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Bob RuchoSenator Bob Rucho is far from the first person to make the boneheaded mistake of comparing something in modern American politics to Nazi Germany; lots of people have made the same ridiculous error. That said, it is interesting to compare and contrast the responses that such comments can provoke.

Four months ago when UNC-TV host D.G. Martin — a Democrat — made an ill-considered allusion/comparison to Nazi Germany in one of his syndicated columns, Claude Pope, the head on the North Carolina Republican Party, called Martin derogatory names and demanded he be ousted from his TV job. Now mind you, this was despite the fact Martin immediately apologized for having made the comparison and does not hold a position of political or government leadership.

Compare this to the Rucho flap — a situation in which the senator (one of the most powerful elected officials in North Carolina) has refused to apologize and, indeed, has doubled-down on the comment by claiming critics are members of “socialist elites.”  This time, all Pope has done is call for an apology.

Perhaps Pope has a plan to help promote a primary opponent against Rucho in 2014 — rumors have it that this may be the case — but if he really believes that such offensive comparisons ought to be grounds for removal from office, he ought to say so publicly and today.

While it was obviously the right thing for state GOP leaders to sack party official Don Yelton in the wake of his off-the-rails performance on The Daily Show the other day,  a quick Internet search reveals that there was plenty of reason to expect his comically deranged and hate-tinged flameout for some time — enough, indeed, to make a body wonder why Claude Pope didn’t officially repudiate the man years ago.

As you can see in the video immediately below, Yelton actually testified before the General Assembly on the voter suppression bill earlier this year and displayed a coherence about on par with his Daily Show rant.

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But before that, Yelton had made numerous recorded speeches and even hosted a public access TV show in Asheville called “Citizens Speak.” Click here to peruse a veritable cavalcade of craziness.

It looks like Governor McCrory’s role in the big tax cut debate between House and Senate leaders might be merely to market what the legislative leaders come up with.

Here’s what House Speaker Thom Tillis told the News & Observer about McCrory’s role in the discussion about a tax deal.

We need the governor fully on board so he can communicate it and get people to understand it.

That’s a bit of an odd take from Tillis. He didn’t say they need to work with the governor because he is running the state or because he is the top elected official of their own political party or heaven forbid, because he might have some policy ideas and strongly held views of his own about taxes.

No, they need the governor on board only to sell the package that Berger and Tillis decide on. It is pretty clear legislative leaders believe they are in charge in Raleigh these days. McCrory? He is their PR guy.

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In an apparent effort to shake its image as a party whose modern-day membership is confined almost exclusively to tea party extremists and/or members of the religious right, the North Carolina GOP announced this week that it would be opening up the tent to reach out to another group that once figured prominently in the party, but whose public participation has been less clearly visible in recent times.

I speak, of course, of that much discriminated against and long-suffering minority: Older, fabulously wealthy, thrice-married, beauty-contest running, spotlight-seeking gambling moguls. 

GOP officials announced that the keynote speaker at their state convention would be that  paragon of virtue and morality, the one and only Donald Trump. The Donald will speak on June 1 at 7 pm in Greensboro.

No word yet on whether the event will also feature another prominent casino owner, Newt Gingrich’s sugar daddy, billionaire casino king, Sheldon Adelson. My guess is that he puts up enough cash, they’ll be happy to include him.

Lynn Bonner has an interesting story in Under the Dome today about state Senate Republican heavyweights Phil Berger and Tom Apodaca telling folks in Cherokee that the Senate has the votes to allow the introduction of ”table gambling” in North Carolina.

To which, all a person can say is: “Oh really? And exactly how will the GOP leaders explain this to their conservative Christian base?”