The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

February 12, 2014

GOP focuses on Barber

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 — RALEIGH — One of the more noteworthy developments of a new election year is the decision by the North Carolina Republican Party to try to use the Rev. William Barber, the state NAACP head, as a cudgel to beat on Democrats.

Or, is he a wedge to drive them apart?

I’ve taken particular note of the phenomenon because party officials have been using my words to do their work.

On a couple of occasions, the state GOP has sent out missives quoting me, in a year-end review, discussing the Barber-led Moral Monday protests and problems faced by the North Carolina Democratic Party in 2013.

I wrote: “With the state Democratic Party pretty much in disarray, Barber became the de facto leader of the left in North Carolina.”

A few days later, the state GOP had turned that sentence into Barber’s coronation as head of the state Democratic Party.

One news release, after quoting the above, proclaimed: “With the North Carolina Democratic Party tarnished by recent scandals and Kay Hagan in jeopardy of losing her U.S. Senate seat, Democrats have promoted the Rev. William Barber to be their new spokesman and de-facto leader.”

GOP state chairman Claude Pope said, “William Barber, the new leader of the North Carolina Democratic Party, has been promoting the failed far-left, big-government policies of the past that destroyed the state’s budget and led to record unemployment. It’s only fitting that liberal politicians like Kay Hagan and Roy Cooper have been following the Rev. Barber’s lead by parroting his talking points to fire up their fringe liberal activists.”

Who knew I was the kingmaker of the Democratic Party, handing out promotions and ordering around Hagan and Cooper to come kiss the ring? It’s a good thing I wasn’t too busy lining up endorsements for Hillary.

The obvious rhetorical trick used by Pope et al was to substitute my “left” for their “Democratic Party.”

While the NAACP may largely embrace policies of the left, it is not the Democratic Party.

Barber’s ascendancy as a key leader of the left in North Carolina was certainly helped by the vacuum created by Democratic Party stumbling and its elected officials’ loss of power. But party officials did not welcome their diminishing influence or see it as an opportunity to promote Barber.

As for Barber, he needed no Democratic Party anointment.

In a political world where many on the left view the Republican-controlled legislature’s policies as turning back the clock to the 1960s, why wouldn’t the state leader of the premier civil rights organization lead the attack against those lawmakers?

The Republican Party, though, sees political opportunity in Barber’s rise.

The only way to interpret its invocation of his name — he is not a candidate for any office — is that the GOP hopes that he scares away moderate, swing voters when it comes to supporting Democratic candidates.

Maybe that’s one way to make those same voters forget about fears of actual policies put in place by actual officeholders.

Scott Mooneyham is a syndicated columnist for Capitol Press Association and covers activities of the N.C. Legislature.


Text Only
Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • We need your help

    Hurray for the Albemarle City Council. Council plans to battle N.C. Department of Transportation’s ranking of all 13 projects in Stanly County to the bottom of their priority list. Council is setting up petitions in various city buildings for citizens to sign.

    July 28, 2014

  • Council asks veterans to seek office

    The terms of office for the leaders of the Stanly County Veterans Council ended June 30. A call is being sent to veterans council members requesting candidates for the four elective offices of the council. A meeting has been set for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at the DAV building. All council members are urged to attend.

    July 28, 2014

  • Mike Walden The gains and gaps in our economy

    Twice a year, I pull out my cloudy crystal ball and attempt to make some predictions about the direction and pace of the North Carolina economy. I just finished my latest effort and, as usual, the results are a combination of pluses and minuses.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jason O. Boyd Yellow journalism takes on new form, people are dumber for it

    Time to get on the soapbox for a few minutes.
    Let me clear my throat. Eh ... hem!
    People are dumb.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brent Laurenz Special election adds to the mix

    RALEIGH – A busy slate of judicial elections this November got even busier recently when Judge John Martin of the N.C. Court of Appeals announced his retirement.
    A special statewide election to fill Martin’s seat will be added to the general election ballot, joining the four N.C. Supreme Court seats and three N.C. Court of Appeals races already slated for this fall.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patrick Gannon Fake news or sign of some more trouble?

    RALEIGH – Of the three situations I can recall where agencies receiving large sums of taxpayer dollars wouldn’t divulge employees’ salaries, two of them ended badly. The third – involving a group of charter schools in Southeastern North Carolina – is playing out right now.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    WASHINGTON - The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • D.G. Martin Where did all these new voters in North Carolina come from?

    “Voters born elsewhere make up nearly half of N.C. electorate.”
    So begins the latest DataNet report from the UNC Program on Public Life, directed by former journalist Ferrel Guillory.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content