The head of the Locke Foundation must have some Patrick O’Brian novels  on his summer reading list this year. How else to explain today’s column  in which readers are subjected to a lengthy and tortured series of seafaring analogies to explain the recently adjourned legislative session?
Not that we should object to the man finding some new way, any way, to spice up his column. Good lord, he writes a helluva lot of them — even if they usually are all variations on the same theme: Government and taxes – bad; The “market” – divine; Me – really, really smart.
One sentence in todays’ exercise in nautical nonsense, however, caught my eye as an especially absurd bucketful of rhetorical bilge water:
“According to Democrats and the Left, North Carolina was in shipshape condition and headed in the right direction before those dastardly Republicans took power.”
How do you say “liar, liar, pants on fire” on a boat?
First of all, to claim that the Democrats — the party that has long reserved prominent roles for people like Jim Crawford, Bill Owens and any number of ultra-conservative businessmen — is the same as “the Left” is just ridiculous.
Second, to claim that “the Left” — if it even exists in 2012 — thought the state was “in shipshape condition” prior to the Tillis/Berger takeover is equally absurd. While it’s true that many progressives did not think it a bad thing that North Carolina was home to better schools, a more progressive tax code and better public infrastructure than Mississippi or Alabama, this does not translate into a view that they thought everything here was fine.
To the contrary, progressives have been complaining about and documenting for years the innumerable ways in which the author and his market fundamentalist, anti-government colleagues (as well as the numerous conservative Democrats with whom they’ve frequently aligned themselves) have been retarding growth and progress in North Carolina.
Sure, things could have been worse prior to 2011 as far as progressives (and anyone with a brain) were concerned, but to claim that such a view means that “the Left” thought everything was “shipshape” at that time is to fire a broadside that misses by a nautical mile (to the starboard, naturally).