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Pat McCrory Seems Nice

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North Carolina governor Pat McCrory’s embarrassing signature of the state’s transgender bathroom law is fitting for a man who has hated gay people his whole public life.

McCrory has rejected LGBT anti-discrimination measures every chance he’s had in his 25 years in public office. He voted down a Charlotte ordinance in 1991 as a city council member, opposed another one in 2004 as the city’s mayor, and now, as governor, he just made it illegal for localities to pass these kinds of protections.

“We have laws in our Constitution which forbid discrimination based on race, gender and religion,” McCrory said after opposing the 1991 measure. “Beyond that, no other group should be given special status, and this community is often wanting special status.”

He had a chance in 2014 to offer protections to LGBT government workers, when he signed an executive order barring discrimination against state employees. But he specifically left them out, keeping the order limited to discrimination based on “race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age disability and genetic information.”

He hasn’t just opposed anti-discrimination measures. As the mayor of Charlotte, a post he held from 1995 to 2009, McCrory defended a local YMCA for rejecting a gay man’s application for membership. The club turned away local resident Tom Landry in 2006 when he tried to join with his partner and son. Landry wrote to McCrory about it, and he wrote back, “Thank for letting me know about your situation in trying to secure a membership at the YMCA. The YMCA has every right to set their membership criteria, but as you found, Charlotte has many options for health club memberships, including the Jewish Community Center.”

McCrory was also no fan of the Charlotte Gay Pride Festival. As the city’s mayor in 2005, he said it wasn’t appropriate to have the parade in a public place. He suggested the LGBT celebration “belongs in a hotel.” That same year, he refused to write a welcome letter to leaders of the Human Rights Campaign when they hosted a large dinner in Charlotte. He said later that he had the right “not to show any visible support” for the LGBT rights group.

The governor has even gone after local theater productions. In 1996, as mayor, he pressured the Charlotte Repertory Theatre to tone down the nudity and gay themes in its production of “Angels in America,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning play about the AIDS crisis. “The Pulitzer Prize does not give you license to break the law,” McCrory said at the time. The theater had to obtain a court injunction to continue with its show.

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  • jim, some guy in iowa

    paint him green and give him a cup of tea, and he could step right into those “kermit sipping tea” memes

    • Robert M.

      I know! I don’t mean to be lookist (looksist?), and it’s not even that he’s a bad looking guy. But he definitely looks like a Muppet, to the point that every time I see video of him I look for the sticks supporting his hands.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        until I found out about those memes I would have said being compared to a muppet was a *compliment*

        • Origami Isopod

          Evidently you’re not up on British slang.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            well, that or it could just be that I’m an idiot myself ;)

      • Nobdy

        With his puckered face in that photo he looks like a literal asshole to me. An anus.

        • Fozzz

          Same problem as Zoolander – locked into the Blue Steel look.

        • Pseudonym

          I’ll never forget the description of John Sununu as looking like a prolapsed pig rectum. Not sure I even want to, honestly.

      • so-in-so

        More like a fish character in “Finding Nemo” than Kermit in that picture, or maybe a ‘before’ picture in a laxative ad.

  • CrunchyFrog

    Over the years I’ve learned that when people (men) take such strong anti-gay positions as McCrory has done, their internal motivation is almost always trying tamp down their own internal “urges” and “lusts”. Sometimes they act on those urges in private, other times not. The more powerful and wealthy the more likely they are to take such actions. See also: Haggard, Ted.

    • Rob in CT

      There’s a non-zero amount of that, but I think there are plenty of people who have no such urges who nonetheless spend a lot of time fulminating against Teh Ghey.

      My (unoriginal, to be sure) belief is that it’s all about policing gender roles. Men act like THIS, Women act like THAT. Wait, you’re a guy and you like guys? Ahh!! You might look at me and/or treat me the way I look at and treat women. You’re a girl and you like girls? But we’re entitled to you… you’re stealing from us.

      Oh, wait, some people aren’t what they seem outwardly? No, no, no. Get in the fucking box! It gets in the box or it gets the hose again…

      • MAJeff

        There’s a significant amount of gender policing. When I work in the classroom I tend to break down homophobia/heterosexism into three primary strains:

        1) Gender policing and what’s gender-appropriate behavior (the biggest taboo here is probably men who take the receptive role in sexual behavior, “becoming women”)
        2) Issues related to sexual behavior itself, and what’s acceptable/not acceptable
        3) xenophobia and fear of/antipathy toward difference.

        • Rob in CT

          1) Gender policing and what’s gender-appropriate behavior (the biggest taboo here is probably men who take the receptive role in sexual behavior, “becoming women”)

          What have the Romans ever done for us, eh?

          2) Issues related to sexual behavior itself, and what’s acceptable/not acceptable

          Taboo breaking, you mean?

          3) xenophobia and fear of/antipathy toward difference.

          Xenophobia, really? Huh, I wouldn’t have made that connection. Where do you see it?

          • MAJeff

            Xenophobia, really? Huh, I wouldn’t have made that connection. Where do you see it?

            In “queer” itself, having started of as meaning odd, strange, or different. It’s not just sexual taboos and gender non-normativity, it’s “strangeness.”

      • Nobdy

        I think that’s too specific. I think it’s more about keeping underclasses under than about the specifics of LGBT people. A lot of these people have no issues with high status gay people. They are perfectly capable of enjoying the work of gay entertainers and schmoozing with gay fundraisers. But they recognize that for them and a lot of constituents, gays represent a group that can be ‘safely’ mistreated and they’re not willing to give that up.

        This is essentially the same group of people who opposed women’s suffrage and civil rights for minorities and even Quakers back in the 1600s. They opposed protections for women being domestically abused. Was it because they were ‘squicked’ out by beaten women? No. It was because a white man’s right to beat his wife should not be interfered with, just like a YMCA’s right to discriminate against gays should not be interfered with.

        What’s the point of obtaining/maintaining high status if you can’t punch down? (Sometimes literally.)

        • Rob in CT

          Good points. I think it’s a mixture of punching down (general impulse) and gender role policing (specific).

        • GoDeep

          Maybe the YMCA rejected the membership because they didn’t want one guy oggling other guys in the shower.

          Who wants to feel like a piece of meat in the shower?

          • Hogan

            How do they know there aren’t multiple guys already ogling other guys in the shower?

          • MAJeff

            Maybe the YMCA rejected the membership because they didn’t want one guy oggling other guys in the shower.

            Because, of course, gay men are simply predators.

            • GoDeep

              No one said gay men are predators, straw horse much? But gay men can be ogle as much as straight men. Hell, I have a gay friend who said he was really uncomfortable when 2 gay guys started ogling him in a shower–at a YMCA!

              Guys are guys man. You can take the straight out of the guy but you can’t take the guy out of the guy!

              • Rob in CT

                Deep. Real deep.

                • Thirtyish

                  More like derp.

              • Pseudonym

                I really don’t want to think about GoDeep’s repressed fantasies involving straw horses.

              • ColBatGuano

                Your gay panic is duly noted.

                • DrS

                  Huh, who would have thought that an authoritarian like GoDeep would be homophobic.

                  Shocking.

      • Robert M.

        I have a half-baked hypothesis that people like McCrory view gender and sex as an economy, with women competing to provide sex and domestic service (i.e., chores) to men in exchange for marriage and financial support.

        And through that lens, you can sort of see how LGBTQ people (and even cisgendered, straight people who don’t conform to traditional gender roles) are a threat. They hurt the “legitimate” market by mixing up the distinction between buyers and sellers, by confounding expectations for what kind of “goods” are exchanged and in what direction, and worst of all by simply reminding people that it’s possible to opt out of the model.

        And from the point of view of those who are benefiting most from viewing model, anything that threatens it has to be eliminated or, at least, silenced.

        • Rob in CT

          “Transactional” is the word for this, I think.

          This is definitely an MRA thing.

    • Nobdy

      Often, but I would not say “almost always.”

      A lot of these guys just really enjoy punching down, and they take extreme umbrage at the idea of their targets getting any sort of protection.

      The older I get the more convinced I am that much of human behavior is driven by an ape-like desire for high status in the “pack.” Rules that say that people they perceive as ‘outsiders’ can’t be ostracized and mistreated are just unacceptable. You can see it in McCrory’s statement from 1991 where he specifically lists the classes protected by the constitution and grudgingly admits he can’t legally discriminate against them, but says that no other group should receive protections. It’s not that he’s just anti-gay, he’s against anyone who isn’t ‘normal’ (straight white male) having rights.

      I don’t think he’s a closeted gay, I think he’s an out of the closet asshole.

      • witlesschum

        Yeah, my go to explanation for lots of conservative behavior is generally anger and discomfort at people for stepping out their place in general, whether that’s the closet or the kitchen or daring to form a union or believe differently or challenge the dominant position of white people or assert their right to determine their own sex life and reproductive choices or, just lately, vote the wrong way or be trans.

        That’s why they pivot so effortlessly from attacking gays for existing to now bashing trans people when yesterday they weren’t as worried about who was using what bathroom. The real thing they dig is feeling secure in what used to be called the great chain of being and people who step outside that make them worried it could all fall apart. So they lash out and hurt people, when they can. I’m sure some are emotionally repelled by trans and gay people, too, but I think the authoritarian part is what really bothers a lot of them, so they will hit whatever target they think they can get away with hitting.

        • Thirtyish

          Well put.

          • Origami Isopod

            Agreed.

            • witlesschum

              Thanks, yous.

        • EBT

          Some of it has to do that with on a really fundamental level a lot of the faithful in this country are operating under a low level PTSD, and existing in a state of both victim and perpetrator. Everyone of the children around me who was beaten, starved, or poisoned (soap is pretty damn bad to eat) for not being devout enough that said in the abusing faith, abuses their own children in the same way while treating pretty much everyone else just as poorly.

        • GoDeep

          What makes you think this is strictly conservative? Last poll I saw 30% of liberals thought transgender people should use the shower corresponding to their birth certificate– and some polls place it as high as 50% of liberals. ( http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-poll-americans-divided-over-transgender-bathroom-laws-supreme-court/ )
          I myself think that is idiotic but I’d be very uncomfortable showering with a transgender woman who remained anatomically male. And I really can’t imagine putting high school girls in that situation where all the transgender women would certainly be anatomically male.

    • Origami Isopod

      I agree with other commenters that quite often it’s got nothing to do with internal urges, despite the existence of Larry Craig et al. The major problem with assuming all homophobes are repressed gay men and lesbians is that it offloads all responsibility for LGBT oppression onto LGBT people.

      • witlesschum

        Good point.

      • Ben Murphy

        The major problem with assuming all homophobes are repressed gay men and lesbians is that it offloads all responsibility for LGBT oppression onto LGBT people.

        This!

        • GoDeep

          And also it’s really not true. That would be like saying the only people who hate black people are secretly black people…. I think that notion arrived in a time when liberals were uncomfortable embracing homosexuals and people like J Edgar Hoover gave the notion credence.

      • hen wen

        +1

        Additionally, it buys into a couple of horsefeathered ideas – that you can know better than someone else what their sexuality is, that engaging in certain behaviors (that have nothing to do with attraction) implies some sexuality

    • RPorrofatto

      I think much of this speculation about what motivates the anti-gay bigotry of people may be right on target, but this is about a politician, and a Republican Tea Party politician to boot. So I think it’s infinitely more about pandering for votes, since being anti-gay rights is a big plus to much of his constituency, and is probably one of the things that took him from the City Council to the governorship. No doubt he thought HB2 would help cement his re-election chances, and it’s only backfired now because it’s hitting NC businesses in their wallets, which is the worst thing you can do as a Republican politician, despite your mouth-breather base.

      • efgoldman

        Occam says he’s just an asshole.

        • so-in-so

          Possibly a MOTIVATED asshole!

        • AttorneyAtPaw

          Hopefully he eventually meets a razor that doesn’t have a guard.

    • EBT

      As an elected Republican you can safely assume he consumes vast quantities of gay porn. And semen.

      • Rob in CT

        Sigh.

  • MAJeff

    So, a standard run-of-the-mill Republican. Bigotry is their raison d’etre.

  • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

    “We have laws in our Constitution which forbid discrimination based on race, gender and religion”

    Can anyone be that dumb? Can his supporters be that dumb?

    If the Constitution forbid discrimination, there would have been no reason for Congress to pass the various civil rights laws in the 1960s, and there would never have been segregation.

    • CP

      … and, in fact, many of them do believe that the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act were unnecessary or at least harmful government overreaches that should be done away with. (The Supreme Court just reminded us of that when they did a number on the VRA a little while ago).

    • cs

      Probably he means the state constitution.

    • Well, strictly speaking the fact that the Constitution says something doesn’t obviate the need for legislation. “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article,” is important.

      On the other hand, conservatives don’t seem to have read the 14th Amendment, so there’s that.

    • Hogan

      He had me at “laws in our Constitution.”

  • No doubt he’s a God fearing man, though.

    • Robert M.

      For Brutus is an honorable man;
      So are they all, all honorable men…

    • rea

      No doubt he’s a God fearing man, though.

      He ought to be.

      Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity

  • Warren Terra

    McCrory was also no fan of the Charlotte Gay Pride Festival. As the city’s mayor in 2005, he said it wasn’t appropriate to have the parade in a public place. He suggested the LGBT celebration “belongs in a hotel.”

    He’s obviously got them confused with the Gay Reticently Quiet Self-Confidence Festival.

    • ajay

      He’s obviously got them confused with the Gay Reticently Quiet Self-Confidence Festival.

      The British equivalent.

      • Warren Terra

        Who can forget that rousing stifled hesitant mutter “We’re over there, we’re Queer, Never Mind”?

        • Hogan

          “What do we want?”

          “More equitable treatment at the hands of management!”

          “When do we want it?”

          “Soon!”

      • AttorneyAtPaw

        …Stiff upper what?!

    • so-in-so

      Does the hotel have really big closets?

  • MacK

    Just for fun – Matt Taiibi has managed an epic rant:

    If this isn’t the end for the Republican Party, it’ll be a shame. They dominated American political life for 50 years and were never anything but monsters. They bred in their voters the incredible attitude that Republicans were the only people within our borders who raised children, loved their country, died in battle or paid taxes. They even sullied the word “American” by insisting they were the only real ones. They preferred Lubbock to Paris, and their idea of an intellectual was Newt Gingrich. Their leaders, from Ralph Reed to Bill Frist to Tom DeLay to Rick Santorum to Romney and Ryan, were an interminable assembly line of shrieking, witch-hunting celibates, all with the same haircut – the kind of people who thought Iran-Contra was nothing, but would grind the affairs of state to a halt over a blow job or Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube.

    ***

    All those intellectuals ever did for Middle America was cook up a sales pitch designed to get them to vote for politicians who would instantly betray them to business interests eager to ship their jobs off to China and India. The most successful trick was linking the corporate mantra of profit without responsibility to the concept of individual liberty.

    Into the heartland were sent wave after wave of politicians, each more strident and freedom-y than the last. They arrived draped in the flag, spewed patriotic bromides about God, guns and small-town values, and pledged to give the liberals hell and bring the pride back.

    Then they went off to Washington and year after year did absolutely squat for their constituents. They were excellent at securing corporate tax holidays and tax cuts for the rich, but they almost never returned to voter country with jobs in hand. Instead, they brought an ever-increasing list of villains responsible for the lack of work: communists, bra-burning feminists, black “race hustlers,” climate-change activists, Muslims, Hollywood, horned owls…

    By the Tea Party era, their candidates were forced to point fingers at their own political establishment for votes, since after so many years of bitter economic decline, that was the only story they could still believably sell.

    This led to the hilarious irony of Ted Cruz. Here was a quintessentially insipid GOP con man culled straight from the halls of Princeton, Harvard, the Supreme Court, the Federal Trade Commission and the National Republican Senatorial Committee to smooth-talk the yokels. But through a freak accident of history, he came along just when the newest models of his type were selling “the Republican establishment sucks” as an electoral strategy.

    Cruz was like an android that should have self-destructed in a cloud of sparks and black smoke the moment the switch flipped on. He instead stayed on just long enough to win 564 delegates, a stunning testament to just how much Republican voters, in the end, hated the Republican kingmakers Cruz robotically denounced.

    Strikes me that the only thing missing is Pat McCrory who would fit in quite well.

    • Nobdy

      I think this is way overblown. Republicans vote based on personality and perceived personal characteristics, not really policy. They don’t understand policy. Ted Cruz has all the personal charm of a shart in an elevator. Donald Trump was the only candidate with ANY charisma and he won easily.

      The next time the Republican head honchos can find someone who can play the part of a cowboy like Dubya they’ll wrest control of the party back. They should focus less on think tanks and more on finding someone who has some actual appeal, so they’re not running Scott Walker and Marco Rubio out there.

      People say that Jeb!’s problem was that he was an establishment candidate but I think it was that he comes off like a passive aggressive middle manager and talks about policy instead of “making America great again.” He got bulldozed by a showman.

    • Murc

      This is a good-to-excellent rant, but Taibbi falls into the same trap I see a lot of other people do, with regard to this:

      Then they went off to Washington and year after year did absolutely squat for their constituents.

      And that’s just not so. The constant parade of wrapped-in-the-flag, carrying-a-cross fascists that the red states keep sending to Washington are, for the most part, not perpetrating some kind of con job on their constituents. They are delivering what their constituents want in spades, because what those constituents want is for them to put the boot into the gays, the blacks, women, Muslims, furriners in general, and lie-berals.

      Would those constituents also like them some good jobs, at good wages, and a solid retirement? Sure they would. But they want other things more, and they’ve made, by their lights, a rational choice. Plenty (not all, but a lot) of Republican voters know damn well that their party is the party of big business, not of the little guy. They’re upset about that, but not upset to vote differently, because they put a higher priority on the culture war.

      The answer to the perennial “What’s the matter with Kansas?” question isn’t “they’re subject to a sophisticated con.” It is “howling bigots constitute a political majority there.” For some reason people don’t like that as an explanation and go looking for other ones, but that’s the problem. Right there.

      • MacK

        Oh I can find things to disagree with, but what an epic rant! It filled me with a certain joy or is it schadenfreude.

        • Murc

          True enough. That particular point is one of my personal bugaboos.

          • witlesschum

            It’s a really good thing to be bugged by. Some people can’t be characterized as anything but rubes, of course, but if you go around assuming everyone is, it tends to make you as a much of a rube as anyone.

            George RR Martin wrote this really well in Book 4/5 where this was basically Cersei’s character and had been all along, but being in charge brought out the worst tendencies in her where her arrogance led her to see the whole world as idiots she could run rings around, which blinded her to the extent the opposite happened. Also, don’t be half-drunk all the time.

            • DrS

              Also, don’t be half-drunk all the time.

              Yeah, who wants to be half-drunk anyway?

              Full-drunk half the time, that’s the way to be.

      • CaptainBringdown

        They are delivering what their constituents want in spades, …

        I dunno. They’ve largely been losing the culture wars. They’ve been delivering the rhetoric, but not the results.

        • MacK

          It is actually conceivable that their declaration of cultural war has been counterproductive on some issues – homosexuality for example – their over the top hostility to gays probably helped in the end to advance gay equality and gay marriage by making it such a central political issue. I suspect the same thing will happen on the trans issue – which is not only rank lunacy on their part because it is so marginal, but also if they wanted to undermine acceptance of trans-people (who are not legion) is a bad tactic because it forces so many people to think about the issue and take sides.

          Similarly their hostility to immigration has slowly drawn attention to how badly immigrants are treated – and the whole problem of children and refugees.

        • Murc

          I dunno. They’ve largely been losing the culture wars. They’ve been delivering the rhetoric, but not the results.

          I could be wrong here, but in my experience people are way more willing to put up with “we tried and lost” rather than “we sold out.” That depends on perception, of course; one persons ‘we got beat’ can be anothers ‘didn’t. even. try.’ But I don’t think anyone can say the conservatives haven’t been trying their damnedest with regard to the culture war, which in my mind counts as doing what their constituents want.

          • The last decade has made it abundantly clear that the Republican voter base is legitimately scornful of compromise. For politicians, exhibiting any behavior other than “stand your ground, never give an inch, ever,” is a one-way ticket to RINO-dom.

            • CP

              Gallup took a poll a little while ago that asked people whether it was more important that politicians be willing to compromise in order to keep the government running, or to stick by their principles even if that means it won’t (this was around the time of one of the government shutdowns). Most self-identified liberals and moderates went with the former option, most conservatives went with the latter.

          • Gregor Sansa

            I know that you’ve described me. I voted for Nader, screamed with Dean, wen’t from will.i.am to didn’t.even.try (kidding a bit there, but not entirely), and voted for Sanders.

            Sure, on the other hand, I’ll be voting for Clinton and I’d rank Obama among the 5 best US presidents ever.

            But I hear the siren’s song of the blaze of glory. Oh yes I do.

        • witlesschum

          But the lesson the base who decides primary elections takes from that isn’t, hey, let’s ixnay on the gayhaterade-ray, and they respond well to the argument that the reason they’re losing is that they’re being stabbed in the back by the nefarious THEYs both outside and, increasingly, inside the Republican Party. The people who ran Eric Cantor out of the House in a primary for failing to end immigration and repeal the results of the 2008 presidential election might be in some ways delusional, but I think they are responding to the fact that they’re losing the culture war.

          Turning to Donald Trump is probably best seen in that light, as a ‘Why the hell not?,’ after they lost pretty badly with two more conventional candidates against the Kenyan Usurper, who they, after all, believe to be a bizarre combination of stupid, feckless, Machivellian and evil. And given that they took back Congress after two years of Democratic control, it’s probably easy to believe the country mainly really agrees with them, so it’s easy to believe liberals aren’t really winning the culture wars and it’s all a trick.

          They think they don’t have a strategic problem associated with becoming the party of angry white nationalists, but a tactical one, so this is the Republican base trying to change tactics while staying true to their principles.

          • Turning to Trump is also a natural result of two decades of fearmongering by the Conservative Entertainment Complex that BIG GOVERNMENT is coming with all of these “other” groups to break into people’s homes, take their guns, and turn them into gay Muslims.

            You can only hear “YOUR COUNTRY IS BEING TAKEN AWAY, AMERICA IS DYING, THE ENEMY IS AT THE GATES” so many times before the proposed solution of “let’s lower taxes on the rich and deregulate businesses, because liberty” gets ignored and “THEN LET’S KICK THE FUCKERS OUT AND BUILD A FUCKIN’ WALL” starts to sound like the more natural response.

            • CP

              This. This. Thisthisthis.

            • MacK

              A substantial part of the problem has been the systematic cultivation of ignoramuses by tabloid like newspapers (USA Today), talk radio, Fox and the hollowing out of education.

              • CP

                Yeah, that’s true too. This element has always been there, but it’s been cultivated like nobody’s business in the last couple decades (in some ways because the information technology just wasn’t available back in the day, in some ways because so many elites have gone all-in on cultivating them in a way that wouldn’t have happened in the John Bircher days).

              • GFW

                While USA Today is pretty shallow, at least it’s fact-based. I’m hardly an expert on the paper, but from reading a bit of it over hotel breakfasts, I felt it was refreshingly honest compared to Fox News. Pitched at about a 6th grade reading level, but what can you do …

          • Murc

            They think they don’t have a strategic problem associated with becoming the party of angry white nationalists, but a tactical one, so this is the Republican base trying to change tactics while staying true to their principles.

            Well, and it is difficult to fault them for that. I keep seeing people go “gosh, why aren’t the Republicans changing their positions” in tones of bewilderment, like they don’t understand why a political party wouldn’t be constantly re-configuring itself in the naked pursuit of power for powers sake.

            And, well… no. The Republicans actually believe in things. With, as the man said, passionate intensity. They don’t want to stop hating on black people and gays because they believe very strongly in those things as a matter of principle. Why would they want to win without using that chance to enact that hate into law?

            • witlesschum

              Indeed. I’m not particularly interested in compromising my principles, so why would I imagine they would be? I would posit that the sort of geographic polarization we now have has left us with more principled politicians and voters on both sides, too, for good and for ill.

      • Rob in CT

        I dunno, Murc, not only does it look to liberals that R polticians haven’t delivered much*, more importantly it looks that way to R voters:

        http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/11/25/winners-and-losers-in-politics/

        % that says their side loses more than wins.

        71/14 for Rs & R-leaners.

        52/40 for Ds & D-leaners.

        * we hate, with damn good reason, the regress they’ve made on abortion rights and voting rights (just to pick two that spring to mind). These are not, however, clear wins their base sees as wins. At most, they think they’ve held serve here or there, while broadly losing. And I think they’re right about it.

        • Rob in CT

          Meanwhile, that is how a lot of Democrats (a majority, even) sees things, with economics substituted for the culture war.

          The only group that thinks its side is winning is… Democrats with college degrees. Which could be because college grads have generally done well over the past several decades. But then the R/R-leaner numbers for college grads are identical to less-educated R/R-leaners.

        • royko

          Whittling away abortion rights is by far the biggest success in terms of their cultural agenda. But I can understand why their constituents wouldn’t be happy with it. (They. Didn’t. Even. Try.)

          They got DOMA and some faith based initiatives, but DOMA didn’t do much to stem the tide of gay marriage. So all in all, it’s not much of a record for 50 years. There’s only so much you can do to stop a culture from changing, but I can see why their voters would be peeved.

          • MacK

            Oddly enough – their constituents are more likely to divorce, more likely to have children out of wedlock, more likely (among whites) to use illegal drugs or misuse prescription drugs (aka hillbilly heroin), more likely to drive drunk – what leads you to believe that in reality they are probably not also more likely to need an abortion?

            • Rob in CT

              Faith, not works.

            • royko

              I wouldn’t doubt it. For male R’s (aka The Ones That Matter), that’s a woman’s problem. For female R’s that don’t need abortions, that’s a slut’s problem. For the ones that do need abortions, I assume there’s a fair amount of shame and guilt that goes with it.

              And I’m sure there’s a fair number of Republicans that believe that if they ever need to get an abortion for a family member or lover, they should be able to skirt the law and arrange one — only undesirables should actually be prevented access to anything — but at the same time, in those situations, I’m sure they do their best to fulfill their civic duty at making that family member or loved one feel like utter trash for needing it.

      • Origami Isopod

        The constant parade of wrapped-in-the-flag, carrying-a-cross fascists that the red states keep sending to Washington are, for the most part, not perpetrating some kind of con job on their constituents. They are delivering what their constituents want in spades, because what those constituents want is for them to put the boot into the gays, the blacks, women, Muslims, furriners in general, and lie-berals.

        Yes. See also Corey Robin on the topic of democratic feudalism. There’s nothing “the matter” with Kansas when you realize these are people who will accept deep immiseration so long as they remain higher on the social ladder than black people, LGBT people, etc.

        • witlesschum

          You just reminded me to finally get around to getting a copy of that book, thanks.

      • CP

        The constant parade of wrapped-in-the-flag, carrying-a-cross fascists that the red states keep sending to Washington are, for the most part, not perpetrating some kind of con job on their constituents. They are delivering what their constituents want in spades, because what those constituents want is for them to put the boot into the gays, the blacks, women, Muslims, furriners in general, and lie-berals.

        Would those constituents also like them some good jobs, at good wages, and a solid retirement? Sure they would. But they want other things more, and they’ve made, by their lights, a rational choice.

        Mmmm. I think there is a con being run, but I’m not sure if it’s by politicians on voters so much as by voters on themselves.

        The conservative voter logic isn’t just “I want you to put the boot into the gays, the blacks, women, Muslims, furriners in general, and lie-berals, and if I get good jobs at good wages and a solid retirement, that’s cool too, but it’s not my priority.” The conservative voter logic is “I want you to put the boot into the gays, the blacks, women, Muslims, furriners in general, and lie-berals, and then I’ll get good jobs at good wages and a solid retirement, because all these people not getting the boot is the reason why I don’t have these things.”

        Time and time again, conservative politicians harm These People like they were elected to do, and it doesn’t make things better for their constituents. And then their constituents get angry because things didn’t work out for them, and they decide that the reason can only be that These People weren’t harmed enough, and/or that conservative politicians were politically correct RINOs who only pretended to harm them.

        Don’t get me wrong: they’ll always pick “hurting black people” over “helping myself.” But they’ll also almost always convince themselves that “hurting black people” is “helping myself.”

        • Murc

          Sir, your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

        • ColBatGuano

          The conservative voter logic is “I want you to put the boot into the gays, the blacks, women, Muslims, furriners in general, and lie-berals, and then I’ll get good jobs at good wages and a solid retirement, because all these people not getting the boot is the reason why I don’t have these things.”

          Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner!

      • I don’t think they actually care about what their constituents want, just what their donors want.

        • creature

          This is what the real deal is. The ‘blue smoke and mirrors’ is the show-horse ‘laws to protect us from the heathen homo commies!’ That assures the axiom ‘Get Elected/Get are-Elected’ never fails, and always ends up at ‘Get Paid!’ Look at Hastert- so long as he could afford it, he got away with diddling boys with one hand, and waving the the other about ‘the dirty queers and perverts- hang ’em high!’ The gap between ‘us’ and ‘them’ had nothing to do with race, religion, sexual identity- any of that stuff.

    • royko

      If this isn’t the end for the Republican Party, it’ll be a shame. They dominated American political life for 50 years and were never anything but monsters.

      That’s really how I see them. Just monsters. They offer boons to the ultra-wealthy, enthusiastic kicks to the poors, and then everything else is a massive rage of hatred. I can’t think of any issue in the last 50 years I think they were right about. I can’t even think of any issue in the last 50 years they weren’t absolutely awful about.

      A while back some Republican friends-of-friends posted a picture of their kids wearing “Raised Right” t-shirts, and it made my stomach turn. I can’t think of a value the party holds that doesn’t involve hating somebody else.

      • Jay B

        Co-sign. Literally everything they’ve “accomplished” has been a fucking disaster for the vast majority of people. Proven disasters. Their economics are total bullshit. Their foreign policy is horror. They are at their worst when they are sincere, except for all the times they lie cynically. The problem is while their vehicle may be wobbling, the monsters who made it up will still be roaming the world.

  • MacK

    An ancient great aunt or cousin or something used to describe these people as “obsexed with cess”

  • Kurzleg

    Tom Landry? Also, as an employee of a large metropolitan YMCA, I’m a little surprised that Charlotte made that choice. That would never have occurred in my association even in 2006, but then we’re located in the Midwest.

    • postmodulator

      That jumped out at me too. I work out at the Y every day. They’re getting some pointed questions today; if that reflects nationwide policy, it’s going to cost them my $20 a month, at least.

    • mikeSchilling

      Maybe they turned him down because they thought he was that Tom Landry. Perfectly understandable.

  • Crusty

    Gosh, that is one pointy looking motherfucker.

    • CaptainBringdown

      And he ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie.

      • He’s sucking on a bad lemon, is what he is.

        • MacK

          Actually he looks like someone is inserting a lemon, or maybe a raw onion in his fundament – he has a sort of – oooh what’s that going on down there expression.

          • AttorneyAtPaw

            “I’m going to assume you know the difference between an M-26 and a Mark II fragmentation grenade…” — Sterling Archer

  • leftwingfox

    “We have laws in our Constitution which forbid discrimination based on race, gender and religion,” McCrory said after opposing the 1991 measure. “Beyond that, no other group should be given special status, and this community is often wanting special status.”

    Because “straight” isn’t a sexual orientation, and “cis” isn’t a gender identity, just like “white” isn’t a race, “male” isn’t a gender.

    (Christianity however, is the only religion that’s ever discriminated against, and needs to be protected against all costs. You meanies!)

  • Thom

    Maybe he could ask Kushner to do a re-write of Angels in America without the gay stuff.

    • I think Straight White Christian Angels in America could make a real splash!

      • so-in-so

        Might give “God is not Dead – Part II” a run for it’s money.

  • Bitter Scribe

    This “special status” formulation is one of the most obnoxious rationalizations for refusing to protect the rights of LGBT people (or anyone else) in existence. Groups get named in anti-discrimination legislation because they have been historically discriminated against. Does McCrory deny that this applies to LGBT people? Or does he believe that they somehow deserve it?

    • brettvk

      Sure he does. They’re sinners, it says so right here, and any grief they get in this life is as nothing to what awaits them in Hell. If anything, he’s doing them a favor by treating them to a small dose of hell now — maybe it’ll turn a few of them away from their destructive path — naw, they’re incorrigible, so it’s only right to let the righteous do anything to them they want to.

  • MacK

    I made this point above, but it is worth reiterating about Republican “values voters” in Red States. Survey after survey has shown the same things, that they are more likely to:

    • drop out of high school
    • drop out of college
    • have children out of wedlock
    • get their teens pregnant
    • have multiple marriages
    • not pay child support
    • divorce
    • use illegal drugs
    • misuse prescription drugs (aka hillbilly heroin)
    • drive drunk
    • be dependent on some sort of government benefit
    • be in a state and community that is a net recipient of federal funds
    • commit crimes (Red States have higher crime rates)
    • Rape
    • beat their children
    • live shorter unhealthier lives
    • have fatal accidents
    • be obese and/or diabetic
    • have heart disease
    • shoot one another or themselves
    • and go to jail

    Who knows, they are probably more likely to need the abortions they object to. But they love to moralise about the Blue States….

    • brettvk

      Well, but they feel bad about it if they do any of those things, and then Jesus forgives them. The trouble with liberals is that they do some of these things and then have the temerity to not feel bad about them, or even tell Jesus; they just go about fixing the problem.

    • Rob in CT

      A lot of those things are most likely due to the fact that many of those Red States are poorer. Some of it is due to those states being low tax/low service. Only some is due to poor personal habits, and only some of that is due to personally failing to live up to a moral code/being a hypocrit.

      • MacK

        May I point out that Red States being poorer and low tax/low service is a function of their citizens dis functions….they vote that way, live that way, are that way.

        • Rob in CT

          Sure, in part. But if Mississippi got taken over by liberals tomorrow and was run that way for 50 years it would still likely be relatively poor (and thus still have higher incidence of certain problems). I believe it would do better than otherwise (and living well isn’t all about the $, obviously), but the impact would be mild to moderate (at best).

          I guess… this meme has bugged me the last few times I’ve seen it trotted out. And I used to use a version of it! But I think it’s fundamentally off.

          • MacK

            After 50 years Mississippi would poorer than states that had been better run for 100 years, but it would be way better.

        • ajay

          May I point out that Red States being poorer and low tax/low service is a function of their citizens dis functions….they vote that way, live that way, are that way.

          In fact, of course, a lot of them don’t. The poorest people in red states are likely to be Democrats, just as in blue states.

      • AttorneyAtPaw

        Amen to that, Rob. The obesity thing in particular is arguably structural: With prices for goods and housing continuing to rise despite stagnant (and even falling) real wages for 50+ years, more and more people are working multiple jobs just to make ends meet. There’s not a lot of cash to blow at Whole Foods, nor is there much time (to say nothing of energy!!) for physical activity. Couple that with the suburban, car-dependent development patterns in which 2/3 of Americans live, and you have a recipe for disaster. (Assertedly-progressive measures like taxing soda pop are Band-Aids at best, and smoke-and-mirrors at worst.)

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