September 25, 2015

Rep. Renee Ellmers is hardly a RINO. She's as crazy as the rest of them, but now she's got a contender for that award.

When Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) defeated an incumbent Democrat five years ago by accusing him of supporting a 9/11 "victory mosque" in Lower Manhattan, she probably didn't expect to find herself in the crosshairs of tea party activists anytime soon. But since coming to Washington after an upset victory in the 2010 Republican landslide, she's dabbled in moderation. In just the last year, Ellmers voted against a bill that would have prohibited abortions after 20 weeks, and she opposed repealing President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration. In 2014, she won a tough primary but cruised to victory against Democratic nominee (and American Idol contestant) Clay Aiken. In an act of heresy for a former tea party star, she's gone on record defending so-called RINOs—short for "Republican in Name Only."

In 2016, she faces stiffer competition. Her top primary challenger, a former county GOP chair named Jim Duncan, is neck and neck with her in fundraising. And another challenger, former North Carolina GOP spokeswoman Kay Daly, just aired an ad in which she blows Ellmers away with a shotgun. Metaphorically, of course.

It isn't going to get any better. With Boehner gone, the floodgates are open and the crazies will stampede. I guarantee it.

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