Indiana Governor Mike Pence probably thought he was just about to make the GOP swoon. He’s been eying a run for President in 2016 and signing the dishonestly named, “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (BTW, which religious freedoms have been taken away that don’t involve bigotry?) looked like a big bear hug he could give the GOP core voters.
He was right about that, signing a law that affirms people can defend themselves from breaking civil rights laws by saying “The Bible Made Me Do It!” is a winner with Right Wing voters who often praise and promote theocracy. They truly believe that biblical dogma should overrule democratically passed laws (American ISIS, the new show where you get stoned by the panel if you don’t sing from the same RW hymnal).
Pence had good reason to be confident about this being a successful ploy. Over a dozen other states had already implemented “religious protection” laws so though he knew it would make him stand out from the other potential Republican candidates, he also knew this had been tested and succeeded elsewhere without big protests so he had little to worry about.
Somewhere there is a camel with a broken back from one last straw who’s texting Pence, “I feel your pain, man!”
Sure, people get away with lots of terrible things until they don’t. And Mike Pence found that out to his utter shock. “Really? Americans don’t like it when you make it legal to be bigoted as long as you hide behind ‘religious beliefs’? Where is this coming from? How was I to know?!”
Republicans are great at protecting the rights of those who already have the most power, not so good about fighting for the rights of those who aren’t wealthy or bigoted…you know, the people who don’t vote Republican.
It is kind of stunning that the majority of Americans haven’t seen enough of Republicans being anti-democracy with their Voter ID laws, pro-intrusive government with their anti-abortion and anti-contraception laws, pro-death with their gun proliferation laws, pro-prejudice with their support for racist police and laws and anti-American with their anti-Constitution stance with trying to dissolve the separation of church and state.
I keep expecting the majority to finally step up and say to the GOP, “Okay, that’s enough of that!” to all of this hateful, corrupt crap. Of course the problem is that for most of the Repub politicians, they come from these district bubbles where the extremists are the only ones they have to please to get re-elected.
So at least until 2021, the next redistricting year, we’re stuck with the ignorant, prejudiced and hateful minority…and they are a real small minority of Americans and eligible voters (emphasis on “eligible”), being the mangy, nasty tails that wag the Republican dogs in power. More hateful laws will come that protect those in power or are cynically intended to help them win elections to stay in power.
If Americans and businesses continue to step up and push back as they have in this case, such attempts to pander to the bigoted will have just the opposite political result than the one intended.