There was just a smidgen of hope this week in good government circles that Gov. Pat McCrory would summon up a shred of courage and class and do what’s right by vetoing House Bill 17 from last week’s kangaroo special legislative session — the measure that, among other things, decimates a good deal of gubernatorial power for his successors.
As was noted in this space yesterday, the bill is opposed by some important conservative voices and must be seen — even if one isn’t sure about all of the substantive details — as the product of an absurdly rushed and badly flawed process. Surely, McCrory — a man who has sued the General Assembly over gubernatorial prerogatives not as important as the ones contained in this legislation — would at least decline to sign it and leave the decision to his successor, who takes office in two weeks.
Sadly, however, it was not to be. Faced with a challenging political moment that provided him with one last real chance to play the role of a statesman who would stand up to the bullies down the street at the Legislative Building in order to benefit the common good, McCrory did what he has almost always done in such situations; he blinked and caved in.
What’s more, in keeping with the churlish and whiny manner that has become his trademark, the Guv waited a few days (he signed the other major bill from the special session in a matter of minutes) and then, just when caring and thinking people’s hopes were starting to rise, dashed them with a bizarre, offensive and downright ridiculous statement in which he complained about “misleading TV ads” and “paid protesters.”
It was, in sum, a fitting conclusion to dreadful four years in office for a man who was never up to the job and never tired of blaming others for the problems that were the product of his own shortcomings. Come to think of it, no wonder McCrory appears to be under serious consideration for some kind of job in the Trump administration — with a record like his, McCrory ought to fit in perfectly working for the new Tweeter-in-Chief.
With the General Assembly returning for yet another special session this week on the subject of the execrable HB2, perhaps McCrory will figure out a way to put a double exclamation point on the end of his term. Stay tuned.