Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Wink and a Nod

When a study on the possibility of offshore drilling for North Carolina was commissioned by Senate Leader Marc Basnight and House Speaker Joe Hackney in November of last year, Chairman Daves made a statement intoning her skepticism about the true nature of the project. With the announcement of the 24-member committee, Basnight and Hackney have confirmed the reasons for our suspicions. By appointing one co-chair of the committee who works for the Environmental Defense Fund and has already written a memo entitled, "NC oil drilling: no impact on gas prices, high impact on coastal economy," Basnight and Hackney have shown that their true commitment isn't to a "long, careful look" at the facts of drilling but instead to a predetermined outcome suited to their political predilections.

Of course, this is just the way Democrats try to handle an electorate in support of initiatives at odds with their liberal base. North Carolinians want a vote on a marriage amendment to the state constitution. Joe Hackney can just pocket it. North Carolinians want an up or down vote on support for the death penalty. Tie it up in committee and use procedural rules to keep your members from having to go on the record for or against. Parents want more educational choices and freedom. Allow charter schools but cap them at 100. That's how Democrats do business in state government. With a wink and a nod. Make promises. Do just enough to pretend you are doing something without angering the liberal base. Hold up progress for North Carolina. Conservatives are up in arms. Liberal bloggers are satisfied.

Like in so many other areas of life, when liberal bloggers are happy, I'm uncomfortable.