Pete's Prep: Wednesday, June 13, 2018

It's Trump's GOP now. What does that mean?

Last night, Congressman Mark Sanford (R-SC) lost in the GOP primary to State Rep. Katie Arrington - who campaigned on a platform that she was more loyal to Donald Trump than Sanford.


NBC News reported how Arrington and Trump went after Sanford:

Arrington, a political newcomer who has held her seat since 2016, spent the campaign blasting Sanford — who had never lost an election — over his lack of loyalty to Trump and attacked him in ads for a much-publicized extra-marital affair with an Argentinian journalist.

Trump hit Sanford for the affair, too.

"He is better off in Argentina," Trump tweeted, alluding to Sanford's relationship with the Argentinian journalist, which burst into the headlines in 2009 when he was South Carolina's governor.

"Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble," Trump wrote Tuesday afternoon, less than three hours before polls closed. The "MIA" mention was apparently a reference to the then-married Sanford's disappearance from his state for days during the affair when he secretly traveled to Argentina to be with his lover.

It is difficult for me to fathom the mentality of a philanderer who attacks a person over an affair. It's also hard for me to understand the self-deception necessary for a woman to attack a man for an affair, while pledging loyalty to a philanderer.

Erick Erickson wrote on Twitter afterward: 

The national reporting on Mark Sanford's defeat highlights a pet peeve of mine about the modern American political press.  They use conservative and Republican as synonyms.

They're calling Sanford a moderate b/c he criticized Trump.  He's actually a principled conservative.  Sanford did not grow more moderate.  He stayed the same.  The GOP changed around him.  And the party didn't become more conservative.  It moderated on limited gov't issues.

All of Sanford's votes against the Trump agenda were related to the size and scope of the federal government and protectionism.  To call Sanford a moderate is to admit to a basic lack of understanding of terminology.

Also, Virginia GOP primary voters nominated Corey Stewart to run against incumbent Democratic US Senator Tim Kaine.

From FOX News:

Corey Stewart, a pro-Trump firebrand and former state campaign chairman for Trump's presidential bid, on Tuesday won the Republican Senate nomination and will take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in the November general election.

Stewart said he plans to campaign in a Trump-like way that appeals to blue collar voters across the political spectrum. He's also pledged to run a "ruthless" and "vicious" campaign against Kaine.

"We're going to have a lot of fun between now and November, folks," Stewart told a raucous crowd at his victory party Tuesday evening, amid chants of "lock her up."

Kaine, Hillary Clinton's running mate in 2016, has a significant fundraising advantage over Stewart.

Stewart has had associations with extreme elements on the right that, had he been a Democrat, would've raised howls of protest from Republicans.

A native Minnesotan, he has campaigned on the removal of confederate monuments issue.

Last night, I saw several pundits saying, "This is Donald Trump's Republican Party now."

But, what does that actually mean?

Charlie Sykes, a conservative political commentator, said: “In every state I’ve seen, Republican candidates for office feel they have to vie with each other for who is the most pro-Trump. Any dissent from Trumpism poses a threat to your viability within the Republican party. The political leadership is taking its cue from the base, and the base is all in for Donald Trump.”

With a mix of demagoguery, policy expediency and anti-liberal sentiment, reinforced by Fox News and other conservative media, Trump has a tighter grip on his party than most past presidents had, even as he turns its free-market orthodoxy upside down. Sykes added: “Is this Donald Trump’s party? The answer is yeah. The transformation of the Republican party into a Trumpist party is breathtaking and so thorough.

“American politics has become so tribal, but we also found out how transactional Republican politics is: how they were willing to look the other way if they got a policy victory and, quite frankly, how there was a loss of will to stand up to him. The whole party has got Stockholm syndrome. In the end he wore them down and they decided it was just easier to get on board.”

Former House Speaker John Boehner said in this same piece at the Guardian, "There is no Republican Party. There is a Trump Party."

Do you agree?

NCGA bill flooding

In Raleigh, the Republican-led General Assembly flooded the Rules Committee last night with so many piece of legislation, that lawmakers themselves couldn't keep up.


The North Carolina GOP did, in fact, promise they would run government better than Democrats.

Too many crimes in NC

One bill approved by the Senate and now heading to the House would create a master list of all the crimes on the books in NC.

From Becki Gray at the John Locke Foundation:

The proposal would require the Administrative Office of the Courts, state agencies, boards and commissions and local governments to submit to the General Assembly a list of all the crimes contained within their jurisdiction.

Those who follow JLF research know, North Carolina has a very complex, complicated and convoluted compilation of actions that carry criminal violations.  It is impossible to know what or where all these crimes are found, much less comply with many of them.  House Bill 379 would provide the General Assembly (and the public) of a list of all the crimes. It’s as simple as that.

Armed with this information (and as a second step to this problem) lawmakers, legal experts and law enforcement and justice officers will then be able to identify duplicative, outdated, unreasonable and even silly crimes and begin to clean up the criminal code and address North Carolina’s overcriminalization problem. But that’s down the road, first we need the list. That’s what House Bill 379 does.

You can read House Bill 379 here.

Wanda Greene in court & gets sued by Buncombe County

Pete Kaliner

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