Be sure to check out this morning’s lead editorial in the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh’s News & Observer. The headline — “NC Republicans are becoming the party of bigots, insurrectionists and the cowardly who let it happen” — leaves no uncertainty about its content.
Not surprisingly, the chief “bigot” and “insurrectionist” highlighted are, respectively, North Carolina’s homophobic Lt. Governor and its weapon-worshiping freshman 11th District congressman.
And, of course, the main thrust of the piece is to highlight the shameful sound of chirping crickets that emanates from the offices of the state’s supposedly responsible Republican leaders (i.e., Phil Berger, Tim Moore, Thom Tillis, and Richard Burr) every time Mark Robinson or Madison Cawthorn utters yet another inanity like, respectively, declaring that LGBTQ people are the equivalent of “what the cows leave behind” and offering teen-aged vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse a congressional internship. This is from the editorial:
But rather than condemning such moral bankruptcy, North Carolina Republicans are letting it become their brand. They dutifully excuse — and even embrace — the behavior of insurrectionists and bigots, no matter how repugnant, and stand idly by as the ugliest voices in their party become the loudest. At best, that’s complicity; at worst, it’s concurrence.
That “party first, principles second” approach is a big reason why people like Cawthorn and Robinson have a platform at all. Republicans didn’t stop people on the fringes of their party from slipping into the mainstream over the years — and once they realized that it could win elections, they snuggled up even closer, abandoning everything they once stood for in the process.
And here’s the on-the-mark conclusion:
There’s hardly room for moral ambiguity when it comes to bigotry and violence: you either support it, or you don’t. It’s hard to say whether Republicans actually subscribe to their colleagues’ line of thinking, but it’s what they say and do publicly that matters — the quiet bystander shares at least some guilt with the bully.
This is the very public face of North Carolina Republicans. They are showing voters who they are. Now, as a state and as a country, we must decide who we want to be.
Click here to read and share the full editorial.