To understand some of the mind-set of the current Republican regime in total control of North Carolina, you might do worse than to read Rob Christensen's column from yesterday about the passing of ex-Democratic Senator Harold Hardison, a major power-broker in the General Assembly back when Democrats ran everything and were keeping North Carolina conservative enough to please even Phil Berger.
Christensen takes some time to show that the current Republican regime has returned environmental regulations to the same weak condition that Hardison established as a reaction to President Richard Nixon's Environmental Protection Agency back in the 1970s. Behold! The old is made new again.
The migration of those conservative Democrats to the current Republican Party of North Carolina took off like a stampede of caribou following the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and if you begin to suspect that race is the key to understanding both conservative Democrats and current Republicanism, you need look no further than the shocking Obama win here in 2008 and the fire that surprise ignited in new Republicans and old Democrats, the instant resurgence of white rage in the general elections of 2010 when the Republicans took the General Assembly lock, stock, and smoking barrels and began to take the state back to where the conservative Democrats had held it for decades, tamping down on the progressive vote and dealing with progressive advancement achieved by governors like Terry Sanford the way exterminators deal with infestation.
The conservative, reactionary forces cannot succeed ultimately, but they can set us back in the mud for years.