The Party Line

The Party Line: Raising the Curtain on Carolina Politics, is dedicated to examining regional issues and policies through the figures who give shape to them. These are critical, complex, and even downright confusing times we live in. There’s a lot to navigate nationally and in the Carolinas; whether it’s debates on gay marriage, public school closings, or tax incentives for economic development.  The Party Line’s goal is to offer a provocative, intelligent look at the issues and players behind the action; a view that ultimately offers the necessary insight for Carolina voters to hold public servants more accountable.

Pages

The Party Line
11:07 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Religion Resolution Aptly Introduced On April 1st

Michael Bitzer

As you may have heard by now, a joint resolution has been introduced into the North Carolina General Assembly that proclaims religious liberty, especially as it relates to a court case coming out of Rowan County. 

The resolution goes through a number of points, which all deserve some explanation; first, the resolution begins:

Read more
The Party Line
5:15 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

GOP Has Long Way To Go In Appealing To Minorities

Michael Bitzer

In their rather blunt assessment of the debacle that was the 2012 election, the Republican National Committee came to a simple conclusion. It can’t continue down the same path and remain politically relevant.

Read more
The Party Line
4:52 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

A Legal Primer As High Court Decides Gay Marriage

Michael Bitzer

In his 18th century tour of the new American republic, Alexis de Tocqueville commented that most controversies eventually arrive in court. Over its history, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld de Tocqueville’s observation in key battles, both political and social. 

And the justices on the high court are preparing to confront a new set of controversies. 

Read more
The Party Line
1:59 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

In Regard To Rowan Commissioners, 'Bless Their Hearts'

Michael Bitzer

In the Bible belt that is the South, the role of church and state are often intertwined in such a manner as to appear one in the same.  But when it comes to divorcing the Christian faith from government practices, you begin to see the truth in the expression “the devil made me do it.”

Typically, the South is the only region in the nation where a majority of voters describe themselves as either “born-again” or “Evangelical Christians” in the exit polls.

Read more
The Party Line
3:50 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

GOP Lawmakers Should Consider Voter ID Compromise

Michael Bitzer

With the GOP-led NC General Assembly beginning a “deliberative” consideration of requiring photo identification when voting, the heated rhetoric on both sides has only inflamed the passions of both supporters and opponents to Voter ID laws.

Anecdotal examples of people claiming to have voted multiple times are charged by one side, while the other side decrying the proposed legislation with charges of “we will fight them in the streets.”

Read more
The Party Line
6:05 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Sen. Paul Captures Enthusiasm With Filibuster

Michael Bitzer

For those who have seen the American classic “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” the lead-up to Sen. Jefferson Smith’s talk-a-thon is the classic image of a filibuster.  And while historically filibusters have been rare, Sen. Rand Paul made history with his nearly 13-hour speech, cracking the top 10 longest filibusters in U.S. Senate history.

Read more
The Party Line
11:24 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Is The South More Racist Than The North?

While congressional leadership and President Obama unveiled a statue of civil rights advocate Rosa Parks last week, the U.S. Supreme Court debated one of the landmark laws that culminated the modern civil rights movement for black Americans: the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

In oral arguments, Chief Justice John Roberts posed the question to the government’s top Supreme Court lawyer: Does the Obama administration think “the citizens in the South are more racist than citizens in the North?” 

Read more
The Party Line
11:43 am
Wed February 27, 2013

NC Democrats Need To Call Up Some Fresh Faces

Michael Bitzer

With the release of the provocative and no holds barred “NC 2013 Legislative Strategy” memo as reported by The Charlotte Observer, liberal advocacy groups are finally learning the lessons that conservative groups have been teaching them for some time: Be prepared to play the same game and have a playbook.

Read more
The Party Line
1:43 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

About The Return Of The Fiscal Cliff, AKA The 'Sequester'

Congress has now turned its attention to the “Return of the Fiscal Cliff: Part 1—The Son of Sequester.”

Sequestration sounds like a really bad version of the flu bug, but instead it’s a really bad case of Congress and the president holding Damocles’ sword over their heads and arguing about who is to blame when the sword falls.

In its raw form, “sequester” refers to automatic spending cuts set to take effect in March, courtesy of the New Year’s Fiscal Cliff negotiations that merely postponed the across-the-board cuts.

Read more
The Party Line
5:10 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

McCrory Focuses On The Three E's; Steers Clear Of Social Issues

In studying the chief executives of governments, the power of the “bully pulpit” is often mentioned as a critical tool for any political leader.

Akin to the presidential versions, State of the State addresses should not be judged for specific details (there’s plenty of time and energy to expended on that through the legislative process); rather, how effective these addresses are in conveying a sense of the chief executive’s priorities and agenda.

Read more

Pages