In so many ways, our leaders embody the crystal clear essence of the current Right. Pat McCrory’s policy agenda points to a key shortcoming in contemporary Republicanism. Like his fellow GOP’ers, he offers no solutions for actually existing problems.
As Rob Christensen wrote, Sharon Decker’s commerce privatization idea has generated “more scandals than jobs” in most places it’s been tried. She offered no rebuttal except that they’ll be the first to avoid these pitfalls, a rather arrogant and naive assumption. The organizational structure, like many of our own slush funds, guarantees corruption will arise. As critics of the “good ol’ boy” outfits, the McCrory administration should be wary of these risks. Alas, the governor couldn’t think of anything else, so he duplicated a flawed model.
Likewise, there’s little evidence that HMOs compete to reduce Medicaid costs. And our Medicaid program–the most efficient in the nation–does not require radical restructuring. Regardless, McCrory supports a made-in-Washington Medicaid “reform” plan that tries to fit square pegs into round holes.
Other examples abound, most notably tax “reform” and regulatory “reform.” Some insipidly ideological laws came from ALEC. One is tempted to chalk the rest of the agenda up to McCrory’s very real ignorance. But most of the GOP’s agenda flowed from the Legislature. Phil Berger’s a bully; Thom Tillis is a cynic, but neither of them is stupid.
The real source is the intellectual bankruptcy of conservatism. Republicans stopped thinking in 1981. Since the Bush years, thoughtful people have fled their party en masse. Those who remain lack the skills to imagine viable solutions and implement them competently.