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NC State Rep Switches Parties, Screws Democrats, Women, LGBTQ Community, Pretty Much Everyone
Well, that sucks.
North Carolina Democrats just got Sinema-ed. It's even worse, actually, because Democratic Rep. Tricia Cotham hasn't just left the party and declared herself an independent. She's made a full heel turn and is joining the Republicans. Worst of all, this gives the already gerrymandered Republican Legislature a veto-proof supermajority against Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
Excuse us a second.
What's shocking about Cotham's sudden turn to the Dark Side is that she actively campaigned last year as a champion of abortion rights. Emily's List endorsed her! After the Supreme Court's draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked in May 2022, Cotham tweeted: "Now, more than ever, we need leaders who will be unwavering and unapologetic in their support of abortion rights. I’ll fight to codify Roe in the #NcGA and continue my strong record of defending the right to choose. #ncpol #womensrights #SCOTUS #Meckleburg."
She didn't just switch parties and scuttle an ambitious domestic agenda, as people feared Kyrsten Sinema or Joe Manchin might do in the US Senate. No, we're talking actual human lives that Cotham has callously jeopardized. When Cotham was fronting on Twitter last May, Gov. Cooper vowed to veto every abortion ban that reached his desk. Now, she has single-handedly removed that last line of defense. He'd previously vetoed a "Down's syndrome abortion ban"in 2021 and a ridiculous"born alive" bill in 2019.
It's true that Cotham, as a Republican, could refuse to vote for abortion bans and not vote with her new party to override Cooper's abortion-related vetoes, but why should we trust this person?
She threw a pity party Wednesday at North Carolina Republican headquarters, where she blamed Democrats for her defection.
“They have pushed me out," she whined. "They’ve made it very clear they do not want me." She literally wore red for the press conference. We get it. You're evil! Do we have to chat about it all day?
Cotham claimed she'd been "bullied" by Democrats, who expected her to toe the party line. She's apparently just met Republicans and is in for a rude awakening. She claimed, out loud, that the turning point for her betrayal was the supposed backlash she faced because she — a grown woman — used the US flag and a prayer-hands emoji in her social media handles and on her vehicles. Behold the pettiness!
Democrats can be annoying, true, but this isn't about you, Ms. Cotham. You're not switching country clubs. Your association with a party is more about the ideals and policies you value and the people whose interests you supposedly represent. There are supposedly non-MAGA Republicans who insist they won't let the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert chase them out of the party. And these are people who received death threats for supporting a bipartisan infrastructure bill!
We can't stress enough that Cotham never presented herself as a classic blue dog. She campaigned specifically on raising the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour, defending LGBTQ rights, equitably funding public schools, protecting voting rights, and expanding Medicaid. However, Republicans are apparently more open-minded about emoji self-expression.
Last week, Cotham and two other Democrats (who are still Democrats as of this writing) missed a vote to override Cooper’s veto of a Republican bill removing permit requirements for handguns. This lowered the threshold necessary to override the veto. Cotham said she had to miss the vote because a medical appointment.
Some Democrats are demanding Cotham resign because of all the deceit, but that's not really a thing. We're stuck with her until 2024.
This is probably why Cooper was more measured in his response to Cotham's "disappointing" decision.
“Rep. Cotham’s votes on women’s reproductive freedom, election laws, LGBTQ rights and strong public schools will determine the direction of the state we love,” Cooper told The Washington Post . “It’s hard to believe she would abandon these long held principles and she should still vote the way she has always said she would vote when these issues arise, regardless of party affiliation.”
We can only hope, right? That's really the only option left.
[ Washington Post ]
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