governing
Red Dawn Turning to Dusk?

Two WSJ stories point to the growing problems and contradictions in red state governance:

First, North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature was forced to backtrack on the aggressive “bathroom bill” that created a culture war firestorm this past year.

Second, Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas vetoed a Medicaid expansion bill that was passed by a strong legislative majority, and which is supported by 82 percent of voters, according to one poll.

North Carolina and Kansas have been among the states that have pushed to envelope on state GOP ideas. But in both states voters have rebelled, and the forces of pushback are strong.

It’s important to watch whether this trend spreads. Republican state governments in the Midwest have made progress reforming the civil service and beating back public sector union power, but state-level GOP innovation has been disappointingly elusive overall.

If Republicans in state capitols can’t articulate a coherent governing agenda that satisfies the political center, the red tide that has brought the GOP to its most commanding position in state governments in a hundred years could begin to shift.

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