The Lincoln Project has arrived in North Carolina and they’re targeting Thom Tillis. The group of Never-Trump Republican political consultants launched an ad wrapping Tillis around Donald Trump. The ad, called “We see you,” accuses Tillis of standing with the president instead of the people of North Carolina. It’s currently running online and will start running on cable and broadcast next week. 

The Lincoln Project is a group of patriots who have put the well-being of the country ahead of their loyalty to a political party. They believe that Trump is a threat to our democracy and good government. They are essentially the political arm of never-Trump Republicans who adhere to the conservative principles that the GOP has dropped in favor of populist, authoritarian dogma. Their goal is to end the Trump presidency and hold accountable the Republicans who have enabled the president. 

Tillis fits their bill. He began his Senate career claiming centrist credentials and promising to work across the aisle to move the country forward. For a while, he portrayed himself as something of a Trump skeptic, gently questioning or pushing back on policies he found distasteful. All of that ended abruptly, though, after he wrote an op-ed opposing Trump’s emergency declaration to build his border wall. When Trump denounced Tillis, the North Carolina Senator did an about face and voted for the bill, contradicting his own advice. Since then, Tillis has become a Trump sycophant, lapping up the president’s approval and complimenting the president on his new clothes every chance he gets. 

Tillis, though, is part of a pattern. Republicans in Washington have lost any since of shame and dignity. South Carolina Lindsay Graham was one of the president’s harshest critics during the 2016 election. After a golf outing with Trump, his entire relationship changed. Now, Graham is his staunchest supporter, even sitting silent while the president insulted the late Senator John McCain, a man Graham once claimed as a close friend and mentor. Nobody is sure what exactly Trump has on Graham. 

Back during the presidential campaign, Trump insulted Texas Senator Ted Cruz, calling his wife ugly and implying his father was involved in the assassination of JFK. For Cruz, all is forgiven and he’ll defend Trump to the end. Like so many other Republicans, he’ll sacrifice his dignity and his values for Trump’s approval. I can’t think of anything more humiliating. It’s a shame he has no humility. 

The Lincoln Project is clear-eyed in their mission. They want to hold accountable Republicans who abandoned their core principles for the approval of a conman and grifter with authoritarian instincts. They aren’t becoming Democrats. They are fighting for the soul of their party and they understand that they need people who will stand on principle, not people who will sell out their values. That’s why they are attacking Thom Tillis. 

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