Has it come to this?
After a shady vote in the North Carolina House to veto the governor’s budget — the purpose of which, it should be emphasized, was to thwart efforts to expand Medicaid in the state, bringing health insurance to about half a million North Carolinians and saving untold hundreds of thousands in wasted expenses — the two factions of state government and their voters found themselves at an impasse.
Democrats say they were tricked by House Speaker Tim Moore, who told at least one rep and one reporter that there would be no votes that morning, regardless of what the legislative calendar said. As evidence, the majority party notes that uncalled votes had been scheduled every day that month.
Despite a text and paper trail that suggests the contrary, Republicans insist they did nothing wrong, that this was not a conspiracy or a con, but just a solid political move that presented itself on the morning of Sept. 11.
Voters have settled into their two camps, each looking to their party’s leadership for the answer as to what, exactly happened that day. We’re using the word “leadership” only in a technical sense here, because true leaders don’t act like this.
We’ve sat at this junction for a week now, until Monday, when House Minority Leader Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake) suggested a simple remedy to the dilemma.
He wants to administer lie-detector tests. And it seems he’s quite serious about it. He’s already taken one himself, and now he wants House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), who made the motion for the vote, and House Whip Rep. Jon Hardister — who, in Guilford County, is one of ours — to submit.
As journalists and editorialists, we like the idea of hooking politicians up to polygraphs; we’d be all too happy to suggest other questions to ask during these sessions.
But from here the veto session looks pretty clear: The Dems allowed themselves to get duped into complacency by the majority party, who has been in the practice of subverting the state’s democracy since it took power in 2011.
And we’re realistic enough to know that if we drummed all the liars out of politics, there would be almost nobody left to run the state.
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