Pat McCrory is setting the record for Most Spineless Politician. Since getting elected, he’s repeatedly trashed his own purported principles, and refused to own his decisions. He’s got no backbone, no courage, and no right to be taken seriously.

McCrory’s history of weakness is long and contemptible. Just a month into his administration, he capitulated to the Right and signed a bill to make Medicaid expansion illegal. This, days after he had advocated a “pause” for additional study. He’s cycled through this routine again and again, on issues ranging from abortion rights–promising not to limit them, signing every restriction that passed–to tax shifts. The most generous interpretation is that he doesn’t care.

Then came HB2. McCrory, having pre-emptively demagouged the “bathroom” issue, hinted he did not favor a law that went further. The GA called a special session anyway, passed a bill so sweeping it still has not been fully reckoned with, and sent it to McCrory’s desk. He signed the abominable document within hours.

All of that is disgraceful. What takes it from disgraceful to disgusting is that he refuses to take responsibility. Not once has he held a signing ceremony for one of these bills. The least he could do is stand before TV cameras with Tammy Fitzgerald and tell LGBTQ citizens, or African-Americans, or women, that he opposes their rights. Instead he signs them in abject darkness, going so far as claiming to have the flu in order to avoid showing his face.

As with everything in our dismal political moment, this story comes round to Trump. Given an opportunity to publicly support his candidate, McCrory yet again wussed out. When Trump smeared the U.S. Armed Forces, the governor of a pro-military, veteran-heavy state was meekly hiding out somewhere, counting money raised by the Donald.

There may be a more cowardly, contentless politician somewhere in the world. But my guess is that no one can outdo the current occupant of 200 North Blount Street.


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