The GOP Bubble

I can’t help but think of Mike Huckabee’s recent tour for his book God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, in which he explained that the coastal cities like New York, Los Angeles and Washington were “bubble-ville” while the real Americans lived elsewhere, in “Bubba-ville.”

But the Real World doesn’t sort itself into the neat enclaves that Huckabee imagines. And the reaction to Indiana’s “religious freedom restoration” law ought to be making the Right question just who lives in a bubble.

However, many of them — see Ben Domenech — are telling themselves that the opposition is all coming from “the left.” Note that this afternoon NASCAR issued a statement expressing disappointment with the law, although it won’t be boycotting Indiana.

“We will not embrace nor participate in exclusion or intolerance,” said NASCAR, which is based in Florida and North Carolina. “We are committed to diversity and inclusion within our sport and therefore will continue to welcome all competitors and fans at our events in the state of Indiana and anywhere else we race.”

NASCAR, Eli Lilly, Angie’s List, plus the NBA, WNBA, Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever  — some “left.” Plus Starbucks and Apple and some other groups. Here’s a complete list.

Domenech whines,

… this goal is motivated not just by the political aims of the left, but by a broad rejection of tolerance as a virtue. It was all well and good when tolerance was about conservatives and religious types swallowing their objections and going along with things – but now that the left is being asked to do the same thing? Forget about it.

I’m not sure what “things” we were asked to go along with, other than homophobia, and that one had a long enough run, I think.

As I’ve been writing in recent years about the renewal of the culture wars, I’ve received some steady pushback from many readers on both sides of the marriage issue who believe that such talk is overblown. The lesson of Indiana’s RFRA controversy is that if anything, we have underestimated the commitment of the secular left to enforce fealty within a naked public square, where tolerance is no longer a virtue and the power of government must be used to stamp out dissent. For all their complaints over the years about social conservatives’ use of government to enforce morality, the secular left is more eager than ever to engineer the society they seek, no matter the cost.

To which I say – NASCAR, Eli Lilly, Angie’s List, plus the NBA, WNBA, Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever … Sweetums, it ain’t the “secular left” that is lighting your fuse.

The other howler is that this controversy is about “religion” versus “secularism.” The Episcopal Diocese of Indiana believes the law, not the opposition to it, is anti-Christian.

That this is terrible for business is already being made exquisitely plain. That it is an embarrassment to ‘Hoosier Hospitality’ is undeniable. It is also an affront to faithful people across the religious landscape. Provision of a legal way for some among us to choose to treat others with disdain and contempt is the worst possible use of the rule of law.

For Episcopalians, whose lives are ordered in the Gospel of Christ and the promises of our Baptismal Covenant, it is unthinkable. We are enjoined to love God with heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love others as Christ loves us. We promise, every time we reaffirm our baptismal vows, to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves.” We promise to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.”

See also Julian Bond, ‘Religious Discrimination’ Laws Have Nothing to Do With Religion.

I believe all of the likely GOP presidential candidates have come out in support of the law, which may be a lovely example of a once-reliable wedge issue coming back to bite them. Jill Lawrence writes,

If there’s one takeaway from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s “religious freedom restoration” debacle, it’s that Republicans ignore today’s cultural environment at their peril.

Conservatives can continue to live in a bubble if they want to, but they should expect blowback, because outside that bubble is a far different reality.

Right-wing reactionary movements can seem very compelling when their message resonates with popular culture, but when it doesn’t they just look ridiculous.

13 thoughts on “The GOP Bubble

  1. So the proudly-intolerant are whining that they’re not receiving tolerance for openly hating classes of people.

  2. But we still have the Rude Pundit. I didn’t know he had an Indiana connection, but by his own account:

    Oh, sweet people of these United States, the Rude Pundit cannot express how much he loathes Indiana. He lived there for a good seven years, and it is like the third nipple of his life story: weird, useless, and aesthetically displeasing to all but the most perverse. …

    Then he takes off the kid gloves.

  3. A fool with a bullhorn is his own worst enemy. Rubio is silent on this issue because of those billions of gay dollars that flow into Orlando, Miami, and Key West in particular, plus the cruise ship industry. Stay thirsty, my friend…..
    The Repubs are getting their base fired up for the next election; they are painting this as the poor repressed Christians against the seculars, the Muslims, the atheists, and sodom.

  4. “A fool with a bullhorn is his own worst enemy.”

    Man, I wish I had said that.

    I hope, all is well, by the way, Erinyes.

    The astounding thing about Ben Domenech, is that he actually believes that he’s clever.

  5. I’m amused by how conservativest think this is intolerance coming from liberals, how they they think it’s intolerance of religion. By extension, this means their religion is all about intolerance of gays.

    I won’t link to it, but Jonah Goldberg’s recent column stupidly asks “where in the RFRA does it mention gays?”

    Steven King put it well about the RFRA – “Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration act is gay discrimination, pure and simple. You can frost a dog turd, but it’s still a dog turd.”

  6. Jonah Goldberg. What a schmuck. All these denials that the law is about anti-gay bigotry would be more persuasive if someone could explain what it actually IS about.

  7. A slight addition to your excellent comment, erinyes:
    “A fool with his own bullhorn – AND, who believes his own bullshit – is his own worst enemy!”

    I’m glad you’re doing well, btw, erinyes!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Rubio isn’t silent on this issue..He’s just gun shy from the smack down his fellow wingnuts gave him for voicing an independent idea contrary to the party line. He was only waiting for clearance to parrot the party bigotry. Now that he’s got the approval to go ahead he’s just like the rest of the intolerance crowd.
    For some strange reason he’s as perplexed as the rest of the bigots to understand what all the fuss is about. Marco might have been a little late getting out of the starting gate with his defense of unbridled religious freedom, but he’s up to speed now in support of discrimination against the sodomites.

  9. I had a heart cauterization this morning, and everything turned out really, really good!

    Only one slight blockage that medicine can cure!

    Now, in two days, I get my hematology results for anemia – and, even worse sh*t.
    Keep your fingers crossed!

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