Carolina Rising Gets Rise Out of Moral Monday Protesters

by | Jun 5, 2014 | Carolina Strategic Analysis, Economy, Features, Moral Monday | 21 comments

Conservatives in North Carolina have been wrestling for some time with how to handle protesters, particularly of the Moral Monday variety. Writing blistering editorials which mocked them as “Moron Mondays” didn’t work. Giving them delicious freshly baked cookies backfired horribly. It seemed that no matter where they turned, conservative policymakers were surrounded by angry liberals, led by a master showman, Reverend Barber, and an adoring media that breathlessly reported on his every move.

Now, it seems that a new group, Carolina Rising, has figured it all out. The solution? Co-opt the Moral Monday rallies by holding up signs touting the state’s falling unemployment rate, dressing up in sun costumes, distributing stress-release balls that look like little suns to which read “Jobs up unemployment down”, and handing out Sunny Delight and orange soda to thirsty protesters.

Dallas Woodhouse, who formerly headed the North Carolina chapter of Americans for Prosperity, is the group’s president and says they just want to spread good cheer and “a little sunshine.” Given the gloomy outlook held by those protesting the legislature and Gov. McCrory, this is a noble endeavor on the part of Woodhouse and truly a kind-hearted gesture.

Upon receiving this good news concerning the Carolina Comeback, you would think Reverend Barber and the NAACP would “see the light”, tell their followers to pack it up, return to their jobs, and endorse Thom Tillis for U.S. Senate. Instead, NAACP security ordered Woodhouse and co. to leave, saying he didn’t have a park permit and that the NAACP had the exclusive right to the grounds.

It would have been interesting if Woodhouse had instead chosen to remain where he was in an act of civil disobedience and was hauled away in handcuffs, but he and his group complied and left the premises, taking their bottles of Sunny Delight with them, no doubt rejected by liberal activists because of its gluten content. Woodhouse, a bit sore over this incident, wrote an open letter to Barber expressing hope that he and his group would be treated better in the future.

Of course, Woodhouse’s group had no real hope of converting liberal protesters. They had as much intent in doing so as Reverend Barber does in trying to persuade Republican legislators, which is to say, none. Indeed, the participants at the protest did not take kindly to Woodhouse’s presence; they glared at him and one elderly woman sitting under a shady tree looked like she could have “incinerated him with her eyes.”

In a twist of irony, Moral Monday organizers will have to learn to deal with their own counter-protests, whose true aim isn’t to engage them in a policy discussion or to win hearts and minds, but to cause disruption and to get media attention. Over a year removed from the first Moral Monday, conservatives are finally learning how to beat them at their own game.


  1. Jimmy Rouse

    Let the Moral Monday crowd have their fun. Do not interfere with their marches and protests. At some point they may overdue it and get a negative result. Old hippies need something to do and this has been good at keeping them off the streets. It is a good outlet for the LBGT and the pro-abortion groups love a chance to tout their wares. And the unions love a demonstration better than hogs love slop.

    Leave them alone and let them enjoy themselves. It is good fun and the media absolutely loves it.

    • Thomas Ricks

      Old and young. It’s the GOP that are mainly just old. The old, the rich, and white pimply developers who can’t stand the libertarian party.

  2. Eilene

    This is exactly what the Moral Monday protesters are ticked off about… conservatives mocking their very real concerns and offering silly things that have no value just to try and shut them up and look like a “compassionate conservative” at the same time. Well, it’s dumb. This guy is a bit of a turd for doing it, and you are a bit of a turd for thinking it was cute. We have real concerns, that we want our government to address. They figure they don’t have to because they “own the place” thanks to an excellent smear campaign against “them lilly-livered liberals that want to take your guns, kill your granny, and give all your money to lazy moochers.” It’s juvenile, and bad public policy.

    • Jimmy Rouse

      But you did not mention the “war on women.” I forget whose side I am supposed to be on. Is the “war on women” a Democrat or Republican war? I have been at war with my wife for many years but she always wins. Putting up with her abuse is my lot in life and I am determined to stay in the marriage……….as her daddy is rich and she is the only child. He is absolutely loaded.

  3. Max

    John, I think it’s great that you’re here to offer a different perspective. But this?

    “Indeed, the participants at the protest did not take kindly to Woodhouse’s presence; they glared at him and one elderly woman sitting under a shady tree looked like she could have “incinerated him with her eyes.”

    That’s weak, buddy. If Mr. Woodhouse can’t point to a single thing that anyone said or did to him, that’s not protesters “not taking kindly” to him–it’s protesters ignoring him.

    I was there, and that’s exactly what happened. To my eyes, Mr. Woodhouse looked awkward and nervous. He and his friend in the sun costume clearly hadn’t thought through their plan, as the person in costume couldn’t see and had to be led around by hand. They stayed on the fringes of the gathering, not approaching anyone.

    I did not see them leave, and if they were removed by security I think that’s a shame–though given how you’ve stretched the truth in the rest of this piece I have no reason to believe that. But the bottom line, from my point of view, is that Mr. Woodhouse is a whole lot of talk and not much else. He clearly didn’t know how to handle himself while standing in the middle of a group of people he is so comfortable maligning from afar.

  4. larry

    Yeah dude…Woodhouse has found the silver bullet. ha ha ha ha ha ha

  5. Vicki Boyer

    I watched Dallas and company set up their boxes and walk the grounds. I did not see any MM participants who gave them any attention at all. Most of those present had their attention fixed on the speakers. I did see Dallas and the sunshine approached by security, and then leave the field. But truthfully, no one seemed interested in them. Had I been offered a squeezable sunshine I would have politely declined.

    The tracker who was using a tripod and camera to film the entire event was also approached by security, who called in police officers to bolster their case. However, the police seemed to have come down on the side of the tracker and he was allowed to remain in place and continue filming.

  6. Valeria Truitt

    The counter-protesters were more of an interesting minor diversion to the Moral Monday crowd than anything else.

    If they got frowns, perhaps it’s because they were handing out “Made in China” stress balls to people who are protesting the sending of American jobs to China, giving tax breaks for taking the jobs to China, and then not replacing them with more modern jobs, training to qualify for new jobs, or unemployment benefits to help while seeking a new job.

    I don’t know if Sunny Delight has any gluten or not. However, a quick glance at the label shows that the principal ingredients are water and high fructose corn syrup (from GMO corn) plus a bunch of chemicals–which they may have offered to people who were there to protest the governor’s signing into law both permission for fracking companies to stuff poisonous chemicals and formerly pure drinking water into the North Carolina ground, where they may leach into our drinking water, and making revealing the chemicals an offense carrying prison time.. So: they were consoling people who are protesting the drinking of chemicals with icy cold beverages containing–chemicals.

    • Sheila Barber

      Seriously? You really believe Bully barber, who has a title that should make him speak the truth and not hate, over Mr. Woodhouse? Let us watch what you eat for dinner before you spew out false narratives. Good grief!

  7. Sarah Skinner

    I was not in attendance that day, but I DID SEE PHOTOS of the two “counter protesters”. I felt kind of sorry for them that only 2 people showed up AND it must have been rather warm inside that costume. I hope they were paid well for their attendance and I can’t imagine anyone being mean or nasty to them. I’m sure “pity” was the most prevalent sentiment toward them.

    • Thomas Ricks

      TWO people? TWO people showed up for the Two Scoops of Stupid Rally? And they are somehow a ‘threat’ to the Moral Monday movement?

      We now KNOW that they are a real threat, because the number one google result for north carolina politics felt the need to make two deranged cosplayers an epic new chapter in the story of the state…

  8. Mick

    Par for the GOP course. Arrogantly ignore getting the required permit to assemble and protest. Like they arrogantly ignore whatever NCGA Dems propose or question.

  9. Randolph Voller

    Is Dallas Woodhouse paying for these “sunny folks”? It would be instructive to lay down the issues of the HKoJ coalition next to the claims being made by Mr. Woodhouse and do some “truth tellin'”. If they are smiling so wide on the outside maybe they were related to the 23 or so families who received nice juicy tax breaks from the GOP-led NCGA. The reality is that most folks can discern that the massive budget shortfall from the previous fiscal year, the rejection of medicaid expansion, grandmas getting tossed from assisted living, the new abominable voting law, the shuttering of rural hospitals, the recent 60 million dollar budget bust with DHHS and the green lighting of “fracking” would qualify as dark and stormy days for our state rather than “good times”.

  10. john

    Beat them at their own game? On the one side you have thousands of actual pissed off citizens petitioning their government, and on the other is a paid political hack with a few props. They’re not even on the same field, much less playing the same “game.”

  11. ML

    So they are protesting the protesters? Novel, I didn’t think the moral monday crowd was such a threat…Plus, I doubt you will find much backlash from the moral monday crowd as they are pro-free speech and not the double speak republican, it must agree with me, type of free speech.

  12. Thomas Ricks

    You know what? Someone contact the Daily Show about this “threat” quick!

    I’m quivering in fear.

  13. Thomas Ricks

    “Two Scoops of Stupid.”

    There’s your sound bite for you Tom.

  14. Thomas Ricks

    Oh and, Moral Mondays is getting a lot more press than any other liberals in NC are. In any venue.

    Media attention changes the narrative. Dressing up like characters from a Raisin Bran commercial isn’t going to cut it, no matter how much we desperately want to pretend the other side is competent to enhance our desire for political drama.

  15. Thomas Ricks

    WAHOO! Obama is doing a great job improving the economy and so the unemployment rate is falling.

    I mean, I don’t like Obama, but it took me about 30 seconds to think of a counter to this feeble attempt at conservative drama.

    Conservatives only win when cowards let them.

  16. dana

    Beat at own game??? Room enough for many opinions. It is said everyone “has one”.

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