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Thom Tillis Bombs

Is Senator Tillis Another RINO?

January 30, 2017

One would think, given Donald Trump's stunning election victory, that Republicans have grasped the concept of political warfare. The GOP may be enjoying a historic numerical advantage, but what will it serve if every Republican official possesses the same wilted backbone as North Carolina senator Thom Tillis?

Senator Tillis recently penned a guest editorial for The Charlotte Observer  entitled 'Voters Didn't Give Republicans a Mandate.' Can anyone imagine a Democrat, with his party having just destroyed the opposition over the previous eight years, composing such swill? Sen. Tillis was elected in the 2014 GOP landslide as one of many promising to go to Washington and just wipe the floor with President Obama's agenda. In the two years since, he (like many others) has barely raised a peep, racking up a dismal conservative voting record. Conservative Review gives him 35%; Heritage Action 47% (two points less than John McCain). The American Conservative Union, rating just one year, gives him 74%.

With his party's nominee and eventual president under constant assault, Sen. Tillis crept out of the woodwork to offer a litany of cliches that bear no conviction except one of surrender. Refuting this pap is like arguing with a greeting card. "Let's be clear," he deigns to inform us, "the American people didn't give the GOP a stamp of approval to ram through an ideologically-driven, far-right agenda." Oh, really? To the victor goes the spoils, most of us thought. Again, I ask, can you imagine a Democrat speaking that way? They don't wave the white flag even when they're clearly beaten!

The voters, he says, want "elected officials in both parties to break through the gridlock and produce results." How original. Even the most simple-minded civics student knows that one side cannot, in a divided institution, enact legislation totally oblivious to the opposition.

But for a true spirit of bi-partisanship to flourish, it has to work both ways. Has Sen. Tillis forgotten that Obama-care was passed without one Republican vote? When the left sought to redefine marriage - against the will of the people - where was the spirit of outreach? Does Sen. Tillis remember the invasion of Iraq, passed with bi-partisan support? Public sentiment favored military action, but when poll numbers plummetted, the Democratic Pary, en masse, told George W. Bush, "We're outta here. You're on your own. This is your boondoggle." Doesn't all this cooperation just leave you feeling warm and fuzzy? Similarly, President George H.W. Bush broke his no-new-taxes pledge in a bi-partisan attempt to reduce the deficit. Subsequently, the economy faltered, Bush was blamed and the Dems swept Bill "it's-the-economy-stupid" Clinton into office. 

Sen. Tillis confuses the process with the goal. The focus of a deal is what you gain, not the deal itself.  Bi-partisanship has a place, but voters elected Republicans in massive numbers, not to compromise with the architects of destruction, but to defeat them (or, better yet, win them over!).  Bi-partisanship may stand out on a professional resume for a lobbying position, but it's not why you were elected. What you write off as "petty partisan differences," millions of Americans consider principles worth fighting for. 

Tillis laments "ideological purity tests" and threats to beat RINO's in primaries.Therein lies his beef. "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good," he advises. That is certainly wise. We can't reasonably expect to agree all the time. But we must share core principles for which we are willing to fight: repealing Obama-care, securing our borders, etc. Whatever your stand, take your stand. Don't cower behind feel-good Kumbaya sentiments to make yourself look like an affable scout leader. Tillis continues, "I'll be reaching across the aisle to find opportunities..." And blah, blah, blah. Reach across the aisle if you like, Senator, but don't be surprised if you draw back a bloody nub.

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David is from Fayetteville, NC. Lifelong political activist, including two runs for state house (once as a Libertarian and then as a Republican). I have written for a number of Conservative websites. My work has been reprinted on numerous websites and in newspapers nationwide. My work has also been cited by a member of Congress. I also have written for Liberty Features, the media wing of Americans for Limited Government. Writing about politics and current events is my passion.