by Michael Lowrey
Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal offers up his assessment of the Moral Monday protests in Raleigh. The key point:
So what are liberals of all stripes so angry about in North Carolina? I put that question to the organizer of the Moral Monday movement, Rev. William Barber II, a loquacious, likable and politically shrewd preacher and leader of the North Carolina NAACP. (Think Jesse Jackson, but with charm and genuine conviction.) He preaches “civil disobedience” and trains peaceful demonstrators on how to get arrested. He is also a master at political theater.
After a near-five minute sermon about how Republicans have made the state a “crucible of extremism and injustice,” it became clear the answer to my question is he and his followers are mad as hell about, well . . . everything. The list of grievances is long but includes unemployment-insurance cuts that took some 70,000 recipients in the state off the rolls, state lawmakers’ refusal to sign up for ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, a proposed voter-ID law, and of course “tax cuts for the rich.”
And, of course, a bunch of items beyond that. And that really is the limit of the Moral Monday movement. With a long laundry list of complaints, the protests are too diffuse in their message to have much influence on any specific policy issue. But the goal really isn’t to influence policy — if you wanted to do that, you’d pick five things to protest about and not 50 — as much as it is to bait and goad Republicans into saying and doing dumb things and in general living living up (down?) to the mean GOP straw man image that the protesters are seeking to portray them as.