As we come toward the end of summer and the full force of fall campaigning, I find myself struck by the utter lack of principle among people who might once have been called moderate Republicans. No one exemplifies this pattern more than Pat McCrory.
That's why I've asked McCrory on many occasions to come visit us at BlueNC. I really do want to hear more about his remarkable transformation from a reasonable person (though admittedly a hot-head) back in the 90s ... to a full-blown Teabagger reactionary today.
I'd like to understand why McCrory has embraced the national GOP platform that seeks to make all abortion illegal. I'd like to understand why he's jumped on the gay-hating bandwagon after a lifetime of more moderate thinking. I'd like to understand why he's chosen Voter ID as his multimillion-dollar stalking horse when there's no evidence anywhere in North Carolina that voter fraud is a problem. I'd like to know how he plans to do strategic infrastructure planning when his friends in the legislature have made it against to law to use real science.
Any one of these impossible-to-understand positions could be explained away with a little bit of hand-waving, but all four of them together are hard to fathom. McCrory is not stupid, so the only possible explanation I can come up with is political opportunism. After being paid to run for governor for most of his adult life, Mr. McCrory has arrived at a place where he will say and do anything to get elected, no matter how much of his soul he has to sell in the process.
It doesn't have to be this way. There are other politicians in other states who haven't become political whores in the pursuit of winning, like Bob Kerrey for example. McCrory used to be a lot like Kerrey ... right up until he was seduced by the magic of the golden governor's ring.
It's sad to see such mercurial madness in anyone, but especially in a former big-city Mayor who could really make a difference if he were sane. But Pat McCrory is listening to the likes of Thom Tillis, Skip Stam, Paul Ryan, and Mitt Rmoney. That's why I don't expect him to visit with us here at BlueNC. He has no conviction that could possibly explain his new-found extremism.
If I were him, I'd be afraid to show up, too.