Commentary, HB2

Cooper stays calm and collected; says “no” to referenda on basic rights as opponents take the low road yet again

Gov. Roy Cooper

Gov. Roy Cooper

You’ve got to hand it to Gov. Roy Cooper. The man has the patience of Job and the always calm patience of of a Zen master. His opponents keep blowing their cool and firing ridiculous rhetorical stink bombs at him and the Guv just keeps chugging along; quietly and soberly rolling the boulder up the hill without sinking to their level.

We got to witness this pattern once gain yesterday as Cooper called for a resumption of negotiations around HB2 and courageously and powerfully made clear his opposition to the idea of placing basic human rights on the ballot in referenda. The statement, of course, was in response to a badly flawed proposal in the state House that would have allowed cities to enact nondiscrimination ordinances, but only if a small minority of voters was given a chance to place measure on the ballot that would veto such measures. As Chris Fitzsimon noted Friday:

“The bill literally would allow people to vote on whether or not gay people could be fired or denied services simply because they are gay.”

Here’s the Governor in a statement issued Sunday:

“I have two concerns with this. First, it subjects the rights of the minority to a vote of the majority. It would be like putting the Civil Rights Act to a popular vote in cities in the South during the 1960s. Except today, it would come with the perils of modern campaigns. Which is my second concern. Imagine the endless campaigning?—?months of one side demonizing the other about whether LGBT citizens have rights. Toxic 30-second TV ads. Nasty mail filling up your mailbox. And North Carolina is still in the national news for all the wrong reasons.”

Rep. Chuck McGrady

Rep. Chuck McGrady

Sadly, but not surprisingly, Cooper’s principled stance provoked another silly response from a Republican. This time it was the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Chuck McGrady, who called Cooper’s position “outrageous” and dashed off some surprisingly personal and emotional tweets.

What is the deal with these GOP lawmakers and their emotional online venting? The once semi-reasonable Phil Berger seems to go all Donald Trump on anyone who disagrees with him about once a week these days. Now, it’s the usually moderate McGrady.

Who knows? Maybe they’re channeling Trump. Maybe it’s just the idea that the governor of the state is no longer their errand boy/doormat that’s getting under their skin, but whatever the case, Republicans would do well to start dealing with the man down the street at the mansion withe some seriousness and good faith. If they don’t, one suspects, they’re going to keep on getting crushed in the P.R. wars by a man who is notably calmer, cooler and significantly more popular than they are.

One Comment


  1. Marcia Meyer

    February 27, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Am very thankful for our governor.

Check Also

Cooper calls on Berger and Moore to stop stonewalling his nominees

Governor Cooper called on legislative leaders today to ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Two groups seeking state contracts to run struggling North Carolina schools have professional ties t [...]

North Carolinians will lose their “precious right to vote,” as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader [...]

Saturday nights at the 311 Motor Speedway in rural Pine Hall smell of fast food and fuel. Wooden ble [...]

Cornelius Redfearn, principal at Durham’s Glenn Elementary, said Tuesday night that the looming unce [...]

Hypocrisy in politics is hardly a new phenomenon but rarely is it as boldly on display as it was las [...]

UNC center’s latest report on poverty provides powerful reminder of the communities and individuals [...]

The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), a nonpartisan organization that provides independent d [...]

The post Senator silencers appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more