JLF’s John Hood looks at the intersection of policy and politics, now that conservative reformers in North Carolina are putting the state back on the path to prosperity.
North Carolina’s liberal organizations and editorial pages aren’t upset because McCrory, Tillis, Berger, and other Republican leaders are too divided by disagreements to be effective. On the contrary, the Left is upset because McCrory, Tillis, Berger, and other Republican leaders have, in fact, been very effective — reflecting their fundamental agreement on most of North Carolina’s key issues.
The differences among them lie primarily in the pace and structure of conservative reform. Only if your knowledge of conservative ideas comes from watching tirades on MSNBC and swapping conspiracy theories on the Internet would you be surprised that conservatives often disagree on the details of policy implementation while sharing the same goals and principles.
Here’s what I think will happen. The Senate, House, and the administration will resolve their differences on teacher pay and spending priorities, adjusting the 2014-15 budget in a timely fashion. And they’ll continue to work through differences on other matters without clubbing each other to political death, as their critics so obviously and desperately want them to do.
Meanwhile, the Left will continue watching tirades on MSNBC, swapping conspiracy theories on the Internet, and endlessly debating the relative influence of Pat McCrory, Phil Berger, and Thom Tillis. Throw in some Occupy/Moral Monday theatrics and pro-Kay Hagan stunts, and you’ve got a pretty good picture of what North Carolina politics will look like in the coming weeks and months.