Letters to the Editor

Russell Leiman: GOP does what it wants

In the March 1 column “The real fake news – the media outcry over HB2, voter ID,” J. Peder Zane accused the liberal media of “ruining North Carolina’s brand” by casting House Bill 2 and voter ID legislation “in the worst possible light.” He asked, “Shouldn’t the fact that there is no evidence of widespread voter suppression and no reports of transgender Tar Heels being arrested for using the bathroom of their choice inform the debates?”

That formulation is one more risible attempt to deflect away from the real as opposed to “fake” questions that should indeed inform the debates: Why was legislation enacted when all investigations into the matter show vanishingly small occurrences of voter fraud and assaults in bathrooms by transgender people on anyone?

The answer Zane is so desperate to avoid is this: Republicans in the General Assembly passed those laws simply because, with a super-majority, they could. Their motive? Solely electoral advantage. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Should anyone doubt that conclusion and attempt to explain those actions in terms of ideological truism please provide the justification for removing the earned income tax credit (contrary to the GOP platform which endorses the act, and conservative dogma of higher bootstraps) and for not expanding Medicaid (contrary to overwhelming evidence that doing so is cheaper than the cost of no treatment until you arrive in the ER).

Together with HB2 and voting restrictions, those actions are explained by nothing other than nastiness and vindictiveness – simply because they can.

Russell Leiman