'We're the Adults In the Room'
... if by 'adults' you mean people badly in need of anti-psychotic meds
How perfect is it, that on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas — with the same respected historians who argue that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a rock-ribbed conservative labeling JFK as the original Tea Party leader — we in North Carolina get an adult-sized dose of the same authentic American psychosis that passed this around in 1963?
Feast your eyes (from the Observer’s Jim Morrill):
Four Republicans running for the U.S. Senate blasted what they described as big government Thursday night, ripping everything from the Affordable Care Act to toll roads.
The four found a lot in common as they answered questions at a forum sponsored by the Gaston County tea party. About 80 activists crowded Munchies restaurant just off Franklin Boulevard.
Earlier Thursday, some of the same tea party activists stood outside Bank of America Stadium, waving signs and protesting a fundraiser for a fifth candidate that featured Republican strategist Karl Rove.
Rove headlined a closed event for N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis of Cornelius.
The rally underscored party divisions expected to play out in May’s primary as Republicans look for a nominee to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan …
Tillis was invited to Thursday night’s forum but told organizers he had a conflict. It was the first event attended by all of the other candidates: Cary physician Greg Brannon, Forsyth County broadcaster Bill Flynn, Wilkes County nurse Heather Grant and Charlotte pastor Mark Harris.
Each cast the campaign in near apocalyptic terms.
“This is about saving the United States of America from the demise that is happening before out (sic) eyes,” said Flynn. “We’re the adults in the room.” [Emphasis mine.]
Harris said the election is “about the survival of the United States of America.”
“We’ve got a president,” he said, “who is drunk on power.”
Grant, referring to Senate Democrats who voted Thursday to change filibuster rules, said: “We’re watching them destroy our American process.”
Brannon added: “Woodrow Wilson’s dream is coming to fruition (where) we have a monarchy.”
It gets better.
They also united against public-private partnerships, particularly proposed toll roads. Brannon and Flynn suggested such partnerships were close to “fascism.”
Grant said they were “detrimental.”
“You and I know it’s a bad premise,” Harris added. “You and I know it’s got to be stopped.”
The issue of toll roads appears to put the four at odds with Tillis, who has supported tolls on new lanes on Interstate 77 north of Charlotte.
Toll roads? For years, I’ve heard drown-the-government-in-the-bathtub types champion toll roads as the solution to high taxes and government-contracted highway building. Now they’re telling us toll roads are fascistic? What kind of funding mechanism would these people suggest for the building and maintenance of roads? Kissing booths? A raffle?
I feel genuinely bad for Jim Morrill, shackled by journalistic convention to write about people who believe the moon is made of jellied pig fat as if they weren’t, er … lunatics.
But they are. There’s no way to be nice about this and retain your sanity. They’re nuts. It’d be one thing if this was just the cream of Gaston County gathered at a town hall to express the considered views of the common folk. But these are actual candidates for the office of United States Senator. Whether they actually believe what they’re saying — or are just pretending to, or have convinced themselves — is immaterial.
None of these clowns will win, of course. It’ll be Tillis versus Kagan in the general. But they’ll exert the requisite primary pressure, like moons that warp a planet’s orbit. The pressure could force Tillis — running in his first statewide election, after all — to shade himself rightward to quell an uprising among right-wingers who like their candidates pure and, I guess, their interstates privately funded.
Which will make for a fascinating line for Tillis to toe between May and November. If he swings too far right, he’ll supply plenty of ammunition to the Kagan campaign, already eager to paint Tillis as flagman for the right-wing takeover of North Carolina politics this year. It might end up working in Kagan’s favor, which would be the ultimate irony — as long as somebody, for heaven’s sake, can get HealthCare.gov running.
If not, all bets are off anyway. We might as well resign ourselves to an inheritor of the legacy of John F. Kennedy, that conservative’s conservative, that God-fearin’ Amurkin, whose very memory strikes fear and horror into the weak hearts of lily-livered liberals everywhere.