Pat McCrory’s “reset” is not happening. Before the third week of the new year, he has whined, shirked blame, and, now, made a dumb comment that is sure to get national headlines. It was naive to think he transformed overnight on January 1. The misery is very likely to continue.
In the first place, any hope for McCrory was wishful thinking. No one systematically reverses their campaign platform. Further, Republicans are expert at enforcing ideological demands. McCrory indicated their success early, by appointing Art Pope. Who really expected Pope to pilot an ideological U-turn?
The same dynamics still exist. McCrory hasn’t flinched from his 2013 record. And to this day, he’s being manipulated by ideologues. So he hasn’t developed a capacity for independent thought. If Neal Hunt says there’s no money for a teacher’s raise, the governor will go right along.
Then there is the legislature. The plain fact is that a supermajority can force through whatever it wants. And McCrory doesn’t have the spine to stand up to them. Moreover, he abjectly lacks the brainpower to tell when they’re wrong. Even if it contradicts his stated views, I will be surprised to see him veto anything.
In a recent column, Rob Christensen cited the “nice-guy” factor as hope for a turnaround. Don’t bank on it. By all accounts, George W. Bush was a genial fellow, too. Yet he never shifted to the center, and the disaster of his presidency never died down. I fear the same will happen here.