Scowlin’ Rob: Domestic violence. Voting Republican. (What’s the difference?)

Um, yeah.  He went there.

If I, or anyone else on the right, had made THAT sort of analogy about people voting for Roy Cooper or Crazy Bernie or Barry Obama,  we’d be lynched on the front lawn of the WRAL studios.  But here’s Blinkin’ Chris’s partner-in-crime making his case:

The last seven years in North Carolina politics and policy have been extraordinary. In a very short period of time, a once moderate state has been transformed into a kind of laboratory for far right policies and a testing ground for what we are coming to know now as Trumpism. On issue after issue, state legislative leaders have aggressively pursued an ultra-conservative agenda that seeks to radically remake the state’s social contract. […]

“Ultra-conservative agenda”?  Like back-tracking on trannies in the ladies room?  Extending subsidies for solar panels? Spending more and more money every year?  Putting off tax cuts, while instituting all kinds of new sales and service taxes?   Wow.

[…] Classic symptoms of an abusive situation

In some ways, the current North Carolina policy and politics scene bears a striking and sobering resemblance to that of an abusive personal or family relationship. A survey of dozens of websites designed to help victims of domestic abuse recognize their plight and escape their tormenters (like this one) reveals several similar behavior patterns in current state political power relationships. […]

Yessirree.  This is all brought to you by NCPolicyWatch — which is heavily funded by the same folks who OWN WRAL-TV.  Let’s hear some more:

[…] Consider the following:

The drumbeat of anger, negativity and blame-casting – As noted above, this has been a constant with conservative leaders for several years. In this bizarre worldview, every problem in North Carolina – both within government and without – is the fault of liberals bent on mindlessly expanding “big government” and confiscating “freedom.” Similar contempt is, of course, constantly directed toward the “liberal media.”

THIS is all coming from one of the most perpetually pissed-off left-wingers I’ve ever seen.  (This guy is ALWAYS angry.) 

The constant desire to bully, dominate and punish – As was noted in last week’s essay on the absurd “impeachment” attack against Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, there seem to be fewer and fewer lengths to which the Right is unwilling to go in pursuing its agenda and visiting revenge on those who resist its efforts. The outrageous budget cuts directed at Attorney General Stein offer further confirmation of this abusive approach.

Kind of like the folks who mocked Rep. Larry Pittman over the suicide of his son?  (YOUR PEOPLE, Rob.  Not mine.)  Kind of like the howling mobs who pound on the windows outside the House gallery while the honorables are trying to work?  (YOUR PEOPLE, Rob. Not mine.)  Shooting up a practice for a charity baseball gam?  (Your folks, Rob.  Not mine.)  Posing with a severed head resembling that of the president?  (Your people, Rob.  Not mine.)

Secrecy and a refusal to compromise or communicate – The longstanding assault on voting rights (and the blatant flip-flop on partisan gerrymandering) ought to have tipped us off as to how far Republicans were willing to push the envelope when it comes to ends-justify-the-means governance. As was noted in this space last week, however, this year’s budget bill plumbed new depths when it comes to lawmaking secrecy and process manipulation.

A narcissistic absence of self-criticism and self-awareness Politics is seldom a world inhabited by publicly self-critical individuals, but with the current conservative leadership in North Carolina, the obstinate, Trump-like refusal even to admit the existence of complexities and gray areas is striking.

Meanwhile, for those outside the inner circles of power, at least two behavior patterns frequently exhibited by victims are also sadly familiar.

Fear and passivity As noted above, many reporters, lobbyists and advocates in North Carolina have been notably hesitant to rock the boat of late in questioning and standing up to conservative leaders. Some of this may be the result of a lack of capacity but some is also undoubtedly the result of fear – fear of direct payback and/or fear of lack of access.

Um, WHO are these “conservative leaders” you speak of? 

Lack of awareness – As multiple domestic violence experts point out, many victims are simply not cognizant of the fact that they are even being taken advantage of in the first place. They are so used to a certain way of being treated that they don’t recognize it as an unhealthy situation.

And so it appears to be for many in and around the policymaking world in Raleigh. At a time in which many outside observers are authoring scathing critiques, making the state the constant butt of jokes and even questioning whether democracy here still exists, many North Carolinians close to policy “ground zero” seem to think things here are somehow “normal.” […]

I guess Rob realized he was raising some feminist dander with the whole comparison to domestic violence, so he tried to polish off this love letter with a little verbal tap-dancing:

[…] None of this rudimentary analogizing is intended to make light of or diminish in any way the genuine horror that is domestic violence and abuse. Every day, around the world, millions of people – most, but not all of them, women – suffer terrible emotional and physical harm in abusive personal relationships. Clearly, a flawed and dysfunctional political situation is not the same thing.

That said, it cannot be denied that there are important similarities in the two situations or that, happily, similar escape routes present themselves.[…]