WASHINGTON, D.C. – If you didn’t know any better, you might think Sen. Thom Tillis was a Democrat. At the very least, his reputation for being a Republican In Name Only (RINO) is well deserved and even advertised by the former N.C. House Speaker himself.
Except he likes to quip that the thinks the RINO acronym should stand for ‘Republican In Need of Outcomes.’ The conservative voters he consistently patronizes are also likely working toward a particular outcome – a Tillis primary loss in 2020.
Politico, always willing to lift up Republicans that criticize their own party and abandon their principles, has another piece out on the haughty senator and it’s full of exactly what you’d expect.
“Thom Tillis wants to make the Senate work a little more like the North Carolina legislature.
A full review of the rules, starting in the Republican conference, with an eye toward big changes. Chairmanships no longer based on seniority. Members having to choose between leadership spots or significant legislative positions.
And most of all, the former speaker of the statehouse in Raleigh says, it’s time for Republicans to stop paying attention to process complaints about hearings and regular order and reconciliation and the way it gets played in the political press—voters don’t care about that, he says—and focus on getting bills through that become laws.
“When people are fundamentally opposed to the policy, they start screaming process,” Tillis told me, in an interview for POLITICO’s Off Message podcast. “It’s hard to debate the result. They may not like the process, but if they don’t like the process, change the rules. Otherwise, you should use whatever rules are available to produce the outcome.”
Tillis wants to be cremated, and he wants the urn to say: “Husband. Father. Grandfather. RINO.”
Except he likes to make the initials stand for “Republican in Need of Outcomes.””
That’s a lot of lecturing from a freshman senator that done much but kiss butt and play Democrat get in the good graces of the Republican Establishment.
“Tillis needs outcomes in the Senate. And he needs them as the finance chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He’s sick of trying to explain to donors and voters how a year with full control of all three branches of government has so far lacked any major legislative success. The GOP-led Congress is now barreling toward Christmas facing huge doubts about pulling off tax reform—and the expectation that failing to get it would be penalized at the ballot box.
“If we fail to produce an outcome, it will be a very difficult couple of cycles in the U.S. Senate and in the House,” Tillis says. “If we don’t, then I think we will be fighting hand-to-hand in every state to point to the record of the members who are up for reelection and then to point to the credentials and the quality of the candidates in these other states we’re targeting.””
If every senator has to run on their own record, then prospects for Tillis appear dim. He might adore fawning coverage from Leftist publications like Politico, or feel a sense of accomplishment from sponsoring and pushing policies more favored by Democrats, but the Republican base in North Carolina is likely not thrilled with his unwillingness to take a stand for aggressive conservative reforms or the constant talking-down-to they receive every time he is pressed on such matters.
The closing of the piece is a gem for primary voters who have come to know Tillis as anything but a principled conservative.
“I ask him whether Trump makes him proud to be a Republican.
“I’m actually proud to be a Republican based on the ideals that being a conservative stand for,” Tillis retorts. “So I don’t need any one person.””
Eschewing support for Trump and appropriating conservative ideals that which he routinely turns his back on. This kind of talk is exactly why so many voters are disenchanted with ‘Traitor’ Thom Tillis. Sadly, it’s not all that surprising.
What is surprising about the piece is the reporting that, “All his brothers are named Thomas too, but he’s the only Thom, rather than Tom…” He must have added the ‘H’ for ‘Hubris’.