A loyal reader of this site forwarded me a recently-published piece in National Review by John Hood, president of the Raleigh-based John Locke Foundation. Hood’s piece, about conservatism “thriving” at the state level, singles out our newly-elected governor Pat McCrory as a “conservative.” Yep. THAT is what it says.
Since the departure from this world of the late great Jesse Helms, we’ve had a real dearth of homegrown conservative leadership here in North Carolina. Perhaps people are starting to forget what conservatism looks like.
Mr. Hood is widely regarded as the face of conservatism here in North Carolina — despite his cheerleading for, among other things, a $50,000 payment to each and every person who claims they or a family member were sterilized by the state of North Carolina more than four decades ago AND the installation of government GPS units in private automobiles as a method of collecting taxes.
But back to
mayor Gov. Pat. Our new chief of state put Mr. Hood’s “conservative” label to the test this past week during an interview with F. Chuck Todd on MSNBC. We picked up on more than a few interesting nuggets in the six-and-a-half minute interview:
- F. Chuck praised Gov. Pat for raising “business taxes” to solve budgetary issues in our state. (The legislature passed legislation raising the unemployment insurance withholding rate as a means of paying off the state’s $3 billion dollar debt to the feds. ) Gov. Pat appeared to accept raising taxes as a valid method for dealing with budget matters, and spoke admiringly about tax increases recently passed by Congress. A little rah-rah for spending cuts would have been nice.
- “Before I expand it, I want to fix it.” That was Gov. Pat’s response to a question from F. Chuck about why the state declined to support expansion of Medicaid for the implementation of ObamaCare. (Boy, he sure left the door open.) Gov. Pat told F. Chuck that the state “may” want to revisit the idea of expanding Medicare, once government leaders gain a better understanding of “the rules” and “the real costs” of setting up the health care exchanges and implementing ObamaCare.
- The Guv also aids and abets the lefty scare tactics over the federal budget sequester. The sequester will trigger a $22 billion cut in the rate of growth of federal spending for THIS YEAR. THAT is a pittance. (Congress just approved $56 billion in “relief” for Hurricane Sandy.) Obama is claiming the sequester will shut down our airports. President Reagan fired all of the air traffic controllers, and the airports STILL ran. Obama is claiming 800,000 DOD civilians will lose their jobs. There is no logical way that a $22 billion cut in the rate of growth for federal spending should cost 800,000 people their jobs. The politicians want us to do more with less. But try to make them do it, and you get scare tactics like this.
- Gov. Pat also agreed with F. Chuck that the GOP has a “tone problem.” The Guv told F. Chuck that “sometimes we come off as too strident, too negative. We need to be more likeable.” Negative? When it comes to government spending and expansion, true conservatives should be negative — shouting the word NO until they are blue in the face and their voice gives out.
Overall, Gov. Pat’s comments sound a lot like something you might have heard from Mike Easley or Jim Hunt or Bev Perdue. McCrory’s statements during this interview are really making Erick Erickson at RedState look like a prophet:
The fact is too many conservative groups and Republicans in Congress think the problem in Washington is Democrats in charge of government and not government itself.
You could alter his quote — substituting “state government” for “Congress” and “Raleigh” for “Washington” — and it would be quite apropos for our current in-state situation. From John Boehner and Eric Cantor, to Pat McCrory and Thom Tillis, the GOP is being dominated by people who believe that the debate is not about freedom and liberty from government tyranny, but about which clique can more efficiently manage the bureaucracy.