Let’s get this out of the way first.
Just because Jan Brewer vetoed the gay-hate bill in Arizona yesterday doesn’t make her a hero. She’s still an odious politician who shepherded the “papers please” legislation.
The only reason she vetoed the bill is because her paymasters told her in no uncertain terms that such blatant discrimination was bad for business. Moral, ethical, and human concerns did not enter into her veto decision. It was purely a matter of business not able to abide by such blatant and targeted bigotry. Gay money is as green as straight money, and hoovering it all up is the prime reason businesses exist.
So, a small cheer for Gov. Brewer doing, at last, the only logical thing. But, if she had truly been opposed to the law, she would have signaled while it was still in committee that it was dead on arrival to her desk. The fact that she milked the decision more than LeBron James did his indicates that she had no philosophical difficulty with banning gays from lunch counters. She just wanted to make sure that the Chamber of Commerce and its allies would back her politically. Without that backing, Arizona would be well on its way to an economic boycott not seen since the days of not commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
However, the meltdown in the hothouse corners of the Right makes this travesty almost worth all the angst it caused.
First, the Center for Arizona Policy, which claims to have crafted the bill, went into a snit.
The Center for Arizona Policy, which helped craft the anti-gay legislation that Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed Wednesday, said the bill’s rejection “marks a sad day for Arizonans who understand and cherish religious liberty.”
“Opponents were desperate to distort this bill rather than debate the merits. Essentially, they succeeded in getting a veto of a bill that does not even exist,” the group’s president Cathi Herrod said in a statement. “When the force of government compels one to speak or act contrary to their conscience, the government injures not only the dignity of the afflicted, but the dignity of our society as a whole.”
Let’s parse that for a few moments. The CAP—whose founder lost the Arizona governor’s race to Janet Napolitano in 2006 by 30 points—couches this as “religious liberty”, as if such is an absolute value. There are, however, no absolute rights in any democracy. All rights are conditional. Your right to be a homophobic, racist douchebag—couched in the velvet folds of religious liberty—do not trump someone’s basic citizenship rights, which means to not be discriminated against. And even that right to basic citizenship isn’t absolute; no one is saying that the local Southern Baptist minister has to open his church to gay weddings. All rights interplay with all others. CAP’s statement is farcical both on Constitutional grounds and grounds of common sense.
But, it gets better. Take a look at a few quotes from ground zero of Teabagger ground troops, Free Republic:
Jan Brewer will go down as a spineless homosexual ganglia. What a joke she was. They will not TRUMP GOD. Leviticus tells us what to do in the face of abomination.
Brewer shows that she opposes the First Amendment in her veto of this bill. The next stage of this slippery slope is to force a God-fearing doctor to perform an abortion. The bill was a stand for freedom and liberty and was based upon the Eternal, Inerrant Word of God.
We all knew she would buckle the minute she started buckling on Obamacare and started backing down to Obama on immigration.
This is only the beginning. In time each and every one of these godless pols will be stepping down and running for cover.
And on and on here.
So, to recap, the Teabagger faithful now see Jan Brewer, who has acted on their behalf in almost everything, as basically an Obama stooge.
As I said, Brewer is as odious today as she was before she vetoed the bill. That has not changed. Any other piece of fuckery-laced legislation which crosses her desk and which doesn’t bring down the wrath of corporate America will be signed in a trice.
However, this whole sordid affair drives another wedge between the people who tell the lies and the people who believe them. Those who tell the lies don’t have enough bodies to win elections. And those who believe the lies are now starting to see that they’re being used.
Now, we know that these brave, anti-establishment Teabaggers have a wanton proclivity to talk a big game and then fall into line when Election Day rolls around. However, their defeats have been coming fast and furiously. President Obama ate their lunch on the budget and debt ceiling. Obamacare is beating all expectations and will soon be as entrenched in American life as the other social welfare programs. Gay weddings are breaking out all over the land. Moral Monday keeps plugging along, not allowing the nation to forget voter disenfranchisement by their boisterous witness. It is forgivable if the average Teabagger asks “What the fuck is going on?!”
What’s going on is that those who are not the Koch Brothers are trying to rein in the crazy. And they’re finding that it’s, well, nigh on impossible. For all the problems we’ve had on the liberal side, we’ve never empowered the lunatic left. What the Right discovered after the 2006 and 2008 elections was that if it didn’t unleash the asylum residents, it would soon be a paragraph in future history books. But as all fairytales would tell you, corking the genie back in is at best a problematic exercise. In the real world… Well, good luck with that.
Will the Teabaggers take their marbles and go home? Their ancestors did after the Scopes trial, only to stew in resentment and come back as the Religious Right. Or will they launch the long-awaited putsch and stick the knives in their corporate masters? Then those masters of the universe might finally come to the belated realization that their broader interests are best served by a party composed of adults, not petulant, delusional children.
Enjoy the tears, and then get back to work. As Milt Shook said, politics is a game, and the only thing that matters is winning.