President Obama's 2008 win in North Carolina appeared to be a breakthrough -- a Democratic win in a Southern State: a sign of a blue trend moving through Virginia and south to the Tarheel State and even beyond. But then came the 2010 elections, and the state put Republicans in charge of both houses of the legislature, and shortly thereafter, the Governorship. Right wing businessman Art Pope poured $2.2 million into the 2010 elections and was been rewarded with appointment as State Budget Chief.
Steve M. today points out that what the GOP is doing in North Carolina is a microcosm of what they would have done if Romney had been elected, or if they gain total control in 2016. It's an agenda that could have come straight from the ALEC playbook or the fevered dreams of Ted Cruz and Scott Walker. As Bill Hader's Stefon might say, "It has everything:"
Cuts in jobless benefits.About the only thing that isn't moving through (yet) in NC is the bill to establish a state religion.
Moves to eliminate the estate tax.
Refusal of Medicaid expansion.
Moves toward voter ID laws and limits on early voting and same day registration.
"Tax reform" consisting of sharp cuts and elimination of the income tax, substituted by expanded sales tax on items like groceries and prescription drugs.
Are these measures popular? Absolutely not, according to PPP:
Specific Republican proposals are extremely unpopular. Voters oppose the House and Senate tax plans by 41%-11% and 44%-14%, respectively. When told the details of these plans, opposition soars to 68%-13% for the Senate’s plan and 55%-21% for the House’s. 81% of North Carolinians oppose raising the sales tax on groceries from 2% to 6.5%. Only 10% support it.And yet, people don't necessarily make the link between these horrendously unpopular policies and the candidates they vote for. We and the Democratic Party have to educate them.