Tea Party types must have gone into cardiac arrest last night when Governor McCrory said he’s “kind of an Eisenhower Republican.”
Just not as ambitious. Ike built the Interstate highway system; Pat wants to “fix the lights” on the Interstate. And, like Ike, he’s afraid to confront the Joe McCarthys in his party.
Still, “Eisenhower Republican” is an odd self-appellation in the Republican age of Ted Cruz and Ted Nugent. And McCrory’s speech struck me as not much different from every State of the State speech given by every North Carolina governor, Democrat and Republican, going back to – oops! – “Governor Householser.”
Most striking was what we didn’t hear: a call to dramatically slash taxes and downsize government. He did come out against “seat warmers,” but I wasn’t sure whether he was talking about legislators or car seats on cold mornings.
McCrory said tax reform should be “revenue neutral.” He wants more lottery money for education. Energy exploration, he promised, would mean more revenues so government could do more things.
It was a vision of expansionist government, not just efficient government. How does the Tea Party like that?
McCrory showed little passion, save when he talked about addiction and college-campus binge drinking. Certainly we all applaud that.
He sounded more like a mayor – or president of the homeowners’ association. His administration’s proudest accomplishment so far apparently is ending double-billing for tolls and apologizing to the “customers.” Very commendable.
And he doesn’t like people waiting an hour and a half at DMV. What about the long lines to vote?
Observers keep asking what kind of governor McCrory is going to be, like it’s some deep enigma. No, this is it. What you saw is what you get. He’s a pleasant, modestly ambitious man who wants to fix the lights and long lines – and a rubber stamp for whatever the right-wingers do in the legislature.