Morning Ed: Politics {2016.04.05.T}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

139 Responses

  1. Avatar Damon says:

    Civility: Civility has been on an downward trend for a long, long time. Trump is just the latest development.

    “The issue for us to confront is not just that Trump supporters are angry, but the source of their anger.”
    Yes, let’s delve into what that anger is from!

    “The affection for Trump emanates from a deep sense of fear by a segment of the white electorate who see in front of them the waning of their power. Confronted with the perceived decline of their supremacy, these white voters project their fears onto the rest of us—black, brown, Muslim, foreign born, and any other class deemed to be different.”

    Oh, yes, racism. Guess you couldn’t expect that a professor of AA studies would come up with something OTHER than racism, but perhaps I’m an optimist. I’m sure that’s a component. It’s just not all, nor, I think, the majority of the reasons. But anything that helps you get through the day without actually looking past your own biases is good enough for Dissent.Report

    • Avatar Francis says:

      “Civility has been on an downward trend for a long, long time.”

      Not sure that’s true, or even how you would measure it.

      It is certainly the case that in the last 150 years the groups who expect civility from the dominant white middle class has expanded dramatically, including women, minorities and various immigrant groups who now count as ‘white’.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        “Not sure that’s true, or even how you would measure it.”

        Anecdotally, for my part, I’ve seen it, experienced it, etc. Enough of it for it to influence me. You can count me in on this trend as well. When you run into enough people that treat you like crap / disrespect you, you tend to return it.Report

      • Avatar Art Deco says:

        expect civility from the dominant white middle class has expanded dramatically, including women, minorities and various immigrant groups who now count as ‘white’.

        I have a cousin who has somewhere in my possession as seven page letter written in 1883 by my great-grandfather to his fiancee apologising for some minor slight. My father’s contemporaries adhered routinely to a code of what you could say in mixed company and what you could say in stag company. No clue how you got the idea that it was standard for pale penis people to be ‘uncivil’ to women qua women in 1948. It may come as a surprise to you, but my mother did not grow up verbally abusing blacks, either; she heard stories about what the code was in certain sorts of Southern towns, but she’d never encountered anything like that herself; (my grandfather came from a family of prominent Confederates, btw). The notion that immigrant groups were regarded as ‘non-white’ is a latter day social fantasy of academic hustlers. Industrial relations into the 1920s were frequently ugly; I doubt you could demonstrate that foreman were more than marginally kinder to Irish Catholics or non-ethnics, but go and try.Report

        • Avatar Francis says:

          “what you could say in mixed company and what you could say in stag company”. And for many people that remains true today. But women are in the workplace now. Were couverture laws civil? Was it civil for law firms to deny Sandra Day O’Conner the ability to practice law when she came out of law school?

          “what the code was in certain sorts of Southern towns”. How many people were lynched in the US between 1865 and 1965 (just to pick a round number)? Did Emmett Till have it coming? How many more were terrorized by the threat? What is the racial distribution of those being threatened and those doing the threatening? Is it “civil” to have separate and unequal public institutions that segregate people by race? When was the last race riot in the US?

          How were the Irish & Italians treated when they first arrived in large numbers? Were they treated, as a group, with civility by the people who were already here, or are the “No Irish” signs a false history?

          Yes, the old South had an honor code that was very important to them then and is still important to some now. But there is a vast gap, for most people, between honor and civility.Report

  2. Avatar notme says:

    Justin Bieber accused of appropriating black culture over his new blond dreadlocks.

    Don’t these SJWs have anything better to do?Report

    • Avatar Hoosegow Flask says:

      “Virtual unknown tweets opinion that has literally dozens of retweets. News at 11.”Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Don’t YOU have anything better to do than search and share these types of articles?Report

    • Avatar El Muneco says:

      I often use your posts as an opportunity for snark, but a serious question:

      What’s the endgame for you on this site?

      You’re not here to learn, you’d need to engage with someone for that.
      You’re not here to teach – the links you post are shallow and the body often contradicts the lede.
      You’re not here to be liked. You don’t even cozy up to the conservatives.
      You’re not here to be hated. Hate comes from fear, and nothing you say induces fear.

      I just don’t get what brings you back on a regular basis.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        “You’re not here to be hated. Hate comes from fear, and nothing you say induces fear.”

        Perhaps, but not 100%. You can hate someone/thing not because you fear it, especially if it’s someone who done you wrong.Report

        • Avatar El Muneco says:

          Mmm. I get what you’re saying, and I was being overly pithy to make a point.

          What I’m getting at is like the hardcore fundamentalists – not only don’t they mind being hated, but their religion and culture both say that it’s a good thing, and their outreach efforts and policy statements seem almost designed to inculcate more of it. The thing they most fear is mere contempt and derision – the idea that they aren’t even worth hating, just of being dismissed out of hand.

          There’s a certain frisson to being the truthspeaker, the guy who no one wants to see because his facts make them uncomfortable, the man (N.B. it’s always a man) whose MIC DROP ends the thread and sends the SJWs – a superstitious and cowardly lot – scurrying. Even if no one likes you. Especially if no one likes you.

          But it’s tough. You have to walk the walk. Just like mere contradiction is not an argumentation technique because it is just the automatic gainsay of whatever the other person says, defining yourself as a Cleek (or a Poe, for that matter) won’t get you there. To make the ‘net shake, the argument has to come from inside you.

          Not you in particular, of course, @Damon. But I CBA to go back and type “one” for every pronoun.Report

          • Avatar Damon says:

            No worries. I CAN be excessively precise and pedantic at times.

            “There’s a certain frisson to being the truthspeaker, the guy who no one wants to see because his facts make them uncomfortable,” And devils advocate. I like to play that with my VERY LIBERAL (their words) friends. I like to remind them of the bubble they live in.Report

            • Avatar El Muneco says:

              Devil’s Advocate has a long and honorable tradition. Not least because, to do it well, you need to understand and respect both sides of the argument. You can have a clear preference, of course. But it’s not the same thing if you don’t take both sides seriously – then it risks slipping into the Socratic Method, and if that happens the other guy is justified in beating you to death with a stout stick.Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                Serious issues I take seriously. One of the best exchanges I had with her is about Ireland being a non smoking country. She thought that was great. I said I did too from a tourist perspective, but from a personal liberty perspective, I didn’t like it. Her only comment was “I can’t believe you think like that.”. No one else in her social group even entertains ideas even close to my comment.

                I once had a dinner party and invited her. She was, probably the most liberal person at the table. After several bottles of wine, someone started criticizing Obama, probably on foreign policy. She “had to leave” suddenly. She could not even listen to criticism.

                Like I said, a bubble.Report

      • Avatar Will H. says:

        I kind of like it.
        It provides something of a counterbalance to prevent a unified voice; i.e., echo chamber.
        Also, I can tell you it seems a lot more hospitable to the conservatives around if they can see that they’re not the only one. And I have gotten that feeling on a number of occasions.Report

        • Avatar El Muneco says:

          I agree to a fair extent, and per the hoary SportsNight advice (“It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.”), I’ll always value anyone who is real and who I can learn from.

          What frustrates me is the people who don’t engage – the fundy with his (N.B. it’s always a “he”) drive-by proof quote on an atheist/progressive board, or vice versa. Tell us why the liberals/conservatives are being silly – what philosophical framework they are being measured against? Be honest, and get honesty back rather than scorn and derision.

          If you fear that by opening up, you might open up to change – I can tell you from experience that the person who comes out the other side is better off for it.

          Standard disclaimer about the use of “you” – the short list of who I’m really thinking of should be pretty clear.Report

          • Avatar Will H. says:

            I agree.
            Some people could learn to communicate a little better.
            Others could learn to communicate a lot better.
            I prefer my place to be the adult in the room rather than the child.

            Sometimes you just have to wait for people to come around.
            I don’t believe anyone has everything they want.
            Some more than others, and others only a little, but no one has all.Report

  3. Avatar Iron Tum says:

    re: Hating the Outgroup,

    It seems that there has been a definite shift in the past decade or two against attempting to eliminate bad behavior, but instead, eliminate bad people. An easy way to see this manifest is go back and read the comments during any of the outrages du jour. Nobody accused Brendan Eich or Memories Pizza or whoever of behaving badly in their professional capacity. But having revealed their awful true colors in different circumstances, it was imperative that they be eliminated from the public sphere.Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      The only shift I see is that the behavior being defined as “bad” is different.

      It’s only become legal for members of the armed forces to be openly gay for, what, 5 years? States had sodomy laws on the books until about 15 years ago. Employers can still terminate employees just for being gay in most of the country, and it’s not like that’s a thing that never happens, either.Report

  4. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    Coincidentally, here’s a follow-up from Scott Alexander.Report

    • Avatar Iron Tum says:

      Coincidentally, here’s a follow-up from Scott Alexander.

      That is not a coincidence, because nothing is ever a coincidence.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        If that was a reference, it went straight over my head, but I’m also too lazy to write a lengthy and over-earnest rebuttal to your claim that nothing is ever a coincidence.Report

        • Avatar Iron Tum says:

          Scott Alexander’s fiction blog:

          Imagine if Harry Potter were written by Douglas Adams, but set in San Francisco. And if instead of a British public school student he was a Jewish code monkey.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog says:

          Coincidence? I think not!Report

  5. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    This isn’t the first piece I’ve seen reporting that evangelicals are disengaged from this election cycle. Sadly, this piece is as unilluminating as to why as everything else in there. The mystery to me is why they’ve not rallied around Ted Cruz in any bigger way than they have. I can think of several hypotheses:

    1) Cruz’s dominionist ties are too far “out there” for them or otherwise do not brand him as one of their own;
    2) Cruz is perceived as insincere in his profession of Christianity;
    3) Clinton, though a known evil, is perceived as “not bad enough” to inspire mobilization;
    4) Trump has so repelled them that they’re not even going to participate lest they have to risk getting their hands dirty by even nominally backing him;
    5) Election fatigue with maybe a dash of resentment at being taken for granted by the GOP;
    6) Shift in priorities as a new generation of leaders moves into leadership positions within the various churches, reaching something of a critical mass for reasons not directly related to events in politics.

    Hypothesis 4) dovetails closest to my personal biases, so I want to be most critical of that as I search for deeper information than this poll report provides. Right now when I consider this issue I find myself flirting with 3), as in it seems resonant to me that an evangelical would say, “Well, we know what we’re gonna get with her — some venal lies, some corruption that will seem more petty than consequential, more abortion rights than we really like — but how is that really different than what we’d wind up with from anyone else?’

    What I have no good way of knowing is the degree to which 6) is valid: are evangelical churches shifting their energies to apolitical matters like internal theology, overseas missions, charity at home, or more personal sorts of moral instruction? Missionaries ply my neighborhood with regularity, and the biggest mega church around these parts continues to wield local political influence, but seems to have opted out of state and national level issues. Then again, it’s California, so I can see the pastor deciding that trying to shift politics here is like spitting in the wind: an errand doomed to messy futility.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      I might suggest a #7 — call it the “Rod Dreher hypothesis”. They’ve suddenly realized that, at the national level, they’ve lost. They lost on same-sex marriage. It’s increasingly unlikely that they’ll get more than narrow contraception carve-outs in insurance at the national level. It’s increasingly unlikely that they’ll be able to block abortions in blue states. At some point, you husband your resources in order to fight on turf where you’ve still got some chance of winning.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Mine is a bit of variation of this, which is that they’re not the center of attention anymore. In 2008,Obama went to speak at Warren’s church, in 2012 he declined, in 2016 they’re written off entirely by the Democrats and they seem to be displaced as the GOP base.

        They’re used to being the center of attention. This is a come down.Report

        • Avatar Art Deco says:

          Who is ‘used to being the center of attention’? Movement evangelicals had to content themselves with not being top priority for Republican officialdom and did so more than 30 years ago. Howard Phillips gave up on the Reagan Administration and retreated to an odd uber-sectarian redoubt. Jerry Falwell’s inclination was to make nice with business Republicans in return for some favors, which is why when Pat Robertson tried his hand at presidential politics, Falwell endorsed George Bush (and subsequently dissolved his political organization). Ralph Reed began working for business interests more than 20 years ago. Three of the five candidates who’ve made some successful attempts to rally movement evangelicals in the last generation have been old-line Catholics; a fourth, Mike Huckabee, has a multiform appeal, and is as notable for his ideas on taxation as anything else; the last is Ted Cruz, whose preferred idiom (see his speech to the Values Voter Summit) makes little use of specifically Christian terminology.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        This may be close to, or at least harmonious with, my hypothesis #5 — they resent being taken for granted, which has manifested in no one else helping them push their agendas (in any substantial way). Since they aren’t getting any benefit out of being part of the coalition, they’re withholding helping out the agendas of the other members of the coalition.

        Yeah. I can totally see that. So next, what would data supporting that hypothesis look like? Which is another way of asking, what would data disproving that hypothesis look like?

        Seems to me that if it’s the case that evangelicals have come to the realization that they are not getting what they wanted out of their political activity, we’d expect to see a fair amount of cynicism towards government and politics generally within their ranks. A growing number of them writing off the political process as inherently corrupt, and dismissing the possibility that their own political activity can possibly have a significant effect on what the government does. Now, all segments of people possess this cynicism to some (significant) degree, but I’m interested in evangelicals specifically, so what I’d be looking for is a recent uptick in that cynicism within the evangelical bloc.Report

        • Avatar El Muneco says:

          Also, there’s the de facto alliance that they (formerly?) had with the Tea Party, whose mission statement that government was evil and shouldn’t do anything, so they should be elected in order to do more of both of those.

          And their agenda is still being circumscribed if not brushed back – at the federal level – on all fronts. Maybe it’s something of a realization that if that’s what happened with their current electoral strategy, that doubling down on it isn’t likely to help much. So they’ll go along, mostly, but not be enthusiastic about it.

          While concentrating efforts at the state and local level … to make sure that there’s never another major sporting event held in states of the old South.Report

    • Avatar Will H. says:

      I believe #6 is the most likely cause.
      Most of those evangelical denominations have a tradition to avoidance of politics; the National Baptist Convention being the notable exception.
      “Laying up rewards in Heaven,” etc.Report

  6. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Trump: Well he doesn’t really have anywhere to go but up. He is doing very well in delegate rich New York. I suppose there is a chance that he can be more competitive against HRC in MI and PA but there are also plenty of women and minorities in those states whom Trump has already isolated and alienated. HRC also technically tied with Bernie in MI. In PA, her firewall is called Philadelphia, the Mainline suburbs, and Pittsburgh. Not exactly Trump friendly areas.

    Hating the Outgroup: Hmm. Lots to chew on here. I think there is a lot of bad faith among ideologues in all political parties. Political types seem incapable of believing that someone could have a different set of first principles and/or political beliefs/policy preferences/views about the size and scope of government. The other issue (which is harder to explore) is how much of political distrust is serving as a basis for distrust of other tribes. Republicans are largely a white Americans. The Democratic Party base is largely African-American, Asian-American, Latino-American, Jewish, LGBT, and college-educated professionals. There has been a lot of talk about the “alt-right” during the days of Trump. There are some people on the left who have a fascination with the alt-right and I think they are being snookered. In the end the alt-right, is largely filled with people who are racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, and largely object to the norms and ways of liberal democracy. As a Jewish person, I find it hard to join in this fascination or sincere talk. I just think “Wait a second, these are people who think employers should be allowed to fire me or not hire me because of my Judaism (and the same should happen to other minorities.) These are people who try and sound intelligent about why we should get rid of democracy and civil rights. Why should I give them good faith and my ear?”

    Civility: Well we are not beating opponents to near death in the Senate anymore. That was a bit flippant but things are more civil than they were. The issue with civility I think is that it always seems like something you give but are often never given in return. See the alt-right, I am not sure why I should be civil towards anti-Semites who dislike my existence because I am a Jew and openly writer about political systems where my civil rights and protections are taken away. I have no special starbursts fascination with them. I don’t care if they use 20 dollar words, internet trolling “irony” like Milo, or straight up skinhead talk to justify their positions. They are still racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, and anti-democratic nutbags. Too many people seem attracted to arguments just because the arguments seem novel.Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      The other issue (which is harder to explore) is how much of political distrust is serving as a basis for distrust of other tribes. Republicans are largely a white Americans. The Democratic Party base is largely African-American, Asian-American, Latino-American, Jewish, LGBT, and college-educated professionals.

      Yeah, it seems like partisan affiliation makes a good proxy for other things, especially race and religion. I always wonder to what extent political animus allows people to express animus against racial or religious out groups in more socially acceptable way.

      Also, re: Milo and the “alt-right”, I can’t say I didn’t get a good laugh out of this.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        What was the joke on the Simpsons about Fox News? “Not racist but #1 with racists” I don’t think all Republicans are racist. Many are not but many GOP politicians and others are willing to play very close games of chicken. The other issues is that people who talk about politics frequently tend to be the ideologically devoted and true believers. I think many Republicans and Libertarians believe that their non-government, anti-government, and small government policies are what will help minorities achieve equal rights the most. They are firmly devoted to the negative liberty camp. This causes them a hard time when they see that many groups they are trying to woo are still devoted to dreaded team Blue and the use of government to ensure civil rights and liberties. Libertarians seem to think that the government with the safety net is also the government that can monitor. Many liberals believe you can ditch the NSA and Mass Incarceration and keep universal health care. Negative liberties are important but so are positive liberties.

        Vox wondered whether the intern thing was plant by Milo himself. Milo seems to be an expert troll/agent provocetuer:

        The Internet right is generally better at trolling and pranks than the Internet left.Report

        • Avatar Art Deco says:

          Negative liberties are important but so are positive liberties.

          There is no such thing as ‘positive liberty’.Report

          • Avatar Chris says:

            Also no such thing as elephants.Report

          • Avatar Francis says:

            right to appointed counsel in a criminal trial. right to demand that public officials exercise their mandatory duties. right to demand equal protection of laws.

            more generally, see the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 13th, 14th, 15th,and 19th amendments. All of them allow for citizens to make positive demands on their government and force the government to correct its wrongful conduct.Report

            • Avatar Iron Tum says:

              right to appointed counsel in a criminal trial.

              This is actually the one instance of forcing someone else to enact labor on one’s behalf that I can agree with, because it’s a matter of equity. You have one side of a conflict with practically infinite power/resources and a self-claimed monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. And the other side, you’ve got random human peasant.

              4th, 5th, 6th, 8th,

              Those all seem pretty negative to me. Could you explain?Report

              • Avatar Francis says:

                I’m pretty busy this am and Burt is a far better lawyer than I am on these issues. That said, all of those amendments can allow citizens to make positive demands on the government:

                health care in prisons;
                issuance of marriage certificates to gay couples;
                once a government extends some benefit to one group, it can be compelled to offer the same benefit to similar groups.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Then there are those like Cass Sunstein who assert that all liberty is positive liberty since it requires coercive and monopolistic legal structure to enforce it.

                When a property owner calls 911 to report a robbery he is demanding that I participate in the funding of the police and legal structure.

                Why, it’s exactly as if he reached in my pocket and took money out!Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                OK, Cass Sunstein is a law professor connected to the Democratic Party who likes to play intellectual games. They’re like mosquitoes.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                It’s an interesting theory, but it beggars any conceptualization of negative liberties.

                I would point to the development of human rights treaties as being exemplary of positive liberties.
                And yes, I do believe in a great many of them, as there are services which government provides which actually should be expected as a right of citizenship; e.g., access to the courts.
                Generally, those service fees that Reagan enacted are the sort of thing I’m referring to here. Washing that sh!tstain from our history has proven to be a difficult task.Report

            • Avatar Art Deco says:

              right to appointed counsel in a criminal trial. right to demand that public officials exercise their mandatory duties. right to demand equal protection of laws.

              The first of these is exercised in the course of being detained. The second of these may (or may not) have an impact on one’s quality of life, but that’s rather distinct from one’s liberty unless it implicates allowing the ordinary citizen to be imprisoned by criminal gangs. The third refers properly to impartial treatment by executive authority, which is distinct from one’s liberty per se.

              Certain activities by public employees may be a conduit to enjoying one’s liberty, but these things are distinct from being at liberty to begin with (and it’s just those sorts of public employees that you lot seem to reflexively despise, at least when they do not have JD degrees).Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            Positive liberty is a social construct.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          Right Libertarians do not understand that their ideology appeals to a very small number of people with particular demographics.Report

        • Avatar j r says:

          I was thinking that the Milo has 44 interns thing is strikingly similar to the ongoing Drake-Meek Mills beef and then it occurred to me that they perform the exact same cultural functions.

          Also, Vox talking about Brietbart is very instructive, because it’s the closest that this system can get to anything rese!bling true self-reflection.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      fascination with the alt-right and I think they are being snookered. In the end the alt-right, is largely filled with people who are racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, and largely object to the norms and ways of liberal democracy. As a Jewish person, I find it hard to join in this fascination or sincere talk. I

      You’ve been listening to confused people who post here, who understand the ‘alt-right’ to mean residual Klansmen and the like. The white power blatherers are completely inconsquential. The alt-right which can get ideas into circulation is organized around the von Mises Institute, the Rockford Institute, Wick Allison, Ron Unz, and Taki. To the extent there is a popular analogue, it would be Ron Paul. They’re still pretty inconsequential. They occasionally open their pages to people like Samuel Francis (who died 11 years ago, btw), but he was a fairly atypical figure in those circles. They do not manifest a common worldview other than omnivorous dissatisfaction and a disposition toward the crank’s self-aggrandizing poses.Report

  7. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    I remember witnessing the cultural battles of the 60’s and how ugly and personal it was. The generation gap was especially ugly, with parents and children turned against each other.

    It was before my time, but I’ve talked to people who personally lived through the Red Scare, and Brendan Eich’s experience pales in comparison.

    Civility and our national discourse moves in cycles of relative calm and volatility, depending on a lot of factors. Right now we are in another transition phase as power moves from one group to another, and that always produces anger and anxiety.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      It was before my time, but I’ve talked to people who personally lived through the Red Scare,

      Well, Jessica Mitford was fired from her job selling classified advertising.Report

  8. Avatar veronica d says:

    There must be a pretty fundamental distinction between judging someone because of identity issues, such as their race or sexuality, and issues of character, such as racism. To me, it seems like judging according to the latter is progress. It is what we have said for decades: “content of character, not color of skin.” Yep. Preach it.

    Thus if you have poor character, for example, if you are a bigot, surely you should expect public censure, yes?

    “But veronica….” blah blah blah.

    Stop apologizing for bigots. Just cut it out.

    There is plenty of space for healthy debate, for example between principled libertarians and technocratic liberalism. Those are real disagreements about policy, but which can be pursued in good faith, without hating me cuz I’m transgender.

    Discussions with evangelicals are different. That’s bare knuckles, only one of us can win.

    They really hate me. They don’t hide the fact. Pretending this is a policy debate like any other misses what is happening.Report

    • Avatar Iron Tum says:

      Understood. You don’t want to end bad behavior, you want to end bad people.

      This is not something that could ever go wrongly.Report

      • Avatar veronica d says:

        @iron-tum — I’m pretty sure I didn’t say that. At most, I called for “public censure.”

        Do you believe that racists should receive public censure? If not, then what should happen?Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          It is a very tricky issue. Public censure like the law is a blunt instrument. Most of us will agree that using the law to enforce popular morality causes unnecessary suffering and no good. Public censure caused the same in the past. Past public censure has been used against ethnic, religious, and racial minorities, LGBT people, women who do not want to be housewives and find sexual purity chaffing. This public censure caused a lot of suffering.

          Its easy to hope that this time will be different and that public censure will have better results because the people on the receiving end really deserve it this time. I’m not so optimistic. You need to decide what and who to censure. How do you distinguish between legitimate harsh criticism from the out group and things deserving of censure. At the same time, things aren’t going to change without a lot of push.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            How do you propose to stop the public censure? Unlike the law, which is subject to political change and constitutional restraints, the power of public censure is in and of itself a product of those constitutional restraints. The only way to restrain it would be through informal social norms, and, I argue, new informal social norms. In the meantime, people are likely going to feel, often with good reason, that those social norms aren’t going to protect them, either because they’re “beneath notice” or because the people they’re most worried about show that they’re completely unconcerned with any sensible standard of decency.

            This means that what you’re really asking is that people unilaterally disarm against people who have every intention of using social censure against them.Report

            • Avatar veronica d says:

              What @pillsy said. Exactly this.

              What does “live and let live” look like, when I cannot just walk through the world free of harassment? Should I accept ghettoization?

              I’ve linked to this before, but this is what we face.

              I deserve to know that such things will not happen to me. It matters.

              This is not random. The Republicans work at every turn to block our access to public spaces, to deny our legal rights to transition, our ability to change our documents, etc. They spread gross lies about us, twist everything they can into an opportunity to (literally) demonize us —

              — I mean they literally convince people we are actually demonic, in the plain sense of those words.

              Stop pretending they are willing compromise. Accept that they will not. Then figure out your politics.

              If you’re politics are, “Well, sucks to be veronica, but I’m sure happy.”

              Well, guess what, you’re an asshole.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                Veronica, I’m generally in agreement with you. There isn’t really a live or let live solution possible and public sanctions will happen. Its still a very blunt instrument that caused a lot of damage to the innocent in the past.Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                This has been a point I’ve been trying to make as well. When you use that blunt instrument, and use it often, you create collateral damage. Don’t whine about blowback. You caused it. If anything if should give folks pause and use that blunt instruments as a last resort.

                Probability of that happening: 1%. So we get series of blowback. Enjoy it.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                It’s simple inertia.
                There are a great many interests in maintaining the status quo, because it is known and predictable.
                Overcoming the status quo requires an overwhelming impetus, producing movement without inherent steering mechanism, which translates into over-reaction in the social context.
                That is, it’s built-in to the system.Report

          • Avatar Will H. says:

            Very well said.Report

        • Avatar Iron Tum says:

          I’m breaking formalism here, but I have a memory of you making the statement that Eich should never be employed anywhere else in the world at a supervisory level or above. That goes beyond “public censure” and into a state of power-fantasy-daydreaming.

          If you want to rage at someone who gives money to Mormons, that’s your business. If you want to rage at a third party who employs someone who gave money to Mormons, that’s (imo) taking something that isn’t your business and getting involved.

          As for racists, I interact with them as little as possible. However, I don’t go looking at my coworkers social media pages and go trolling for bad behavior or unsavory connections (and since our company is majority expat, I guarantee I’d find something that is currently tsk-tsk’d about). And if by some chance I found out that in their free time they were involved in political groups in their home countries that had objectives I find objectionable, I sure as hell wouldn’t go to HR or leak that information out into the wider world. And if one of my coworkers decided that Mx. Park’s affiliation with an anti-Japanese group back in Busan needed to be brought to my company’s attention, I can tell you that I would be socially shunning the reporter. I would still work with them though, since disciplining my non-direct reports isn’t my area of authority.Report

          • Avatar veronica d says:

            @iron-tum — You said this about me: “You don’t want to end bad behavior, you want to end bad people.” That is a small-minded and petty statement, which is not consistent with what I said. Do better.

            Myself, I wouldn’t want to work under the authority of someone like Eich, nor would many other LGBT people. This is reasonable. Such people have demonstrated bigotry against us. Likewise, they have proven very resistant to an “agree to disagree” stance. Sorry, but they started it and they won’t give up.

            So it goes. My employer has a commitment to a diverse workplace. Part of that, by necessity, will include decisions about who gets promoted to positions of responsibility.

            This is not all or nothing, and it is unlikely that we could ever block every bigot from a position of power. Life does not work that way. I’m not a “Kantian.” I do not speak in terms of general rules.

            Which, even if I had the authority to pass general rules, I doubt they’d work very well. Society is too complex.

            Everything happens on the margins. It is small shifts.

            Myself, I’m going to shift things to remove the power of bigots, as much as I can, because bigots hurt innocent people, but they are not innocent.Report

            • Avatar Iron Tum says:

              You said this about me: “You don’t want to end bad behavior, you want to end bad people.” That is a small-minded and petty statement, which is not consistent with what I said. Do better.

              You think so? I find very little difference between your point of view and those people who say “eeew, can’t ‘you people’ do that somewhere in private where we don’t have to see it?” Other than the people wanting their public spaces to be problematic-behavior free, of course. You can choose not to work for a (particular flavor of) bigot. Woo Hoo voting with your feet! You can also choose not to work for a particular company unless they have a policy of never promoting Mormon-donors to supervisory roles. Again, feet voting, power to the people, yay, rock on. But that’s not where you want it to stop, is it? And again, I don’t care to police your daydreams. But (and this may be uncharitable of me) I believe that if someone were to put forth a proposed law that would ban companies who received federal/state/whatever funds from employing someone in a supervisory position that had demonstrated problematic behavior at any time or place that you would be in favor and take active steps to ensure its passage.

              I could be wrong. But kitty does have claws.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @iron-tum — The difference is the very nature of bigotry. It’s baked in. If you are bigoted against me, you hate me irrationally. That is what the word means.

                If you are some random individual acting alone, then who cares. But if you are part of a powerful social movement, then sorry, nope, I cannot just ignore you.

                Which, at that point we quibble about if hating LGBT people counts as “bigotry,” cuz maybe we really are anathema in the thoughts of God, and the homophobes are doing “God’s work” by enacting the laws of the Old Testament. So yeah. We get to hash that out. “Am I subhuman?” is a fun question to debate, but don’t pretend it isn’t dehumanizing.

                By contrast, I don’t dehumanize bigots. They are entirely human, but deeply misguided to a degree that they hurt others. They are aggressive — and deeply aggressive — in trying to block my ability to operate fully in civil society.

                And they double down at every chance.

                Of course, they will try to spin the tale that we are the aggressive ones, by daring to use public restrooms or shop in stores or demanding the right to marry. The mental gymnastics they need to use to spin this bullshit —

                — the thing is, they’re clearly wrong. So we speak loud, hold them to account. We tell our stories. They tell theirs. They can talk about the light of God and how it commanded them to terrorize gay kids — or whatever. I can talk about what it was like to be terrorized as a kid.

                Our stories are our tools. They are the bullies. We are the bullied. Rinse, repeat.

                And as a result they will trot out a false symmetry, as if our opposition to their hate is the same as their hate. It is not. The only stable solution is if they stop hating. That is it. That is the solution. If they continue to hate, the conflict continues. The conflict is messy, cuz irrational hate leads to messy things.

                I’m not going to stop being trans. I won’t stop demanding a rich and meaningful civil life.

                Of course, they won’t stop hating, nor will they stop aggressively pursuing hate in the public sphere, so we will never have stability. Sorry. But call it what it is. Don’t pretend this could ever work.


                We might disagree on tax policy, or our favorite television programs, or if the government should fund the arts, and if so, what arts — or we might disagree on my fundamental dignity and validity as a human being.

                Those things are different. They resulting political frame is thus different. The conflict is different from those other conflicts.

                But have no confusion over which side is right. Sometimes you take a stand. There is nothing good in a banal neutrality.Report

              • Avatar Iron Tum says:

                By contrast, I don’t dehumanize bigots.

                Are you sure?

                Count how many times you use the word “they.” Substitute “those people.” Does your meaning change? Do you find the substitution offensive?

                You shouldn’t need to change, and you have every right to have a complete and fulfilling civil life.

                But you also think that people who gave money to mormons should never be allowed a career advancing above “individual contributor.” You don’t think “they” should be allowed to have a complete and fulfilling civil life. And that it’s ok that they are anathema because they are hateful haters who hate. And this doesn’t count as dehumanization because it is you who are responding to aggression, not the initiator if it.

                The political frame is “when should I be able to hurt people I don’t like.” That’s basically all political frames.

                Fuck North Carolina. Fuck Zimbabwe. Fuck Saudi Arabia. Fuck Azerbaijan… and Fuck California. They are all self-righteously sadistic in their own way.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Referring to people as “they” or even “those people” is not dehumanizing. It is possible otherizing. But how the hell is it dehumanizing?Report

              • Avatar Iron Tum says:

                But how the hell is it dehumanizing?

                Changing concrete human beings into an abstraction, making them “they” is what lets the various state horrors exist. One they are “they” then “they” can be made into any other category of untermench. They cease to be… well, people, and are now the label. They are “deviants,” or “subversives.” Or “resources” that can be allocated according to their function and managed by sociology and economic theory. It is an imperial crapton easier to ask “the citizenry” to make “sacrifices for the common good” than to walk over to Pat and demand they give you some money.

                Or maybe I am too sensitive to such things. I have been accused of sensing anti-semitism where none exists. Some people are like that.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Am I really being called out for using the plural pronoun to refer to the large and (in some cases) semi-organized body of people who hate me?

                I mean, excuse the fuck out of me for not finding the lovely unique snowflake in the heart of each fucking hater. Good fucking grief.

                But of course, if you read what I am saying broadly, you’ll find I don’t believe in inflexible, algorithmic, or reductive politics. Nope. I believe the opposite, in the concrete over the abstract, in the object over the meta, in the “case by case.”

                Which is messy, but life is messy. So sure, there is some way that each bigot is unique, and we should notice how when we engage with the toxic little shits. Sure. Yep. They each have feelings — which include hating me.

                But if you expect me to not notice the hating me part — well get bent. There is a lot in common among these fuckers.

                Blah. The point is, bigots are bigots, and being a bigot is different from being the target of a bigot. Trying to draw a symmetry between those two — that is placing the meta over the object, that is the dehumanizing moral blinders.

                It is good to speak out against bigots. It is good to find them utterly distasteful. It is not good to do those things to me, at least not if it’s because I am LGBT.

                You might hate me for other reasons. I’m a tough cookie. I can deal.

                Anyway whatever. LGBT is a protected class for good reasons. Bigot is not a protected class, also for good reasons. Does that mean that every bigot gets fired?

                Of course not. That would be impractical.Report

              • Avatar Iron Tum says:

                Am I really being called out for using the plural pronoun

                No, you’re being called out for your claims of moral superiority to a street preacher.

                Does that mean that every bigot gets fired?

                Of course not. That would be impractical.

                See, when you say things like that, it is not unreasonable to think that your claims of not being axiomatically persecutory are only because you don’t have the physical mechanism to realize your desires. And if you were offered a way of taking incremental steps in the direction of persecuting your outgroup, you would.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                No, you’re being called out for your claims of moral superiority to a street preacher.

                Uh, seriously what does this even mean? The only street preacher I know anything about is this asshole who harasses me on the subway. He yells at women for wearing pants. He calls me “Satan.”

                No really. I’m not kidding. “Satan.” It’s hilarious.

                I believe I am indeed superior to him in about every sensible measure. I hope you would agree.

                So anyway, what the fuck is your point?

                See, when you say things like that, it is not unreasonable to think that your claims of not being axiomatically persecutory are only because you don’t have the physical mechanism to realize your desires. And if you were offered a way of taking incremental steps in the direction of persecuting your outgroup, you would.

                I’m not running for dictator, nor do I expect to become one. The point is, I work within the power I have, like everyone else. I also must deal with the power that others have. Round and round it goes.

                Keep in mind what I said: as politics, I advocate a healthy middle-ground between libertarianism and technocratic democracy. I don’t expect absolute authority, nor should I be granted such. That said, there will be political struggle. It’s built in.

                No dictators. Real people. Push and pull.

                But if, within that push and pull, the bigots just completely lose — well that’s a good thing. We should all want that.

                After all, the problem is their bigotry. That’s the part that should change. Nothing good comes from being wishy-washy about what we’re dealing with. Fuck bigots. They suck.

                Let us stick to first-order reality please, not some fantasy land.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                I’ve never said anything about Mormons. Eich gave money in support of Prop 8, an anti-gay-marriage proposal. I can find no information on which specific organization he donated to. Were they also Mormon?

                I dunno. I’m pretty sure the “anti-gay-marriage” part was the issue.Report

              • Avatar Iron Tum says:

                Were they also Mormon?

                I dunno. I’m pretty sure the “anti-gay-marriage” part was the issue.

                I think they were Mormon, but I could be wrong. My memory has failed me in this very thread.

                And again, I apologize for lumping you in with those who think that anyone associated with anyone anti-(only)SSM needs to be extirpated, A la Chick-Fil-A.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                On this:

                I believe that if someone were to put forth a proposed law that would ban companies who received federal/state/whatever funds from employing someone in a supervisory position that had demonstrated problematic behavior at any time or place that you would be in favor and take active steps to ensure its passage.

                I have never said anything remotely like this. You are arguing with your own private veronica, who has little to do with me.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                That seems to be Iron Tum’s MO.Report

              • Avatar Iron Tum says:

                Yadda yadda, pots and kettles.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Please show where I misrepresented your position.Report

              • Avatar Iron Tum says:

                how ’bout here? With bonus! Trying to start shit in an unrelated thread!

                Kazzy Comments this threadCommenter Archive April 5, 2016 at 2:14 pm
                Careful… I was recently accused of wanting to round up all of the mentally ill folks because I suggested that animals pose different risks than cars.

                When I explicitly stated (in small words even) that my problem was that your justification for why it was totes kewl for semi-random home inspections for unregistered dogs was that it could be (and had been, and is currently today!) used to hurt people who do not deserve to be hurt.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                So you didn’t say “Advocating for the mandatory incarceration of the mentally ill in 3… 2… 1…” right here?

                I also never said it was “totes kewl”. What I did say was that leaning on a counter argument based on an argument against semi-random home inspections for cars was a poor analogy.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                You also seem to ignore me having said this:

                “ETA: Does that justify these inspections? Not necessarily. Just that I don’t think comparing dogs to cars is particularly useful.”Report

              • Avatar Iron Tum says:

                So what you’re saying is that you did misrepresent my position, but that it’s ok because you thought I was being unfair to you.

                Do I have that right, or is that a misrepresentation?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                You have yet to show where I misrepresented your position. In response to me saying, “Comparing dogs to cars is a failed analogy because they are different,” you said, “Advocating for the mandatory incarceration of the mentally ill in 3… 2… 1…”

                I did not advocate for animal licensure. I did not advocate for home inspections for unsafe dogs. I did say that the arguments for and against either are different than the arguments for and against car licensure/inspection because the risks posed by each are different.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Seriously, dude… in the comment you quoted above as “evidence”, I almost verbatim quoted your initial foray into the conversation. I mean, I guess I said “round up” instead of “involuntarily incarcerate”. If you want to call that a misrepresentation, I guess I’ll cop to that. What a monster I am.Report

              • Avatar Iron Tum says:

                Oh, you want to pedant, bee-yotch? Let’s pedant.

                You said: ” I was recently accused of wanting to round up all of the mentally ill folks”

                Now, is true? No, it’s not true. That never happened. You are lying.

                In an effort to pretend you aren’t lying, you use this:

                “Advocating for the mandatory incarceration of the mentally ill in 3… 2… 1…”

                Now, is that homomorphic to “Kazzy wants to round up all the mentally ill folks? ” No. No, it is not. Not only by the plain language, but also by the context in which it was found. The affectation/device of a countdown is commonly understood by those with some degree of familiarity with nettish convention that the preceding post will draw a certain, predictable response.

                So no, there is no plausible way of reading that as accusing you of wanting to round up various folk.

                But I get it. You are offended that someone noticed you pulling a Helen Lovejoy. This excuses everything you do from here on in.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Ha! Not worth it. Later.Report

              • Avatar Iron Tum says:

                Flounce harder!Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                For the record, I think each of us is unlikely to, on our own, discover general political truths — other than the truth of its difficulty. On the other hand, some things are clearly beyond the pale. Bigotry is such. Hating me for being transgender is bigotry.

                My politics might be described thusly: whatever might emerge from a good faith engagement between principled libertarians and democratic technocrats. I lean toward the latter, but respect very much the input of the former.

                But the former unchecked won’t work, which is why they need my voice.

                Put it into a big pot and stir.

                Regarding this topic, we have “protected classes” in employment law for good reasons. For example, in my state (MA) I am in a protected class. In fact, I’m in three: transgender, a woman, and bisexual. You cannot fire me for those things.


                Bigotry is not a protected class. Nor should it be.

                One obvious problem with having protected classes is people will fight over what should be a protected class. Indeed. That fight is called “politics.”

                There is no conflict-free political system. Nothing useful can be reduced to thoughtless algorithm. Sorry. I’ve met people who think that it can. They are mistaken.

                Taking account of my reservations to unlimited “free association” principles, I agree with pretty much everything in this article:

                There are good reasons to hold bigots to account. This is not scorched earth. It is a demand for civility.Report

              • Avatar Iron Tum says:

                Then you have my apology.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      I would protest, gently, that whether the throw down between our tribe and the Evangelicals can have only one winner depends on the stakes and that I don’t honestly think you want to “win” if it means becoming like Evangelicals.
      If we’re talking about society despising us, using the force of law to make our lives difficult and privileging Evangelicals ideals and opinions over other non Evangelicals then I’d say there can be only one winner, Evangelicals are losing and they deserve to lose.
      If we’re talking about a society where Evangelicals privileges are being rooted out, their ability to persecute through public rules and forums is muted but they’re generally left alone in their own communities and churches (even as Rod Dreher squeals that removal of privilege is persecution) and gay and trans folk are likewise left alone in their own communities and gathering spots then arguable both sides can “win” and we should hope for that.
      If we’re talking about society where the roles flip, everyone despises Evangelicals, uses the force of law to make Evangelicals lives difficult and privileging Gay/trans ideals and opinions over other Non-gay non-Trans people then I’d say there can be only one winner and neither gays nor trans should want to win*.

      *For three reasons, principled, pragmatic and spiteful:
      -Principled: Pluralism is valuable and doing to them what we’d have wanted them to do to us is taking the high road and making us all better people.
      -Practical: Pluralism has a good track record in this country. We’ve seen where trying to seize control of the culture leads. If we think the worm can’t turn us if we fish things up and overreach then we’re deceiving ourselves. Embracing pluralism and leaving Evangelicals alone within their communities is the best odds of preserving our gains.
      -Spite: Nothing, -nothing-, NOTHING would please Evangelicals less than being dismissed and ignored. What do Evangelicals have fevered nightmares about? Gay mobs hammering down the church doors? Christians thrown to the lions? Persecution of the faithful? Fish no! Christians salivate like a BDSM aficionado at the prospect of dying as martyrs for their God. What wakes them up trembling in a cold sweat at night? The thought of the sound of dust settling on empty pews; their Churches viewed absently as pleasant neighborhood landmarks; the indifference of the young; the fading of the old; their being left alone with nothing but their regrets to haunt them while the people they persecuted proved more magnanimous than them. Win the broader culture war but leave the Evangelicals alone, nothing would torment them more.Report

      • Avatar veronica d says:

        @north — I need to be able to move freely through the world. This is a civil society, and they don’t get to make AN ENTIRE STATE OFF LIMITS TO ME — which they literally did.

        I cannot travel to North Carolina, since I need access to public restrooms to operate in the world. It is now a crime in NC for me to use a public restroom.

        How the fuck is that supposed to work?

        The Christian right doubles down every chance they get. Again and again. They have never accepted defeat. They won’t. They believe that God will curse the nation if we can thrive. They really believe that. No really, they do. That is exactly and precisely what they believe.

        Shine a bright light on these fuckers. Let’s see them for what they really are.

        Please, people, just be honest.Report

        • Avatar North says:

          I know they did and I’m all for making the state pay for it because that kind of state/church entanglement is bullshit and needs to be rolled back. Pluralism doesn’t require that you make that kind of sacrifice.

          I’m not claiming we’re there yet, I’m just saying that we should know how far we intend to go and then go no further. You had a list the other day we were chatting and I’m sympathetic and on board with the lot of it. It doesn’t seem like an overreach to me.

          But we have allies and fellow glbt travelers who do want to go for stuff I’d call “too far” like yanking educational accreditation from their private schools that adhere to their dogmas, or clawing back church tax exempt status, stuff where our wellbeing and thriving isn’t the point but rather their suffering and defeat is. That’s the stuff I’m saying we shouldn’t want to go after.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:


          “It is now a crime in NC for me to use a public restroom.”

          Is that right? My understanding was that the bill prevented municipalities from passing anti-discrimination law. That is, Charlotte can’t require businesses to allow you use of the women’s room. But I don’t think it’d be illegal for you or the business if one opted to.

          The bill is vile. But I don’t think it is THAT vile. Or is it?Report

          • Avatar veronica d says:

            @kazzy — I haven’t read the law. Nor have I seen any “sober” analysis of it, just outrage from pro-LGBT sites. (Maybe @burt-likko will read the darn thing.) However, from this:

            House Bill 2 mandates that state law supersedes all local ordinances concerning wages, employment, and public accommodations. It also restricts single-sex public restrooms and locker rooms in publicly run facilities to people of the same sex on their birth certificate.

            In addition, it bans transgender students from school restrooms that correspond with their gender identity — teeing up a potential legal clash with the federal government, which has found that civil rights laws ban transgender discrimination in schools.

            So how much do we trust that Buzzfeed isn’t entirely full of shit?

            Heh. Let us together laugh at the irony of that.

            In any case, I haven’t heard the pro-legislature folks saying, “No, this was a targeted bill. You have it wrong.”

            So, we’ll see.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:

              Sometimes I am quite happy to be corrected. This… Will not be one of those times.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Well, it says “publicly run facilities” — so I guess I’m at the mercy of the restaurant owner. But what about highway rest areas? Am I allowed to travel freely? What about the airport? Am I expected to hold it? The courthouse? The library? What should I do?

                Can I move in public? Not every restaurant is going to want to random coming in from the street just to pee.

                Okay, so this is something we don’t talk about much to cis folks. But go read about this lovely medicine:


                Spironolactone significantly depresses plasma testosterone levels, reducing them to female/castrate levels at sufficient doses and in combination with estrogen.

                And this:

                The most common side effect of spironolactone is urinary frequency.

                I can’t sit in an airport for two hours like that. I cannot, unless I avoid fluids and become dehydrated. (Which, I struggle with dehydration anyhow.)

                Those who hate us hate us boundlessly. They are cruel.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                To your last point — which seems the crucial one — I offer little argument. That which I muster would be more inquiry than pushback. Does it matter if an individiual’s animus towards you is motivated by fear rather than hate?Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                @kazzy — Of course. Fear can be addressed constructively. But they must be willing to listen. A stubborn irrational fear differs from hate in no important ways.

                And then there are those who sow bogus fear…Report

            • Avatar Burt Likko says:

              Here’s the full text of the actual bill. You’re really not going to like it, @veronica-d , my friend. Nor, I think, will a large number of people who care even in passing about LGBT rights. I don’t like it on those grounds, nor on other grounds that are, perhaps surprisingly, totally unrealted to LGBT rights.

              First, there’s the statutory definition of “biological sex” which is defined as “The physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate.”

              Part 1: Public schools, public colleges, and state offices that have restrooms or rooms for changing clothes (e.g., locker rooms) that can be used by more than one person at a time must segregate those facilities by biological sex. If there’s a “single use” room, one that is for only one person to be used at a time, that can be considered unisex or set aside for a “special circumstance” that the local administrator may approve on application.

              Part 2: Wages and hour law set by the state of North Carolina shall occupy the field of all such laws — municipalities may not set a higher minimum wage, for instance, than prevails in the entire state. Trivial exceptions. Public contracts by local governmental entities must be let on terms consistent with, and without addition to, the terms upon which the state itself lets public contracts.

              Part 3: Local antidiscrimination laws may not exceed in scope or effect the antidiscrimination laws set by the state of North Carolina; in particular the North Carolina Human Rights Law which limits the scope of antidiscrimination laws to employers of 15 or more employees and the bases of race, religion, color, national origin, age, biological sex, or handicap.

              So yes, it goes to bathrooms specifically (and locker rooms specifically) and that’s very specifically aimed at trans people.

              And yes, it goes to gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in a way that’s very specifically aimed at denying them legal antidiscrimination protection.

              And weirdly, it also goes to local minimum wage laws, based upon the apparent finding that the cost of living in Raleigh is the same as the cost of living an itty-bitty town near the Tennessee border far away from any major highway.

              I’ma go ahead and call it “retrograde.” Federalism is good for North Carolina when it applies vis-a-vis the Federal government, but it’s bad for North Carolina when it applies vis-a-vis jurisdictions like Charlotte or Wake County. It’s pretty clear that this is aimed at the more democratic- and liberally-controlled municipalities and other local jurisdictions from enacting “California-style” laws that do things like create broader antidiscrimination protections or living wage rules.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                weirdly, it also goes to local minimum wage laws

                Not weirdly at all.
                As a commenter over at LGM pointed out, enacting a bill blocking a (rather popular) hike in minimum wage would be a tough sled politically.
                But enacting an “Ooga Booga Men In Dresses In Da Bathrooms” bill is still rather easy.

                It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the real intent of this had nothing to do with transgender people, but that they were the collateral damage.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco says:

                And also (I might have also seen this at LGM), the pushback is going to come against the LGBT-friendly parts, so if they back off of just those, and do it publicly, particularly if in response to threatened boycotts? Their base won’t mind so much because they were blackmailed into it by evil out-of-staters, and they might manage to sneak under the radar that they didn’t back off of the retrograde economic restrictions…Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:


                Which raises the obvious question, should a tranny like me accept this, that I get mine, but let low wage earners swing in the wind — in the way so many “good liberals” have, in the past, left trans people swinging in the wind?

                We ain’t free until we’re all free.

                Please stop voting for Republicans. Please. The party is utterly bankrupt. Please please, break it apart. Something.

                I’m happy to lock horns with libertarians, or with economic conservatives. Those kinds of fights feel like good faith, with good available compromises.

                I mean, something like GBI might actually work, not perfectly — cuz nothing is perfect but Allah (who it turns out does not exist, hail entropy, you call her name and she increases) — but it might work kinda-sorta well enough, better than what we have now.

                With provisos and adjustments (and facile tinkering) from we technocrats — but life is found in the messiness, not your pristine philosophy.

                Fucking conservatives. Just stop. Good grief.Report

              • Avatar Alan Scott says:

                @burt-likko , The NC law is terrible, but it’s par-for-the-course terrible. The anti-LGBT law I’d really love to hear your opinion on is the religious freedom law that just passed in Mississippi. It’s awfully specific about which religious it’s freedoming, and I’m curious if you think there would be grounds for an establishment clause challenge or similar.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                You should read the full text of Mississippi HB 1523 if you, like me, think it’s good to go straight to the source.

                Frankly, I see this as more of a show than anything substantive. For a year and a half already, Mississippi already had its own state Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Substantively, this new bill does very little that the Mississippi RFRA didn’t already do. It does make explicit that a particular triad of beliefs (no SSM, only marital sex, and sex and gender are immutably assigned at birth) are within the scope of those already-extant protections. There is a laundry list of “discriminatory actions” the state is forbidden to take against someone with one of the three enumerated sincerely-held religious beliefs.

                But one thing the new bill does do that goes beyond the RFRA is that if a person claims to be aggrieved under this new law, that person gets a private right of legal action against the state itself, first for injunctive relief to bar the “discriminatory action” and if the state persists after that, a claim for damages and attorney’s fees.

                And like the NC law, it purports to pre-empt local ordinances, to the extent that those ordinances either on their face or by way of application interfere with the new law.

                I think the drafters of the Mississippi law were a little bit more sanguine about the fact that the law would be invoked, and challenged, during litigation, so they were better about putting in language with interpretive guidelines and statements of legislative intent. The North Carolina legislation didn’t have so much of this stuff.

                Constitutional? It’s every bit as constitutional as the RFRA. Which is to say, yeah, it probably is. Doesn’t mean I like it, particularly, but at a glance I can’t think of a reason why this would violate the Establishment Clause. Maybe if I take some time later to really think about it — but it’s really the same thing as RFRA, which we know is a Constitutionally appropriate way of a jurisdiction giving teeth to its Free Exercise Clause.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                …if you, like me, think it’s good to go straight to the source.

                If there was one lesson I learned from my time on the legislative staff, it was this. If you have time, don’t trust anyone else’s summary of the act/statute. Go read it and draw your own conclusions. For statute, read the footnote summaries of which court cases made which changes in interpretation. Given time, go read the opinions. Failure to do so will eventually lead to you being burned. If you’re lucky, it will be simply a matter of having to say, “I was wrong, but no harm done.” It can be a lot worse than that.Report

              • Avatar Alan Scott says:

                I feel like there’s a potential argument to be made that it supports the doctrine of a specific religion, and is potentially unconstitutional on those grounds.

                After all, I’m betting a religious accommodation law that forced employers to provide Sundays off but made no account for Saturdays or Fridays wouldn’t survive a challenge.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                After all, I’m betting a religious accommodation law that forced employers to provide Sundays off but made no account for Saturdays or Fridays wouldn’t survive a challenge.

                Because appellate judges are meddlesome pricks. It takes an acre of embroidery to turn “no law respecting an establishment of religion” (which properly refers to clergymen as public officials ex officio, clergy on state salaries, state maintenance of church plant and equipment, denominational membership requirements to hold public office, fines and other penalties for recusancy, state assessment and collection of tithes, and state harassment of competing sects) into a requirement that legislators incorporating community standards into commercial and labor law treat santeria as if it were the equal of protestant Christianity.

                The largest confessional minority in this country would be Mormons, who hold to a Sunday sabbath. If you sum the population of nominal adherents to Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism to the population of ethnic Jews who have some minimal level of observance to the population of Christians of the Seventh Day Adventist sect, you collect about 12 million people, or 4% of the population. That’s simply going to command less deference in any sensibly governed society.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                Mandatory Sunday closings aren’t a good analogy here. Consider chick-fil-a, the fast food restaraunt that famously does not operate on Sundays. It does that motivated by the personal religious beliefs of the owners, not in response to any law. Other acts prompted by similar religious motivations made the business unpopular in certain segments of the body politic, and for a few moments back there, it became fashionable for local politicians to try to obstruct health and business life surges to new chick-fil-a restaraunt X because politics.

                This law would serve as a defense to a local ordinance that denied business licenses to businesses that voluntarily close on Sundays, like chick-fil-a.

                Gratefully chick-fil-a’s moment of unpopularity passed as it made some changes to its charitable practices in response to the public pressure. (I’m grateful both because it encouraged politicians to discriminate on grounds of religion in order to combat discrimination on the grounds of orientation, which was perverse, and because the product this company sells is a delicious indulgence of mine from time to time and I didn’t want to have to choose, which is selfish.) But I can think of all sorts of other ways an activist local administrator might use regulatory power to throw obstacles in front of a dis favored business, the sort of person that gets pinned with the label “SJW” by those who disapprove for whatever reason. That’s what we’re really talking about here.

                As for the call out to Christianity, it’s no more overt here than in a bunch of other laws that have passed constitutional muster. The drafters have taken care to call out specific beliefs that could easily be held, and have been articulated, by practitioners of various flavored of Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism. Also bear in mind that RFRA itself is largely deployed these days in advancement of Christians as opposed to any other sort of religion; as I noted above, with the exception of a private right of action as a second-tier enforcement mechanism, this is basically RFRA recapitulated.Report

              • Avatar Alan Scott says:

                Sorry, I should have been clearer. I didn’t mean a mandatory Sunday closure. I was talking about standard workplace accommodation.

                Like, in California, if I was Christian and told my employer that I couldn’t work Sundays for religious reasons, they’re required under the law to accommodate that request if practical. Same if I’m Jewish and ask for Saturday off. Would a law that required the first but not the second be constitutional?

                Or, consider a law supporting the rights of students to wear religious headgear despite school dress codes. Would the court see a distinction between a law that allowed students to wear religious headgear generally and a law that specifically allowed a turban but not a kippah or hijab?

                As I see it, the specificity of the Mississippi law supports a specific religious doctrine, and therefore favors the sects that support it over the sects that don’t. Is that enough for an establishment challenge?Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                Would a law that required the first but not the second be constitutional?

                No, but this is not that law. The three specific Christian-friendly beliefs that are called out for special protection here are carefully framed in a non-denominational way. And, in reality, these beliefs really are non-denominational rather than exclusive to Christians.

                Similarly, a law that called out turbans but not the hijab for protection if it specifically only protects turbans. If it protects “religious headgear such as Turbans,” then it likely includes the hijab and passes analysis.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Ignoring Evangelicals does nothing to help the people trampling under the Evangelical tribe because they are LGBT or for similar reasons. I agree with you that getting ignored by the general culture is the worst thing that can happen to Evangelicals because it will make them feel impotent and powerless. They can still do a lot of damage in the meantime.Report

        • Avatar North says:

          Yes, I’m not talking about ignoring them now while their fingers are still in public policy up to the knuckles and their privileges are crusted all over everything. I’m talking about end goals here. I am asserting that the end goal for our side should be that the religious are eye rolled at or indifferently glanced at but otherwise ignored and left to their own devices; not hounded or persecuted in some wacky inversion of how they hounded and persecuted others.Report

          • Avatar veronica d says:

            @north — Oh I agree, but that has nothing to do with anything I’ve said. I am talking purely in the context of right now, as it is now, what they do now. I see no indication they will let up, not in the slightest. Now, they’ve backed away from their anti-gay stuff, to a degree, but only to turn their entire hate machine against me —

            — and there are fewer of we trans folks, and it seems like cis folks are more torn about us than straights were toward gays, so I’m not sure if we’re going to win much in the short term. We are, I think, set for some very dark years.

            I don’t expect the gay political apparatus to have our backs. They got their own victories to consolidate, and pulling up the ladder behind you wins a lot of points with your enemies. Anyway, we’ll get lip service and empty words, but how much in terms of blood-and-guts hard politics? Will we get sold out again?

            Politics is willpower, and compromise. But cis gays run the show and it’s very easy to compromise your allies and get for yourself. As it ever was.

            The point is, trans ain’t gay, and we’re in a very different place. Would you be having this conversation with a gay man in 1995? That’s the comparison.

            Fuck yeah I’m prickly.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              1995, alas, I was only 16 and the internet wasn’t a thing per say. I did, however, have somewhat similar conversations with gay people on the net in the early 2000’s if that helps any.

              If the gay political apparatus doesn’t have trans people’s backs then it won’t have my personal support or advocacy which, ultimately, is all I can truly control. I’d like to think it will though; idealistically because it’s the right thing to do and, as a matter of towering cynicism, because it’d be an excuse not to shutter the windows and close up shop.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq says:

              Trans people trigger different issues in cis heterosexual people than gay people unfortunately. With gay people, most heterosexuals are able to, eventually imagine, them as normal people who just happen to be attracted to their own gender. When straight people could only see gay people as deviants uninterested or connected to everyday life and mainstream culture than gay people had it worse. When you could see that a gay person could also be that every ordinary or even boring accountant that did you taxes every year than things got better.

              Trans people have a harder challenge because the realities of trans life makes it difficult for heterosexual cis people to think of trans as ordinary with different tastes in the way that we could eventually see gays. This is our fault.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      There must be a pretty fundamental distinction between judging someone because of identity issues, such as their race or sexuality, and issues of character, such as racism.

      There must be, because it’s damned inconvenient for you if there is not.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Derek Thompson has an interesting take on why the jobs recovery feels so lackluster and wanting:

    1. Most of the jobs added since 2005 have not been in so-called gig economy jobs like Uber or Lyft specifically but there has been a dramatic rise in contracting, temping, and alternative employment. Turns out it is hard to justify an uber or lyft employment plan for anything but Uber and Lyft. However it is easy to justify using contract/staffing agencies for positions that you used to hire through your own. A good example of this is the non-white collar workers at a lot of tech companies. Now they are probably hired through an agency, don’t get paid as much, and don’t have benefits. They work at the Apple or Google campuses everyday but are not Apple or Google employees.

    2. Well-paid boomers are starting to retire en mass and wages for younger workers are stagnant. These causes wages to look depressed. Maybe raises will come to younger workers one day and maybe they will not.Report

  10. Avatar Mongo says:

    1.) Trump is a monster. Well — that could be overstating things a tad; he’s a carnivorous slab of high-fat-content, tubby fascismo. Hmmm… maybe that’s too harsh: Trump is a boring annoyance whom, even if he were to win, must be circumscribed by the need to compromise in party politics.

    Nah; he’s a monster.

    2.) Of course we don’t like each other. Nothing much changes after high school; we only become more sophisticated in how we run our numbers.

    3.) Wasn’t aware that Saadam Hussein and Ted Cruz were the same person. So that’s why we never saw them in the same room. And it explains that faint accent Cruz has; they wanted us to think it was Texan, or Canadian, eh.

    4.) But fucking of course civility matters.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Trump is a buffoon.

      It’s the guy who comes after Trump that will be the monster.Report

      • Avatar veronica d says:

        @jaybird — It’s scary, but I think you are correct.

        It’s like, I don’t take Trump all that seriously, in that I don’t think he’s “faking” exactly. He really is a loud, charismatic (to some people), arrogant buffoon. Sadly, he was quite by accident well-positioned to slip into the “dignity vacuum” present in today’s right-wing politics. In other words, he is a silly, simple cynic, not a sophisticated and malevolent cynic. But the malevolent ones, they will learn from Trump’s example, just as they learned to play the false front of old-style politics. But I think there is something new. It will take a special kind of asshole to pretend to be like Trump, to play his game but this time to win.

        I think even the Clintons would balk at that. Even they must look in the mirror and not hate themselves. Who will be the next Trump?Report

      • Avatar Mongo says:

        Or the woman.

        A Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin presidency: I rest my case.Report

      • Avatar Will H. says:

        Good call.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        I agree, good call, the question is whether the GOP is going to learn from Trump as the ones who come after Trump will.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Well that’s depressingReport

  11. Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

    It turns out you don’t need to randomly stop brown and black people to keep the crime rate low

    New York City saw a significant drop in major crimes in the first quarter of 2016 with the fewest murders and shootings in its recorded history, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced during a Monday press conference.

    “We are the safest big city in America. This quarter’s statistics prove it once again,” de Blasio said.

    In the first three months of the year, New York City saw a 21 percent drop in murders compared with the same period last year, a statistic de Blasio called “extraordinary.” The city also saw a 14 percent decrease in shootings compared with those months in 2015.

    Bratton defended the NYPD’s reduced number of stop-and-frisks on Monday, calling it “precision policing” and predicted that by year’s end the NYPD will probably hit about 25,000 stops — a dramatic decrease from a peak of almost 700,000 stops in 2011, under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    “Some years ago, I think there were some parts of the strategy that were backward,” de Blasio said in response to a question about stop-and-frisks. “The city was alienating the very people that we need to protect … By reducing the tensions between police and community, we’re getting more cooperation from community members.”


    • Avatar KatherineMW says:

      That’s a huge decline! Excellent!Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      It turns out you don’t need to randomly stop brown and black people to keep the crime rate low

      It turns out that regulars in these comboxes fancy that police officers apply no intelligence whatsoever to their work. Color me unsurprised.Report

    • Avatar aaron david says:

      Well, that sounds good!Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

      It’s very interesting to watch year after year of declines in crime nationwide and the various programs that different cities proposed taking credit for it.

      Stop and frisk lowers crime! Stopping stop and frisk lowers crime even lower! The obvious lesson we should take from this is that we should reinstate stop and frisk and then eliminate it again. Just keep doing what we’re doing, baby!Report

      • Avatar Art Deco says:

        The declines in crime are not uniform, hence an interest in localized causes. The decline in homicide rates in New York City between 1990 and 2010 was on the order of 75%. That in Rochester was 0%. Compare the most problematic areas in New York City to those in Baltimore to those in Detroit. Quite different.Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

          The word I should have used is “steady” or “near monotonic” to describe the downward trend. No statistic is uniform across cities and looking for reasons for outliers is interesting, but New York is not an outlier. Depending on the metric and the exact time window, the violent crime rate across the US in general is down about 65 – 75% over that period of time. If we’re looking for why a city’s statistics went more or less along a the trend line, looking for something specific to that city probably isn’t the answer. New York’s politicians can pat themselves on the back for being uniquely clever, but they appear to be riding the same wave that cities all over the country were riding.Report