North Carolina Republicans appear poised to reject Tea Party Republicanism tomorrow and nominate Thom Tillis, the epitome of "country-club Republicanism," to run for Senate.
The pursuit of money and influence, as opposed to the pursuit of purified conservative values, appears to be the new tide across North Carolina.
We'll know if that tide is rolling in Watauga County if former County Commissioner Jimmy Hodges defeats former County Commissioner Allen Trivette for the District 5 commissioner seat. Mr. Trivette's campaign signs signal that he's the real conservative, not to mention a "life-long Republican," something the once-upon-a-time Democrat Mr. Hodges can't claim. But Mr. Hodges will be more appealing to big-money developers and to the Chamber of Commerce.
The last time Mr. Hodges was serving as a county commissioner, a decade ago, he became momentarily an advocate for county zoning authority. He did so only when it became safe to do so, that is, once the zoning of "high-impact" land-uses had been decisively defeated. He was the lone vote on the Board of Commissioners to employ zoning authority to regulate polluting industries.
Hmmm. Soft on zoning, eh? You'd never find Mr. Trivette waffling on that issue.
"Establishment" Republicans have far more flexibility when it comes to "pragmatic" values. If the trend holds tomorrow, perhaps the Republican establishment will decide to start rebuilding public education, the edifice they've been busily bombing into rubble.