Coverage of the Republican primary has settled into a predictable pattern. The media describe the race as part of a generic trend, the nationwide fight between moderates and radicals. In reality, the front-runner shares the radical outlook of his rivals.
Thom Tillis is not moderate. Last year, he personally facilitated every extreme bill. Just to drive home the message, he called a session to override two “centrist” vetoes. Now, his website commits to a radical Constitutional-Conservative ideology manifested by opposition to Choice and support for Jim Demint’s infamous “Cut, Cap and Balance” amendment. Only his ads present a moderate face, and McCrory showed how trustworthy those are.
Although more extreme, Brannon and Harris ultimately serve to accentuate the Speaker’s conservatism. Brannon, for instance, supports a “Personhood Amendment,” but Tillis would also obliterate the Right to Choose. And, as Speaker, Tillis directly did Harris’s bidding on gay rights. Overall, the main difference between them is that Tillis keeps his tri-corner hat at home.
Yes, Tea Partiers think Tillis is a RINO. They’re wrong, like they always are. The tax-cutting, voter-suppressing, environment-despoiling Speaker is now a thoroughly radical Senate candidate. Observers shouldn’t follow the lead of the Tea Party in misperceiving his views.
Thus, the Triad “empty chair” perfectly symbolizes his campaign. Tea Party Thom tries to stay invisible, but he belongs at the radical table. Where he doesn’t belong is in the United States Senate.
Alexander Jones is an original contributor to PoliticsNC.