As the North Carolina General Assembly hurtles forward with its stunning power play to seize numerous duties that Gov.-elect Cooper is scheduled to assume January 1, it’s increasingly clear that there’s only probably one person left who can conceivably do anything to stop it. That would be the current inhabitant of the Governor’s mansion, one Patrick Lloyd McCrory.
With just three weeks left in his term as Governor, the one-time moderate mayor of Charlotte has one last opportunity to do what’s right by standing up for the prerogatives of the office he has inhabited for the past 47 months and vetoing any such bills the General Assembly sends his way. By doing so and fighting like heck to sustain the veto(es), McCrory could defend the office of the Governor, prevent a great injustice and take a stand against his tormentors/abusers down the street who have treated him like an errand boy for so long.
Two years ago, McCrory had this to say about an effort by the General Assembly to usurp powers delegated by the state constitution to the executive branch:
“I have too much respect for North Carolina’s constitution to allow the growing encroachment of the legislative branch into the responsibilities the people of North Carolina have vested in the executive branch.”
McCrory was so serious about his position that he actually enlisted former Governors Jim Hunt and Jim Martin to join him in a lawsuit against the General Assembly — a lawsuit in which he ultimately prevailed.
If the Guv wants that previous effort to have really meant anything, he needs to get Martin and Hunt (and Cooper too) to stand by him again as he vetoes the nonsense being cooked up in the General Assembly this week. Unfortunately, thus far, McCrory has been embarrassingly silent and, by all indications, as impotent as ever as lawmakers have unpacked, polished and wielded their statutory wrecking ball.
The bottom line: Let’s hope McCrory gets off his duff and takes a stab at doing the right thing in this, his last big chance. If he does go along with the legislative scheme by affirmatively assenting or just pretending to ignore the whole mess, it will be a sadly fitting conclusion to a truly desultory governorship.