Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dear Leader (and Chief Republican Bigot) Rush says Brewer is being "bullied" into vetoing Arizona's hate bill

By Michael J.W. Stickings

It appears that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will soon veto the "religious freedom" (i.e., hate) bill the state legislature passed last week, SB 1062. She may or may not support the bill personally -- as a Republican extremist she probably supports this Republican bill -- but there has been growing pressure on her to veto it, including from a few Republican legislators who voted for the bill but have been having second thoughts, while the bill has become a national issue, perhaps the most prominent of the various state efforts to authorize anti-gay discrimination, directing a great deal of criticism at her state.

Dear Leader Rush said today that Brewer is being "bullied" into vetoing the bill "by the homosexual lobby in Arizona and elsewhere. She’s being bullied by the nationwide drive-by media, she's being bullied by certain elements of corporate America in order to advance the gay agenda." This is, as is usual from him, incredibly stupid. And, of course, bigoted.

First, it's not like Brewer has no say in the matter and will just kowtow to public and media pressure. She has every right to sign the bill into law but of course she also has every right to consider what is truly in the best interests of her state, and it's significant that some in her own party have changed their minds and are now advising her to veto it.

Second, there is no "homosexual lobby" as he thinks there is. There is a movement to advance gay rights and marriage equality, but this is no more or no less a lobby than any other political movement, and it's actually an extremely diverse one -- and one so large, it would seem, that it includes the national media and much of corporate America alongside activists and others who just happen to care about human and civil rights, which is actually, as we're seeing more and more, the vast majority of the American people. There is also no "gay agenda" as he thinks there is. The fight for equal rights, for fairness under the law, is hardly some nefarious agenda. But of course Rush probably would have accused Martin Luther King of having a "black agenda" just for saying that children shouldn't be judged by the color of their skin.

Third, it's pretty rich for someone like Rush to attack corporate America. Aren't Republicans all about the private sector? Well, here are some major corporations -- businesses that do business -- advising Brewer to veto the bill because it would be bad for business, interfering with their corporate interests. Some of these corporations, like Apple and Intel, might be socially and politically progressive and, as corporate entities, oppose the bill and its intent on ideological grounds, but they're also concerned about the bottom line and know that discrimination along the lines of what's in SB 1062 would be a disaster. Shouldn't even Rush respect that?

Apparently not, because at his dirty rotten core he's a bigot who wants America to be not a nation dedicated to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all but an expression of religious hatred. And don't think he's alone just because he's often the loudest of the right-wing blowhards. This is a man who is as much a leader of the Republican Party as anyone on Capitol Hill or in any statehouse across the land. He is as influential a conservative as there is, and what he says very much reflects mainstream Republican and conservative thinking. Which is why a veto in Arizona won't do much to stop the Republican march of bigotry that has arisen across the country as a last-ditch effort to block gay rights.

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