The savviest Republican in Raleigh

by | Jun 10, 2014 | Editor's Blog, Moral Monday | 20 comments

Phil Berger proved, once again, that he is the savviest Republican leader in Raleigh. While Thom Tillis and Pat McCrory continue to avoid the Moral Monday protesters, the senate leader met with them. Not only is it smart politics, it’s what the leader of an open government is supposed to do. 

In meeting with the protesters and treating them respectfully, Berger is changing the perception of the GOP leadership. For a year, the Republican response to the protesters has either been ridicule or avoidance. Both responses drew criticism in the press and fueled the expansion of the protests. Because of gerrymandering Republicans seem to have forgotten that they only won 51% of the legislative vote in 2012 and are unfazed by their low approval ratings. Berger understands that he needs broader support if he wants to continue to push his agenda.

Berger acknowledged that the protesters had legitimate concerns and showed a willingness to listen, even though he told them he might not act on their proposals. That response may frustrate the protesters themselves, but, to the general public, it makes Berger look far more reasonable than his counterparts in the house and Governor’s Mansion. He’s giving the senate a kinder, gentler face even if his policies are unchanged. In short, it’s smart politics.

In contrast, when was to send the protesters cookies. Tillis, on the other hand, is all about Tillis. His whole career is about his personal rise in GOP political circles. He’s not interested in a dialogue or any other reconciliation. He just wants to go to Washington. His biggest accomplishment to date is getting elected speaker. 

Berger, though, has a bigger vision and better sense of the public. He seems to understand that parts of his agenda are unpopular and the perception that the GOP is not listening could be politically damaging. His goal is not to further his own political career, but to change the way state government works. In meeting with the protesters, he’s at least giving the perception that he’s open to dialogue. 

So far, I’ve disagreed with almost everything Phil Berger’s done and I probably will in the future. However, I believe that as a state and nation we need to have both sides listening to each other instead of demonizing each other. I hope that Senator Berger is sincere. After steering the state hard to the right, it’s time for somebody to bring it back to the middle. 


  1. Mick

    Steve: Lots of anger, hate, ranting and untruths in your messages. Your posts by calling a poster a fool, and then have labeled the WRAL and the N&O “corrupt,” and Rev. Barber a “dead-beat thug.” Really, you might ant to seek some counseling?

    Plus, I’m not the one who first wrote “The filthy rich in this country are the dems, and the leftist. Every bank, and most of wall street in overwhelmingly run by big democratic donors.” You wrote that, and that’s just not true.

    I’m not going to run a little chore for you to further disprove your fallacies (although I see how you conveniently don’t list the GOP “filthy” rich Kochs, Adelson, Thiel, Robertson, etc). I offered some reports that countered your claim already. You can go ahead and try to prove YOUR own contention. (That’s if you aren’t too preoccupied celebrating the defeat of the third most powerful –but not regressive enough– Republican in Congress.)

    And lastly, he’s not my “hip-hop President.” I’m registered unaffiliated and Obama is the POTUS, elected twice, taking more popular and electoral votes then his GOP opponent. Thought I’d explain that to you because your posts suggest you slip in and out of reality and may have missed those election results.

    • Thomas Ricks

      Steve is the best proof why the only thing to do with a conservative is to insult them and try to get the meembly moderates in the middle to realize just how awful they are.

      Reason does nothing with the majority of moderates and none of the conservatives.

      • Robert Corriher

        I wonder if he would said “thug” if Barber were white.

  2. jweaksnc

    The real story isn’t that Berger is savvy (he is), but rather that the demands of the Rev. Barber and the “Moral Monday” folks are bankrupt, out of touch, not credible, and anything but moral.

    • Steve

      jweaksnc I agree! The fact that the corrupt left media (wral tv, The N&O) give any credibility to a dead beat thug like Barber just blows my mind. Plus the fact they never present any balance to the story.

    • Thomas Ricks

      Funny, I find the philosophy of atheist greedy psychopath Ayn Rand to be the same way.

    • Thomas Ricks

      Funny I find the philosophy of the quipollithic godless selfishly socio pathic Ayn Rand to be the same way. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

  3. steve

    Mick you prove nothing. Both parties have rich donors. The truth, the facts which you didn’t dispute, the dems and the left are the true filthy rich. Mr Buffet, mr. Zuckerberg, Oh yes how about google, and on and on and on. Plus let’s not forget the millions of dollars funneled through the poor, poor working unions to your favorite leftist candidates. Prove my statements wrong, don’t throw up a tiny example of what goes on as normal politics. Of course there are rich conservatives. Never said there wasn’t. Oh by the way Your hip hop president is about as rich as Romney now. Go do your homework.

    • Thomas Ricks

      You cannot prove anything to a conservative, because a conservative will make up the facts as they go along.

      • Steve

        Ahhhhhh. But again you cannot bring any facts to the argument to disprove. You can just start the tried and true leftist approach of insulting, and bullying. But no facts. So gallup, a very democratic controlled polling company does a poll. Just how exact was this poll? Why would any busy filthy rich republican, or democrat waste their time answering such a dumb ass poll any way? But because Gallop take a poll and it has the answer you like, it must be the god’s truth. Remember in the early days of computers, “garbage in garbage out” Kinda sums up the foolish notion that there could be any credibility to that poll. Now for the facts, The 1% includes everyone that makes over $100,000 per year. Hardly the greedy filthy rich.
        You still can’t argue that the majority of the uber rich are in fact democrats. It might be by 1/2 of a percentage, but they are the ones controlling, the greed, the federal reserve, the banks, wall street, etc. I mean the very richest, like Bill Gates, Bezeos, Buffett, etc, all dems. What’s also funny, Thomas is I have balanced out all my responses by admitting to the truth and the facts. You can’t even be honest on a silly forum like this. You just pounce on people with hate and lies.

        • Thomas Ricks

          I bring a poll. You bring a lie. Gallup is now a quasi religious organization that leans more right than left.

          Numbers are the anathema of conservatives. Why do you think the psuedoscience of the Austrian School of Economics doesn’t accept statistical analysis or any kind of data but anecdotal evidence?

          You haven’t balanced out any of your analysis with anything, and you aren’t being honest at all. I provided evidence from a neutral source for my claim, you’re just pulling stuff out of thin air, and even if you did cite a source, it would likely be AFP, Club for Growth or some kind of CATO institute drivel.

          If a conservative is speaking, a conservative is lying.

          And reason with a conservative is pointless, exhibit A? Steve.

  4. Steve

    Thomas Ricks you are a fool. The filthy rich in this country are the dems, and the leftist. Every bank, and most of wall street in overwhelmingly run by big democratic donors. Every billionaire liberal is pushing for cheap illegal labor so they can get EVEN RICHER. PLEASE DROP THE CRAP ABOUT GREEDY REPUBLICANS.

    • Unaffiliated Voter

      SO SO True, Steve! but you see most people, even the establishment republicannots don’t see that…Berger is nothing special…ok, so he sat down and visited with these morons…who cares? They are the IDIOTS and the STUPID PEOPLE!

    • Thomas Ricks

      Google the Gallup Poll “U.S. “1%” Is More Republican, but Not More Conservative”

      In other words….if a conservative is speaking, a conservative is lying.

  5. Mick

    “I hope that Senator Berger is sincere.”

    But the question is sincere about what?

    It could be that he’s only committed to being seen as listening and showing a “kinder, gentler” face. If that’s his plan, but it’s only about winning/keeping votes, the state is still in trouble. If he remains sincere about not moving an inch on the regressive agenda he has led, it won’t help all the people of NC very much at all.

    • MillennialFinances (@MillenFinances)

      I think appearances matter, even if they aren’t sincere. I’m sure we have a lot of politicians on the liberal side who “fake it” – I’d guess it’s like Obama being personally cordial to the GOP leadership that has obstructed him at every turn since January 2009. Genuine sincerity is great, but rare, and I think faked sincerity and listening skills is better than not communicating at all or worse.

  6. Thomas Ricks

    Listening is good. Pretending to listen is bad. It is so easy to prove everything conservatives do is to benefit billionaires and no one else, merely listening to the protesters will do nothing if the protesters do not let him.

    Actual compassion requires actual action. Listening to your opponent but then pulling a Decidedererer only makes you look worse.

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