State Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry ought to be occupied with protecting the safety and rights of the state's workers rather than trying to lobby her fellow Council of State members to participate in a harshly partisan waste of time. But apparently the commissioner was willing to make time at this week's council meeting to urge that North Carolina join a frivolous, wrong-headed effort on the part of Republicans nationwide to get states to sue to fight the health care reform passed by Congress.
These folks may not all be bringing tea to the party, but they sure sound like some of the far-out opponents of reform. Berry cited the need to protect the state's "sovereignty and solvency" in her push to break reform. It was a diversion the Council of State, which has actual business on its agenda, didn't need, and Gov. Beverly Perdue rightly told Berry that she was free to file her own suit if she wished, but that since Attorney General Roy Cooper was out of town anyway, the idea wasn't appropriate for discussion in the meeting.
It was disappointing to see Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, who typically isn't one to get wrapped up in such silliness, join his fellow Republican Berry in support of her idea.
The truth is, Republicans are taking a big risk in continuing the fight over health care, which was settled by a duly elected Congress. Some benefits of reform will be felt immediately, and positively, by many Americans. Children with pre-existing medical conditions, for example, will be able to be covered by insurance now, whereas some were denied coverage before reform.
What if Americans who have been pounded with fear-mongering by opponents of reform begin to realize its benefits? Being against it and trying to repeal it may not seem so politically beneficial then.