Under the Dome

Pearce: GOP is showing fault lines

Raleigh Republicans’ once-united front is fraying. There was Rep. Larry Pittman’s non-apology apology to Speaker Tillis (“I’m not sorry I said it; I’m sorry I got caught.”) One wit noted that it read like a hostage letter. Was he waterboarded?

Then there’s renewable energy. Some Republicans chafed at the pressure behind the bill to abolish the renewable-energy portfolio, especially those whose districts have jobs and investments at stake. There are also those who worry about the signals the legislature is sending to companies looking at North Carolina (“We’re in a race to the bottom with Mississippi” and “No contract is safe with us in town.”)

The party that once chided Democrats for heavy-handed rule now routinely gavel through bills regardless of how members voted, including their own.

The sinister force behind the renewables bill appears to be Americans For Prosperity, who are for jobs and growth except when they’re aren’t. When these guys hear “renewable energy,” they apparently see the face of President Obama (also known as “Satan”). Jobs, schmobs! Off with their heads!

This suggests AFP would support Senator Berger in a Senate primary against that increasingly squishy moderate Tillis.

Intra-party splits like this are part of the natural order of things. As you would expect, the House and Senate clearly hate each other. Just as clearly, Governor McCrory is eager to spend as much time as he can out of town doing what he does best: grinnin’ and shakin’ folks hands.

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