Reading the N&O editorial that blames U. S. House Speaker John Boehner for the current government shutdown, I couldn’t help but think about Pat McCrory. The embattled governor and thin-skinned speaker share a lot of traits. They would both do well to lead instead of follow.

John Boehner is willing to sacrifice the well-being of the country in order to placate his Tea Party caucus. During the legislative session, Pat McCrory willingly sold North Carolina down the river to try to win friends on the right in the General Assembly. Neither man stands on principal.

Between the two of them, they have bowed to the wishes of people who deny climate change and believe the earth is only 6,000 years old. They’re both moderates who willingly defer to the anti-intellectual, anti-science wing of the party and then seem hurt when they’re called on it.

Boehner, though, is indulging the fantasy of a small group of people who think that by shutting down government they can reverse a law that has been passed by Congress, signed by the President and upheld by the Supreme Court. It reminds me of those old Roadrunner cartoons when Wile E. Coyote points a gun at the bird but shoots himself in the face instead. It’s absurd.

McCrory, on the other hand, looks like the new kid in school who will indulge any whim in order to be popular. He doesn’t get that everybody is using him as a patsy. When he realizes it, his feelings get hurt and he sulks, but he doesn’t take any steps to change the perception.

The difference between McCrory and Boehner is that the Speaker is indulging the tinfoil hat crowd, while the Governor is trying to fit in with the popular kids. Neither is appropriate. They were elected to lead. Sometimes that means taking stands that are unpopular with people you want for friends. Neither man seems willing to do that.

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 >

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