The manufactured and subsidized ideology of NC's right-wing machine

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain:

There’s an important distinction, however, between spirited debate and character assassination. Republicans don’t favor tax cuts, regulatory reform, energy exploration, or school choice because some shadowy special-interest group has paid them off. Republicans favor these ideas because they believe them to be good public policy.

The thing is, it's not "either or" as John Hood would like his readers to believe. Whether he's referring to ALEC or Art Pope's Civitas/JLF/AFPNC propaganda machine, that "shadowy special interest group" has been engaged in an aggressive education campaign for years, spoon-feeding anti-government fear-mongering parables and arcane and unprovable economic fantasy scenarios to potential GOP candidates and their supporters, while dangling the prize of $4,000 checks from the Pope family bundlers if they have the free-market Kool-Aid stain on their lips. Here's one of the many ways to get that stain:

Underwritten by the E.A. Morris Charitable Foundation and the John William Pope Foundation, the Morris Fellowship program encourages committed, diverse, and principled North Carolinians to pursue greater leadership roles within their professions and communities. Morris Fellows will explore the dynamics of public policy, principles of individual liberty and free enterprise, the role of private and nonprofit institutions in a free society, and the role of citizen leaders in a hands-on manner. Through the Fellowship program, these committed individuals will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become leaders in business, nonprofit, education, government, and other areas of public service.

The candidate's commitment includes mandatory attendance at three Morris Fellows retreats, each to be held in a different location around the state, plus a choice of at least four other approved seminars or conferences. The additional events, chosen by participants, may be sponsored by think tanks, universities, trade associations, civic clubs or other organizations. Morris Fellows must also demonstrate their leadership initiative in the form of a community leadership project.

As emerging leaders, the chosen Fellows will gain new opportunities to advance the principles of individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise, the principles that allow our society to thrive.

If you take a look at each year's graduating "fellows", you'll see several current Legislators in the mix, and probably several future ones. Back to Hood's lame request for critical restraint (or whatever it is), once again published under Rob's byline:

It would be unwise for legislative Republicans to claim credit for this modest but welcome improvement in North Carolina’s economic momentum. There are many factors at work. Still, it would be even more unwise — and unpersuasive — for their critics to try to construct an empirical argument against the state GOP's economic policies in light of these statistics.

That leaves them with fewer rhetorical arrows in their quivers. So they quarrel. At some point, perhaps, they will be in a position to argue once again.

The damage being wreaked by Republicans on our state, and the pain that damage is bringing to tens of thousands of families already living on the edge, is far from rhetorical. John and his associates would like people to believe that opposition to their ideas is simply based in ideology and political party identification. In reality, the bulk of the opposition, from the NAACP and environmental groups and citizen support organizations like the NC Justice Center is specific in nature, backed by solid research and observation, focused almost exclusively on protecting people from the negative effects of irresponsible governing.

I know Republicans would prefer to blunder along, destroying families left and right, without having to worry about those pesky bleeding-heart Liberals calling attention to the destruction. But that ain't gonna happen.

Comments

Excellent post

Thank you for calling bullshit. The truth is, there are some characters that totally deserve to be assassinated.

I get that they may very well believe in their policies. In many ways that's actually more offensive than being willing pawns for special interests.

Be like Texas?

I will admit, sometimes our arguments

seem to focus too much on the person and not enough on their actions. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn't. And sometimes a clinical and emotionless exposition of the facts works, and sometimes it doesn't. The challenge (in my mind) is to marry the two. Appeal to emotion and feed it with facts, something NC Policywatch is getting better and better at.

As is evidenced by Maria Palmer's powerful video, there is no better way to appeal to emotion than having real people tell their stories of struggle and adversity. One of the few advantages of having reckless and selfish Republicans running our government is the sheer number of families that are being hurt by their actions. These people should be on the news every damn night, showing their fellow North Carolinians what happens when they make the wrong choices at the voting booth.

I'll tell you this: the possibility of that happening scares the bejesus out of people like John Hood, because it would show just how disingenuous his attempts at intellectual fencing really are.

He Got Much of it Right, but...

...one of the paragraphs that scharrison cited needs just a little sprucing up to be more accurate, to wit:

Underwritten by the E.A. (Extremist Agenda) Morris Charitable Foundation and the far-right John William Pope Foundation, the Morris Fellowship program encourages gullible people who should be committed, diverse (we accept both male AND (reluctantly) female white, well-off evangelical Christians), and principled hypocritical North Carolinians to pursue greater leadership roles within their professions and communities. Morris Fellows will explore the dynamics of public policy through the tunnel-vision viewpoint of conservative intolerance, principles of individual liberty (except people who have beliefs different from ours) and free enterprise unfettered by silly regulations that protect the public, the role of private and nonprofit institutions in a free society (also known as "Pay to Play"), and the role of citizen leaders (to shut the F**k up) in a hands-on manner (that is, we teach you how to get your hands on some major cash from the Popes if you let us program you). Through the Fellowship program, these committed individuals, who really should be committed, will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become leaders reliable, predictable Pope puppets in business, nonprofit, education, government, and other areas of public service.

There, that's better, don't you think?

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

Hah! They should be committed

If they ever did update the DSMIV to include Narcissistic AynRandian disorder, I'm afraid our already overtaxed mental health system would keel over. Which would be extremely ironic, considering that privatization caused those problems...