You won’t know it from this dispatch, but the Mecklenburg County Commission did a very important thing last night. They actually deadlocked 4-4 on Commissioner Dan Bishop’s motion to put the half-cent transit tax back on the ballot — in the event it is repealed in November — with the stipulation that future dollars not be used to build additional train lines.

What was that again — oh yeah — No More Trains.

Democrats on the panel flipped out and voted no and remain in denial about the county’s ability re-levy the tax after we trash the current $9 billion transit plan.

Also in denial — half-cent transit tax boosters. At this morning’s transit tax debate in the GovCenter, Charlotte city councilman Pat Mumford challenged Bishop on the county’s authority to do what it almost did last night. Mumford, of course, has to argue that there is no possible outcome from repeal besides a gutted bus system, higher property taxes, and rampant traffic congestion.

None of this is true, as Bishop’s bold gambit demonstrated.

The other overarching lesson of today’s little set-piece battle on transit is that the pro-tax camp absolutely refuses to defend the current plan on its specific merits, the $470 million North line commuter rail project in particular.

But more on that later.