An awful lot of us on the right worked hard to get Pat McCrory into the governor’s mansion in Raleigh. There was a lot of excitement in 2012 about the potential for fundamental change a GOP majority and GOP governor could bring to state government.
Since the inauguration, Republicans have bent over backwards to not step on Gov. Pat’s toes. It’s too bad that Gov. Pat has ZERO problem with throwing his fellow GOPers under the bus. Let’s review:
The Marriage Amendment: Many observers saw the proposed amendment to the state constitution — establishing the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman — as a great tool for bringing out the religious right to help the GOP ticket in 2012. McCrory was asked by the legacy media for his opinion on the amendment — but repeatedly evaded those queries. Eventually, he grumbled that he was probably going to vote for it. As you know, the amendment PASSED with 61 percent of the vote. Not exactly something to run away from.
ObamaCare: While grassroots activists and Tea Party-aligned legislators were talking about defunding ObamaCare, McCrory grumbled that ObamaCare is “the law of the land” and we all just need to move along. After much heat from the grassroots, the legislature ended up refusing the federal money to set up the health exchanges.
Voter ID: The media and their leftist comrades really turned up the heat on legislators seeking to protect the integrity of our election process. Wanting to set the process of voting on par with the legal process for buying beer, cigarettes, and guns was attacked as racist and oppressive. Gov. Pat started waffling — suggesting that he would be OK with things like student IDs and utility bills at polling places.
Driver license for illegal aliens: Gov. Pat’s DOT secretary moved forward on issuing driver licenses to illegal aliens residing in North Carolina. Instead of fighting this dubious policy, Team Pat fell right in with the bureaucracy.
Taxes: The state Senate came up with a very thoughtful plan aimed at reforming our regressive and oppressive tax code. Ol’ Pat had made tax reform a major issue in the 2012 campaign. Yet, at the end of budget talks on Jones Street — Gov. Pat spoke out about keeping enough revenue in government coffers to fund all of the great stuff he wants the bureaucracy to do. No encouragement to shrink government. No missives about letting people keep more of their hard-earned money.
It’s clear Gov. Pat’s handiwork intimidated enough House members to weaken the tax-cutting provisions in the budget, and keeping it from being passed in time for the start of the new fiscal year.
Abortion: Legislators have been debating a bill that does things like: (1) protect health care worker’s right to refuse to participate in abortion procedures, (2) allows the state to refuse to fund abortion under ObamaCare, and (3) bringing state standards for abortion clinics in line with the state standards governing outpatient surgery clinics. Lefties and the media went bananas. Some cabinet members were trotted out expressing unspecified concerns about the legislation. Gov. Pat steps out and says the legislature needs to talk about the bill some more. He then says his — unspecified — concerns about the bill are going to force him to veto the bill.
Why are Republicans so worried about offending Gov. Pat — or making him look “bad.” Reality check: He’s clearly not worried about your feelings.
A friend of mine — and faithful reader — from Charlotte warned me prior to the 2008 gubernatorial race about McCrory:
“We had high hopes for the guy when he first went in as mayor. But he ended up breaking our hearts. He’s very impressed with bureaucracy and government. Not so much with the idea of limiting government.”
My friend has offered up scores of examples about then-Mayor Pat undercutting and double-crossing activists and councilmen seeking to push conservative initiatives. One such case involved a grassroots initiative to repeal a tax increase passed by the city council to fund light rail expansion. Mayor Pat took to the streets to aggressively campaign AGAINST the tax repeal effort.
When McCrory took office as mayor, Charlotte was a very competitive locale for Republicans. Just four years after leaving the mayor’s office, the Democrats OWN Charlotte. I saw an interesting analysis pointing out how, in the 2008 governor’s race, McCrory won precincts in Mecklenburg County where Obama trounced McCain and Hagan trounced Dole.
It appears McCrory’s outlook on politics and government has very little to do with ideology or principle. I believe he views it as a competition between rival supper clubs or fraternities, each taking turns at “handling” other people’s money.
The North Carolina Democrat Party is in shambles. The GOP has super-majorities in the legislature, and a stranglehold on the state’s most powerful offices. Yet, the establishment is hugging the status quo tightly — keeping the tax-and-spend train running on time. Gotta keep the media happy, and keep that rabble out in the lobby getting zip-tied QUIET.
We’ve gotten a lot of tough talk. But all it seems to take is for the media and some lefties to start howling for the GOP to fold and concede the fight.
How are we to grow the GOP in this state when principles AND the baby are being thrown on with the bath water? There is NO evidence that a pro-life position is an election loser. (Jesse Helms got 30 years in Washington while running as a passionate pro-lifer.) There is plenty of evidence that tax cuts and de-regulation spur economic growth. Yet, the GOP powers-that-be in Raleigh are being pushed all over the field on that issue by the media and the Democrats.
The NCGOP got to where it is today thanks to the passionate, rock-ribbed, consistent conservatism of leaders like Jesse Helms and Ronald Reagan. Those guys made it OK to cross the aisle and vote Republican. They gave people fed up with high taxes and overbearing government a place to go. Why are the powers-that-be in Raleigh listening to the Democrats and the media and watering down much-needed reforms?