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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.
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.
About the only thing that isn't moving through (yet) in NC is the bill to establish a state religion.

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.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's what happens when people don't (11+ / 0-)

    vote. A lot of Democrats and Democratic leaning voters stayed home in 2010, which allowed the GOP to gerrymander N.C. pretty effectively. To make matters worse Gov. Bev Perdue was a less than stellar governor and her predecessor, Gov. Mike Easley was tainted with scandal. All this left N.C. Dems in a mess.

    Now N.C., my native state and a place I hope to soon return, is reaping the whirlwind.

    Guns are never the principle in the commission of a crime, but they are usually an accomplice

    by MadGeorgiaDem on Sun May 26, 2013 at 03:18:04 PM PDT

    •  2014 has to produce record Dem turnout (6+ / 0-)

      The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

      by Upper West on Sun May 26, 2013 at 03:22:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To undo what the GOP has done (8+ / 0-)

        its going to have to be presidential level turnout. Otherwise we might have to wait until 2020 on redistricting. I hope I am wrong.

        BTW, well-written diary. It troubles me to see my home state going the way of the Deep South. I live in GA and this state is being transformed from the Peach State to the peach pit by the GOP. I hope N.C. doesn't end up this way.

        Guns are never the principle in the commission of a crime, but they are usually an accomplice

        by MadGeorgiaDem on Sun May 26, 2013 at 03:28:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MadGeorgiaDem, Judge Moonbox, cosette

          As you might guess, I live in the bluest of the blue areas -- the UWS of Mnhattan, so I can only watch in wonder at what goes on in these states.

          As for gerrymandering, I think the Dems need to win the House popular national vote by 8%  -  you're right that that's very difficult.  I hope there's a lot of voter registration and motivation going on now.

          The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

          by Upper West on Sun May 26, 2013 at 03:46:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  but but but DROOONNNNNNNZZZZ!!!! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        we are battling our own disconnect here on this site every time the people who continually rage about policies that were in place before the democratic president was elected and policies that cannot be undone by the wave of a magic wand.

        however... and it's a BIG "however ... if the republicans succeed in keeping the house and taking the senate, then we'll see those very problems that are being screamed about now escalate into insurmountable ones that will destroy this nation.

        but, nevermind focusing on the REAL issue - like, who controls the house and senate - by the numbers - the way our government actually runs (hint: party who controls the senate and  house control what bills and legislation come up for votes.


        i'm talking reality here - forgot myself - let me get back to it....



        there.  back on the agenda (of some).

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Sun May 26, 2013 at 09:09:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Probably did (8+ / 0-)
    It's an agenda that could have come straight from the ALEC playbook
    Or their state level affiliates at the State Policy Network
    North Carolina
    SPN Members

    John Locke Foundation
    Phone: (919) 828-3876

    John William Pope Civitas Institute
    Phone: (919) 834-2099

    SPN Associate Members

    Bastiat Society of Charlotte

    Jesse Helms Center

    John William Pope Center for Higher Education

    North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law

    Other Organizations

    Americans for Prosperity - NC

    Freedom Works - North Carolina

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Sun May 26, 2013 at 03:27:01 PM PDT

  •  NC'10 GOP Dem 2.22/GOP 2.14, '08 Dem 2.14/GOP 2.13 (4+ / 0-)

    Republicans Can’t Claim Mandate as Democrats Top House Vote

  •  I hope the NC GOP oversteps. (8+ / 0-)

    People don't make the connection between these awful policies and the candidates they vote for because: Jesus!
    They have it in their minds, probably because of us icky gays, that the GOP is the party of "god". Amendment One helped the republicans to register about a hundred thousand more voters in this state than our side. That was just about their margin of victory here in the 2012 presidential election.

    Christian = vote republican because you know Jesus hates the gays or something. Never mind that he supposedly  said something along the lines of  "as you do unto the least of these  you do also unto me."

    Sadly I think Senator Hagan is toast next year. For the first time ever, the past year or two have made me think that it might be better to move away from here.

    •  Maybe not for Hagan (3+ / 0-)

      PPP has her leading or tied against all Republicans.  Cherie Berry (great name!) does best at a tie, but crazy Virginia Foxx has a slight GOP primary lead and she's 7 behind Kay.

      Go Foxx?

      The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

      by Upper West on Sun May 26, 2013 at 03:53:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If the South weren't my home I'd (6+ / 0-)

      leave. My family has been here since the 1680s and were among the first European settlers of N.C., having came from England and VA. I'll be 51 next month and the thought of leaving is beyond my comprehension. If I were a younger person with no roots here, I'd be gone in a minute.

      Guns are never the principle in the commission of a crime, but they are usually an accomplice

      by MadGeorgiaDem on Sun May 26, 2013 at 03:57:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My (7+ / 0-)

        entire family is here, so I stay.  I would love to live in a place where intelligent, college-educated people don't display their ignorance of what politics has become because of Fox News as their only source of information.  

        I work with very smart people who vote dumb.   They vote that way because their churches demonize Dems because of the abortion issue and can''t see that they are voting against their own financial and family interests.  I think the attempts to criminalize abortion gives them hope that if they keep voting Republican, it could happen and God will be proud of them.  Seriously.  It amazes me that constant wars, hungry children, and sick people with no health care don't seem like something religious people would support.  

        •  Yes, I think if we ever find a way to pull back (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          historys mysteries

          the curtain on the "pro life" scam, Republicans would be done.  I cannot imagine how so many well meaning, naive, gullible voters, especially women, keep pulling the GOP lever to "save the babies".  What about the kids?  What about the seniors?  What about the sick and hungry?  Who is going to save them?

          “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

          by ahumbleopinion on Sun May 26, 2013 at 07:13:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The current GOP legislature and Goobernor are (7+ / 0-)

    all crazier than outhouse rats.  You didn't mention the "nipple ban" or the proposed tax on electric cars...or the push for charter schools at the expense of public schools...or lowering the income eligibility level for pre-K programs...or legislating that sea-rise doesn't exist...or voter id requirements.

    These people are pure and simple sacks of $#!T trying to do everything they can to screw the people of North Carolina in behalf of the wealthy, corporations, and profit for their donors / puppet-masters.  

    Throwing them out of office isn't enough.  They gerrymandered the state prior to the election.  They are crooks and liars.  They need to go to jail or be locked up in an asylum for the rest of their feculent lives.

    The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. - Dante Alighieri

    by Persiflage on Sun May 26, 2013 at 04:39:18 PM PDT

    •  Options in the short term (4+ / 0-)

      I don't live in NC but I was reading about "Moral Mondays" where people have been staging large demonstrations and getting arrested in front of the state house.

      A "power analysis" would say that these ALEC -John Pope - business lapdogs are not the ones in power. It's John Pope and the nastier members of the business community who hold power. It follows that civil disobedience must be directed at the business community, not the politicians.

      There are two strategies I am envisioning. In anticipation of the new higher sales tax (that allows for reduction or elimination of the income tax), citizens can sign onto a petition that says that, if the new sales tax goes into effect, everyone will do as much of their shopping as possible in neighboring states or on the internet. Further, the boycott of John Pope's discount stores should be revived and strengthened.

      Second, people need to see that others are standing up so they can be encouraged. In place of, or in addition to standing outside of the statehouse each Monday, people could walk out to the street with signs every Monday at 12 noon, where ever they are. Others who see them may join in the following week.
       There could also be weekly targets:  John Pope discount stores on the first Monday of the month, the chamber of commerce in each town and city the second Monday of the month, etc.

      Smart tactics and smart organizing can make a difference! Go North Carolina! Give up hell!

    •  Thanks -- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Judge Moonbox, Persiflage

      I did hear about most of those, but was doing the diary as a break from working on a brief, and there are limits on how much time I'll spend procrastinating.  (though I did mention Voter ID -- arguably the most pernicious because it's just bringing back Jim Crow.)

      The nipple ban, though, is in a class by itself.  I'll bet Huff Post is furiously lobbying against it.

      The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

      by Upper West on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:08:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NC has gone completely wacko ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries, Rogneid

    I live in NC. Have been here for the last 10+ years. I have written a few diaries that touch on most of these measures.

    I really place the blame on us Democrats, who dropped the ball in 2010. Infighting, Blame game about the President not passing the Public Option, complacency, ..etc are all the root causes of this big mess in NC.

    NC was on its way to becoming one of the best states in the Nation to live in. I'm so disgusted by what's happening now, I shake my head every time I open the news papers in the morning.

    It will take a Hercules effort to fix this problem. Short term, it will be very difficult. Gerrymandering was so brutal, it hurts every single liberal chance of winning anything meaningful.
    The NC State Legislature is passing laws to take control and/or crumble  Cities and Urban Areas (usually controlled by Democrats).  They are basically establishing an empire controlled from Raleigh by the Governor (financed by Koch Brothers, Art Pope, ...) and a State Assembly that has a guaranteed Republican Majority. Even Democrats that are elected ... have worked very hard to destroy the Democratic party and ideals. This is really stunning. It is now to a point where, we don't even trust our own Democrats, many of whom orchestrated Beverly Purdue downfall. Some democrats even voted for Republicans and claimed later, they pressed the wrong button ... NC is unreal.

    Right now, I think we need to mobilize massively in 2014 and hope republicans will stay home or independents will switch over or stay home. We need serious help.

  •  well, UNC endorses 8 limbaugh stations- if dems (0+ / 0-)

    want to beat them back they could start a fight there- why let a state funded university lend their name to a partisan GOP/ALEC propaganda operation - thereby endorsing it and helping them bring in ad dollars. surely the UNC mission statement would prohibit it.

    everything dems and progressives do in NC will be minimized because they let UNC put tarheels logos all over those radio stations.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun May 26, 2013 at 09:46:45 PM PDT

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