The good people at Facing South published an important and powerful “must read” essay today by Prof. Gene Nichol of the UNC School of Law. In “Betraying Decency and Democracy in North Carolina,” Nichol employs his customary pull-no-punches style to lay out a damning indictment of a group that he’s rightfully come to call “the sedition caucus” — i.e. the pathetically loyal Donald Trump lackeys who would abandon our nation’s mostly successful two-and-a-half century experiment in democratic government in service of the delusions of a criminally corrupt aspiring despot.

Here is an excerpt:

The North Carolina Republican Party is well and generously represented in the federal sedition caucus. Mark Meadows, of course, directly aided and abetted Donald Trump’s repeated steps to thwart democracy as his chief of staff. Madison Cawthorn famously worked to pump up the crowd who sought to overthrow the government by violently storming the Capitol on Jan. 6. Cawthorn’s colleague Virginia Foxx was delighted to make the successful motion to expel Liz Cheney from House Republican leadership because she refused to endorse Trump’s lies about the 2020 race. The habitually embarrassing Foxx taunted Cheney in making the motion, calling her a “leader who has no followers” — almost bragging about the absence of character in the Republican House caucus. No Republican House or Senate member from North Carolina voted to establish an independent commission to study the post-election insurrection. Traumatized Capitol Hill police officers expressed their “deep disappointment” in the Republican vote in a letter, writing, “It is inconceivable that some of the Members we protect would downplay the events of January 6th.”

Former Republican North Carolina Chief Justice Mark Martin offered his studied legal advice to the former president, indicating — either dishonestly or incompetently — that Mike Pence had the right to reject the election’s certification. The loony North Carolina Republican lawyer, Sydney Powell, presented stunning conspiracy theories across the country, in court and out, on behalf of Trump and his campaign — though she later asserted that any sensible person would have known she was lying. Two-thirds of the North Carolina Republican congressional delegation voted, even after Capitol police were brutally murdered in an unprecedented coup attempt, to award the 2020 presidential contest to the losing candidate. Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Richard Hudson, Greg Murphy, and David Rouzer joined Cawthorn and Foxx in an attempt to overturn the results. A similar cohort of our Republican House members earlier signed on to an outrageous Supreme Court brief filed by a buffoonish Texas attorney general designed to unconstitutionally disenfranchise four states and millions of African American voters to throw things Trump’s way. Republican Tar Heel Washington officials and their advocates have stepped up eagerly, often, and prominently to dismantle our constitutional order.

And, still focusing on federal office holders, upon learning of Sen. Richard Burr’s vote to hold Trump accountable for instigating violent rebellion, the North Carolina Republican Party called an “emergency” meeting to unanimously censure Burr for his heresy. Chairman Michael Whatley said it was crucial to immediately separate Tar Heel Republicans from any effort to stand up to Trump. North Carolina Republicans apparently value the former president more than accountability or truth, and they were quick to show it. Burr responded, accurately, that his “party’s leadership has chosen loyalty to one man over the core principles of the Republican Party and the founders of our great nation.” And in the now-crowded Republican primary field seeking to replace Burr, embracing Trump’s treacherous efforts to overturn the presidential election is said to have become “the litmus test” for fawning would-be candidates.

To no one’s surprise, the North Carolina Republican Party invited Trump to be the keynote speaker at its June statewide convention in Greenville — providing as broad a platform as possible for the former president to broadcast his mendacious spiel about the 2020 election. There Trump endorsed Rep. Ted Budd — the Mark Meadows pal who voted to overturn the 2020 election and joined the Texas brief urging the Supreme Court to throw out the constitutional process and simply crown Trump — for the open North Carolina Senate seat. Budd, in return, enthusiastically pledged his troth to making America great again.

If Republicans in Washington are presently engaged in a divisive, future-determinative civil war, you can’t prove it by North Carolina. Principle — conservative or otherwise — is nowhere to be found. Subservience to the most dishonest and constitution-busting president in American history is all that matters….

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