Commentary

Editorials blast Berger for his obstruction of HB2 repeal, Cooper compromise

Two more major newspapers point out the absurdity of Senate leader Phil Berger’s disingenuous stance on HB2 repeal this morning. The Charlotte Observer tells it like it is with this observation:

“Goodbye, NCAA. Goodbye, ACC. Goodbye from Phil Berger, who keeps whispering, ‘Hush.’

Sen. Berger and other Republican leaders on Tuesday made clear that they have zero intention of repealing HB2, ‘clean’ or otherwise. Minutes after Gov. Roy Cooper offered a compromise deal, Berger shot it down and other Republicans followed.

That’s yet another nail in the repeal effort’s coffin, and almost guarantees that the NCAA and the ACC will remove North Carolina from consideration for all events through at least 2022. That will mean the state that is the heart of the Atlantic Coast Conference will go six years without a championship event, forgoing millions of dollars in tax revenue and hundreds of millions in economic impact.”

The editorial goes on to laud Cooper’s compromise and deride both Berger and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (“the state’s most inflammatory public official on this issue”) for their blatantly false statements on the matter.

The Greensboro News & Record puts it this way in an editorial in which they compare Berger and company to the sadistic prison guards in the classic movie “Cool Hand Luke” whom the title prisoner could never satisfy:

“Republicans challenged Cooper to propose a fair and workable way to repeal the state’s mean-spirited “bathroom law,” HB 2. So Cooper did, floating a bill this week that rolls back the anti-LGBT rights measure while ramping up penalties for sexual predators in restrooms. The bill also requires local governments to give the legislature 30 days notice before passing new anti-discrimination laws.

Republicans say it’s not enough.

‘The threshold question is, what is the governor’s position on whether men should be allowed to share restrooms, locker rooms and showers with women and girls?’ state Senate leader Phil Berger said. ‘… And until we find out what his position is on this, the idea of trotting out something like this and calling it a compromise seems to be just a perpetuation of the current status.’

Translation: ‘We’ll continue to blame you for the lack of an HB 2 repeal. But we’ll also reject any repeal you suggest.’”

The bottom line: HB2 is here to stay because, ultimately, Phil Berger, Dan Forest and the other conservative members of the state sex police wouldn’t have it any other way.

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