As WRAL.com notes this morning, it’s been two months and ten days since Governor McCrory announced that the “time is right” for the state to stop distributing license plates bearing the confederate flag. Since that time, here is what the Guv has done to make that change a reality: zip, zero, bupkis.
The reason for this is obvious. The Governor has placed a wet finger in the wind and determined that much of his conservative base likes the flag. As was explained back in July in a column:
“Of course, the actual reason behind the paralysis of the state’s conservative political leadership when it comes to confederate symbols is not hard to divine and has nothing to do with ‘legal authority.’ Rather, these politicians are simply bowing to the wishes of a large and noisy segment of their political base.
As NC Policy Watch editorial cartoonist John Cole neatly conveyed yesterday, the simple truth is that neither McCrory nor the leadership of General Assembly want (or feel they have the political muscle) to take on the far right on the issue. Once the modest national momentum that arose in the aftermath of the horror in Charleston subsided somewhat, McCrory et. al. quickly realized that a large segment of the conservative base actually likes confederate symbols and what they perceive them to stand for. Add to this the widespread resentfulness that any policy change at all attributable to progressives and civil rights activists is sure to provoke on Fox News and other dark corners of the conservative echo chamber and it’s easy to see why McCrory, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore have disappeared into their shells.”
And so here’s the bottom line, hard truth about the confederate flag on the North Carolina license plate: it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It would be nice if the Governor had the courage to be straight with the citizens about this fact.