The media, Democrats, and Bill Barber’s rabble have tried to pitch us a narrative about some unified Republican front in Raleigh. Unfortunately, all we’ve been able to see lately is the Charlotte mafia — led by Speaker Thom and Gov. Pat — taking swing after swing at senate president pro tem (and fellow Republican) Phil Berger and his team in the General Assembly’s upper chamber.
I’ve been watching the political silliness up-close at the state and national level for more than a quarter century. I really don’t understand the logic here. Speaker Thom wants to move up to the US Senate in five months. Gov. Pat wants to get stuff passed on Jones Street and get reelected in two years and five months. And here they both are picking a really unnecessary fight with arguably the most powerful Republican in The Tar Heel State.
After Gov. Pat ran to the media, threatening to veto the senate’s budget and expressing “disappointment” with that chamber, Berger’s office issued a written statement:
[…] “I’m disappointed by the governor’s threat to veto the largest teacher pay raise in state history and surprised by his demand for a budget without cuts to teacher assistants and Medicaid – given that his own budget included almost $20 million in cuts to teacher assistants along with significant, though ultimately unachievable, cuts to Medicaid.
“The governor has been unable to sustain any of his previous vetoes in the Senate. It would be more helpful for him to work with members of both chambers of the legislature, since his unwillingness to listen to those who have an honest disagreement with him on spending priorities in favor of staging media stunts and budget gimmicks is a major reason the budget has not been finalized.”
Wow. You would think ol’ Bev was still hanging around town …