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Last week Republican legislators stripped Governor-elect Roy Cooper of power. This week Cooper showed he still has the power to beat them.

Cooper’s strategy was simple and elegant: If the Republicans repealed HB2, he won. If they didn’t, he won bigger.

They didn’t. He won. Big time.

The Republicans had said – over and over – that, if Charlotte repealed its ordinance, they would repeal HB2. Charlotte did its part. The Republicans didn’t.

Berger, Moore, Woodhouse & Co. can spin themselves silly now. But they can’t escape the blame.

They have all the power. They have the votes. They have the supermajorities. They can do whatever they want. They showed that when they gutted the Governor’s Office.

If they didn’t repeal HB2, then they didn’t want to.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

The result: HB2 is still law. It’s still a winning issue for Democrats. And Republicans are bitterly split.

WRAL’s Mark Binker reported that House GOP caucus arguments were “brutal,” “nasty” and even “close to violence.”

Violence? Bless their hearts.

Republican legislators from urban districts know they dodged the HB2 bullet this year. Trump made so much noise voters didn’t hear much else. Still, HB2 was enough to elect Cooper and Josh Stein.

What will happen next year, with new districts and no distractions?

In the end, everybody got something for Christmas.

Republicans got to stick it to Cooper last week.

Democrats got to stick it back to them this week. And Democrats found they’ll have a Governor who can lead them to victories in the year, and the years, ahead.

Merry Christmas to all.

 

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