Governor McCrory likes to think and talk about himself as an “Eisenhower Republican.”
Now, given the Guv’s obviously superficial understanding of state and (presumably) national government, in his mind, this may simply mean that he wants to return our state to the the 1950′s.
We know for certain that it doesn’t mean he’s going to start lambasting the military industrial complex like Ike did or support a hike in income taxes (American marginal income tax rates peaked during the Eisenhower administration).
Presumably, however, what McCrory is trying to convey is that he’s a nice, genial, country club conservative who’s not a complete extremist like his second in command (i.e. like the young Dick Nixon and Sharia law-hating Dan Forrest) or a certifiable conspiracy nut like some of the legislators he has to work with (think Joe McCarthy, the young Strom Thurmond and a bevy of current state lawmakers in North Carolina).
The problem with this particular narrative is that it doesn’t comport with the facts on the ground. Unlike Eisenhower, McCrory has yet to display even a hint of backbone in facing down the extremists. To the contrary, he is appointing them to office and signing their bills.
And, make no mistake, the folks at the national level have quickly figured this out. As this story on the popular national website Think Progress makes clear, McCrory is quickly establishing a national reputation as a Tea Party conservative in the ilk of Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Florida’s Rick Scott.
In short, absent some kind of real world demonstration of Ike-like moderation in the very near future, Pat McCrory will have already painted himself into a an extreme right corner of the political spectrum that will be very hard to escape going forward.