North Carolina Republicans are in trouble. Not only because of what they’ve done but because they’ve lost any sense of objectivity. They started believing their own talking points and dismiss any critics, even from their own party. It’s a common affliction among wing-nuts of both parties but, in the GOP, the leadership has bought into their own hype.
When Colin Powell called out his own party and criticized their voter suppression program, the party dismissed him and the folks on social media claimed the General had long ago lost credibility. Maybe for them, but not for the rest of us. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be pulling down $100,000 speaking fees.
In a Bloomberg article, former Republican Governor Jim Martin said that the legislature had gone too far. But Pat McCrory was still blaming everybody but his own staff for the bad press and still defending the bad policies. In Asheville this week, he slammed reporters as not being smart enough to understand economics.
And when salary-gate broke, Pat McCrory defended $20,000 raises for 24 year old new hires with no experience by saying he didn’t want to engage in age discrimination. And he’s still using that line. Has nobody told him how silly he looks?
And while the whole GOP bandwagon is screaming that the voter suppression laws are about protecting integrity, not discrimination or suppression, Phyllis Shlafly, the right-wing homophobe, is applauding the new laws because they will keep Obama supporters from voting. Talk about stepping on your own message.
Virtually every newspaper in the state has criticized the GOP and many, if not most, endorsed McCrory. Instead of figuring out how to mitigate the fallout from the negative stories, Republicans have attacked the credibility of the media across the state. To hear them tell it, the newspapers and TV stations have all become liberal shills. It’s laughable, but it’s their story and they’re sticking to it.
The deeper they dig in, the less credibility they have. Cable news, talk radio and right-wing blogs might drive the narrative for the GOP base, but TV news and newspapers still drive it for the rest of us. Waging war on the storytellers is a bad idea.
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 >