Check your privilege, GOP establishment

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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Every Republican can be happy that there will not be a runoff election in North Carolina’s Senate race. While not all are thrilled that the nominee is state House Speaker Thom Tillis, the moderate favorite of the GOP establishment, his convincing win shows party unity and avoids an expensive, damaging 10-week runoff election. Democrats, meanwhile, can be uniformly glum that the GOP settled on a nominee quickly and one who sounds an awful lot like Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who has twice won handily in the light-red state. But rather than showing a little patriotic grace, some in the Republican establishment gave in to the temptation of smack talk against the insurgency struggling for control of the party’s soul.

[Watch Fox: Thom Tillis will appear in the 4 p.m. ET hour.]

Dude! - While some macho Twitter dudes couldn’t resist publicly calling out their intra-party rivals, others were more tactful if no less vicious. One emailer suggested that the “humiliation” would continue all the way through June. The Republican establishment is glomming onto the mainstream media narrative today that they are finally pruning the Tea Party elements from the party. What seems more likely here is that having suffered in 2012 for indulging their desires for conservative purity, Republican primary voters are making a calculated choice to emphasize electability. President Obama, not the GOP greybeards, taught them that lesson. Republican insiders could take a lesson from him too: always, always be taking care of your base. While functional parties require order to be kept, a victory should always be followed by magnanimity. So GOP flacks considering whether to tweet that tweet or offer that triumphal quote to a reporter may want to chillax, man. If they want to expand the map and increase their chances to control the Senate, Republican leaders will need activists to work hard for long-shot candidates in places like Minnesota and Virginia. If those folks feel stepped on by party elders rather than celebrated for their passions, they’ll opt out. Money and organization are essential, but passion is irreplaceable.

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Chris Stirewalt
FOX News