I appreciate Rob Schofield's optimism about the possibility that Republicans are coming to their senses, but to put it bluntly ... it ain't happening. There is no change in the political climate, there's only happy talk and smokescreens.
Still, for all of the enormous shortcomings of their actions, even the recent micro-steps of conservative leaders give testament to one very important reality: these men (and they are all men) believe that they needed to do something. Each of them understands that the overwhelming majority of North Carolinians wants real action to raise teacher pay, preserve reproductive freedom, rein in DHHS abuses, reform corporate giveaways and preserve the environment (and that advocates and activists for those causes are not going to let up).
Unfortunately, Republicans have painted themselves into an austerity corner. After years of bad-mouthing government, their dreams have come true.
The result? There's not enough money to deliver on their new-found talking points. They can't back off of Amendment One - it's in the constitution. They can't get more revenue to raise teacher salaries because they can't raise taxes. They won't back off of their anti-abortion policies.
They've made their bed and there's nothing they can do to change it. It's all just talk.