Last week, Republican arrogance was on full display. First, they took turns ridiculing the governor, who admittedly is a bit of a joke. Then, they took vacation on the taxpayers dime. Clearly, they don’t believe they will be held accountable for their actions.
As reporter Jim Morrill reported, Republicans criticized McCrory in scathing terms. Senator Tom Apodaca called him irrelevant. Senator Harry Brown asked whether McCrory thought he was the “governor of Charlotte or the mayor of North Carolina.” Representative Chuck McGrady said, “It’s like he doesn’t understand what our job is. And some of my colleagues don’t think he understands what his job is.”
With veto-proof majorities, the GOP legislators don’t see McCrory as a player. He’s failed to build public support either for himself or his initiatives and apparently hasn’t made many strong allies in Raleigh. He’s clearly unprepared for the job but the public rebukes by his own party is pretty remarkable.
And if dissing the governor wasn’t enough, the legislature decided to take a little more time off. They took spring break in April and summer break a few weeks ago. Last weekend, a group of them went to San Diego to the annual conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC. And they want you to pay for it.
That’s right. They want taxpayers to pick up the tab for going to a conference of their choosing, even though ALEC is little more than a political organization that pushes right-wing policy ideas. They should pay a political price for such abuse, but with heavily gerrymandered districts, they don’t think they’ll be held accountable.
Legislative Republicans have gotten very comfortable with power. Their veto proof majorities allow them to pass legislation at will and their gerrymandered district protect them from being held accountable for bad behavior–like wasting taxpayer money. With few restraints, they’ve quickly become arrogant. Corruption is surely not far behind.
Funny things happen, though, in politics. Dissing the governor might seem fun and funny, but during an election, he’s the face of the Republican party. Across the state, most voters don’t know Harry Brown or Tom Apodaca or Chuck McGrady but everybody will know Pat McCrory. Almost certainly, if McCrory does poorly in 2016, so will the rest of the GOP.
Last week, between defining the governor and abusing tax dollars, the GOP handed Democrats potent ammunition for 2016. Arrogance in politics rarely pays off in the long run.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >