I was with him when he said the election was rigged, but then he went too far

This entertaining story about the North Carolina Republican Party’s war on Madison Cawthorn has an amusing bit of understatement about how Cawthorn said that there would be violence over the stolen 2020 election, and then said something party elders actually disagreed with:

Cawthorn and Tillis didn’t have a strong relationship to start with, but the tension between themtook off at a Republican Party meeting in Macon County, N.C., in August. Addressing a crowd on the front porch of the county GOP headquarters, and brandishing a three-foot-long 12-gauge shotgun, Cawthorn called Tillis “a terrible campaigner” and “a complete RINO” (a shorthand pejorative meaning “Republican in Name Only”).

Elsewhere in the speech, Cawthorn warned of further “bloodshed” in response to elections that he baselessly suggested were “rigged” or stolen.” Those comments drew condemnation from congressional Democrats. But those were not the remarks that gave Republicans pause. Rather, it was his insults of Tillis that roiled North Carolina Republican politics.

Tillis’s allies, including Susan Tillis, started contacting people at the speech, furious that Cawthorn was using a party function to attack a senator from his own party, according to Woodhouse. (A Tillis spokesman denies that Susan Tillis directly called anyone.) “My phone was blowing up,” said Woodhouse,who was then the party chair for the congressional district.

There are thing you can say as a Republican congressperson and be safe (“the election was rigged”) and then things that might get you in trouble (insults of the wrong people, revealing the wrong people’s cocaine orgies.)