All about the win

Published June 29, 2023

By Thomas Mills

Yesterday, the Supreme Court rejected the Independent State Legislature theory when it decided against the North Carolina legislature in the case of Moore v. Harper. The Moore named here is State House Speaker Tim Moore. He and the Republicans were arguing that the courts had no say in regulating election law. Had the they won, the legislature would have had no checks on their power in North Carolina when it comes to redistricting since the governor cannot veto maps. 

Voting rights advocates and election law advocates cheered. Both conservatives and liberals opposed the theory. The case was supported mainly by the extreme right and the authoritarian wing of the GOP. 

In response to the ruling, a number of Republicans pointed out that the decision would have little impact on North Carolina redistricting since the current State Supreme Court had already overturned that previous decision that Moore contested. Their reaction shows a Machiavellian  approach to governing. What they are saying is, “It doesn’t matter. We already won.” And that about sums up today’s GOP. As much as they tout the Constitution, they care far more about short-term victories than any philosophical coherence.

In North Carolina, they are passing a “Parent’s Bill of Rights” to give parents the right to protest educational materials.They are also passing a bill to restrict parents from seeking medical care for their transgender children. Republicans don’t really trust parents. They just want to score points in the culture wars. Just like they don’t really care about voting rights. They just want a favorable electorate, no matter how they get it. 

We saw similar behavior in the aftermath of the 2020 election. Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy initially blamed Donald Trump for the attack on the Capitol. When they realized their position could be a political liability, they refused to hold him accountable. The Constitution didn’t matter. Winning the next election did.

The GOP has largely lost its principles. They now value winning above all else. Their response to the Harper decision is telling. They supported the lawsuit in pursuit of a short-term victory on redistricting with little thought or care about long term implications. They didn’t really care how it turned out as long they get to draw the districts they want this year. They’re passing a bill they call a “Parent’s Bill of Rights” while passing legislation that prevents parents from seeking medical care for their children. They demand more law and order while refusing to hold the people responsible for January 6 accountable. 

For Republicans, it’s all about the “W.”

Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant