It was never about the bathrooms — though that’s in the long title of the bill.

It was pitched to House Republicans as a correction on municipal overreach, as if cities like Charlotte need to run any new city laws through the General Assembly — and while this may be technically accurate, it’s also ironic as hell, because this bill is the most overreaching of any floated by our state officials.

For example, North Carolina cities cannot determine their own minimum wage, though a Charlotte dollar is certainly not equal to a High Point dollar.

They should have called it A Bill to Motivate a Party Base Using Fear and Ignorance.

Because this is about delivering votes in November, when many of the people who voted for it come up for re-election, and also in our special Congressional election in June, when our entire delegation in Washington comes up for re-election.

And in fact, it is not going according to plan.[pullquote]Republicans can understand votes but, like a child throwing a tantrum in the grocery store, they don’t seem to realize that this is not the way to get them.[/pullquote]

The state GOP did not anticipate the backlash that followed the passage of this bill — which was so important that the General Assembly called a special session for the first time in 8 years; it was, by all appearances, treated as an emergency.

“We didn’t see this coming,” Republican House member John Hardister told Triad City Beat.

How’s that for life inside the bubble?

The bill shows a remarkable misunderstanding of modern gender roles, claiming that a person’s sex is unwaveringly determined by a birth certificate without any consideration for those who want the freedom to be whomever they decide — a most American value.

Republicans can understand votes but, like a child throwing a tantrum in the grocery store, they don’t seem to realize that this is not the way to get them.

They’re supposed to understand money, too, but this law is already costing us money, Hardister tells us: the furniture market authority reporting that hundreds if not thousands of customers won’t be coming; mayors from New York, San Francisco and Seattle forbidding employees from coming here on official business; Rob Reiner saying he won’t shoot any movies in North Carolina. The NBA All-Star Game, scheduled for Charlotte in February 2017, could be pulled.

Now the state GOP is in damage-control mode. But in the meantime, we should make them pay.

Our state GOP and its policies have been marginalizing the majority of city-dwelling North Carolinians from they day they took over in 2010. They do not fear us. Nor should they — we have had no effect on their nefarious plans ranging from the marriage amendment — which passed a statewide vote before it was declared illegal by the Supreme Court — to the move to redraw Greensboro City Council districts to their liking, also battling its way through the courts.

As far as they are concerned, we are impotent. Let’s show them different in June. And then again in November.

There are more of us than there are of them. It’s time to remind them of that.

Join the First Amendment Society, a membership that goes directly to funding TCB‘s newsroom.

We believe that reporting can save the world.

The TCB First Amendment Society recognizes the vital role of a free, unfettered press with a bundling of local experiences designed to build community, and unique engagements with our newsroom that will help you understand, and shape, local journalism’s critical role in uplifting the people in our cities.

All revenue goes directly into the newsroom as reporters’ salaries and freelance commissions.

🗲 Join The Society 🗲