White noise

by Jordan Green

News and views from inside the media bubble

BURR, HAGAN AND NORTH CAROLINA’S MODERATE POLITICS The legislative behavior of the two senators from North Carolina occasioned remark in the National Review Online on Dec. 20 — more evidence that the state has become positioned as a tipping point in the nation’s politics. Writer Andrew Stiles found Republican Richard Burr’s vote to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” remarkable in that he represents a state with a major Marine Corps base, and that the commandant of that branch of the armed services, Gen. James Amos, has been a high-profile critic of repeal. Why did the ostensibly conservative Burr cast the vote? Beyond the plausible explanation that the senator was being sincere when he said it was the right thing to do, Stiles speculates that Burr is tacking with his state’s leftward drift.

“Driven by a rapidly growing minority population, and an influx of New England transplants to the metropolitan areas of Raleigh/Durham and Charlotte — currently a leading contender to host the 2012 Democratic convention — the Tar Heel State has become increasingly liberal over the last decade. If, as polls indicate, more than two-thirds of Americans favor repeal, most North Carolinians probably do as well.”

Stiles figures that Democrat Kay Hagan was probably subject to the inverse of the same dynamic when she voted against the DREAM Act, which would have created a path for citizenship for children of illegal immigrants: “It was a conspicuous nod to the state’s more conservative voters, who are the ones most likely to turn out in midterm years like 2014, when she is up for reelection.”