Words Fail–Edition Number Zillion…

Every day, it seems, Americans are waking up to new expressions of punitive hatefulness erupting in state legislative chambers, mostly but certainly not exclusively in the South.

From The New Civil Rights Movement, we learn that

Led by Republican Speaker Tim Moore (photo), Republican House lawmakers in North Carolina have just passed a sweepingly broad anti-gay bill in a special session called just for this one bill. The bill will void all local nondiscrimination ordinances. It will also mandate that all public accommodations ordinances, all minimum wage ordinances, and all employment discrimination ordinances come only from the General Assembly – state lawmakers – effectively banning any localities from protecting citizens in any of these areas.

The bill, HB 2, passed by a huge margin, 83-24, after less than three hours of debate and just 30 minutes of public comment.

HB 2 now heads to the Senate, who will take it up immediately.

It is expected to pass and Governor Pat McCrory, who called for the bill, is fully expected to sign it.

So–as long as we are striking back at LGBT citizens who have had the nerve to demand equal treatment before the law and the right to use a gender-identity-appropriate bathroom–let’s also pile on and punish the working poor, minorities, women….It is really hard to fathom what could impel an elected official to vote for a measure this hateful.

It’s worth noting that this North Carolina eruption is yet another illustration of the growing divide between urban and rural Americans; this special legislative session is a response to the passage of a nondiscrimination measure in Charlotte. In North Carolina–like other states, including Indiana–rural areas wield disproportionate influence in the statehouse.

It may also be that these lawmakers feel free to act on their bigotries because they are confident they will not have to defend their votes in a democratic election. After all, it can’t be coincidental that North Carolina is the most gerrymandered state in the country, and is currently embroiled in litigation over that fact, and over the state’s other assaults on voting rights.

I refuse to believe that this measure is an accurate reflection of North Carolina voter sentiment. This despicable behavior is what you get when the legislators choose their voters, rather than the other way around.


  1. The Indiana Constitution was written with protection against tyrannical acts by a majority, including bolting when necessary. The Supreme Court punted that question but the debates prior to passage of the 1851 Constitution made clear this concern which is why they voted to require 2/3 for quorum. Fascinating discussion in the debate hall about using this tool to prevent ill-advised legislation.

  2. I am happy that powerful interests are putting some pressure on Georgia for their venture in rfra land . They could loose a stupid bowl if they keep it up.

  3. “We’re the shirt on your back, the food on your table, and the gas in your tank . We are KOCH”.

  4. It seems to me that what Republican governor McCrory is doing to N.C. municipalities in removing their right to “home rule” is the same thing Republicans despise about the Federal gov’t in “States Rights” arguments.

  5. The Koch brothers and ALEC have been very successful at creating this new kind of slavery to enrich themselves. The poor and those who used to be members of the middle class have become indentured servants. ALEC has managed to enact state legislation to ensure that corporations will own their slaves until they finally work them to death.

  6. Thanks for pointing out the ALEC bill and the long term effects of Kochs’ dream. Very sad.

  7. @ Jan – I was thinking the same thing. They don’t want to be told what to do but they do want to be able to tell everyone else what to do.

  8. Here you go, Mr. Pence and Mr. Bosma, another draconian idea that you may plagiarize and see if what’s good for North Carolina may be good for Indiana.
    Just you try it! We Hoosiers are not going to put up with any more embarrassment. Beware! November is coming and we’re planning on a clean sweep!

  9. I sure hope we have viable Drmocratic candidates in all races in these gerrymandered districts in Indiana. I’m ready to vote.

  10. “I refuse to believe that this measure is an accurate reflection of North Carolina voter sentiment.”

    Trump is giving the majority of Republicans just what they want, just earlier, that’s all. Like in North Carolina, they’re having to speed up their act. Democracy still has a chance, since the majority of Republicans are probably not a majority, at this point in time (March 2016), of Americans.

    I hope and pray Sheila will sill be right in November. However, we need a lot more than a prayer vigil on this one.

  11. So local rule is OK for schools, police, fire, etc but not for economic or social matters. The most disgusting part of the whole thing is that these states don’t even attempt to justify these measures with reasoning or (explicit) appeal to values. It’s just “because we can,” like an 8th grader taking a 6th grader’s lunch money.

    By the time these states have lost their major employers, ruined their universities, and permanently lost the opportunites to host conferences and championship games, the legislators responsible will be happily esconced in multi-million dollar condos on the 4th fairway in Scottsdale. And they will call the people they impoverished “losers.”

    Lord Of The Flies, all grown up.

  12. Democrats need to get off their couches and make an effort to vote. Complaining has zero effect. Voting affects all of our futures. It is our duty to protect our rights, therefore it must be a duty to vote.

  13. Why is it that so many folks have lost all grasp of the simple concept of freedom? That freedom at all is freedom for all.

    And the obvious concept that there is only one reliable source of freedom. The governed choosing who governs. Regularly and reliably. Democracy.

    That’s it. The details are legion but even the most cognitively simple of Americans it seems to me ought to be able to understand and value those two fundamental concepts.

    But so many Americans have been seduced by an equally simple concept by hours of TV watching. Power. The strength to impose on others. Anti-freedom. Fascism vs democracy. Exclusivity vs empathy. Human’s vs each other rather than vs ignorance.

    Such ignorance must be eradicated completely for humanity to continue to progress.

  14. When they make the vote worthless or unobtainable, what remains will be violent upheaval.

  15. Pete, this is nothing new. The Civil War was fought by the South to preserve their freedom to remove the freedom of others. This impulse in American culture was and is the greatest danger to the Republic.

  16. Since I am a Bernie supporter I receive E-Mails from his campaign. All the different tricks across the country to disfranchise voters from voting to preserve the establishment. The following is from his campaign:

    What happened yesterday in Arizona should be considered a national disgrace. I got an email last night from a woman who waited five hours to vote in Arizona. Five hours.
    We don’t know how many thousands of people didn’t get to cast their ballots yesterday in Arizona because they couldn’t afford to wait that long. Scenes on cable news last night showed hundreds of people in line at 11:30pm in Phoenix – more than four hours after polls closed.

    I cousin of mine sent me a U Tube video of a person walking the line from the entrance to the end of line, it took this person more than 5 minutes to walk the line. Comment was – “Today I lost my faith in democracy. I waited 6 hours and 15 minutes to vote today in AZ. They made sure that working families, especially young families and single parents, would be discouraged to vote.” Only 60 of 200 polling stations used in 2012 were used today.

    For the 2012 primaries, Maricopa County accommodated 300,000 voters at 200 polling places. Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, — Purcell reduced polling locations by 70 percent to 60.

    From an interview:
    Reporter – Just to start, obviously you’ve heard of all the frustration. Who is to blame for this, these long lines?” Purcell was asked.

    Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, – “Well, the voters for getting in line, maybe us for not having enough voting places,” she replied.

    Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton issued a request for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation. He pointed out that county officials allocated one polling place for every 108,000 residents and said that Anglo communities had more polling sites per resident.
    Reminds me of the Blondie Song –
    One way or another I’m gonna find ya
    I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha.

    One way or another I’m gonna lose ya
    I’m gonna give you the slip, a slip of the lip or another
    I’m gonna lose ya, I’m gonna trick ya, I’ll trick ya

  17. Silly. All the bill does is reverse home rule in a certain area. States do that all the time and they should because locals so often screw things up. If Indy officials had absolute authority to raise our taxes to hand out more money to political insiders, our tax rates would be at about 90% now. Thankfully our home provision rules don’t allow that.

  18. Paul. It seems like you believe that the state level is some sort of “sweet spot”. Federal is too big and local is too small. Goldilocks thinking.

    I’m trying to understand your logic.

    In my mind the world considers us Americans, not Hoosiers, +, +, +. What would be some reasons why what’s good for Indiana would be wrong for Illinois or Wisconsin

    I don’t personally believe that everything should come from Washington but certainly the most important things because we are first and foremost Americans.

    I’m looking forward to the day when Wasington is considered local government and what’s optimized is humanity.

  19. Louie, anything anti democratic is anti freedom. It’s the same issue we thought that WWII settled. We are one species not warring tribes.

    Republicans have prioritized their politics above everything.

  20. Professor Kennedy:
    Listening to Joe Biden and other politicians I wonder why the Chief Justice of SCOTUS continues to allow speculation about the terror of a 4 to 4 decision resulting in an unsettled appeal.
    How about the Chief convening a meeting of the 8 to discuss the issue? Have they already considered the idea of voluntary recusals reducing the total to 7 for certain sticky cases?

  21. Dear Friends in North Carolina, I know that I call you “friends” yet some of you might not claim me. For I am writing to initiate in you a concern for all your people. In doing so, I encourage you to contact the people in the liberal arts dept. at Duke University and several other universities in the state. I k now for a fact that you will garner some wisdom if you as questions about the penchant in your state legislature to limit friends to the state. I am in hopes you will open the door to all people who come to your state with aspirations to care and be cared about. It may already be plain to you that there are people in NC as in other states who wish to push back the clock to the middle ages. It won’t be fun for anyone if that happens.

  22. Paul Ogden, are you really defending this action in NC? And you want the same in Indiana because the locals so often mess things up? Like failed infrastructure, RFRA, sweetheart deals like Pavilion Partners, environmental waivers for Bear Run Mine, clear cutting public forest land at less than market cost? Amazing.

  23. The politicians who pass laws to remove a woman’s control over her own body and to remove local school board and municipal control in their jurisdictions are the big government folks who advertise as conservatives. George Orwell warned us.

Comments are closed.