Any time you combine politics, sex, and education you're likely to get a lot of emotional and overheated rhetoric and that's certainly bound to happen again as this bill makes it way through the legislature.It didn't take long for the overheated rhetoric to come, with Laura Leslie reporting yesterday that Rep. Ruth Samuelson believes the bill will result in students being taught that polygamy is ok.
Samuelson also dismissed our poll on the issue, saying that we didn't give enough information about what the programs would actually teach.
Well I'll go right ahead and tell you that if we asked a Civitas style poll question asking North Carolinians if they think their children should be taught that polygamy is ok we'd get a very different answer. But as pollsters we were asking about what the bill would actually do, not asking about some extreme right wing paranoia fantasy about what the bill would do.
And the truth of the matter is when you ask it straight up, even a majority of Republicans support the bill because it's putting the decision in the hands of parents about what their children are exposed to. That form of hyper local control is something that rank and file conservatives support.
So basically what you have going on here is that the Republican caucus in the legislature is more out there than the Republican voters in the state. You would have thought that Republicans learned a lesson after being destroyed last year in this usually red state, but it looks like they're sticking to the same recipe of spewing lies, hate, and fear. That may be effective enough to kill some bills this year but it's not a good plan for getting themselves away from being a minority party.