought a house in Concord and registered to vote in Cabarrus County after having been registered in Virginia for years.
After he won, his company got disbanded by the Secretary of State’s office without doing much business. While he served in Congress, his wife, who is originally from Indiana and who Hudson met in Washington, kept jobs on Capitol Hill until she went to work in the White House. When they got pregnant, their birthing class was in Fairfax, Virginia, not Concord or Harrisburg. His house in Concord sits largely empty now and when Congress went into lockdown because of COVID, Hudson stayed where he lived, in Washington, instead of going back to his district like most of his colleagues.
That’s who Hudson is. He’s a creature of Washington, a man who put’s personal ambition ahead of personal integrity. He’ll give truth to a lie if he believes it’s in his best interest. It’s a common sentiment in politics, especially these days.
That said, Hudson is not a bad guy. He’s polite and respectful. I’m sure he’s sincere in his faith and, by all accounts, is a good family man. But he’s bad for our country and bad for our politics. His actions this week are closer to traitor than patriot. Instead of joining GOP colleagues in Congress like Senators Sasse, Toomey, Murkowski and Rubio or Representatives Jim Durkin (House GOP leader), Liz Cheney, and Paul Mitchell of Michigan in acknowledging Biden’s victory, Hudson is undermining the credibility and integrity of our electoral system. It’s a shameful display of cowardice. Like too many Republicans, Richard Hudson has lost the ability to be embarrassed. It’s a dangerous place to be.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >