N&O rightfully skewers Senate GOP leader

One of the chief distinguishing characteristics of the curent legislative leadership is the hyper-cynical, “ends-justify-the-means” brand of politics it practices. Whether it’s Speaker Thom Tillis’ public admission of his “divide and conquer” strategy or last month’s “midnight madness” session, the current legislative leadership will do and say pretty much whatever it takes to get its way.

Rep. Ray Rapp of Buncombe County reported at a forum in Asheville last night that he had counted 35 instances this past year in which the House Republican leadership had “called the question” (i.e. shut off debate) on the House floor. This is compared, he said, to seven times that Democrats in the House had taken such a step in the previous four years.

Given this backdrop, it’s no surprise that conservative leaders (and the assistants acting in their names) would feel free to turn their Twitter accounts into fonts of false propaganda. Who would bother to call them on it – right?

Fortunately, while most of the misleading tweets do go unchallenged, Raleigh’s News & Observer provided an important public service this morning by challenging one particularly noxious and dishonest tweet from the office of State Senate president Pro Tem, Phil Berger on the subject of the Racial Justice Act.

Click here to read this excellent editorial.


  1. david esmay

    February 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Tillis and Berger are not going to let ethics and principles get in the way of their agenda.

  2. frances

    February 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Now why in this world would a leader in North Carolina want someone put to death for rape, murder etc. Further still, why would a leader in NC object to somone being released from prison who had brutally raped a young woman, killed her child and commited other horrible crimes. I know his IQ was low he must not have understood when he was repeatedly raping her. I think it must make the victims less dead and the families have to live with less hurt and pain if their IQ was low. I am sure there is something Berger is not seeing.

  3. J.M. Wing

    February 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    It is a sign of the shameful, almost pathological, mindset of the right that, as the message above states about our legislature, “…[they] will pretty much do and say pretty much whatever it takes to get its way,” which obviously includes “…[turning] their Twitter accounts into fonts of false propaganda.” And it is disheartening that there are those who adapt the same lies, the same utterly fallacious and sick logic, in support, as can be seen here.

    If one READS the editorial, or, even a Wikipedia definition of the Racial Justice Act, then s/he would realize that a person sentenced to death must first make and win a case that they were convicted and sentenced to death based on race. IF they make that case, which our state prosecutors can fight, THEN they are “rewarded” with a life sentence that offers NO POSSIBILITY of parole. There is significant case law that ensures any convict that has his/her death sentence converted to life without parole will remain in prison until they die.

    The inmate mentioned in the N&O editorial was not judged to have a low IQ (like some who post comments on web sites); he was diagnosed by a medical professional to be mentally retarded. Mental retardation is a condition that has symptoms, and is therefore diagnosed by medical professionals. It is not a syndrome, like Attention Deficit Disorder.

    The N&O editorial rightly points out that Phil Berger, in reaction to news that a prisoner had is sentence changed to life without parole, DID disseminate a patent lie by association (and probably other lies) about the Racial Justice Act. It was recorded on his Twitter account.

    It is pathological that any person, politician or not, would blatantly lie to get their own way, including lying in order to persuade others that their actions (in this case, repeal of the RJA) are justified. The same goes for anyone who would rabidly, and cruelly, support that lie. It is also a symptom of a psychological sickness.

    Rather than just offering a political opinion about an issue, Rob Schofield and the editorial in the N&O performed nothing less than a public service.

  4. Frances Jenkins

    February 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    It is not shameful or pathological if you were the grandmother or mother of the victims. If a conviction was before 1994, there is no 100% about the release of the prisoner that has been given life. I could care less what you think. But to have no compassion for the victim, for the child or family, you may sit on burnt stump in the hotest place I know .You are too big of a coward to hear the stories of the victims. That piece of information is what you do not want out in the public. Name calling does not give more insight, certainly no compassion as evidenced by your post . Here we go again, the golden egg educated trying to impress the poor and uneducated with their deep philosophy and brillant thoughts. The innocent suffer and the guilty go free. Just my plain and simple thoughts.Be a big boy, present your side, stop the name calling and bullying. You will be better for it.

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