In a comment here, Stormbear observed that there may be a "Kissell Effect" coming into play, spilling across Congressional districts and changing the dynamics in NC-5. All I can say is this: if there's not a Kissell Effect, there should be.
Like every North Carolina progressive, I was pleased to see the Winston-Salem Journal taking a stand for sanity and good governance. I applaud the newspaper's take-down of Virginia Foxx and I agree with 99% of what the endorsement said. However, there's one point I'd like to push back on:
So Foxx could have moved toward the moderate center and reached out to her Democratic and independent constituents as well. She could have been a representative with a mind of her own, one who was willing to do what was in the best interests of her district. She could have abandoned the shrillness that poisons our politics and could have tried to build consensus.
The big problem with Foxx is not that she doesn't represent the best interests of her district, it's that she and the other Republican rubber-stampers in Congress don't represent the best interests of America either. They are taking us all to hell in a hand-basket filled with fear and greed, pitting us against one another in ways that will take generations to heal. I'm not saying Congress people should disregard the interests of their districts. That would be silly. But I am saying they should recognize the fundamental interconnectedness of people, not just here in North Carolina, but also between us and citizens all across this country and the world.
This issue points to the great failure of the Greedy Old Party. They have elevated selfishness to an art form and wrapped it in the gauzy flag of free-market fantasy. By pressuring elected officials to sign anti-tax pledges, they argue that nothing is more important than rich people keeping more of their money, regardless of the condition of the world around them.
In an amusing display of irony, John Hood weighs in on this issue in his column today:
Perhaps the most-objectionable reason offered to return an incumbent to office is a promise to “bring money back home.” It represents a repudiation of fiscal responsibility and a poverty of imagination. If election officials agree that much government spending is wasted – be it federal or state – and then vow, smiling conspiratorially, to get “our fair share” anyway, they are helping to perpetuate a costly fraud.
By arguing against the Politics of Pork, Hood paradoxically advocates for the common good. To be honest, I didn't think he had it in him.
So what does all this have to do with the Kissell Effect? Simply this: People across North Carolina are looking into the 8th district and seeing what an honest man with a good heart looks like. They're sensing the power of people just like them to make a difference. They're realizing that the Republicans they've supported in the past have sold them a bill of goods. And they're recognizing that Roger Sharpe is a lot like Larry Kissell. An honest, decent man who can and does think for himself about what's right and what's wrong.