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No, Really, What the Hell is the Matter With Kansas?

[ 221 ] February 14, 2014 |

Needless to say, Kansas’s new bill authorizing both private and state discrimination against gays and lesbians is an utter disgrace:

But even worse are the provisions that allow state employees to withhold services from gays and lesbians. “The sovereign,” as John Paul Stevens observed, “must govern impartially.” This bill is a direct shot at this basic principle of democratic governance. It is bad enough to permit private businesses to discriminate; to allow public officials to discriminate is even worse. As the Daily Beast‘s Jamelle Bouie puts it, “[a]mbulances can refuse to come to the home of a gay couple, park managers can deny them entry, state hospitals can turn them away, and public welfare agencies can decline to work with them.” Allowing state officials to deny services to same-sex couples is about as stark a designation of second-class citizenship as one can imagine short of bringing back George Wallace to deny gays and lesbians access to the University of Kansas.

…Pierce has more. I’ll get to it eventually, but the timing of Damon Linker’s latest call for unilateral surrender in the culture war was perfect.

Comments (221)

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  1. N__B says:

    Does the law actually reference cooties and jeebus, or are they pretending this has a deeper basis?

    • DrDick says:

      I think they have given up all pretense here and gone full metal bigot.

    • TexRipples says:

      This is the purported reason: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/19/us/weighing-free-speech-in-refusal-to-photograph-ceremony.html?_r=0 (you know, if I have to serve a gay person some eggs, it’ll violate my religious freedom to be a bigot – because apparently god is all about that)

      but the real reason is obviously political pandering to hate.

      • wengler says:

        If you don’t want to prescribe birth control, don’t become a pharmacist. If you don’t want to take pictures of gay people, don’t become a photographer. It’s pretty simple.

      • libarbarian says:

        You jest about eggs, but that actually happened to a friend of mine.

        He worked at the Golden Coral and was about to change out the pan of scrambled eggs, in front of which a few people were waiting with their trays. As he reached out to take away the empty tray he saw that two of the guys near the front of the line looked a little …. iffy. They weren’t wearing spiked colors with matching assless leather pants or any of the things that homosexuals wear to shove their throbbing deviancy down our throats, but he swears that just looking at them set his Gaydar into full alert. ( I can verify that this friend has unerring Gaydar. Put him in a large crowd and he’s like a master of Where’s Waldo … but with Homos).

        Anyways, being a good Christian, he found himself in quite a pickle. If he didn’t put out the new pan of eggs then he wouldn’t be serving the majority of people, but how could he do it without also violating his convictions by serving two guys who probably needed the protein to replenish their stocks after some all-night gay orgy or something? In the end he decided to just carry the new pan of eggs out from behind the counter and personally dish out the eggs into the plates of all the other people before carrying the pan back behind the counter.

        Well, you know how it played out. The two got their panties all in a bunch and confronted him. He patiently explained his position but instead of respecting his freedom of conscience they complained to the manager who thankfully backed up my friend. They ended up throwing a giant hissy-fit about it and had to be evicted from the premises.

        The ironic part was that, in the end it turns out that he did them a favor. After word got out and the Gay community decided to boycott the Golden Coral, these guys saw business opportunity and ended up starting a 24-hour breakfast bar / gay strip club. Sausage & Sausage now has locations in 4 states and they just started a new southwest themed version in Houston: Huevos y Huevos.

        But, of course, they haven’t thanked my friend.

      • Vance Maverick says:

        Hmm, an opaque YouTube link, what I always turn to to read a bill. Probably rickrolling us.

        • postmodulator says:

          This is like the scene in the war movie where they find out that the person they trusted is actually a Commienazi spy, because he doesn’t understand some aspect of American culture.

          A video linked to in the context of the difference between a bill and a law can only be the classic Schoolhouse Rock presentation.

    • Dustin says:

      “[I]f the constitutional conception of `equal protection of the laws’ means anything, it must at the very least mean that a bare . . . desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental interest.”

  2. How long before Kansas starts mandating (no pun intended) that all gays wear “Pink Triangles” on their clothing, to identify them?

    Or else, how, pray tell, Kansans, will you be able to distinguish whether the two people of the same sex are gay, or just bud’s, bro’s, or gal-pals?

    Hmm, Christian Fascists?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Oh, and what about “Yellow Stars of David” for the Jews?
    When will you start mandating the wearing of them?

    Enquiring minds want to know.
    Especially, gay Jewish couples.
    And FSM help them if they have Gypsy blood – with all of those symbols stitched on their clothes, they’re liable to look like NASCAR drivers!

    • Col Bat Guano says:

      Or else, how, pray tell, Kansans, will you be able to distinguish whether the two people of the same sex are gay, or just bud’s, bro’s, or gal-pals?

      This was one of my many questions about this monstrosity. If I go into restaurant with my brother and they refuse us service because they believe we are a gay couple, do I still get to sue their ass? What happens when some Muslim shop owner refuses to serve someone wearing a crucifix around their neck?

  3. cs says:

    The Prospect article says it was passed by the House. Do you know if it is expected to be enacted, or will someone have a chance to block it?

  4. rea says:

    The law, of course, is based on the notion that rightwing Christians are being persecuted unless we all do exactly as they say . . .

  5. LeeEsq says:

    What’s worse is that the legislators have to know that this law is unconstitutional and will be overturned by the Courts. It doesn’t even survive rational basis review. It’s nothing more than a waste of tax payer money done in spite.

  6. efgoldman says:

    It’s interesting and disgusting that the KS legislature is taking this action because they fully expect their same sex marriage ban to be struck down in federal court.
    “We know it’s unconstitutional but we’re gonna’ do it anyway just to fuck y’all and show how much we hate you.”
    As Professor Pierce keeps pointing out, these evil, stupid, spiteful, hateful bastards are the farm team for the next round of TeaHadi congresscritters. Yes, it can get worse.

    • aimai says:

      This is a good point. These kinds of laws, like the endless Republican votes to defund Obamacare, are meant to be a kind of provocation and a dramatization of the helplessness of the victimized right wing. Not having to think about how these things would actually be implemented, what it would look like, or what a can of worms it would open for everyone (even the moron heterosexual christians who thought it was a good idea) is part of its reason for coming into being. The legislators are assuming that the federal government/aclu will step in and be the “bad guy” thus further delegitimizing federal power and civil rights actors and stigmatizing them as outsiders.

      • Bijan Parsia says:

        This makes me hate them even more.

        And what if it doesn’t get struck down?! Evil.

        • jim, some guy in iowa says:

          that’s what makes it “win-win” for them

          • aimai says:

            Yes, precisely. Its a win/win. The frenzy of rage at being revictimized by the forces of evil is as much a part of Christianist exceptionalism as is triumphalism. I’ve often thought that if the progressive/left (such as it is) enjoyed fighting the power as much as Republicans/Conservatives and Christianists do we’d be in better shape. These fuckers are always closing. Win or lose in the courts they are always pushing towards their goal, or tacking towards it. And their followers don’t hold it against them the way Obama’s voters sometimes hold it against him.

            But yes, if this isn’t overturned its going to be Kansas, bloody Kansas all over again.

            • efgoldman says:

              But yes, if this isn’t overturned its going to be Kansas, bloody Kansas all over again.

              Given where both Federal and [some] state courts are going, and the existing public accommodations laws and precedents, I don’t think even Alito/Scalia/Thomas can screw this up (not that they won’t try.) Plus not all of the individual states will appeal all the way to SCOTUS (see: Virginia).
              Boulder’s roiling down the hill, isn’t much of anything that can stop it.

      • Left_Wing_Fox says:

        WWE Politics. The heel’s theatrical awfulness won’t help them pin their opponent, but it helps draws the audience, which is all that really matters.

      • DrDick says:

        Evil, stupid, and vindictive is the heart of modern conservatism.

  7. As a reactionary, J. Otto should be here to defend Kansas against the forces of Stalinist librulism.

  8. Bijan Parsia says:

    This made me vomit.

    Really, I’m shaking with rage. How dare they…how fucking dare they even try to enact such a regime of obvious and loathsome evil.

  9. Timurid says:

    BROWNBACKISTAN ZINDABAD!

  10. LeeEsq says:

    Has J. Otto ever elaborated on his views and why he is a reactionary. I can’t quite put down what he believes in besides loving Ghana and hating Stalin but his beliefs seem to be a mash of different things. In other words, he doesn’t fall into any particular category like most people.

    • He has labeled himself as a reactionary, and he blames librul Stalinists for the fact he wasn’t hired in the US after getting his Ph.D., the lack of teaching experience he had even in grad school not being a factor in why he wasn’t hired.

      In short, he’s an academic moron.

      • LeeEsq says:

        Most of his posts seem to reflect garden variety academic leftist politics. I know he refers to himself as a reactionary but I can’t recall any reactionary thing he said except when certain topics come up that will not be named for the peace of the blog. Even than his critique is the language of garden variety leftism, which means nothing but still.

        A reactionary should be somebody who wants to return society to a previous state or who at least has very strong nostalgia for the past. The Hungarian-American historian John Lucas with his love for the world of 1900 is a reactionary.

      • Stag Party Palin says:

        In short, he’s an academic moron.

        In the matter of J Otto Pohl, you’re beginning to sound like Joe from Lowell wearing a weenie ring.

        • Lee Rudolph says:

          I have seen it stated multiple times that J. Otto is an inveterate thread-derailer, but until this thread I had had no idea that he was able to do so without even posting to the thread himself. Perhaps his work here is done.

          ObToThePointComment: I think that the slam of aimai’s “risk assessment” ignores a(n often ignored) fact that is also relevant to several related activities, notably including the determination of “utility functions”: namely, the affective component of (most) persons’ judgments. To forswear consumption of a given artist’s or artisan’s work because one intensely dislikes the producer’s politics or behavior may or (if one also intensely likes the work’s qualities) may not be “rational”, but it can be entirely sensible if not to forswear it is bound to rile you up. To avoid driving through Kansas or Woonsocket because one fears that residents might harm one is, indeed, vey unlikely to be “rational”, but, again, why give oneself the tsuris?

          Now back to our discussions of the absent Professor Pohl!

          • Bijan Parsia says:

            I have seen it stated multiple times that J. Otto is an inveterate thread-derailer

            Citations please.

            I don’t think he successfully derails all the time, or even all the times he attempts to.

            but until this thread I had had no idea that he was able to do so without even posting to the thread himself

            Both J. Otto and Manju are regularly trolled by regulars by making a comment about how they’ll join in any moment, mentioning Byrd, or alluding to the Paradise of Ghana. An older trope, I believe, than pancakes.

    • Lurker says:

      I think that J. Otto Pohl has some views that might ne considered reactionary. For example, he seems to me to be a clear supporter of traditional nationalism. He truly believes in the right of every nation to govern itself. This is, by no means, an attitude universally supported by Americans of any political party. An American leftist who denounces such belief usually resorts to some form of “reactionary” label to describe the nationalist. (An American conservative will use epithet “communist”.)

      So, I really feel for Otto, who is often unfairly bullied around here. He has odd views, but he is definitely not a troll. He really holds those opinions and they are, considering his field of research and family ties, very understandable.

      • An American leftist who denounces such belief usually resorts to some form of “reactionary” label to describe the nationalist. (An American conservative will use epithet “communist”.)

        He uses a book more than 10 years old to back up his insistence that the Left has been lacking in backing the Palestinians against the Israelis, so he’s out of touch if he thinks that makes him a ‘reactionary’.

        I don’t know that Leftists would label anyone a reactionary merely for being a nationalist, although it is true that nationalist sentiments tend to run more on the right side of politics than the left.

        • ThrottleJockey says:

          Most true Leftist Americans either outright despise or at minimum view with skepticism American nationalists…and its not entirely unjustified since American nationalists are often xenophobic…like the Kansas beauty queen who said that the multilingual Super Bowl Coke commercial was unAmerican.

          • ThrottleJockey says:

            Its weird/sad how xenophobes wrap themselves in the flag making it problematic/awkward for Leftists to appear “overly” patriotic. In this case some white teens at a CA high school wore American flags as a way to taunt/attack Cinco de Mayo day.

            Racial tensions and gang problems were plaguing a Northern California high school when three students arrived for classes in 2010 wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo.

            Unpleasant verbal exchanges and altercations marked the previous year’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, 20 miles south of San Jose. So when students told administrators that trouble was a possibility because of the American flag attire, the students were ordered to turn their shirts inside out or go home.

            They went home, and the incident sparked a national debate, prompting satellite news trucks to camp outside the school for several days afterward as well-known pundits across the political spectrum argued about the issue over the airwaves. Cinco de Mayo is observed by some as a celebration of Mexican heritage

            .

          • postmodulator says:

            Sometimes I wonder if I have brain damage no one’s ever diagnosed. I do not understand nationalism at all. I mean, I understand that other people have it and what it makes them do, but I absolutely have never heard any kind of coherent argument why i should have it. In the words of Bill Hicks, “My parents fucked here, that’s about it.” (Not even true in my case.)

            This is about how I feel about gambling. I have friends who like to gamble, and it’s like watching space aliens and trying to understand their behavior. I’ve never even bought a lottery ticket.

            • NewishLawyer says:

              I can understand why the nation-state is a popular concept for people.

              I agree with you on gambling though. It is sort of flabergasting when people mention as a matter of fact about losing several thousand dollars at a table in one night.

            • LeeEsq says:

              To quote a usenet debate from very long ago on the subject, a liberal responded to a left-anarchist on the subject of patriotism by saying “I need a group that I can associate thats bigger than my neighborhood but smaller than the entire world.”

              People form groups, always have and always will. We are tribal animals. The number of people capable of true cosmopolitanism even on the Left isn’t that great. The key is to allow people to form groups but keep the groups from killing each other.

      • LeeEsq says:

        He believes that every nation has a right to govern itself unless that nation is Jewish because we lack the right of self-determination for some reason. Every other ethnic group has but we don’t/

        • wengler says:

          It becomes problematic when it’s full of other people that aren’t Jews.

          • LeeEsq says:

            Palestinian nationalism completely rejects the notion that Jews have any place in Arab Palestine despite the fact that Israel/Palestine always had a large Jewish population. They have maintained this position consistently since at least 1918 if not earlier. Doesn’t stop lots of people from supporting Palestinian nationalism. The Jews were willing to share. The Christians and Muslims of Israel/Palestine have always demanded everything for them and nothing for the Jews.

            The same goes for all other nationalist movements in countries with Jewish populations. One of the first acts of the Algerian nationalists upon independence was to strip Algerian Jews of their citizenship but everybody forgets that and remembers with starry eyes the resistance to French colonialism. Same goes for the Germans, the Russians even under the Soviet Union, the Hungarians, etc.

            Either the countries with Jews include us in the body politic or they give us our own place. You can’t put us in a do or do not position. You can not put us in position where we are not allowed self-determination but at the same time excluding from the body politic of nearly every country we live in.

          • LeeEsq says:

            I’m also going to add that the choice in 1948 wasn’t between “Jewish Israel” and “secular and democratic Palestine”. There was nobody in Palestinian leadership advocating even something close to “secular and democratic” Palestine let alone leaders in the wider Arab world. The entire notion that was the choice is based on a Fantasy Palestine that never existed.

      • Bijan Parsia says:

        So, I really feel for Otto, who is often unfairly bullied around here.

        No, he isn’t.

        He has odd views, but he is definitely not a troll.

        I don’t know how “odd” they are, but he definitely quite often trolls.

        He really holds those opinions

        That’s compatible with being a troll.

        and they are, considering his field of research and family ties, very understandable.

        Nope, again.

        He can be hilarious (asking John Stormfront McCain to read his dissertation was a high mark), of course. It’s hard to tell whether any of his scholary discussion is trustworthy given some of the more bonkers “analysis” he comes up with.

    • djw says:

      Because liberals are unreconstructed Stalinists, and Stalin was a bad guy.

  11. aimai says:

    I drove across country a few years ago. I’d never do that again–and I’d never encourage my daughter to do that. Wide swathes of the country have literally gone nuts and between the open carry, concealed carry, gun fetishists and the passage of crazy laws like this Kansas one there’s no way I’d consider it any safer for a normal person to go into some of these states than I’d send my kid to Somalia for a visit. I get that the actual violence in the streets is somewhat lower but why risk shoot outs in gas stations and walmart parking lots, people cleaning their guns in the hotel room next to yours, and the police refusing to help you because you “look kinda queer.”

      • Bijan Parsia says:

        I think I shouldn’t have even implicitly endorsed this. JL’s (and others’) comments were very convincing that I should be more careful with such snark.

        • Bijan Parsia says:

          And here, a bigot does the right thing:

          On Thursday, Wagle said she did not support a bill passed by the Kansas House earlier this week to allow discrimination against gay people, especially couples.

          Wagle defended “traditional marriage” between a man and a woman in a statement, but fortunately added: “However, my members also don’t condone discrimination.”

          So, still a bigot, but she doesn’t support a legalised regime of bigotry. Good for her.

    • tribble says:

      I get that you hate the gooey, right-wing reactionary center of this glorious hostess cupcake of a nation, but you do realize that this is a cracked-out risk assessment, yes?

      • aimai says:

        No, not really. I’m not under the impression that the risks of being shot by these people is huge but its greater than zero. The people most in danger from armed NRA gun rights activists are the people around them–family, friends, people in adjacent apartments. I prefer to stay away from being “around them.”

        But also, for me, its personal. My oldest child is heading off for College next year. We didn’t encourage her to look at any schools in states where the tea party/gun nuts/anti contraception crowd are in the ascendancy. Civil rights and health care conditions for women are bad enough in every state–why put your child in the position of having to live under the rule of America’s Taliban?

        • avoidswork says:

          To save her soul, obviously. /s

        • tribble says:

          Yes, why ever raise your risk level above the baseline, even temporarily? Do you also tell her never to visit neighborhoods that are more dangerous than her normal stomping grounds?

          I wouldn’t encourage my kid to go to college in many of these states, either, but to say “Don’t even drive through!” is nuts.

        • Just Dropping By says:

          Yeah, no, it really is “cracked-out” as tribble said. There are lots of very good reasons not to want to visit Kansas, but if fear of being shot is a major one for somebody, such a person is not rational. The homicide rate per 100,000 residents in Kansas was only 2.9 in 100,000. By comparison, it was 5.0 in California, 4.1 in Connecticut, and 3.5 in New York. Kansas was in roughly the bottom 1/3 of states for homicides in 2012.

          Source: http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rates-nationally-and-state

          • ajay says:

            I drove across country a few years ago. I’d never do that again–and I’d never encourage my daughter to do that.

            This is sensible: it’s far, far safer to fly.

            But if you think it was safer to drive cross country in, say, 1980 than it is now, because now there are more nutters with guns, then you are not thinking straight. Driving across country is forty times more likely to kill you by accident than flying across country. Driving across country now, on the other hand, is several times less likely to kill you than in 1980, simply because cars are so much safer.

            The chance that, as you’re driving, you will get caught by a stray bullet from a passing redneck shooting a stop sign (or whatever) is so small as to be not worth mentioning. Kansans have an average one in 10,000 chance of dying from GSW per year. Comparing that to Somalia is completely deranged.

            • aimai says:

              This seems to raise some weird hackles with people. If I said that my daughter is gay and I am concerned for her choosing a state, like Kansas, that sees itself entering into a holy war with gays would that make it better?

              There’s some weird disconnect here like you think that all these laws and all this political agitation is somehow just for show? –do you seriously think that all these laws, especially those preventing women from accessing abortion–have no real effect on people living in those states? Do you think the constant drumbeat of hatred for Democrats and non Christians shouldn’t discourage people who identify as Democrats and non christians from wanting to settle in those states?

              • tribble says:

                There’s a big difference between saying, “I strongly discourage my daughter from moving to Kansas,” and saying, “I strongly discourage my daughter from setting foot in Kansas.” I personally wouldn’t push back against the former regardless of your daughter’s orientation.

                • postmodulator says:

                  Some jurisdictions pass laws against abortion that have enormous potential health consequences for women. They kind of hand-wave it away.

                  You don’t even have to stick to the States, look at Ireland. Until they started monkeying with the law after that Indian tourist died, it was dangerous for a sexually active woman of child-bearing years to visit there. (And I think it still is? I think they’re still monkeying.)

                  By rough analogy, if a red state outlawed modern antibiotics, it’d be kind of scary to go there, because you could die of a paper cut or sore throat. (And is that out of the question? Antibiotics that fight resistant bacteria are evidence that evolution happens.)

                • tribble says:

                  Your argument is that it’s dangerous to drive across Kansas, because a woman might become pregnant while she stops overnight at one end of the state and then not be able to get adequate medical treatment when she miscarries before she makes it to the Land of Reasonable Abortion Laws on the other side?

                  You know, if that’s what it takes to make you feel safe, whatever. But it’s not any more rational than my distant cousin who refuses to drive over any bridge anywhere.

                • postmodulator says:

                  It’s like Henry Rollins said: people in this country should learn more about female anatomy than they can pick up from a Motley Crue video.

                  It is totally a thing that a woman might not realize she’s pregnant, especially early in pregnancy, but really at any stage. Sure it’s rare. But at the very least I think a woman several months into pregnancy would be really rolling the dice to go into one of these states.

                  As far as bridges go, I’m not sure you could have picked a worse analogy. There is totally a relation between jerkface Republican state parties that don’t want to spend money on infrastructure, and driving across bridges being way scary.

              • efgoldman says:

                …do you seriously think that all these laws, especially those preventing women from accessing abortion –have no real effect on people living in those states?

                Of course they do. But then, how long have you lived in MA? It was always a bastion of liberal common sense.

                http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1978/9/15/the-state-and-medicaid-abortions-pbibn/

                also too:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_busing_crisis

              • drwormphd says:

                Some of us are liberals who live in Kansas. Comparing my state to Somalia sounds like an elitist ‘flyover state’ crack. It’s a red state, and there are crazies, but a lot of good people as well. I know you don’t mean to be offensive, and the frustration over laws like this one is understandable (there’s also a law nullifying gun laws that may pass over the objections of local governments, and the abortion politics are abysmal) but comparing us to a failed state is demeaning to those of us trying to make things better.

                • postmodulator says:

                  I’m always torn about this argument. On the one hand, you can find good people anywhere, and these “your state sucks” arguments are often made by people who have not removed the beam from their own eyes. (Poppy Brite published something very critical of the state of Ohio based on some laws we passed several years ago. She lives in progressive bastion Louisiana and has for decades.)

                  On the other hand, some of these places have been massively dysfunctional in the exact same way for about a hundred and fifty years at this point. Do we stop thinking of that as a weird coincidence eventually?

              • JL says:

                The problem is that Democrats, non-Christians, queer people, etc, already live in those states, and in many cases have family and cultural ties to those states and wouldn’t want to leave, and also in many cases are doing good political work in those states (which are all ultimately purple, just different shades of purple). You don’t have to live in them, but your dismissal of the idea that “normal” people would want to even go to those states is throwing all those people under the bus. It’s anti-solidarity, it erases some of the people who live there and the nuances of their lives. And it just sounds over-the-top, like when white middle-class people prattle on about how dangerous it is to even set foot in Roxbury or Dorchester or Area 4 while ignoring the fact that people go there constantly without incident and also ignoring the large number of people who actually live there and have actual communities with good things about them and are not just poor victims living in a hellscape.

                The other problem is that it’s an excuse to ignore problems in the blue states. How many hate crimes against LGBTQ people did NYC have last year? A hell of a lot; I remember there being four or five high-profile ones in a single month. How many queer kids of color were beaten, strip searched, or falsely arrested by police in the East Village? A little closer to home, Massachusetts has two anti-LGBTQ hate groups based in it. And there’s the homeless kids you serve in Cambridge…a lot of them are queer and from the Northeast, and were abused or kicked out. I was the victim of a hate crime in Waltham.

                Yes, the legal regime in places like Kansas is worse, and by and large the cultural one probably is too. And that’s an important factor for a lot of queer people – I would be less likely to take a job in a state that didn’t have LGBTQ-inclusive anti-discrimination laws, and I know a lot of people who feel the same way. But the situation is dangerous for some groups of people all over the country, and when your risk assessment doesn’t take that into account (but does take into account the low chance that someone’s just going to shoot you, because OMG scary guns) it just looks like blue state bubble snobbery.

                I know a lot of red state liberal/leftist activists, some of whom are doing fantastic work. I have never met a single one who appreciated it when blue state folks talked like their states were hellscapes that only a broken person would want to live in.

                - A queer Masshole who grew up in Georgia and Kentucky

                • Malaclypse says:

                  While I agree with all of this, yet: None of my immediate family is anything other than pale-and-pasty, yet were we at all melanin-enhanced, driving through Arizona with the show-your-papers law would be risky. So is choosing to go drive needlessly in Arizona exercising white privilege? And of course, while Arizona may be worse, everywhere is safer to drive while white.

                  So I’m conflicted.

                • Tom Servo says:

                  Wow, that’s…almost a caricature of white liberal guilt. I mean, I have white privilege. And I’m not proud of it. But needlessly exercising? I mean, you’re white, nothing you can do about that except not abuse your privilege. And I don’t think driving constitutes abusing your privilege.

                • Karen says:

                  I always like to note that the sheriff of Dallas County and the mayor of Hiuston are lesbians. In deep-red Texas.

                • Karen says:

                  Ugh. HOUSTON. HOUSTON. AS IN “HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM.”

                • Malaclypse says:

                  I don’t need to go to Arizona. I have friends and relatives that can’t. So, why should I?

                • jim, some guy in iowa says:

                  very well said

                • Tom Servo says:

                  I dunno, if it bothers you, then don’t. I admire my straight friends who refused to get married until SSM was legal in my state (New York) but I still got married in 2005.

                  I don’t go to Arizona because I don’t want to dignify that state with my money. But needlessly exercising privilege? I don’t even know what that means. Every time you drive somewhere that isn’t work or the grocery store, you’re needlessly exercising privilege-you’re driving white to go to the movies or something. I exercise my privilege everywhere I go-not intentionally but by virtue of the fact that I’m white, straight,
                  and male. I don’t know what needlessly exercising it would mean-I think it’s problematic to abuse it (like calling the cops just because you see a black person in your neighborhood-that’s definitely abusing it). But I don’t think driving through a racist state, without more, is problematic. I’ll still avoid Arizona, but I prefer my rationale because it’s far simpler.

                • Darkrose says:

                  I live in what is nominally a blue state, but is much, much redder than most people realize as you move away from the coasts. So I’m not going to get on my high horse. That said, I don’t think I’d feel as comfortable driving across the country as the darker half of an interracial lesbian couple now, as opposed to when I did it 10 years ago. Even then, we were very aware of standing out when we went through Iowa, Nebraska (The State That Never Ends), Wyoming and Utah, but the people we encountered were perfectly nice, and I never felt threatened in any way. The climate of the country has changed enough that I’m not sure I could say that now.

              • ThrottleJockey says:

                I think the “agitation” caused by such laws is minimal. Blacks and minorities who travel in the South often carry guns with them. I myself used to travel armed whenever I traveled in the South.

                But anymore I’d no more tell a black person to carry a gun with them to Houston, TX than I would tell a black person to carry a gun with them to Boston, MA. You’re far more likely to die from a car accident than from RW reactionaries, racists, xenophobes, homophobes, etc.

            • Royko says:

              I do think driving across country implies you’ll be stopping/staying places, so it’s not just the threat of being shot while in the vehicle that you have to consider.

              Beyond the statistics, there’s also something to the feeling that local officials may be against you. The idea that in the unlikely event you get into some form of trouble, local services may be denied you or may even be used to harass you, is pretty frightening. I haven’t given it much thought, but there are probably countries out there that I would be nervous about visiting just because they may have governments that I don’t feel that I could count on in an emergency, even it it is a rare circumstance.

              That said, everything I’ve read jibes with what you say — the far biggest threat we face is from cars. I think it doesn’t factor into most people’s risk assessments because we assume we can avoid things like crime but can’t avoid driving. But that’s obviously not generally true, and it makes all of our safety priorities a little bit cracked.

              • Vance Maverick says:

                In her review of Dirty Harry, Pauline Kael wrote that when she was growing up in Petaluma in the ’40s, the common wisdom for visitors to San Francisco was that if you got in any sort of trouble, you should as far as possible avoid going to the police.

                Even though I’m a coastal elitist from San Francisco, I’m kind of shocked by aimai’s comment. And even though I loathe and fear gun culture — and I can remember unfriendly locals from cross-country trips 30 and more years ago — I don’t think it would keep me from driving through.

                • JL says:

                  That’s probably still good advice in SF (that post is by a friend of a friend, and yes his class analysis sucks in that piece but that doesn’t make what happened to him less horrible).

                • postmodulator says:

                  There are a hell of a lot of communities in America today where this is still true.

                • Bijan Parsia says:

                  Civil asset forfeiture really freaks me out, but really anywhere in the US is pretty bad. PA is awful. MA is really bad.

                  I keep wanting to believe that this happens elsewhere because I don’t want to go crazy.

                • ThrottleJockey says:

                  Thanks for sharing that civil forfeiture article, Bijan. I had heard about the E. TX cases but hadn’t known it was so widespread. Apparently half the counties in the country are little Hazzard Counties with Boss Hoggs & Roscoe P. Coltrains. Fuck I really can’t believe it happened in DC!!

                • Bijan Parsia says:

                  You’re welcome ThrottleJocky. Someone else in another thread shared it first (though I don’t recall who…)

                  I have to read about asset forfeiture in small doses or I start getting really freaked out. I’m astonished that NSA spying gets all the hoopla where as asset forfeiture and mass incarceration get so little.

                • Darkrose says:

                  In her review of Dirty Harry, Pauline Kael wrote that when she was growing up in Petaluma in the ’40s, the common wisdom for visitors to San Francisco was that if you got in any sort of trouble, you should as far as possible avoid going to the police.

                  The idea that this isn’t a given in any situation, anywhere, is pretty much a textbook example of white privilege.

                • Vance Maverick says:

                  Darkrose, sure — Kael herself would probably have taken the point. You could rewrite her remark as “The rightwing avenger cop fantasy is bullshit, especially about San Francisco — even whites like me felt they had to watch out, let alone those less privileged.”

                  JL, why am I not surprised that that incident involved bicycles?

        • Domino says:

          As someone who is going to college in Missouri but lives in Kansas, and generally enjoys reading your posts, screw you and your viewpoint. I grew up in Texas, so I’m used to living in red states and not living anywhere near a coast. It doesn’t mean those states don’t have their own charm or that I live in fear of being shot. Most of my friends from high school live in Austin, and constantly complain about the state legislature, but actively work to try and change things. Hell 2 of my best friends were at the Texas statehouse when Wendy Davis was going on during her marathon filibuster. Kansas City MO has it’s charms, though it will never be able to compare to cities on the coast. To condemn the entire states of Texas and Kansas because of their Republican majorities is a slap in the face to me and every other leftist in those states who try and work to change things.

          • tribble says:

            Yeah, this.

            And I think characterizing Kansas and other red states as beyond the pale (“Don’t even go there! It’s like Somalia!”) makes the work of changing hearts and minds there harder.

          • mds says:

            every other leftist

            What’s with these angry non-regular commenters calling themselves “leftists,” anyway? Because if you’re actually working to turn Texas into a bastion of council communism and stateless workplace democracy, no wonder you’ve been accomplishing fuck all while your reps and senators drag the rest of the country down into the shit with them. Maybe you guys should try liberalism for a change.

            • postmodulator says:

              Because if you’re actually working to turn Texas into a bastion of council communism and stateless workplace democracy, no wonder you’ve been accomplishing fuck all while your reps and senators drag the rest of the country down into the shit with them.

              You may consider this line stolen, good sir. Or madam, not like I can tell from the initials.

            • Linnaeus says:

              I suspect “leftist” here is meant as the genus and not the species.

          • ThrottleJockey says:

            Kansas City MO has it’s charms, though it will never be able to compare to cities on the coast.

            Gates BBQ and Fiorella’s Jack Stack to name two. :-) Mmm, mmmm…

            The best LA can dish up is Woody’s BBQ…and I wouldn’t trust a BBQ joint on the E. Coast to save my life…

        • Pat says:

          Aimai, I think you are wrong. We have to engage each other. Simply throwing up your hands and saying, that’s it, they’re nuts, I’m not having anything to do with them is the quitter’s way out.

          They hear no other voices besides the group leaders, and they are convinced that we are the enemy. Abandoning them to their guns is not a sane reaction. What we need are different words, and a way to reach into their bubble.

          • Col Bat Guano says:

            But at what point do we say “Enough!”? This bill is awfully close for me.

          • Hannibal Lecture says:

            I’m with Officer Flying Mammal Poo. When do you simply acknowledge that the delusional are running the show in their part of the world and try just to make your part of the world better? That’s not increasing the contradictions or whatever that phrase is — that’s just deciding that while some people may not be beyond redemption in an absolute sense, they’re beyond redemption in any ordinary sense and you shouldn’t spend further resources trying to change them.

            They’re not suffering — they’re reveling in their bile.

    • Steve LaBonne says:

      This is why I don’t laugh at the teahadis any more. We have more than enough of a base for a successful fascist movement capable of taking over the country. Given the right circumstances, like another financial crash, look out below.

    • Larry says:

      I think there used to be a way to do it, and that was by wagon train.

    • SatanicPanic says:

      This reminds me a little too much of my Washington state wingnut uncle who, when visiting the rest of us in California, drives through the empty parts of Nevada (instead of along the 5 like a normal person would) because he doesn’t like California.

      • DrS says:

        That’s hilarious.

        If he’d just take 5, he’d run through plenty of places where he’d feel right at home.

        • SatanicPanic says:

          What’s even more silly is that he was born and raised in LA, and spent most of his adult life in San Francisco. To this day I’m not sure if his wingnuttery is an elaborate and long-running prank. He’s the kind of guy who would do that.

          • Hob says:

            There is (or was, last time I checked) a guy in SF who maintained an unused storefront in Noe Valley for decades just so he could fill it with wingnut artifacts– Reagan shrines, bumper stickers decrying the naming of a street after Cesar Chavez, handwritten rants about how his neighbors are all hippies and “looney libs” and how he loves pissing them off by being a real American. It’s particularly surreal because Noe Valley is a quiet yuppie enclave full of boutiques and strollers.

            • mds says:

              It’s particularly surreal because Noe Valley is a quiet yuppie enclave full of boutiques and strollers.

              So is much of present-day Park Slope, yet recent resident Bill de Blasio is a communist.

          • burritoboy says:

            That sort of performance art is really not that unusual here in SF.

  12. Larry says:

    There must be some kind of mistake. Maybe this law was designed for Underground Kansas.

  13. Steve LaBonne says:

    I wish I knew where it came from so I could post a link, but a couple of my Facebook friends shared a still of Dorothy and Glinda captioned “Kansas? Why the fuck do you want to go back there?”

  14. aimai says:

    All joking aside what is this law supposed to look like in practice? There are literally millions of people that Christians can’t marry and don’t think should be allowed to marry or have sex. Technically every person fornicating outside of Christian marriage, Muslims in polygamous marriages, people who haven’t formally divorced are all equally sinning in the eyes of your true blue Christianist. So how are you going to decide to exclude these people, in a practical sense? Are you going to demand to examine their sheets when they walk into your barber shop? Are you going to demand they put their significant other on speed dial so you can talk to them and ascertain their marital/religious status before serving them? The level of scrutiny and suspicion that they are going to place on men and women passing through on, say, business, is going to get damned uncomfortable and weird. Can a person be classified as “homosexual” for purposes of the law when they are travelling alone? If so, how is that done? What about someone trying to rent an apartment? How is the sexual status of a single person to be ascertained? Can people demand that contracts protect them where the law won’t? I wouldn’t sign a contract in Kansas if it can be abrogated by a self proclaimed (since presumably there’s no way of ascertaining whether a person is “really” christian) christian can simply cancel it by accusing me of a pre-existing homo condition.

    • aimai says:

      Come to think of it I think it would be hysterical if people had to publicly identify as “Christian” (in scare quotes because obviously the Kansas position is a minority Christianist position) so that people who want to do business with them can know to avoid them. Like maybe they should have to post signs and wear special clothes so the rest of us can avoid them?

      Also, and just btw, of course the far right has been massively upset about the idea that creeping muslim infiltration of taxi cabs in detroit might lead to christian drunks being refused service. How they square the circle with this law is beyond me.

    • Karen says:

      I like to point out to these people that in the eyes of the Catholic Church my husband is not legally married. He’s a baptized cradle Catholic, although he hasn’t been to church other than funerals since 1983. We were married in the Presbyterian church where i grew up, no priest involved. Under canon law, a baptized Catholic May not marry outside of the Church without the express consent of his bishop. Doing so renders the marriage invalid as a “defect of form.” Thus, a nurse at the ER who knew of this and didn’t want to support the mortal sin of fornication and apostasy could refuse to treat him. Nice work, Kansas, you’ve managed to make Texas look progressive.

      • Dennis Orphen says:

        How many divisions does the pope have? Probably about as many as the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

      • Bijan Parsia says:

        Really? I was baptised Catholic but never did anything else (no confirmation, no nothing). Of course, I “only” had a civil ceremony so…

        But, as I understand it, the law is restricted to issues with marriage on the grounds of sex or gender, not on arbitrary grounds (or we’d have a back door anti-miscegnation law — which would be a bridge too far even for Kansas? Who the hell knows.).

        • Hogan says:

          You can read the bill here. It appears to be saying you don’t have to provide services in support of any marriage of which you disapprove on religious grounds

        • Tom Servo says:

          Oy, confirmation. My parents sent me to confirmation classes when I was 14. The way I saw it was: I already went to Catholic school, if I have to sit through this shit *again* after school I’m not gonna bother. I didn’t even stop believing in God until I was about 19; if I could have just skipped ahead by virtue of going to Catholic school I’d probably be confirmed.

          My mother, after I informed her I would not be going back, said “Well then you can’t get married in the Catholic Church.” You can imagine how much that would bother a 14 year old boy.

          And I’m glad I did. My wife was confirmed at 15 I believe. My mother was Episcopalian (my father’s side was catholic) so she didn’t give a shit. My mother in law, on the other hand, really aggressively pushed for a catholic wedding. I walked in on my then-fiancée arguing with her mom about this and I just smirked and said I wasn’t confirmed. She smiled. Now, of course you can still get confirmed as an adult. But I was in grad school, and I told my future wife that I was fucking busy, and I’m not going to waste what little free time I have choking down shit I don’t believe in to please your mother.

          She also had a conniption when my sister in law didn’t baptize her son and that if god forbid he died he would go to hell. Since I’m a fan of levity I joked that the first time I changed his diaper I thought maybe he actually came *from* hell anyway. That didn’t go over well.

          Well anyway I always appreciated my mom’s side of Episcopalians. All chill. Every Catholic in my family, blood and in-law, is absolutely nutso. Sigh. I’ve got nothing against religion qua religion, but some people just seem to enjoy it as a cudgel.

      • N__B says:

        Mrs__B and I were married in the City Clerk’s Office. Presumably this means that, if the proposed law were in effect, Kansas state officials could treat us as two single people living in sin, and could treat out son as a bastard.* They can all kiss my enormous white-furred ass.

        *Archaic language used intentionally.

      • postmodulator says:

        Hey, I’m not married in the eyes of the Catholic Church either. I should sign up on OKCupid.

    • Dustin says:

      Are they threatening a return to the days when a woman traveling alone, “unchaperoned,” was assumed to be a prostitute, and therefore unprotected against harassment and violence?

  15. Shakezula says:

    So nice of Kansas to help peel back the veil on the bullshit argument that states do much at all without federal cash.

    Take for example the state hospital that refuses treatment.

    That state hospital certainly gets federal funds even if it is in the form of Medicare/Medicaid payments. If they refuse a patient who comes to the ER, they face fines under the Patient Anti-Dumping Law. But hey, yelling about gay people is a great way to distract the rubes from the fact the economy is the shitter. I’d be interested to know how much money Kansas thinks it will make by discriminating against couples and defending law suits.

    • Pat says:

      That’s an interesting wrinkle. The Obama Administration might be able to tie up their Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements over this law, by forcing the hospitals to prove that they do not discriminate against ER patients. So your people can toss out whoever they suspect are gay, and the hospital administration gets to forego all their reimbursements.

      Seems fair to me.

  16. Joe says:

    It is a bit notable that the link is to a dissent by Stevens (the language is general but it being a dissent is a bit telling).

    The fact the bill also applies to “state employees” is particularly troubling, but then who was left to defend the law in VA after the state decided not to dirty their hands in the business? Marriage clerks. The push for a national ENDA law shows that it still is deemed allowable many places to discriminate by sexual orientation.

    The “religious freedom” bit underlines why heightened scrutiny is needed for sexual orientation. Some of the “reasonable” voices say that gays and lesbians are different than discrimination by race and gender. We are supposed to allow more discrimination there. No sale.

    As to the bill not likely to stand, its like a lawsuit doomed to fail — it’s trying to make a point and promote an ideology. That’s bad here, but if the legislature was trying to do something benign, going against current law might be something we would accept. It’s like when a local official tried to marry same sex couples in CA even though he was on somewhat weak grounds given state policy.

  17. Gypsy Howell says:

    This part is hilarious. Or something.

    Macheers did not write the bill and said he did not know its origin. It was crafted by the American Religious Freedom Program, an organization based in Washington D.C. Similar bills are being considered in Tennessee and South Dakota.

    http://www.kansas.com/2014/02/13/3287827/susan-wagle-bill-that-allows-service.html#storylink=cpy

    • Shakezula says:

      And he pointed the finger at another slime bucket who is also really eager to not be associated with the bill.

      “I chair a committee, and I’ve got a lot of other things to do, and the bottom line is I saw the model, thought it was interesting and passed it along. And that’s it,” Kinzer said.

      As an aside, this is really good reporting.

    • NonyNony says:

      From the link:

      “After an initial review, I’ve grown concerned about the practical impact of the bill,” Wagle, R-Wichita [Kansas Senate President], said in an e-mailed statement.

      Yes, after actually reading the smouldering heap of dung that had been dumped into her lap by her “colleagues” in the Kansas House, she realized that buried in the dung heap was ALSO a political time bomb waiting to blow up in her face.

      Seriously – what could possibly go wrong by giving people a blanket “religious objection” to deny service to anyone they wanted for any reason? I’m sure that no one would ever abuse this for petty purposes.

      (And that’s even without the argument that if you’re denying service to someone because of a religious objection to their own actions, it’s very likely a very petty purpose to begin with, even before we get into opportunities for abuse.)

  18. Gwen says:

    Interesting discussion thread on Reddit…

    http://www.reddit.com/r/law/comments/1xt2gc/how_is_kansas_house_bill_2453_different_than_the/

    It’ll be interesting to see if any courts are dumb or willful enough to fall for the argument that dressing up invidious discrimination in the form of “sincerely held religious belief” is sufficient to survive scrutiny.

    • mds says:

      It’ll be interesting to see if any courts are dumb or willful enough to fall for the argument that dressing up invidious discrimination in the form of “sincerely held religious belief” is sufficient to survive scrutiny.

      Well, I’d suggest that the federal courts which have found merit in for-profit corporations’ pissing and moaning over the contraception mandate have already demonstrated that they are in fact dumb or willful enough.

      • jb says:

        Well, I’d suggest that the federal courts which have found merit in for-profit corporations’ pissing and moaning over the contraception mandate have already demonstrated that they are in fact dumb or willful enough.

        Precisely.

        The godawful DC Circut Court, whose justices seem to think that the Constitution mandates Galt’s Gulch, could easily fall for that argument. (They just overturned as unconstitutional education requirements for tax preparers!)

  19. Tom Servo says:

    Am I the only one who got an ad for the Virginia Military Institute at the bottom of the Esquire website? Too funny.

  20. NewishLawyer says:

    I support LeeEsqs observation on spite.

    Though I think this is akin to massive resistance of the Civil Rights movement and people enter massive resistance when they are on the losing side of history and know it. It is a last-ditch effort to erect as many barriers as possible.

    This is a direct response to the Nevada governor and attorney general droping their fight to protect Nevada’s gay marriage ban because they couldn’t meet heightened scrutiny as required by the 9th Circuit.

    • postmodulator says:

      I am trying to think of analogous legislation passed by pro-segregation dead-enders. In particular I was always angry about the way the red states would keep passing these laws over and over. Like, throughout 2003-2008-ish the pattern was to pass a law outlawing gay marriage, then a constitutional amendment banning it, then like a referendum on the same thing, then a Super Ultra “No Really Gays Can Seriously Totally Not Get Married” bill and all these laws would be about six months apart.

      My mother lives in Tucson. At some point during this time period I was not the phone with her and said, “Look, we get it, you people all hate The Gays, why do you have to keep reminding us like this?”

      (We’re not close.)

      • NewishLawyer says:

        I don’t know about legislation but they did fight tooth and nail against desegregation.

        Many Southern states just completely chucked public education instead of desegregating. This was struck down by the Supreme Court in Griffin v. Prince Edward County School District.

        The Civil Rights Act had at least two very famous Supreme Court cases that tried to get rid of it. Heart of Atlanta and Ollie’s BBQ.

        Not too mention George Wallace in a face off with Nicholas Katzenbach on the steps of the University of Alabama and the election of people like Lester Maddox in Georgia.

        There was also plenty of state and state-sanctioned violence like Bull Connor and various other terrorist acts.

        • postmodulator says:

          Sure, I’m aware that the segregated states resisted desegregation.

          I mean this specific behavior, passing the same doomed laws over and over again without even really meaning it.

      • Shakezula says:

        “Look, we get it, you people all hate The Gays, why do you have to keep reminding us like this?”

        Especially when they keep screaming about Jobs! and how they’re going to make lots of Jobs! for everyone. But first they have to pass a bill that makes it illegal to put the words “gay” and “marriage” or “wedding” in the same paragraph.

        It is scapegoating pure and simple, but I don’t know how they spin that come campaign time. “Voted Yes on six bills designed to protect traditional families from liberal threats”?

        • postmodulator says:

          More or less. When you say “traditional families,” your base knows what you really mean.

          There was an article in mid-November 2004 about some family in Ohio that was beyond fucked economically. Husband, wife, three kids, the husband had three jobs and the wife had two, they were sleeping a couple of hours a night tops and barely keeping their heads above water. They told the reporter they’d still voted for Bush, even though they knew that he didn’t really have their best economic interests at heart, because they had to. Because of gay marriage.

          • NewishLawyer says:

            I think I remember that article and having the same reaction.

            This is the problem with having a sacred value. There is no compromise.

            Though look at how much has changed since 2004. That was only ten years ago. Back then, it looked like gay marriage and gay rights took a horrible blow. Now gay marriage bans are falling down left and right.

  21. NewishLawyer says:

    Another thing to note is that the GOP seems to be going full Akin. So they are either depending on midyear having super-depressed results among young people and/or they have absolutely given up on any vote of someone below 45.

  22. MAJeff says:

    No, Really, What the Hell is the Matter With Kansas?

    Kansans.

    • postmodulator says:

      As long as we’re throwing around broad stereotypes and greatly offending people, I’ve never really wondered what the matter is with Kansas. Kansans get something for their vote — affirmation. The politicians they back tell them that they’re Real Americans, the most Americanest of all despite being one percent of the American population. (Remember, the biggest city in Kansas is in Missouri.)

      Contrast Massachusetts. “Massachusetts” has been a smear word the Republicans use for longer than I’ve been a voter; I recall it featuring in attacks on Michael Dukakis. Say Massachusetts to any conservative, and hear back “Taxachusetts.” There was a Powerpoint leaked from the 2008 Romney campaign where he was being advised to “run against Massachusetts,” and that was after he’d governed the place.

      People who live in Massachusetts hear all that and say “These are good points, but on the other hand, Martha Coakley’s commitment to her Red Sox fandom seems artificial and insincere,” and pull the lever marked Scott Brown.

      I don’t wonder what’s the matter with Kansas, but what the fuck is wrong with Massachusetts? I know they mostly elect liberals most of the time, but come on, the national Republican party stops just short of calling for Massachusetts to be fumigated. The Massachusetts Republican party should, at this point, consist of three libertarian-leaning engineering students at UMass Amherst. People running as Republicans should poll “no votes at all,” like the Very Silly Party, and additionally have garbage thrown at them when they dare to walk the streets.

      I will never understand why that isn’t so.

      • Josiah says:

        As long as we’re throwing around broad stereotypes and greatly offending people, I’ve never really wondered what the matter is with Kansas. Kansans get something for their vote — affirmation. The politicians they back tell them that they’re Real Americans, the most Americanest of all despite being one percent of the American population

        Nebraska, too.

        • postmodulator says:

          All the benefit that a New Yorker gets out of Kansas is no more than what he might get out of Saskatchewan, the Argentine pampas, or Siberia. But New York to a Kansan is not only a place where he may get drunk, look at dirty shows and buy bogus antiques; it is also a place where he may enforce his dunghill ideas upon his betters.

          H.L. Mencken. I swear this would be the best quote ever if it wasn’t in an essay about it being a shame that the South lost.

      • PSP says:

        Three libertarians from UMASS and 2/3s of my very rural hometown. When the James Michael Curley character in The Last Hurrah talks about the rural Yankees always voting against Boston Irish Democrats – their grandfathers were the people he was talking about. And the attitudes haven’t changed much.

      • Jeremy says:

        People who live in Massachusetts hear all that and say “These are good points, but on the other hand, Martha Coakley’s commitment to her Red Sox fandom seems artificial and insincere,” and pull the lever marked Scott Brown.

        I think Bill Weld being a mostly decent guy, less of an authoritarian asshole than John Silber, and presiding over the state during the Clinton-era economic boom gave the party a bit of good favor in the state that lasted for years. On the other hand, Mitt Romney’s governorship and Kerry Healy’s hilarious campaign should have put the final nail in that coffin, but still, Scott Brown.

        But I think I’ve seen that the Scott Borwn election was overwhelmingly about turnout, not people switching votes. It wasn’t so much that people thought Martha Coakley was a bad candidate and pulled the Scott Brown lever (actually, filled in the Scot Brown oval with black marker) but that they stayed home.

        I saw somewhere figures breaking the election down into “Obama voters who voted for Coakley” “Obama voters who voted for Brown” “Obama voters who didn’t vote” “McCain voters who voted for Coakley” “McCain voters who voted for Brown” “McCain voters who stayed home” “voters who didn’t vote in 2008, then voted for Coakley” and “voters who didn’t vote in 2008, then voted for Brown” that showed this, but I don’t know where and haven’t found it since.

        • Jager says:

          Brown won men 25-54 from the suburbs. WEEI Sports radio at the time was #1 in that demographic. Brown owned WEEI after the Coakley Red Sox fuck-up. The day before the election he was a guest on every show on WEEI. Dennis and Callaghan sold Brown day after day after day. And it worked.

  23. pseudalicious says:

    They always do this, these irresponsible, privileged nutcases. And they never, ever think it through, because they don’t have to, because they’re insulated from the consequences.

    I assume this law was about, “OH NOES, I MAKE WEDDING CAKES FOR A LIVING AND A GAY COUPLE MIGHT ASK ME TO MAKE ONE AND EWWWW!” But instead of making the equally-sure-to-be-struck-down-but-at-least-more-narrow, “No Gay Wedding Cakes Ever Law,” they instead do this ridiculously broad bullshit because (1) they hate gay people that much or (2) they’re stupid enough to think that sure, someone might be bigoted enough to deny those dykes/fags a wedding cake, but no conservative could possibly be awful enough to deny someone emergency room care or visitation by ones’ partner in the ER! Oh, wait, look: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/health/19well.html

    It’s just like the transvaginal ultrasound bullshit. Since they’re not doctors, they, like me and a lot of other people, probably didn’t even know what a transvaginal ultrasound was and thought all ultrasounds were over-the-stomach. But because they’re idiots that write their hateful bills first and don’t even bother to research or follow the logic train all the way to the station, it falls on our side to go, “So, um, you know that X is going to lead to Y is going to lead to Z, right?” And because they’re assholes, they double down.

    • pseudalicious says:

      Wait, I need to fix this:

      But because they’re idiots that write their hateful bills first that don’t even read the bills they’re letting some bullshit right-wing think tank write for them

  24. e.a.f. says:

    Makes you wonder what is the difference between Kansas and Russia? For that matter what is the difference between Putin and politicians in Kansas?

    So much for the home of the free and the brave. The American taliban is alive and well in Kansas. it is about time someone picked up the phone in Washington D.C. and explained, if they don’t adhere to the Constitution, they can forget about federal funds and they start legal action in federal court against the state of Kansas.

    What is next? Refusing service to Muslim, Jews, people of colour, women who don’t dress “appropriately”. Kansas is an embarrassment to the U.S.A.

  25. Dennis Orphen says:

    Hate to go Neo-Manju on you but if post-1972 George Wallace were brought back he might be totally against this and against the return of the guilded age as well. And he would support Obama. And Hilary. Was it Stephen Lesher who claimed that Wallace was elected president three times, in 1976 (Carter), 1992 and 1996 (Clinton)?

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