Pat McCrory got on NPR this morning to pick his scabs. It was the same memorized set of points he's been fumbling through for a year, larded with equal measures of false humility and "I told you so!"
One could hear- even half awake, as I was- the scorn in his voice as he talked about school principles using "common sense" to "deal with" students "with gender identity issues."
He mocked the notion of "gender expression", saying there are people who "express themselves as one gender in the daytime and a different gender expression at night."
It's all "a very uncharted waters situation," he said, at once underscoring how miniscule an issue it is by talking about "as I learned about this" and next breath, being the legal expert who says either Congress or the courts will have to redefine "sex" in the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
But no McCrory interview is genuine without some laying on of hypocrisy and lies with a trowel.
He told Morning Edition cohost Steve Inskeep he suspected Inskeep was like "most people who haven't actually read HB2."
If he had, McCrory explained, he'd know about "the parts I reversed," including an executive order he issued "to ban discrimination in hiring and firing based on sexual orientation in all of North Carolina."
This is, of course, a lie, as WNCN reported at the time:
...he did expand the state discrimination policies to include those who are gay and transgender. He also said he would push to change House Bill 2 to allow for North Carolinians to sue for relief in civil court. Under House Bill 2, any discrimination claim had to go through the Human Relations Commission in the N.C. Department of Administration.
E. Gregory Wallace with the Campbell University Law School said McCrory can not change HB2 through an executive order.
“He can tell us what type of practice North Carolina, at least in the agencies he oversees, is going to have but he cannot change what legally what the law prohibits,” Wallace said.And McCrory claims credit for repeal of a provision of HB2 stripping residents fo all rights to seek state court access for hearing discrimination claims. That was later repealed by the veto-proof Republican supermajority in the NC General Assembly, though not before a number of residents' pending cases were dismissed or barred by the new statute of limitations, which the GOP cut from three years to one. He rushed out a statement:
"Governor McCrory is pleased the General Assembly has acted on his request and restored non-discrimination protections in state courts," said Josh Ellis, director of communications for the governor. "This action reinstates all statewide non-discrimination protections that were previously in place."But three weeks later, Senate Rules Committee chair Tom Apodaca made clear where "Pat" stood last July:
[W]hen Apodaca was asked in a meeting with the Citizen-Times editorial board recently whether McCrory would play a role in negotiations over the state budget, he responded, "No. The governor doesn't play much of a role in anything."McCrory complained that he lost his re-election bid because he was outspent two to one with "a lot of money raised on this issue" and that his opponent "integrated" sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity issues when "those are completely separate issues" that "should not have been integrated."
Yet he signed the bill- which did the integrating for him, not the Roy Cooper campaign- three hours after it was passed. And he did so the day after writing "Wow" on a poll showing it would be great politics for him to support the law.
He added there shouldn't be a different law on sexual orientation discrimination in every city and county, so he sided with a ban on there being any, anywhere.
Having taken credit for opposing the discrimination he signed into law, McCrory then took credit for supporting the discrimination he signed into law. "I have the courage to present the other view point of this, also."
McCrory remains peeved that he lost, claiming "we did a heck of a job rebuilding the state's economy and on teacher pay."