Editorial: Cognitive dissonance in North Carolina

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The state of North Carolina and the country of which it is a part have been doing a strange sort of double-helix dance these days, like the twin snakes on the caduceus or a couple of refrigerator magnets that repel each other instead of attract.

In the 2016 election, the state went blue at the top of its ticket by electing Gov. Roy Cooper while simultaneously choosing Donald Trump for president. It’s worth noting that Trump took North Carolina by more than 3.5 points while Cooper’s victory was about 0.2 percent.

Our own political experiment with HB 2 was a disaster by almost any measure — it’s cost our state more than $400 million, including lost revenue from canceled events and corporate expansions, and the money we’ve spent defending the law in the courts.

And even Pat McCrory’s most ardent supporters would agree that HB 2 cost him the governorship — at least the ones who still live in a reality-based society.

But back to the courts: North Carolina is being sued by the federal government over HB 2, claiming that it violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — a charge against which Cooper, as state attorney general, said he could not defend.

That case is on hold while the US Supreme Court makes a ruling on a transgender case in Virginia that would affect the determination.

Our own political experiment with HB 2 was a disaster by almost any measure.

Meanwhile, in the first days of 2017, five states so far — Kentucky, Missouri, Minnesota, Texas and, hey, Virginia — have introduced similar “bathroom bills,” the language of which either negates the entire notion of transgenderism, or unisex bathrooms, or both.

Now Gov. Cooper, in the first days of his administration, announced plans to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. McCrory’s refusal to take part in this aspect of Obamacare, according to the NC Justice Center, costs the state $5.9 million a day, more than $5 billion since McCrory first refused the funds in January 2014.

At the same time, the new US Congress and the president are unrolling plans for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which this time — after 60 failed votes since 2014 — just may pass.