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As most people on this site know, yesterday Pat McCrory, the illustrious governor of North Carolina, brought cookies to women who were protesting the fact that he signed a bill restricting reproductive rights.

The scene was, of course, meticulously staged.  McCrory, who had refused to meet with representatives for the women to discuss the bill, emerged from the mansion carrying a plate of cookies and surrounded by four bodyguards.

The women were kept across the street.

McCrory had the traffic halted, and summoned one single woman to the middle of the street.  Still surrounded by the bodyguards, he ran up to her, handed her the cookies, mumbled God Bless You a few times.  Then he and his bodyguards scurried back inside the gates to the mansion.

First I thought that the scene was just bizarre.  I figured that it had been planned as some sort of PR coup.  I thought it was off-key, but it also seemed familiar in some odd way.

And then I remembered where I had seen this before.

It was on the Netflix series, House of Cards.  Congressional Rep. Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife are having a fundraiser, and the event, a barbecue, is being disrupted by protesting teachers, angry at an Education Bill Underwood supported.

Underwood and his screen wife bring barbecue to the protesters, who are, of course, completely disarmed.

I'm not the first one, of course, to think that Pat McCrory got his idea from the popular series:

What McCrory may not have realized was that this scene was panned by critics as plotting that was "far-fetched or contrived":

And the way in which protestors are defused by a gift of barbecue, instantly transforming them into adoring fans, reeks of contempt for the electorate.

I frankly doubt that McCrory thought he would turn women who seek to control their own bodies into "adoring fans."  I do, however, think that he believed this "gesture" would be seen as "reaching out to them."

Far-fetched?  Contrived?  Reeks of contempt for the electorate?

All true. And it would be only fair if political pundits analyzed McCrory's move the way that entertainment critics nailed the scene in the series.

In this case, life imitates art.  Except for the fact that in real life, pundits are far less critical and far more forgiving when it comes to cheap political ploys.  And, of course, the targets of these ploys aren't as easily fooled.

Originally posted to NCJan on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 07:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight and North Carolina BLUE.

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