11th District Republican Party Asunder


asunder.jpg{pic credit}

It’s been a torturous time for North Carolina’s 11th District Republicans since disgraced former Congressman Charles Taylor’s ignominious defeat in 2006. Wacky Chad Nesbitt tried to take over the Buncombe Party, forcing the end of a libertarian coup. The Henderson County webmaster resigned very publicly. A chorus of voices rose up to criticize The Lump for playing coy over whether he would run again for the Congressional seat. Taylor himself, safely bunkered at his Transylvania compound, was silent as the grave for over a year. Strong potential candidates like Jeff Hunt and Tom Apodaca withdrew their names from consideration in part because of Taylor’s intransigence.

Today there are three candidates in the running for the Republican nomination: An intellectual libertarian, a rigid ideologue, and a squishy Party man. The head of the redundantly named Henderson Republican Men’s Club wants to see more of the Party apparatus get involved in putting the candidates out before the public in the same way they did in late November.

The GOP’s district Chair, Stephen Duncan, isn’t too interested in making that sort of thing happen,

“”There are individuals who feel there are different ways of doing things,” Duncan said.

He said Stanley is doing good work in Henderson County, a Republican stronghold, but he said some of the methods might not work in other counties in the district.

“They are all marching forward in ways that they think can help the district,” Duncan said.”

Get that? The GOP District Chair says that “methods” like public debates “might not work in other counties”. Which counties might those be? It looks to me as though the District Chair is having no success in coordinating his county chairs, even so far as to help their Republican candidates raise name recognition. With the 2008 11th District Republican Party Convention approaching, I’m looking forward to seeing the Republican infighting become even more public.

Looks like Shuler will be coasting to re-election.

{cross-posted at BlueNC}


  1. First, I agree we all are well rid of ole Lumpy, he was never my idea of the proper Congressman for WNC. … I assume you use ‘assunder’ in its ‘apart from each other in position’ definition. And that’s true to some extent but certainly not as widely as I see among the mountain Democrats, running as it does all the way from the old ‘Solid South’ type conservatives (as my parents were all their lives) to the new outlandish (and that is meant literally) so-called progressives’ ‘fadthought’ (as a widely published author I am licensed to invent words, do not try this at home without adult supervision — definition of ‘fadthought’ available on request but should be relatively obvious by context). … So Democrats are (by the very nature of the beast) always more ‘assunder’ than Republicans. Which is not necessarily good or bad but simply the way it is. Both parties have their share of kooks but the Democrats seem to garner the kookier.

    Thankfully, I am not and never have been either Republican or Democrat … still, I DO support and endorse Carl Mumpower for Congress. I base my support not on party ideology — which I couldn’t care less about — but on long acquaintance and the resulting knowlege that he is a good and honorable man who understands these our mountains and its people.

    To give Shuler his due, he grew up in Swain County and you cannot get more ‘mountain’ than that (read Horace Kephart’s OUR SOUTHERN HIGHLANDERS, this seminal book was set mostly in that area). But Shuler let for the bright lights (in his case the ones above the football field) whereas Carl stayed here in the mountains (except for his combat tour in Vietnam, a vacation of sorts that I, too, enjoyed). So, Carl is a homeboy and I go with that.

  2. randallt says:

    Ralph, do think that Heath Shuler will “coast” to another term?

  3. Ralph Roberts says:

    Shuler will have to work for it — to say he’ll ‘coast’ is unrealistic, Gordon’s argument aside — but, as incumbent, odds are with him. Looking at the 11th district as a whole, it’s pretty evenly divided between conservatives and liberals, that’s why we usually have close elections for Congress. Too soon to say how national and local events will effect the election, still anyone’s ballgame.

    But the NICE thing about it, whether Shuler or Carl or one of the other Republicans win, we’ll still have a conservative in Congress. Shuler is much closer to the model of the Democratic ‘Solid South’ Democrats we just to elect up here (and hardly ever a Republican) … guys like Lamar Gudger, Roy ‘the Good’ Taylor, even Jamie McClure Clark, albeit he waffled enough to let a Republican beat him but he came back. Those and Shuler are what the old folks call ‘real’ Democrats. I can live with Shuler. Blue Dog is good dog.

    Yes, Congress this time is a win-win.

    Presidential… lose-lose — simply no decent candidates on either side. Where’s Pat Paulson and Harold Stassen now that we REALLY need them? Those two — one a comedian, the other a perennial candidate — would both be better than what the two major parties are trying to foist on us this year. Don’t you guys have any ENTRANCE EXAMS? You grade on the curve or something? Give credit for recess? … well, sure looks like it.

  4. Gordon Smith says:


    I know that people like to call themselves independent, more and more since the Republican Party brand became covered in blood, sex, and greed.

    You can call Shuler conservative, and he is on social issues, but you ought not think there’s no difference between him and the Republicans. Shuler’s voted in favor of workers, education, small business, and the environment. There’s not a Republican in the race we could count on to do the same things.

    And you know this.

    You say he won’t coast, and maybe you’re right. But where’s the competition coming from? You really think Mumpower’s going to play well in the hinterlands? I imagine Campbell will get the nomination because folks will be left disliking Mumpower smugness and Armor’s libertarianism.

    Lastly, I feel our Democratic Presidential field is excellent, and I’ve noticed it’s only Republicans and Ralph Roberts who have suggested otherwise.

  5. ummm… Gordon, lots of people and pundits alike (we cannot always charterize pundits as people, eh?) say otherwise. Even on such holiest of the holy progressive sites such as http://dailykos.com there are those who disparage Hillary, Obama … but not so much Edwards — go figure.

    Simply put, we (all of us Americans) are NOT being served well in the political process this time — I stand by my opinion, there are none running who qualify for or deserve to be President … that also goes for the last two presidential elections.

    We — America — deserve better and can do better.

    We should.

  6. Here’s an article in point from DailyKos and one of the GREATEST and most appropriate titles I’ve even seen (albeit about the Pelosi and Reid, it applies just as well to the Democratic presidential candidates):

    “You don’t bring ‘Kumbaya’ to a gunfight”

    read the article at:


    While I do not agree with always casting corporations as the villain. Democrats use big biz as the enemy, Republicans use liberals — both, of course, are the enemy. To quote the immortal Pogo, “we have seen the enemy and he is us.” Anyway the article still makes some valid points.

    Basically, the Democrats have a bunch of self-serving wimps running this time. To only slighly lesser degree, so do the Republicans. Slightly less wimpish, not slightly less self-serving.

    Am I wrong? Nope.

  7. bobaloo says:

    Less wimpish? You don’t consider shameless pandering (Mitt) and flat out lying about their records (McCain on amnesty, Huck on…everything he ever did) to be wimpish? Not being wimpish would be owning up to the past and explaining it plainly.
    Rudy and Fred may not be wimps per se, but Rudy runs on 9/11 and Fred’s got as much of a chance as Ron Paul.
    Well, at least Paul’s not a wimp. Delusional and fringe, but not a wimp.
    And this is the primaries, eating your own is a time honored tradition.
    Personally, I’m for Ralph Wiggum.

  8. Arratik says:

    Personally, I’m for Ralph Wiggum.

    “Pick a Winner!”


  9. Gordon Smith says:


    When folks at a Democratic partisan election site discuss liberal issues, it doesn’t amount to a “none of these candidates are good enough” consensus. At all.

    For fun, you could delineate those characteristics, record, and experiences that you would choose if you were constructing a “qualified” candidate.

  10. Arratik and Bobaloo, I can certain endorse Ralph Wiggum … sometimes I feel like him here, saying something so glaringly obvious it’s funny. 😉

  11. Ralph Roberts says:

    WOO HOO!… time for some REAL fun… Drudge is saying Hillary may drop out (yeah, yeah, it IS Drudge).

    still fun to think about:


  12. Ralph Roberts says:

    Gordon, to answer your question… if I was constructing the idea candidate … how about Teddy Roosevelt with Thomas Jefferson’s intellect, Herbert Hoover’s engineering expertise, Ike’s and Zachary Taylor’s military background, Bill Clinton’s charisma and sax playing ability, Monroe’s grasp of foreign policy, and David Atchison’s supposed ability to sleep through his entire presidential term. (if you’re unfamiliar with Atchison, he was perhaps technically at least the president between Polk and Taylor — look him up, fascinating bit of historical trivia).

  13. Gordon Smith says:

    I have important information for you, Ralph.

    Never read Drudge.

    Hillary has tens of millions of dollars in the bank. She’s not getting out of this race until Feb. 6th at the earliest.

  14. Ralph Roberts says:

    hey, I read EVERYBODY, even you. 😉

  15. shad marsh says:


    The Republicans having been doing their best to make Hoovervilles all the rage again.

  16. Ralph Roberts says:

    Not really, Shad… the economy is much, much better than in those days … if we could just do something about energy, things would really go well.

    And why, oh why, did they call it the “Great Depression.” My mother and dad lived through it and their stories of it were not so great.