Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Hutchinson Stands Aside to Let Hillbilly Legislature Lead Arkansas
by Pa Rock
Tea-baggers abhor the notion of being under the control of big-brother – some far-off government entity that generates rules for them to live by – that is unless they themselves are the ones creating those rules. If it is the tea-baggers wacky views on morality, or life in general, that are being legislated, then big government and big brother are just fine – thank you very much!
When it comes to pulling books off of library shelves, telling women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies, dictating whom we may or may not share our beds with, and protecting the rights of the mentally ill and criminals to own as many guns as they damned well please, well, that’s just government functioning the way God and the Founding Fathers intended!
The Arkansas legislature recently passed a bill that outlaws lesser communities within Arkansas from enacting any special measures to protect the rights of gay, lesbian, and trans-gendered individuals. The bill advanced to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s desk where the governor chose to take no action. After five days of sitting on the governor’s desk, the bill became law without his signature and will take effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns.
The Arkansas legislation is patently unconstitutional and will eventually be thrown out by the courts – but before the inevitable happens, Arkansas taxpayers will have to cough up cash for some high-toned Little Rock lawyers who will dutifully march into court – perhaps multiple courts – and fight in vain for the law’s survival. It will be an exercise in futility that originated to stoke the vanity and political ambitions of a few hillbilly politicians.
Governor Hutchinson could have vetoed the bill and saved the state the embarrassment and expense of a court battle to enshrine prejudice – or he could have stood up for his under-educated, Bible-thumping constituents and signed it. But the governor, a graduate of Bob Jones University, chose the third option - to do nothing. He ignored the bill and let it become law. It was a spineless attempt to please everyone that will wind up pleasing no one.
Tennessee is the only other state that currently has a similar law on the books. The Arizona legislature passed its own version of the bill last year, dubbed the “right to discriminate” act, but Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the measure.
(Say what you will about Jan Brewer, and I have said my share - almost all of it negative - one thing she did not do as governor was to equivocate. She fought the federal government tooth-and-nail over immigration, and she signed the racist SB 1070 into law. But Governor Brewer also brought Medicaid expansion to Arizona over strong opposition within her own Republican Party, and she blocked the silly and useless “right to discriminate” bill with her veto pen. Not everyone liked her, and she didn’t seem to care if they did or not.)
Asa Hutchinson, on the other hand, wants to keep his hands out of the messy process of making sausage for as long as possible and wait for fate to lift him out of Little Rock and deliver him back to the civilized life of Washington, DC.
Good luck with that, Asa, but my guess is that at some pint you're going to have to dance with them what brung you.