Barry Yeoman at the Indy spells it out:
House Bill 2 seemed like a bolt from nowhere. One day transgender North Carolinians were living low-profile lives; the next day their most private moments were being bandied about without a modicum of understanding. But the new law was not a bolt from nowhere. It can be understood by examining the decades preceding its passage. If history is a river, then at least three distinct tributaries converged in Raleigh on March 23.
The first is the growing practice by state lawmakers—one that took root during the Reagan era—of slapping back local governments that get too proactive. The second is the successful national Republican effort to seize control of North Carolina's government. And the third is the recent visibility of transgender Americans, their push for legal equality, and the utterly predictable backlash.
Before we continue, a few words on what may be about to happen today. The supposed compromise bill that has emerged is, in some ways, worse than a few of the bills the GOP has floated since last year to repeal HB2. But it's important to understand, those other bills did *not* hit the floor for a vote, without some last-minute alterations that changed them into something different. So before we start whining about what could have been, keep that in mind. We don't really know what could have been, and speculation at this time is pointless. And before anybody starts lining up Democrats for excoriation for supporting this bill, such as a Tweet I just saw calling for a new NCDP Chair election to oust Wayne Goodwin, the responsibility for HB2 and its consequences falls solely on the shoulders of the Republicans who wrote it and passed it. They want this controversy to tear the Democratic Party apart, but we can't allow that to happen. The article continues: