Brunswick Beacon, 06.22.23
Ronald Reagan believed that “Politics is the art of compromise.” In his autobiography, Reagan criticized “radical conservatives” because, he wrote, “‘Compromise’ was a dirty word to them.” Reagan said, “you seldom got everything you asked for… that’s what I told these radical conservatives who never got used to it.”
Reagan’s GOP no longer exists. If you want to know how radical NC’s Republicans have become, ask our senior Senator, Thom Tillis (R-NC). On June 10, Tillis was censured by 69% of delegates to NC’s Annual Republican Convention.
Tillis has served eight years as Senator. He served eight years as a representative in NC’s House of Representatives, including four years as Speaker of the House. What did Tillis do to make his own party turn on him?
Tillis’ sin was trying to find common ground with Democrats by embracing Reagan’s dirty word, “compromise.” Tillis is pragmatic. In a May 12 interview he told WRAL, “when you have divided government, you need to compromise.”
Tillis worked on several major bipartisan deals, including Biden’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — the most significant gun legislation since the 1990s — which was supported by 15 Senate Republicans and passed by a 65-33 vote. It provides funds for red flag laws, which give state courts power to remove firearms from disturbed individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others.
Tillis helped negotiate Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, with billions of dollars for NC’s infrastructure. Tillis helped pass the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act, which protects same-sex and interracial marriages. Most recently, he voted for the bipartisan resolution to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a catastrophic default. His fellow NC Republican senator Ted Budd opposed all four measures. Budd wasn’t censured.
Former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory (R) condemned Tillis’s censure and urged Republicans to join him. They didn’t. Radical conservatives don’t want to work together. They still think “compromise” is a dirty word, and now they run NC’s GOP.