McCrory’s short leash

June 13, 2012 

Here it is only June, and Pat McCrory must already be worried that his campaign for governor – make that his second campaign, after his narrow loss to Beverly Perdue in 2008 – could be a dud. Why else would he feel he had to knuckle under to the extreme tea party faction of his Republican Party?

Those would be the folks who seem to think sensible land use planning and “smart growth” are evil schemes cooked up by Karl Marx himself, perhaps warmed over by Josef Stalin. And perhaps by Alger Hiss, the State Department official and likely Soviet tool who helped organize the United Nations – which in more recent times developed Agenda 21, the smart growth blueprint that the tea party loves to hate.

Hey, when it’s conspiracy time, why spare the horses?

McCrory, during his lengthy tenure as mayor of Charlotte, showed that he understood the wisdom in guiding development so that it doesn’t needlessly chew up and pollute the landscape. And he was a backer of Charlotte’s successful downtown light rail project.

But in angling to defeat Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton in November, he has let the tea party put him on a very short leash, if not a choke chain.

A more reasonable McCrory would have found a way to ignore the right’s obsession with Agenda 21. Instead, he chose the recent state Republican convention to align himself with the conspiracy theorists who had pushed through an anti-Agenda 21 resolution. Not that could bring himself to say the words out loud. A tweet would do the trick.

The resolution, which McCrory tweeted that he was “proud to support,” calls Agenda 21 “a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering and global political control.” What this signals is that either he’s terrified of the tea party or terrified of losing – bless his heart.

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