by John Grooms
If we’ve learned anything since last week’s Midnight Madness session of the General Assembly — which we termed a classic example of no-holds-barred, late-night, fuck-you politics — it’s that our Cornelius pal, House Speaker Thom Tillis, does not take well to criticism.
As NC Policy Watch points out, Tillis must be having trouble these days keeping up with all the media outlets he wants to hold a grudge against. He was infuriated by press gibes about his 12:45 a.m. “special” legislative session last week, and he let it be known, via Facebook, that he’s canceling his subscription to the Charlotte Observer, which he referred to as “roadkill” and “a liberal blog.”
Why he picked on the Observer is a mystery, as condemnation of Tillis & Co.’s perversion of democracy has been widespread: Raleigh’s News & Observer, Greensboro's News & Record, Wilmington's Star-News, The Pilot, in Southern Pines, and The Daily Reflector, in Greenville, all lambasted the GOP leadership for its tactics. The Asheville Citizen-Times compared Tillis’ strategy to that of Cold War caricatures of communists, while The Rocky Mount Telegram's editorial called Republicans in the General Assembly “a cynical and sneaky bunch who have made a mockery of their empty promises to promote open government in the legislature.”
Thom the Terrible seems particularly pissed that the state’s press is — horrors! — defending the teachers the Tillis Gang screwed in the middle of the night. This morning, Tillis sent a tweet, out of the blue, asking, “With 66% of all fourth graders not proficient in reading in NC, who believes spending more money on the status quo is the right answer?” Which makes a lot of sense, until you realize that slashing school spending to the point of making N.C. 49th in the country in per-pupil spending will only make the situation worse.
Our advice to our Cornelius buddy is this: Take a few deep breaths, Thom. You’re looking more and more like a blind dog chained to a truck bumper, snarling at anything that doesn’t think it’s a neat idea to hold unconstitutional lawmaking sessions in order to kick teachers in the ass. You guys screwed up big time, and you're paying for it - short and sweet.