Opinionators of all stripes are out in force today, decrying the wanton destruction in North Carolina by Republican policymakers. It's a who's who of Monday-morning quarterbacks, remarkable in the fact that not a single editorial page has words of praise for our out-of-control government. A column by Ned Barnett reflects the general consensus:
As the session neared its end last week with a House vote on the budget, Speaker Thom Tillis left his post and took a place among the representatives. Normally, the speaker doesn’t debate, but this time Tillis wanted to speak not as a leader who directed a wave of legislation that took a toll on the poor and unemployed, but as a human being. Tillis, a Mecklenburg County Republican, asked, “Does anybody really think that I came down to this legislature so that we couldn’t take care of people who were helpless and need the state’s help?” In his question rang the answer to what went wrong for Republicans during their first turn in more than a century to control the governorship and the legislature. They had hoped to be reformers, to be helpers, to be a force for a new way. They said they would end the backroom dealing and clean up what they saw as the waste that marked the Democrats’ long run in power. They would be the people’s champions. Instead they became villains.
Different editorial pages point to other aspects of GOP over-reaching.
- Lawyers win
- Integrity absent in voting bill
- State of shock
- You're surprised? Really?
- Voting will be more difficult
- Armed and dangerous
- What potential?"
The mainstream media share the blame for the disaster unfolding in our state. In 2014, more than a few editors argued for giving Republicans a chance. They supported Pat McCrory. They downplayed the consequences of Art Pope's corporate coup. Like watchdogs asleep in the backyard, they deluded themselves into a game of false equivalency, hoping against hope that Republicans would somehow rise above their pettiness, greed, and racial biases. They were wrong.