‘Twas the week before Christmas

‘Twas the week before Christmas

‘Twas the week before Christmas, an odd time this year for sure
As people in Raleigh picked up their jaws from the floor.
As from McCrory’s transition team came this startling thing,
He’s made the GOP Pope into state budget king.

The man behind Locke, Civitas and Americans for the Prosperous
Is now officially in charge of the budget for the rest of us.
Smart Start, Medicaid, PreK and more on the line,
Privatizing schools with vouchers can’t be far behind.

The hope for moderate Mayor Pat is gone with the breeze,
The new man in charge with the right wing seems most at ease.
Then there’s the shady Foundation to get his message heard,
Cough up fifty thousand and you can have a private word.

Down the block at Jones Street things are pretty much the same
With Tillis and Berger busy trying to make their name.
It’s Hagan in their sites in a race in just two years.
Expect more posturing than ever, and playing on our fears.

Nothing seems out of bounds as they careen further right,
Cut benefits for workers, make the wealthy’s tax bill more light.

We must have voter ID they shout as loud as can be,
No fraud can they cite, but it helps the GOP.

DENR’s back on the block, at least whatever’s still there,
There’ll soon be no one left to protect our water and our air.
Fracking’s now legal it is important to note,
That came last session, after a tax break for a vote.

In fact it’s been quite a year in the General Assembly halls,
Midnight sessions, shady deals, last minute vote calls.
They laid off more teachers and called it reform,
Classrooms short of supplies are now the sad norm.

In several states last month, marriage equality carried the day,
Last May in North Carolina, basic human rights were taken away.
That was part of the plan too after all, part of conquer and divide,
Tillis admitted in their move to deny rights, time’s not on their side.

McCrory’s win over Dalton wasn’t much of a surprise,
After running for four years for the state’s top political prize.
Newby’s still on the court, big money decided the race,
As the GOP kingpins paid to keep their gerrymander in place.

There’s plenty more to remember, too much to cite it all,
Like the sex scandal that caused Tillis’ chief of staff to fall.

Some folks on Wake’s School Board provided plenty of fodder,
From Tedesco to Malone to Goldman—who’s even odder.
Police reports and insurance claims, stolen jewelry or maybe not missing
And cringe-worthy charges about affairs and car kissing.

Perdue’s roller coaster reign is over and it was at best a mixed bag,
Marred mostly by an economy that continued to lag.
Her last days have been busy with appointments and Dix park,
Made over the objections of Berger’s whine and bitter bark.

The year will also be remembered for voices that grew still,
Most notably Andy Griffith and the moral compass in Chapel Hill,
In fact, if there’s one thing or one thought or one question to get us through,
It might be to ask ourselves what would Bill Friday do?

Here’s hoping for some sanity as we approach this New Year,
A turn towards common sense and away from our fear.

How about a renewed commitment to our state and the common good,
That our leaders and politicians will govern the way they should.

Investing in our people and our schools and our health,
And treating people the same regardless of their wealth.

Let’s stop blaming and start helping those who need our aid instead,
Not just in the spirit of the season but in the entire year ahead.

Maybe it’s naïve to think it can happen, but a guy can still dream
That one day that’s the way our leaders will be rather than seem.