Pearce on Pope

Over at Talking About Politics, Gary Pearce calls on Democrats to start worrying about the influence of Art Pope.

Art Pope is now Pope of the North Carolina Republican Party. By engineering the defeats of Reps. Richard Morgan and Rick Eddins, Pope made himself Supreme Pontiff, Enforcer of Orthodoxy and All-Powerful Exorcist of Heretics. I believe that bodes ill for Democrats this November.

Pope showed that he has the money – and can buy the skill – to overwhelm election opponents. And he is willing to spend the money. Some of my Republican friends didn’t think Pope could get away with calling Eddins a Democrat. Ridiculous, they scoffed. But it worked.

Pope’s strategy was to tie his rivals to scandal-plagued Speaker Jim Black. Look for the same line of attack against Democrats this fall.

For months now, Democrats have been enjoying the split among Republicans. It’s time to stop enjoying and start figuring out how to fight back.

I don't know which Democrats Pearce is referring to - maybe he means those 'inside the beltline' Dems that can look as much like Republicans as his business partner does - but those of us out here in real North Carolina have been trying to battle the Puppetmaster for months now.


I confess I've enjoyed it too

but that doesn't mean we've also made the error of discounting how dangerous they are. Because despite how I like to make fun of the Puppetmaster (and it really is easy to do) I view him as a serious and formidable threat. He's happy to use his considerable wealth to get his way and enforce party discipline, and appears willing to do so no matter what damage it might do to the common good.

In this sense, he's a divider pure and simple. Just like the Bushman, who ironically likes to pretend he's a uniter. At least Pope is a straight up unapolegetic asshole, so we always know where he stands: In his own corner.