There is probably no better way to start your NYT Sunday (and no better way to gird your loins against reading Ross Douthat later) than checking out the big piece on how North Carolina Republicans are eating themselves alive as moderately awful candidates battle severely awful candidates in the Republican primary for Senate so that one of them can fling themselves messily against incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan.

Ine one corner, there's old-school Republican Thom Tillis, who is sort of a North Carolina Mittens: his main qualification is that he has a pile of money, which, apparently, speaks for itself. In this corner, Mark Harris, godbotherer and Mike Huckabee fellow traveler. In this corner (what? it's three corners, like the beloved Tea Party symbol, the tri-corner hat) is Greg Brannon, who has the backing of Rand Paul and looks to be the most genuinely terrible person running.

[Brannon] was recently found guilty of misleading two investors in a failed start-up company and has been ordered to pay them back more than $450,000, a verdict he is appealing. He also has a history of remarks that even some in his own party consider provocative: He has praised Jesse Helms, the longtime Republican senator from North Carolina who never renounced racial segregation, as a “modern hero,” and during the 2012 election said a vote for Mr. Romney would “advance tyranny.”




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