Pat McCrory’s response to the NBA canceling its visit for the net All-Star game from Charlotte does nothing more than prove the shortsighted nature by which he has governed in this term.
It also shows his willingness to play the blame game because HB2 will be the one of major issues that he will be defined by when the election comes in November.
It will be one of the largest albatrosses of the flock of albatrosses around his neck come this fall.
There were two statements that McCrory gave last week concerning the NBA’s actions that really stand out – one that seemed like a visceral response and then one that seems more official as if there was some sort of thought process associated with it.
First there was this response released last Thursday through his office.
“The sports and entertainment elite, Attorney General Roy Cooper and the liberal media have for months misrepresented our laws and maligned the people of North Carolina simply because most people believe boys and girls should be able to use school bathrooms, locker rooms and showers without the opposite sex present. Twenty-one other states have joined North Carolina to challenge the federal overreach by the Obama administration mandating their bathroom policies in all businesses and schools instead of allowing accommodations for unique circumstances. Left-wing special interest groups have no moral authority to try and intimidate the large majority of American parents who agree in common-sense bathroom and shower privacy for our children. American families should be on notice that the selective corporate elite are imposing their political will on communities in which they do business, thus bypassing the democratic and legal process.”
This explanation leaves so much for explanation. If it was graded for its ability to actually offer and support an argument, it would fail. Too many claims, no data, and certainly no analysis. It’s just a pathos – driven blame game.
Look at it claim by claim.
- “The sports and entertainment elite, Attorney General Roy Cooper and the liberal media for months have misrepresented our laws.” – The governor seems to forget that there is a business aspect to both sports and entertainment. If each entity makes a business decision, then not having the All-Star game in NC becomes not only an ethical, but an economical choice. Simply put, they no longer want to do business with North Carolina under the current HB2 law. It’s there decision, much like the decision to pass it. The NBA and Bruce Springsteen are allowed to do what they did – legally. What the NCGA and governor did may soon be declared illegal.The Roy Cooper angle is interesting as well. He is the Attorney General. He is the first to provide legal counsel for the state’s actions. He said it was not defensible. That’s him providing legal counsel. The NCGA and the governor did not listen to him.
Months of misrepresentation? The governor has had the same amount of time to “represent” his position. Has he succeeded? Obviously not. And if most people believe what the governor says, then allow the people to vote on it rather than have HB2 rammed through the General Assembly into law through a 12-hour special session.
- “Most people believe boys and girls should be able to use school bathrooms, locker rooms and showers without the opposite sex present.” As Chis Fitzsimon reminds us in “The Follies of McCrory’s continuing demagoguery on HB2” on NC Policy Watch (http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2016/07/22/the-follies-of-mccrorys-continuing-demagoguery-on-hb2/), “Federal courts and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have interpreted sex to include sexual orientation and gender identity. McCrory’s law goes out of its way to make sure that LGBT people in North Carolina are not protected from discrimination.” If transgender people go to the bathroom of the sex they are aligned with, then the government pretty much said that they are not considered the opposite sex.
- “Twenty-one other states have joined North Carolina to challenge the federal overreach by the Obama administration mandating their bathroom policies in all businesses and schools instead of allowing accommodations for unique circumstances.” But do those other 21 states have HB2? There is a reason that HB2 stands out from the other states’ laws. As Fitzsimon says in the aforementioned post, “HB2 goes far beyond bathrooms. It creates a statewide nondiscrimination standard that not only doesn’t guarantee protections for LGBT people, it includes the term ‘biological sex.’”Not only that, but the term “overreach” is interestingly used here. When Charlotte passed its original ordinance, McCrory and the NCGA came in and passed HB2 which also forbids local governments from passing protective measures for the LGBT community. Talk about overreach.
- “Left-wing special interest groups have no moral authority to try and intimidate the large majority of American parents who agree in common-sense bathroom and shower privacy for our children.” What special interest groups is the governor referring to? He should name them instead of hiding behind a generalization. Common sense? Then put it up for a vote. Bathroom and showers? The governor should also provide proof of transgender sexual assault in public facility bathrooms that would be prevented with HB2. He can’t. Current laws already cover those possibilities.Moral authority? That might be the most hypocritical thing he said in the entire release.
Furthermore, McCrory had one of the more interesting interviews about HB2 with Megyn Kelly from FOX News. That’s right, FOX News. She grilled him. Badly. And he defended his policy the same way he defended it on Meet The Press. Did that change the minds of those in the court of public opinion? Not really.
- “American families should be on notice that the selective corporate elite are imposing their political will on communities in which they do business, thus bypassing the democratic and legal process.” Coming from the man who once worked for the very industry that is the focus of the largest environmental mishap in recent North Carolina history – the Duke Energy coal ash spills. The leniency that was used with Duke to keep them from having to be totally culpable stinks of its own special interest. Also, look at the governor’s first budget director, Art Pope. Talk about corporate elite imposing political will.And the democratic and legal process? The NCGA’s recent budget put aside money to defend HB2 in federal courts to defend an unconstitutional law that was never passed through the democratic process.
The very next day, McCrory was on a radio commentary show in Charlotte on station WFAE and said,
“I strongly disagree with their decision. To put it bluntly, it’s total P.C. B.S. … it’s an insult to our city and an insult to our state.”
So, the governor, who could not in any way, shape, or form defend the surreptitiously crafted, special session law, blames the NBA, who had already told him that if the law was not repealed or amended they would pull out of Charlotte? Yes he did.
However, what is really interesting here is that he called Charlotte “our city”. The former four-time mayor of Charlotte, who still calls the Queen City home, said it was an insult to “our city”? But wasn’t it an insult to have the NCGA and the governor pass a law to repudiate the democratic process in Charlotte when they overreached by convening a special session to pass HB2?
If people think that the governor’s decision to keep blindly defending HB2 is worthy, it will come out in the wash in November. But if he is not re-elected, looking back at his statements concerning the NBA’s decision to not play the All-Star Game in Charlotte might serve as the very evidence that his willingness to defend HB2 is unbecoming of a public servant.