The DTH: Still standing by their endorsement?

Travis Crayton's picture

The Daily Tar Heel has another editorial today criticizing Governor Pat McCrory for his remarks about education in last night's state of the state address.

The DTH is right to criticize McCrory -- his remarks were wrong and show that he's learned nothing from his recent debacle concerning his views on liberal arts education.

However, I'm still waiting for the DTH to directly address their endorsement of McCrory in the fall. They've said in a previous editorial criticizing the governor:

If the plans for higher education McCrory advocated during his campaign are ultimately going to come down to a gutting of the University, then this editorial board regrets having given him its endorsement.

But this isn't a full retraction of their endorsement. It's sidestepping the fact that they endorsed a candidate -- and actively encouraged students to vote for a candidate -- who is directly opposed to what most students at UNC-Chapel Hill stand for with regards to higher education. 

Making things even worse is one of the reasons they cited for their endorsement of McCrory:

His business-friendly positions and ambitious plan for public education make him able to effectively lead this state.

Emphasis mine. Higher education policy is public education policy. Interesting that the DTH is so adamant in opposing the governor's public education policy now despite the fact they were all for it in the fall, right?

If the DTH wants to be taken seriously, they need to outright retract their endorsement of McCrory and admit they made a mistake by telling students to vote against their interests. Otherwise, what exactly are they trying to say? That McCrory was still the right choice despite his education policies that they now oppose?

Frankly, that's an untenable position. If the DTH was concerned with education policy and how UNC students should vote to protect their interests in education, they should've endorsed Walter Dalton in the first place given that Dalton's entire campaign was about how great jobs grow from great schools.

McCrory wasn't running to be an education governor, as his campaign rhetoric so reflected. McCrory was running to be a business governor -- and on that account, he has so far delivered.

Dalton, by all accounts, was running to continue the long legacy of North Carolina's education governors. In his rhetoric and his record, that much was clear.

The DTH made the wrong choice. They should admit it and directly take on the governor rather than pretending that he's still a fine governor despite his attacks on the UNC system.

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3 Comments

Ruby Sinreich's picture

Excellent point

Perhaps the editorial board will think more deeply about their endorsements in the future. To be fair, McCory ran as a moderate Republican and is governing like a rabid Tea Partier and servant of Art Pope. But those of us who follow politics can only be at most half-surprised by this transformation, knowing that the GOP's ideological foundation has been eroded completely by Karl Rove and the like.

Travis Crayton's picture

You're right

You're right about the moderate image, but I still have a hard time believing the DTH couldn't have seen this coming, especially if you contextualize the role of the governor in the current major changes facing the University, including the selection of a new chancellor and provost. Having an ally of liberal arts higher education in the governor's mansion should have been a fundamental priority considered when endorsing, as it was clear during the campaign what the political climate in Raleigh was going to be post-election.

Not hard to see coming

Their endorsement said that is was in part that Dalton wouldn't be able to work well with a GOP General Assembly as McCrory would.  We'll see just how well the DTH does this new administration working so well with the General Assembly to attack UNC.  This wasn't hard to see coming.  I'm not the only one who posted on that article's comment section many months ago warning about what was to come.And how they brushed over amendment 1 was disconcerting too.  Sure, he may support bigoted legislation, but on the other hand he'll get along well with republicans, so vote for him anyways.