There have been a lot of troubling and ultimately destructive things about the governorship of Pat McCrory — perhaps most notably his willingness to approve or roll over in the face of any hard right, ideologically-driven proposal the General Assembly can concoct.
If there’s a most aggravating thing, however, it has to be his posture as a perpetually aggrieved man.
Pick an issue — almost any issue — and you’ll find a moment in which McCrory is complaining that the media or other public figures “don’t understand the facts” or trying to manufacture an ex post facto explanation of something he’s done and for which he is being criticized.
This week has already brought us at least two more examples of this tiresome phenomenon.
First, of course, have been the Guv’s unconvincing attempts to explain away the damning McClatchy story about his intervention on behalf of a prison contractor who also happened to be a friend and big campaign contributor. As Raleigh’s N&O explained in detail yesterday, McCrory’s explanation/attack on the reporters who broke the story comes up woefully short.
Now, this morning, there’s word that the Governor has launched a similar effort vis a vis the critics of his new anti-immigrant law. The Greensboro News & Record reports that McCrory sent a “damage control” email to immigrant advocates in which he tried to lecture them about what the new law does and doesn’t do. This is from the N&R article:
“Mayor Nancy Vaughan said the letter seemed confusing and condescending.
‘But I think the fact that they sent the letter at all shows that it was good that the City Council voted to oppose the bill,’ Vaughan said. ‘Obviously, our opposing it drew attention to the problems with the law and now they’re trying to explain themselves.’”
Sometimes, one almost gets the impression that the Governor is trying to convince himself with these efforts. As with his repeated attacks on the Charlotte Observer (his hometown newspaper that endorsed him for Governor but that has been mostly critical on its editorial pages since he took office), it’s almost as if the Guv can’t believe that other people don’t still see him as the reasonable and moderate fellow he clearly thinks of himself as. Unfortunately, however, that’s what happens when you endorse and implement radical, far right policy proposals over and over.
A great irony in all this, of course, is that it’s an article of faith among modern American conservatives that it’s liberals who perpetuate a culture of “victimhood” in which various groups — women, minorities, gay men and lesbians — are somehow encouraged to feel victimized and seek “special protections.”
As Governor McCrory has repeatedly demonstrated, however, victimhood is a state that wealthy and powerful, middle aged white guys can readily embrace and revel in as well. Somewhere, Richard Nixon is probably nodding in approval.