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Monday, March 4, 2013

Not everything NC Republicans do is bad

From the beginning I have said that the North Carolina Education Lottery was a bad idea, so I'm heartened that Republicans -- now in complete control of state government here -- intend to "reform" the Lottery. I wish they would go farther and reform it with extreme prejudice.

Would it anguish you were I to say that Republicans will accomplish some things that are good for North Carolina and its citizens? DMV is opening some driver's license locations on Saturdays and evenings. Overhead lights on the expressways in Charlotte will be fixed. So-called safety inspections of cars might be curtailed. The I.T. infrastructure of NC government will be modernized. The woeful administration of Medicare in this state might be improved before we add hundreds of thousands of people to the rolls. The power of eminent domain might no longer be available to cities and counties for purposes of economic development.

I support all these initiatives of Republicans, and I am thereby reminded not to get hung up in simplistic partisan politics. I haven't changed my affiliation; I am a Democrat who votes for Democrats 90% of the time, and in my mind much of the Republican agenda in North Carolina is nonsense or worse. Nevertheless, I see no reason to paint all Republicans with a uniformly ugly color. Their Democratic predecessors could have undertaken the points above, and many others, at any time during the last 20 years. They failed to. A little change and competition is good.

Remember: in the early 1980s at the dawn of the Reagan years, one of the first steps taken by Republicans was repeal of the national 55 miles per hour speed limit, which in retrospect was an ill-advised, extremist reaction to the 1970s energy crisis. I have always been thankful to Republicans for that.