This week, several editorials from newspapers across the state slammed Senator Thom Tillis for selling out North Carolinians once again and announcing that he will support President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, without even knowing who the nominee will be.
Tillis’ announcement is a complete 180 from his position in 2016 when he wrote an op-ed opposing a hearing for President Obama’s nominee saying “This is about principle, not the person whom President Obama has nominated to fill the vacancy. That is why the Senate will be keeping its promise to give the American people a voice.”
Last weekend, Cal Cunningham released a statement on the SCOTUS vacancy that emphasized the importance of North Carolina voters having their voices heard: “North Carolinians are already voting and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. They deserve that opportunity to have their voices heard, and then, it should be up to the next President and next Senate to fill the vacancy on our Court.”
Tillis’ reversal from 2016 is especially egregious with so much at stake for North Carolinians, including the future of the Affordable Care Act.
Editorial boards around the state have called out Tillis for being a “profile in compliance,” and he even made front page news in Winston-Salem for “sing[ing] a different tune” four years later.
A CBC Editorial called Tillis’ new position a “dizzying about-face” and an editorial in the News & Observer noted “the willingness of Republican senators to go along represents a towering act of hypocrisy.”
But the News & Record points out a pattern, writing about Tillis’ other notable flip-flops saying: “He has become an old hand at contradicting himself to suit the occasion.” From voting to raid funding from North Carolina military bases, to failing to follow his own COVID-19 safety guidance, to now supporting Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, Tillis has failed to lead and has caved to political pressure in Washington again and again.
Tillis’ motivation is as transparent as it gets. As the News & Observer Editorial Board writes: “North Carolina’s junior senator is clinging to Trump’s coattails in a desperate hope that his blind subservience to the president can get him re-elected to an office that is supposed to be about independent judgment and leadership.”
But what North Carolinians need is an independent leader in Washington: “[S]enators are elected to serve the people, not the president. Or themselves. Which brings us back to Thom Tillis, who seems willing to do whatever takes — and to be whomever he needs to be — to keep his seat. The bigger problem isn’t the mask Tillis wasn’t wearing at Trump’s speech. It’s the mask he’s wearing all the time.”
The editorials all highlight a common theme: Senator Tillis is too weak to stand up to his own party, even when it comes at the expense of North Carolinians.
Editorial Board — September 24, 2020
- You have to wonder if Thom Tillis would fetch and roll over if it earned him a pat on the head and a tummy rub from Donald Trump.
- Tillis, the incumbent junior senator from North Carolina who faces a serious challenge from Democrat Cal Cunningham, has reversed himself (yet again) in an attempt to do Trump’s bidding and to save his U.S. Senate seat.
- He has become an old hand at contradicting himself to suit the occasion.
- As state House speaker, he supported an amendment to the North Carolina constitution that banned gay marriage while also saying that changing attitudes about the issue would soon render the amendment obsolete.
- Last year he opposed Trump’s use of a national emergency declaration to fund the border wall in a Washington Post op-ed before quickly changing his mind after blowback from Trump supporters.
- More recently, he preached the gospel of wearing a mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And then he was caught on camera at Trump’s Republican National Convention acceptance speech at the White House South lawn … not wearing a mask.
- What is more concerning is the abject lack of shame in this case. Or honesty. Or just plain decency.
- Which brings us back to Thom Tillis, who seems willing to do whatever takes — and to be whomever he needs to be — to keep his seat.
- The bigger problem isn’t the mask Tillis wasn’t wearing at Trump’s speech. It’s the mask he’s wearing all the time.
Editorial Board – September 21, 2020
- Anything President Trump wants, Sen. Thom Tillis is willing to deliver. North Carolina’s junior senator is clinging to Trump’s coattails in a desperate hope that his blind subservience to the president can get him re-elected to an office that is supposed to be about independent judgment and leadership.
- But the willingness of Republican senators to go along represents a towering act of hypocrisy. Republicans denied President Obama’s right to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia nearly nine months before the 2016 election on the grounds that a vacancy on the court should not be filled in an election year until the people have spoken at the polls.
- Now that is a profile in compliance. Not only does Tillis endorse the Senate considering Trump’s nominee late in an election year, he’s committed to voting yes before the nominee is vetted or testifies.
Capital Broadcasting Company Editorial — September 23, 2020
- Trust and truth aren’t big words. But given the latest comments from our president, North Carolina’s U.S. senators and a senator from our neighbor to the south, they are in short supply. What is the truth? What they said in 2016 or what they are saying today? The jury of public opinion should not have a tough time with reaching a verdict.
- It is more about election expediency than keeping your word.
- Senate Republicans – Thom Tillis, Richard Burr and South Carolina’s Lindsay Graham most prominently — abandon their principles and dutifully comply. Tillis fears any act of consistency will hurt his support among the GOP base.
- Where does Tillis stand today. It’s a dizzying about-face. His 2016 demand that the “voice of the people” determine who picks the next Supreme Court Justice evaporated in 2020.
- Election expediency – that’s what it’s about. Tillis and Burr should acknowledge they initially spoke in haste, reverse themselves and be true to their 2016 vows. The next president should determine the nominee for Supreme Court Justice. Unless Trump wins re-election, they should ignore any nominee he proposes. Don’t be rubber stamps. Do your job, senators.
Editorial Board — September 24, 2020
- After we recently praised Sen. Thom Tillis for seemingly taking masking seriously — as he should, in light of the continuing pandemic — we were notified by several readers that, no, we spoke too soon.
- Tillis, the incumbent junior senator from North Carolina who faces a challenge this fall from Democrat Cal Cunningham, has reversed himself (yet again). At issue this time is Tillis reneging on a position he expressed in 2016 on when and when not to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.
By Ken Ripely — September 23, 2020
- American voters have overwhelmingly said in polls they believe the vacancy should be filled by the victor in November’s election, not now by Trump. But expect there’s going to be a huge partisan fight, courtesy of Republicans’ lack of integrity and respect for the American people.
- Thom Tillis has been one of the worst Republican senators in upholding the rule of law.
- He’s a hypocrite and he lacks integrity worthy of the U.S. Senate. He needs to be sent home.
- Millions of Americans will be affected by the court’s decisions.
- But don’t hold your breath that Republicans will act responsibly. Their hypocritical haste is a sign they’re afraid they are going to lose in November. So it’s damn the voters, full speed ahead.