Monday, December 05, 2005

Cold Wind Blowing Through the "Big Tent"

1. Chris Mintz, the president of the Wake County Republican Men's Club, who just announced he was turning gay, i.e., "Democrat," earned himself a quick denunciation from the new "acting president" of the club, who said in a statement, "Sadly, I can only reach one conclusion: that this decision was made on the basis of political opportunity, not principle." You can't beat a Republican for knowing political opportunism when he sees it.

2. Catawba County's Republican Sheriff David Huffman, whose administration is accused of various shady dealings ($9,000 of drug-bust money went missing, for example), will be challenged for reelection in 2006 (if he should actually choose to run again) by a former deputy ... a Republican primary for a hot office! Huffman ran for congress last year as a popular if under-educated public servant against wet-behind-the-ears Patrick McHenry ... in Cass Ballenger's old district, the Tenth. McHenry is a darling of the mullahs, recently joined Sue Myrick and Virginia Foxx at a keep-immigrants-out-of-North-Carolina press conference in the Capitol, and is a very successful fund-raiser. Big with the gun lobby. It was a no-holds-barred grudge match between Huffman and McHenry in 2004 (similar in ferocity to the Foxx-Robinson match-up and similar, too, in that it took extra innings to determine a winner), and Huffman came close to beating McHenry. Apparently, Huffman is insufficiently conservative, soft on rules governing gun shows, for example. According to interviews in the Hickory Daily Record (via NCRumors) Huffman is more than willing to take on the conservative cabal running things in the Tenth District. Let the games begin!

3. Walter "Freedom Fries" Jones, Republican Congressman of the N.C. Third District, will be challenged in a primary in 2006 by one Greg Dority, a conservative battle bot who actually also ran for Congress last year but in the North Carolina First. Where he lost to Democrat Frank Ballence (who later went to prison, but that's another tale). Dority apparently moved his residence across the line into Jones's district when Jones broke with El Presidente over the Iraqi War.

Jones was for the Republicans what John Murtha was for Democrats ... a respected congressional advocate for the military (Fort Bragg and other military installations are in his district) breaking ranks with the president because of bad stuff he was hearing directly from the military brass who didn't dare challenge Bush directly, which is to say face down Rumsfeld. But Murtha produced a very different and reenergizing reaction among fellow Dems, compared to the mudslide among N.C. Republicans following Jones's call for a timetable for withdrawal. He earned himself a primary challenger. That's what he got for speaking his conscience, which, we suppose, is the reason most Republican legislators, including several who actually know better, don't often stand up for principal. John McCain has been (until recently at least) an exception, and Hagel of Nebraska.

NCRumors is cheering this primary challenge as "a full-fledged populist revolt" within the N.C. Republican Party, genuine social conservatives vs. an "ineffective" and "elite" Party leadership in Raleigh. Amazingly, Dority is denouncing Jones as some sort of weepy (gay) panty-waist with cojones insufficient for The Day. Dority has written, "Unfortunately, Walter proved he was among those who, instead of leadership, responded to the sacrifices of war by feeding the worries of our people and our military families, playing up to press-fueled misperceptions instead of reassuring the faint hearted with a solid understanding of what we are accomplishing everyday in Iraq and elsewhere."

NCRumors is applauding the division this primary will produce in the state party, because they believe this will lead to a purging of dangerous moderate elements (Richard Morgan springs to mind).

For our part, we'll pulling for Dority ... for obvious reasons, which surely don't need to be spelled out here.

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