Indiana has been slammed with quite a backlash — much of it from the business community — because of theÂ â€œReligious Freedom Restoration Act.â€ Apparently poor Mike Pence had to go on This Week withÂ George Stephanopoulos and try to pretend the RFRA is not really about LGBT discrimination. Instead it’s about big government, or something. See also No More Mr. Nice Blog.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence seems sincerely surprised that so many people think heâ€™s a terrible person for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. At the same time, he appears to be kind of lost at sea because he thought acting like an intolerant anti-gay religious fundamentalist would be popular. This is probably partly because Governor Pence is a genuine jerk, but itâ€™s also because he runs in almost exclusively right-wing circles and consumes almost exclusively right-wing media.
So, heâ€™s kind of an asshole and he surrounds himself with assholes and he gets all his information and most of his feedback from assholes. Itâ€™s like heâ€™s living in a giant colon.
That kind of describes the entire American Right. I’ve said many times that one of the fundamental attributes of righties is that no matter how radical and fringe-y their ideas get, they believe deep in their bones that they represent mainstream America and majority opinion. And in those rare moments when reality slaps them hard enough for them to notice that maybe that’s not so, it always comes as a shock.
Sorry I’ve been busy with Zen stuff and end-of-the-month deadlines to write much, but do also note Eric Foner’s Why Reconstruction Matters. Foner is the leading scholar of the Reconstruction era and argues that much of today’s turmoil can be traced back to the failure of Reconstruction to actually reconstruct. Instead, by a few years after the Civil War the white plantation class was back on top in the southern states, and the people freed from slavery still worked for them under oppressive conditions. Today in many schools Reconstruction is still being taught as a time when southern whites were “punished” for the Civil War, or the Lincoln Assassination, or some such, but the reality is that southern whites weren’t punished. After a very brief and failed attempt to enforce some measures of racial equality, southern whites were pretty much allowed to put the South back the way it was before, except that instead of slaves there were sharecroppers.