ASA'S PLOY: Talk nice, but keep discriminating.
Early coverage indicates that Gov. Asa Hutchinson
continues to get away with his disingenuous approach to gay rights:
Support legal discrimination, but talk nice about it and nobody will notice.
Evidence from Politico:
With the Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments in another key gay marriage case, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on Sunday that discussions over the issue should change.
Arkansas is one of several states with some type of constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. And the Republican governor said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that, while he still believes a marriage should be defined as being between a man and a woman, he recognizes that “when we talk about this issue, we need to talk about it terms of tolerance.”
Talk is cheap.
Hutchinson endorses Arkansas civil rights law
, which provides no protection against discrimination against gay people in employment, housing or public accommodations.
Hutchinson refuses to issue an executive order
for non-discrimination in state employment.
Hutchinson signed a so-called "religious freedom" bill
that its sponsors openly admit is the same in substance as a somewhat harsher version that was pulled back. It has the same aim — to allow people who oppose equal rights for gay people to discriminate, using religion as a pretext.
Hutchinson endorses the ban on same-sex marriage
in Arkansas. He wants the U.S. Supreme Court
to give "deference" to states to discriminate.
But, hey, Asa has a righteous son, Seth
, who the governor again used for cover of his own discriminatory preferences.
Discrimination is discrimination. Does it hurt any less when you are discriminated against with a smile, rather than with a spray of spittle and curses?
Remember that old song, "Smiling Faces Sometimes"? Beware of the pat on the back, it just might hold you back.
Because, really, what does Hutchinson mean when he says of his opposition to same-sex marriage:
"That is my conviction and that's my belief, but I also recognize if we talk about this issue we need to talk about it in terms of tolerance, we need to talk about it in terms of nondiscriminatory policy, the diversity of the work place,"
What is talk worth if government and private business are allowed to discriminate and to fire people simply because they are gay? It's like talking in the 1960s about how nice it would be if black people could vote in the South.
He also gave this nuanced comment about the coming Supreme Court court ruling
I think it's a little bit unpredictable. I think they could continue to give some deference to the states, but I do think we'll probably have to clearly recognize what happens in another state.
In other words, Hutchinson envisions a potential that the court would let Arkansas continue to prohibit marriage, but perhaps require them to recognize legal marriages from other states. Yes, at a minimum, you'd think the full faith and credit portion of our fundamental law would mean something. It doesn't to Arkansas and Hutchinson now. His administration continues to refuse to extend marital benefits to people legally married in other states.
When Asa says he doesn't think it should be legal to fire someone because of their sexual orientation, I'll be more accepting of the "nice guy" narrative the national media has adopted.
Until then, the reality of his actions is no different than that of the holy warriors Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz. They are at least honest about it.
On another topic, Clinton impeachment prosecutor Hutchinson had moderating words regards reporting about financial contributions to the Clinton Foundation
and speaking fees earned by Bill Clinton in the context of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's
run for president.
There is no evidence of a quid pro quo, so Republicans should be careful not to overstate the case, Hutchinson said.
"It reminds us that Clintons are complicated, and they tend to make mistakes," he said.
Spoken like someone who cashed in on his own congressional and Bush administration career with lobbying, cuts of penny stock deals and work for special interest groups like the NRA himself. Gee, what a nice guy.