Raleigh – In the spirit of Christmas, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Senator Thom Tillis’ infamous op-ed has earned its place among the Washington Post’s favorite op-eds of 2019, with the Post’s editorial page editor Fred Hiatt calling it a “bittersweet choice” that reveals how a weak and spineless Senator Tillis abandoned his principles for political survival:
“Tillis then turned around and voted for the emergency, providing the kind of distilled proof one rarely gets in the real world of how the Republican Party has abandoned principle for expediency and political survival in the Trump era.”
The award comes one day after Tillis failed to secure funding to “backfill” the money raided from North Carolina’s military bases as part of the emergency declaration – despite multiple promises to do so.
A place among the best op-eds of 2019 wasn’t the only thing Tillis’ flip flop earned him. It caused lasting damage – forcing him to bleed campaign cash, compromise on his principles, and take positions out of step with North Carolina.
It revealed how he’s one of the most vulnerable senators in the country, with analysts moving his race to “Toss Up” because Tillis’ “personal favorability numbers are not good” and he has an “image problem” with voters.
And it earned him scathing criticism from voters and outlets:
- Charlotte Observer Editorial: Tillis “flips like a fish on a dock, sometimes within weeks”
- Fayetteville Observer Editorial: Tillis did not stand up to Trump for state’s military funding
- WRAL Editorial: Tillis “quakes at every Trump tweet”
- Charlotte Observer Editorial: Tillis “has abandoned the state he represents for the president he thinks he needs.”
- Fayetteville Observer Editorial: Tillis “meekly acquiesced in the money grab”
- News & Observer: Tillis votes again with Trump on border emergency declaration, despite NC military cuts
- Military spouse: “How can we trust you?”
Truly, the gift that keeps on giving.
Washington Post: Our favorite Washington Post op-eds of 2019
By Fred Hiatt
December 17, 2019
“I support Trump’s vision on border security. But I would vote against the emergency.” by Thom Tillis
This is a bittersweet choice. Tillis, a Republican senator from North Carolina, eloquently set out why principle demanded that he vote against President Trump’s emergency use of funds to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, even though, Tillis said, he supported the barrier. “It is my responsibility to be a steward of the Article I branch, to preserve the separation of powers and to curb the kind of executive overreach that Congress has allowed to fester for the better part of the past century,” Tillis wrote. “I stood by that principle during the Obama administration, and I stand by it now.” Tillis then turned around and voted for the emergency, providing the kind of distilled proof one rarely gets in the real world of how the Republican Party has abandoned principle for expediency and political survival in the Trump era. — Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor