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Hoosier Daddies

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Memo to Mike Pence, Tucker Carlson, and David Brooks: ONLY ONE OF YOU IS BEING HONEST.

In many ways, it was very stupid for Indiana to decide to be the standard bearer for pro-discrimination "religious liberty" laws. If Arkansas or one of the other states more closely associated with rank bigotry in the public mind had gone first, the resulting uproar would have been much smaller and much less effective. There's a lot of backtracking and bullshitting going on as a result, which means a whole bunch of IDIOTS SAYING THE DAMNDEST THINGS.

"But I think it's a completely separate question. I mean, we are talking about the religious freedom restoration act, which is about restoring the highest level of scrutiny in our state courts in matters of government action that intrude upon the religious liberty of Hoosiers. That's where I want to stay focused." - Indiana governor Mike Pence, pretending this makes sense.

What the law actually does is let people being sued use their deeply held religious beliefs as a defense for whatever they're being sued for. There are a lot of people who claim this is similar to a 1993 law supported by Democrats at a time when the Democrat record on gay rights was notable for being only slightly better than the Republican one.

But by extending protections to private lawsuits, the Indiana law goes firmly into the land of the wet dreams of "pro-family" religious wingnuts, who, coincidentally, are the ones promoting the bill, supporting the bill, and hanging around Mike Pence when he signed the bill. But hey, it's all about government overreach. I'd have found "ethics in game journalism" slightly more believable.

"These are absolutists, these are jihadis, people who want to make you obey, that don’t brook any opposition to their world view at all. They will crush you. - Tucker Carlson, trolling honestly.

Now, if Tucker Carlson didn't want us to get all outraged over him calling gay rights advocates "jihadis", he wouldn't have posted the transcript of his appearance on Fox News where he did it up on his own website with a big self-congratulatory headline. But at least Carlson is honest about his agenda.

You paint the people who are justly concerned about their rights as extremists, and the people who are trying to protect their bigotry using the legal code as the reasonable, principled ones. It's Tucker Carlson, so it's as subtle as a slap to the face with an undersized penis wearing a bow tie, but at least you know exactly what you're dealing with. It's not a compliment - what you're dealing with is an awful, awful person - but it's healthier than the alternative.

"Morality is a politeness of the soul. Deep politeness means we make accommodations. Certain basic truths are inalienable. Discrimination is always wrong. In cases of actual bigotry, the hammer comes down. But as neighbors in a pluralistic society we try to turn philosophic clashes (about right and wrong) into neighborly problems in which different people are given space to have different lanes to lead lives. In cases where people with different values disagree, we seek a creative accommodation." - David Brooks, trolling dishonestly, which, to be fair, is his job.

David Brooks is saying exactly what Tucker Carlson is saying, just with more words so that people who would never want to be seen agreeing with Tucker Carlson can still give in to their natural prejudices and agree with Tucker Carlson. By opposing the creative accommodation of letting Christian bakers turn away gay wedding cakes, which isn't "actual bigotry", the gays and gay-friendly aren't being neighborly and letting people live in their own lanes.

Same shit, different tone. But that's what David Brooks does. He's the high priest of privilege. He's never going to be turned away by a business - he's David Brooks. He's straight, he's white, he's male, he's rich, and he works for the New York Times. He can be gracious. He can appreciate different values and creatively accommodate on behalf of the aggrieved, because it won't cost him anything. Including his spot at the New York Times for spouting inane drivel. He's been doing it for so long without consequence he's forgotten what real consequences even feel like. No wonder he's comfortable telling gay people to shut up and endure them like good little jihadis.