SC GOP Rep. Joe Wilson Endorses Wackjob Katie Arrington Over Golfing Buddy Nancy Mace
GOP Rep. Joe Wilson has officially endorsed MAGA-fied candidate Katie Arrington over incumbent Rep. Nancy Mace. And that’s no lie!
It’s almost unprecedented for a fellow House member (from the same state no less) to support your primary challenger, but attempted coups were once unprecedented. Precedent is relative these days.
In his announcement last week, Wilson declared:
“As murderers and enemies of freedom grow emboldened by the feeble leadership of the Biden Administration, Washington needs more people who understand the significant implications of a weak America on the world stage,” Wilson’s message read. “That’s why I am endorsing Katie Arrington for Congress in South Carolina’s 1st District.”
Arrington has Donald Trump’s endorsement, along with that of fellow Big Lie promoters Richard Grenell and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, but Mace could for a while hold her head up high and say she had the support of “establishment” Republicans like Nikki Haley and Senator Rand Paul. (Maybe she shouldn’t hold her head up that high.) However, Wilson’s cold diss is a disturbing turn of events for Mace.
Over Easter weekend, Mace and Wilson hung out together at the RBC Heritage golf tournament on Hilton Head Island. Mace tweeted, "Telling a few jokes with Congressman @RepJoeWilson at @RBC_Heritage!” Apparently, no one told Mace she was the punchline. However, Mace’s campaign didn’t waste time lashing out at Wilson after the stab-in-the-back endorsement
“Joe Wilson is the reason we need term limits in Congress,” said Mace’s campaign manager, Austin McCubbin, who cited him as “the most liberal Republican congressman from South Carolina,” according to some ratings.
According to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight, both Wilson and Mace have similar voting records, siding with Democratic President Joe Biden just 18 and 22 percent of the time, respectively.
Mace still suffers from the delusion that facts matter to MAGA voters, or that whatever passes for modern conservatism is an intellectually consistent philosophy. The GOP is a fully owned subsidiary of the Trump Organization, arguably its most successful acquisition. Trump doesn’t like Mace because she weakly criticized him after the January 6 insurrection he incited. He’s going to delight in unseating Mace, who he’s called a “terrible person” and a “grandstanding loser,” and even her country club buddies like Wilson have seen the dire writing on the wall.
Wilson willingly participated in Trump’s soft coup by voting to overturn the results of a free and fair election. Mace obeyed the law and the Constitution, which makes her MAGA persona non grata. Arguably, Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s saving grace with Trump is that he voted with the GOP sedition caucus. Mace can try to grovel and debase herself before Trump, but it won’t have the same effect. She can’t make that vote go away.
Friday, Arrington all but called Mace a strung-out pothead. She tweeted, "People deserve a representative who shows up, not one who goes to Miami for a Pot Convention on 4/20. I am calling on No Show Nancy to take a drug test, maybe then we will know why it’s her obsession!”
This is an especially gross smear, as Mace wasn’t at a Phish concert but a cannabis investment event, the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference. Last year, she introduced the States Reform Act, which she said "seeks to remove cannabis from Schedule I in a manner consistent with the rights of states to determine what level of cannabis reform each state already has, or not.”
“This bill supports veterans, law enforcement, farmers, businesses, those with serious illnesses, and it is good for criminal justice reform. Furthermore, a super-majority of Americans support an end to cannabis prohibition, which is why only 3 states in the country have no cannabis reform at all.
“The States Reform Act takes special care to keep Americans and their children safe while ending federal interference with state cannabis laws. Washington needs to provide a framework which allows states to make their own decisions on cannabis moving forward. This bill does that.”
This is sitcom-level dirty politics. No decent elected official should endorse Mace, but decent people don’t belong to the GOP.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."