Commentary

The best editorial of the weekend

A survey of several of North Carolina’s leading newspapers over the weekend, produced several fine opinion page finds, including Gene Nichol’s latest skewering of GOP gerrymandering and the Charlotte Observer’s takedown of North Carolina Congressman Mark Walker and his unwitting admission of conservative Capitol Hill hypocrisy on tax policy.

The award for best of the weekend, however, goes again to the Wilmington Star News for its pointed criticism of the right-wing ideologues on the UNC Board of Governors who are doing their worst to undermine the conservative Republican President, Margaret Spellings. As the editorial notes, reactionary troublemakers Tom Fetzer and Thom Goolsby have been attacking Spellings for having the temerity to express concerns about campus security in a letter about the “Silent Sam” statue at UNC Chapel Hill. Here’s the Star News:

“Fetzer, Goolsby, et al., took umbrage that Spellings didn’t ask them please before that letter was dropped in the mail.

Board members were also known to be miffed that Spellings wrote an op-ed column for the Washington Post urging President Trump to uphold DACA, the “Dreamers” exemption.

Then came a contentious board meeting, in which the new majority bloc put forward a number of resolutions, including reviewing the size of Spellings’ staff, cutting tuition and moving the university president’s office to Raleigh or the Research Triangle — any place, it seems, other than Chapel Hill, where it presently is.

May we humbly suggest this smacks of micromanaging and not very wise managing at that.

Tuition cuts are great, but as Republicans are wont to ask, how do you pay for them? This legislature isn’t raising UNC appropriations any time soon, so the reduced tuition revenue would have to be met by slashing campus budgets.

Moving the university system’s management out of Chapel Hill would be extremely expensive (as a few governors pointed out) and would serve no good purpose — other than sticking it to ‘Pinko Hill,’ as the late Jesse Helms used to call it.

Republicans who used to sit on the Board of Governors, like PPD founder Fred Eshelman of Wilmington, expounded conservative principles, but they worked with Democrats on the board and the administration to make the university system better.

These days, though, it seems cooperation and compromise are for weenies and snowflakes.

As Ronald Reagan used to say, this is no way to run a railroad. If the new governors don’t want to get rid of Spellings, as they did Tom Ross, they should just sit back and let her do her job.”

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