This has been a glorious evening and believe me, I think we should party down. Sing it with me now. The lyrics match the intelligence level of the man who inspired them.

“Ding, dong, the dope is gone. Stupid dope, go smoke your bong. Screw your cousin on the lawn. Ding dong the biggest dope is gone.”

The evening started out well with Madison Cawthorn’s favored opponent, Chuck Edwards, taking a quick lead and then Cawthorn narrowing the gap and then the sands of the hourglass ran out, sands being districts. There were only a few left when Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report, he who reads the political entrails most savvy-ly said, “I’ve seen enough,” and called the race.  Over 90% of the precincts had reported but the ones who were last were Cawthorn strongholds — or so he thought. 45 minutes later the Associated Press called it.

We are told that Cawthorn called his opponent and conceded the race. I have to admit, that surprised me. Roy Moore pretty much set the standard for not conceding and then Donald Trump carved it in stone and made it Rethug policy. So imagine my surprise.

Then, a few minutes later, this was posted.

One sentiment that is almost completely absent tonight is sympathy for Cawthorn. Pity, yes. He inspires that. But almost nobody has a drop of sympathy, because the man was warned so many times and he simply ignored it all. He wouldn’t listen to Kevin McCarthy, we know that. Maybe Matt Gaetz tried to tell him to chill. We will never know. But if anybody is the architect of his own adversity, I have never seen a better example than Madison Cawthorn. He is the poster chlld for political self-immolation, if one is ever needed. Intelligencer:

“No one from the Freedom Caucus guys to people in MAGA world are happy with how he conducted himself,” says one ally of Donald Trump. There is a sense that he had behaved even worse than controversial figures such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, who, for all inflammatory rhetoric, was not viewed as “super conceited and cocky.” Another plugged-in Republican strategist put it more bluntly: “The guy is just a total fuckup and shows the limits of patience and tolerance that the MAGA movement has for complete and utter idiots. It’s breaking laws and recklessness in personal behavior.”[…]

Even such tepid praise [Trump saying he made “foolish mistakes”] marked a major fall from glory for Cawthorn who took office just four months after his 25th birthday and was an immediate Republican star. On the strength of his youth — and what turned out to be a fabricated back story about the obstacles he had to overcome after being paralyzed in a car accident at the age of 19 — he had not only won an open Republican primary without Trump’s endorsement but had then gone on to be a featured speaker at the 2020 Republican convention.

Still, there was one shred of sympathy for Cawthorn as Tuesday night drew close. After reading a long Politico profile of Cawthorn describing him as unraveling, one freshman Democrat told Intelligencer that they came away with a feeling of pity towards a colleague. “I just felt more sympathy than anything else. This is a person who clearly has ambition whose pain and whose ability to create new life through that pain could be inspiring but instead has become self destructive.”

He has ambition, in the abstract, perhaps, meaning that there are things he wants. Don’t we all want certain things, or achievements? But anybody who has truly achieved anything learns a lesson early on: discipline is key to success. Discipline to do a given task, to apply oneself to a craft, a profession, is what builds success. Doing it, even when you’re not in the mood to do it that day. That is the mark of a master of a given skill or profession. People have greater or lesser degrees of natural talent. The race doesn’t always go to the swift, it frequently goes to the diligent.

Cawthorn never learned something that basic. He got to an incredible place in life very young. If he had possessed a scintilla of self awareness, self preservation at least, he would have realized that he had to hang onto this once in a lifetime opportunity and build something.

But he never realized that real work was involved. He figured that this was all a PR job, just looking good, saying the right things. And if he had even just done that right, at least, he probably would have hung on.

Instead, he chose to see himself as bulletproof. Even Trump didn’t want to endorse him and only did so at the 11th hour and then only on Truth Social. My personal opinion is that it was on the order of a mercy fuck from Trump. He didn’t want to go it, but the guy was so desperate, so Trump said, alright, here.

Now Cawthorn knows he’s not bulletproof. I don’t know where he’ll go from here, nor do I care, but I am laser focused on what he does in his lame duck days in Congress. I think that we are in for a ringing final act, here.


Help keep the site running, consider supporting.


  1. Just think of how much fun it will be to watch this punk now that he does not even have to pretend to do anything for his constituents…I mean, because it’s been so amusing up ’til now. Does N.C. allow write-in candidates after primary losses? It’s not like the guy who beat lil’ Maddie whupped his ass; he didn’t really run away with the nom.

    • Like the bulk of states NC has a so-called “sore loser” law. As I understand it (I’m a transplant to NC – in 2014) after looking up info. on it ours is relatively recent, or at least some of the recent history r.e. legal/court challenges and clarification is. These laws seem to vary from state to state but in NC if you have appeared on a recognized (by the state) political Party’s primary ballot then you cannot run or be elected as a write-in candidate in that year’s general election. However, if I understand the court case in 2018 correctly a candidate who loses a primary CAN run in the fall as the candidate of a different (recognized/certified) political Party if they choose to accept that person as their nominee.

      That brings up the question of who would want him as their candidate. Not the Democrats of course and the GOP establishment and a strong percentage of those in his district want him gone and forgotten – the sooner the better. Libertarians? I can’t see them wanting this ass wipe, or the Green Party either. Both have delusions of grandeur and at least poll well enough to make the ballot in federal, including Presidential elections. They aren’t going to fuck with that by taking on Cawthorn. In NC the recent (2018) court case was about the new Constitution Party and a candidate. Would they take on Cawthorn, if only to get name recognition? Perhaps but I doubt it, despite the old saw about even bad publicity being good publicity. Cawthorne’s face-plant was in part because despite Trump turning politics into “reality” TV more so than anyone else has been able to do for most politicians that approach doesn’t work. One still has to tend to a good chunk of the basics like constituent services and working on legislation that’s popular with the voters back home. Cawthorne by all accounts did none of that. None. And folks in his district noticed it a long time ago. I suspect he knew he’d become unpopular and that’s why he tried to run in a different district, a move that backfired when that new district got wiped out.

      So in the end I don’t see an existing second tier Party deciding to anoint Cawthorne as their nominee for the general election. That raises the issue of whether a new Party could be formed that he could run under. I don’t see that happening either.

      First and most basic who would fund and organize such a new Party? Even for a single district as a “starting point” to focus on Cawthorne has neither the money, knowledge or work ethic to get it done. He did manage to pull thirty-one percent of the vote in his old district yesterday so there’s some support for him (Still – WTF is WRONG with those goobers?) but that’s nowhere near enough. Having lost Trump will wash his hands of Cawthorne and the last minute endorsement from Trump was hardly a ringing one. Money from Trump? Don’t make me laugh.

      Political talent that would help him fundraise and organize, at least competent people that know shit and gets things done won’t go near him. Hell, they’d run away in terror if they even saw him fearing someone would snap a picture showing them and Cawthorne in the same image! But let’s assume for the sake of fun that some angel investor decided to drop a pile of money on a MAGAs for Madison PAC that would start a MAGA Party in NC. I found (while watching Kornacki last night) it was interesting that Cawthorne picked up a solid block of support from a sliver of NC made up of counties along the border with TN. That same sliver was NOT on his side last time around, when then candidate Cawthorne was instead of talking MAGA and throwing red meat instead talking about unity and basic stuff like ensuring conservative stuff like low taxes and limited regulation. He wasn’t extreme. He wasn’t “MAGA.” So he lost in this area of his district. The thing is, THAT is the area where once the vote was counted last night caused things to be close. He wouldn’t have even approached the magic 30% threshold without kicking ass in this heavily MAGA part of his district. But THIS time around they went for him. “Bigly.” It is however rural/small town and these folks don’t have much money to donate. And even added up with other MAGAs in the district they aren’t nearly enough.

      The problem is that even if time could be slowed down enough to raise the insane amounts of money it would take to buy (if only way the fuck behind the scenes and away from the spotlight) political talent to build a MAGA Party in NC from scratch so as to save Cawthorne there would still be the problem of getting the state to officially recognize/certify it. Rest assured THAT is NOT going to happen. As keeps being said the establishment (and a shitload of regular conservatives) want Cawthorne gone and forgotten as I’ve already said. They don’t want to piss off the MAGAts so they’d make a helluva show clutching their pearls and lamenting how complicated it all was and how it was a shame there simply wasn’t time for all the required steps to be taken and so on even as they gleefully threw roadblocks down but in the end for this year at least no MAGA Party that would give Cawthorne another chance THIS year would be certified.

      But what the hell. Let’s assume one more time shall we? Let’s say given other races and especially the Senate race here to replace the retiring Richard Burr have them worried – and that IS the case. And that the last thing they want to do is piss off the MAGA crowd in NC because without them and their fervor it’s going to be a bad election night in November and not just for NC Republicans. So, if a MAGAs for Maddison movement rises up and demands recognition as an official Party complete with ballot access (Republicans control the apparatus here in NC) with Cawthorne as their figurehead AND their candidate in his old district the sane (by GOP standards) folks would cave.

      That would make for interesting times in a district that should easily go Republican. Cawthorne being on the ballot would split the vote. The internal fighting would be brutal and probably drive down GOP participation. (Which would hurt them in the Senate race too!) Under such circumstances there is a chance, albeit not a great one that for one cycle we’d get a Democrat elected. She would only last one term and then like Heath Shuler a couple of decades ago be voted out no matter how much she accomplished for the district, but even one term and at this point in time could be huge.

      However, I don’t see that happening. I still think that when the enormity of his fall and SPLAT on the cold, hard ground sinks in Cawthorne will lash out and insist on a runoff since he got more than thirty percent of the vote. If he had a lick of common sense he’d make the rounds offering a private mea culpa to every power broker in the state and national Party so he could after a while get set up with some kind of halfway decent paying gig – something “make work” where he’d not really do anything but collect a paycheck – as long as he kept his fucking mouth shut UNLESS he said only EXACTLY what the power brokers told him to say. IOW they’d pay him for his silence. That’s the best deal he’s going to get and even that is a maybe because he’d have to prove starting right fucking now that he can and will play by the rules, including special conditions they set for him. I’ll guarantee you he’s going to be hearing from a few very powerful people this morning (if he hasn’t already) to keep a VERY low profile and support the nominee. And then STFU for a while as they decide his fate which will depend on whether he will FINALLY listen to them and do what he is told. No more and no less.

      I for one think he’ll blow that too.

      • Count among your readers one county Dem precinct chair who’s been through hellish times lately, who is really laughing her ass off and badly needed some cause for celebration!

      • I do NOT see how it’s remotely legal for the State to decide that one cannot “be elected as a write-in candidate in that year’s general election.” That would most certainly be a definite example of “thwarting the will of the people.”

        I would think that he might not be able to form any kind of *official* campaign committee (ie, he wouldn’t be able to take out full page ads reading “Write in Madison Cawthorn on November 8”) as the whole purpose of a “write-in” campaign is the ultimate in grass roots electioneering but, thanks to our right-wing SCOTUS folks, one or two or forty-six PACs could develop to support/promote a Cawthorn write-in campaign, doing all the stuff that Cawthorn himself wouldn’t be able to do.

        But to impose a blanket ban on any candidate’s chances of being written in? That sounds like it would NOT hold up under any court’s scrutiny; I could imagine it could even be a very rare 9-0 SCOTUS decision in Cawthorn’s favor. We can argue all we want about the concept of “money = speech” but disallowing any candidate’s name from being written in on a ballot (which, after all, is the VOTER’S voice) seems like it’s legitimately attempting to infringe on the voter’s right to choose their elected officials.

        That’s not to say he would necessarily succeed and he does seem like the kind of cretin who’d be ready to let a Democrat win the district as a big FU to the Republicans who voted against him.

        • A law was passed specific to this and it held up in court. NC isn’t the only state with such a law by the way. So unless Cawthorne can find the resources to mount what would ultimately be a futile legal challenge his only option is to run as a candidate for another established and recognized Party. I suppose in theory he could suggest his supporters write in his name and the powers that be won’t do anything because holding him to account would create just the kind of shit-show they prayed they’d avoid by working for his defeat in the primary (IOW make like Trump and dare them to do something to him) which would actually be not only entertaining but again, open the door for a chance (not a great one but a chance at least) to sneak a Democrat into that seat for one term. Time will tell.

    • Those western Tarheels have spoken. Once their mind is made up, no way in hell can enough write-in votes be found to save his skinny ass.

  2. You may recall that I said Cawthorn was politically a dead man walking a few days back. It was only ever a question of who would get him first. I also suspected that it’d be his own people that got him first. Looks like I was right there too.

    A related note: if he can be beaten, so can most of the rest of this noxious field. Let’s make it happen!

    • Not to celebrate too early, that is to say, lets not go counting them chickens too soon. He only lost by a slim margin, proof positive that Trump still holds sway in that State. The new question is, will Trump support his rival in the General Election in Nov. and will it split the Rep. vote and usher in a Dem for at least one term. Or will Donald who has no political savvy double down and withhold his endorsement to punish the local electorate? I’m betting on the latter?

  3. Maddy hasn’t learned yet that if the former guy has your back, it’s so he can shiv you without warning when you aren’t sufficiently worshipful.

  4. After I read a sympathetic article on Cawthorn on the confluence of his immense ambition and the pain and suffering he has had to rise above, I now really empathize with him. And I worry. Will his election loss coupled with months of humiliating news reports lead to a major emotional crisis that could spell disaster for him?

    My empathy is layered on top of my profound revulsion at his role in the House. I voted against him and rejoiced at his defeat.

    A caveat: If Edwards wins the seat in Nov against Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, he will contribute to the downward spiral North Carolina has been in since 2010.

    Beach-Ferrara, a Buncombe County Commissioner, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and the founding Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE), received 60% of the Democratic vote. She has generated a lot of excitement among Democrats and will have a tough race against the well-known Edwards.

    I’m donating to and will work for her and urge you to do the same.

  5. I have no pity or sympathy for that (word I can’t use in polite society like this place). He got what he deserved. Ever since the accident that crippled him, he has used his disability to get whatever he wants. He has liked about everything. He counts on people to feel sorry for him. I don’t. I, too, have to use a wheelchair (a power one). But I don’t try to get sympathy from others just to get my way. I have long since accepted the fact that the wheelchair is part of my life. I am very grateful for it. Because of the way that I behave, people don’t see my wheelchair. They see an 84-year-old woman who has taken charge of her life and is doing just fine with it. He is an asshole and should never have been elected two years ago. I’m glad he got dumped.

    • I’ll say it if you won’t…opportunistic POS. If he’d had better self-control, he could have been the new Lindsey Graham. As it stands, he won’t even be a footnote, which must hurt him deeply.

      • Yes Bareshark: One truly has to wonder what the man was thinking when he outed the elderly GOP members of Congress and the Senate (most of them are old baby boomers and relics of a bygone age) of drug fueled orgies to which he was oft invited. An old song comes to mind. “There was nothing he couldn’t have done. But now he’s dead and gone. Tried to murder the sun, with a hand made gun. Now his story goes on and on.” And we can all say “Alas dear Madison we knew him well” tee hee hee.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

The maximum upload file size: 128 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here