RALEIGH – Sen. Thom Tillis was in Raleigh Thursday night to speak to with a group of young professional Republicans over a beer, discussing the odds of completing tax reform with enough time to satisfy lobbyists, when congress will find it convenient to revisit Obamacare, and complaining about conservative ‘purists’ and the difficulty of controlling the narrative due to the proliferation of alternative ‘information sources.’
CONSERVATIVE FOR AMNESTY
Tillis waxed on to the group of a few dozen people about his method of leadership, focusing on “ignoring distractions” in order to get stuff done. A distraction that often features prominently whenever Tillis steps up on to a soapbox is the ‘far-right’ and he attributes much of his success to ignoring conservatives and their pesky principles in favor of pragmatism.
“I’m a conservative, and I would argue I would put down the conservative outcomes we did in North Carolina and match it up against anybody in congress.” asserted Tillis. “I would defy anybody to put together more conservative outcomes than we did when I was Speaker of the House here in North Carolina. And I did that because I didn’t listen to the far right, I didn’t listen to the far left.”
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While the Republican-led General Assembly had many positive developments over his tenure as Speaker, Tillis also ushered in or ran interference for many Big Government initiatives while stymieing conservative resistance to Obama era policies along the way.
The lawmaker from Cornelius does not seem to appreciate how antithetical much of his governing resume has been to conservative Republican causes and, even worse perhaps, seems to take pride in bucking those conservative voices while working to achieve Democrats’ goals like amnesty for Dreamers as evidenced by his latest legislative pushes.
He hopes to run, as a Republican, on achieving said amnesty.
“I’m gonna run again because we’ve got a unit of far-right voices that say we that we shouldn’t have a respectful treatment for DACA recipients, and we’ll produce something that actually works.” said Tillis. “And we’ll treat Dreamers respectfully and we’ll get it done.”
Which party is Thom running for?
Tillis embraced his ‘Proud RINO’ label through out the evening and seem to to bristle at the conservative media that routinely calls him out for his left-leaning ways.
“It’s one of the most difficult challenges that we have because you have such a broad base of people that produce ‘news’,” Tillis lamented…”‘Look, I’ve got ads to sell, I’ve got a business model. Let’s focus on how proud I am about the factual basis for what I do over getting people to look at it and re-tweet it, and like it, and share it.’ …If I were to rewind 25 years ago or 30 years ago it was a lot easier to get our narrative out there. Now it’s incredibly difficult because information sources and “news”.”
We find that people tend to ‘like’ and ‘share’ things when the ‘factual basis’ of their substance leads people to conclude that Tillis has quickly and purposely become part of the D.C. Establishment that would rather play political games and take conservative policies and voters for granted. Unfortunately for Tillis, that’s not the narrative he wants.
On repealing Obamacare, for one, the senator said the first hurdle is getting passed those darn conservatives to achieve something that will garner 60 votes. Nevermind that the same reconciliation options used for the budget process are available to tackle Obamacare.
“Then you get into the problem of whether or not we have enough members who are willing to maybe vote for something – you’ll never get anywhere by the far-right, because it’s not a purist Right solution, but it’s something that gets sixty votes,” said Tillis.
Interestingly, Tillis revealed that the Establishment isn’t really that concerned with moving quickly on repealing the disastrous Obamacare because they feel as long as Democrats own it, Republicans can use it politically to hang over their heads in 2018 elections.
Democrats have twice as many seats at risk than Republicans do next year, and because of this, Tillis surmised, “They (Democrats) have more of a compelling reason to come up with a solution than we do…The bad news is we may not get it done before the election next year…””
So the American people will just have to suffer through at least another year of more rising premiums just because the Establishment GOP thinks they can score partisan points by keeping it around? Give me a break.
On taxes, Tillis said he believes they will pass reforms before the end of the year though he doesn’t concern himself with the unimportant details of things like elements of the reform itself.
“I think we get tax reform done,” Tillis assured. “I have people like [my staff] to worry about the details of rates, and, you know, all the exceptions and deductions; that’s not a role I can play. That can be done….What we need to do is tell people who are on the fence and worried about the political consequences of doing tax reform to actually have courage to do it.”
How results focused are you if you don’t concern yourself with minor details likes exactly what tax rate middle class families will face? The results he seems focused on are of Republicans falling in line behind the Establishment leadership no matter what, and intimidating them until they do.
“We’ve gotta absolutely have support and just get in these people’s faces and say you are a U.S. Senator and you promised that you were going to do tax reform. And you need to make it very painful if someone comes up with some lame reason not to vote yes, even though they think it’s difficult.”
Some of those ‘lame reasons’ could be the emergence of all sorts of carve outs for special interest groups, or the possibility that the Senate tax plans get watered down by the Establishment, making them untenable for those demanding a truly big and bold plan.
“The last thing we want to do is…come up with a tax reform bill and say ‘Ok, now we’re all gone to Thanksgiving.” – the lobbyists and the special interests will murder us,” warned Tillis. “We have all our friends, we have lobbyists…special interests. People say Thom we love it, but we just want that exception…. So you’ve got to make sure you have time on your side.”
Thom doesn’t concern himself with the ‘details’, but he is concerned enough for the lobbyists and special interests to make sure they have plenty of time to meet their demands. Appeasing K Street is apparently priority numero uno as Tillis approaches the tax reform negotiations.
To his credit, he was unashamed of his record as a milquetoast Republican, saying “I don’t apologize for any position I’ve taken.”
Voters may take a position against him in the 2020 primaries if he keeps up his residence in the Swamp.
As for the take of the former Speaker of the State House on the current Speaker of the State House, Tim Moore? The now-senator said he thinks Moore ‘takes too much bullshit from the Right’ and boasted that he would have stopped H.B. 2 from even getting to the floor.
Indeed, he stopped plenty of common sense conservative policies from getting heard on the floor during his reign as Speaker.
Tillis said he has yet to decide if he’ll run for re-election to the U.S. Senate, saying he has about a year and a half to achieve the kind of ‘results’ he can be proud of. God help us if those results are marked my amnesty, using Obamacare as a political football at the expense of those paying through their noses for healthcare, and constantly taking pride in his resistance to the Right.