The Indiana thing — Updated with response from top Republican

I think it’s time to hold Vermont Republicans’ feet to the fire on Indiana’s new “legalize discrimination” law. Usually, I’d give the VTGOP a break with regard to the massive insanity in their national party; our own Republicans are a feisty bunch, but they hardly ever* cross the line into sheer stupididity.

*Well, there was that time when party chair Dave Sunderland outed himself as a climate-change denier. 

STATE.SERVESBut the time has come. I realized this last night, when Rachel Maddow noted that every major Republican candidate for President has made statements in support of the Indiana law — in spite of its repudiation in national polls and by the normally GOP-friendly business community. (Even the notoriously politics-averse sports world has had to acknowledge the situation.)

I’m not just talking Ted Cruz and Rand Paul here. Endorsements of the Indiana law have also come from the likes of Scott Walker and Jeb Bush, who allegedly represent the “moderate” wing of the GOP.

And that makes it relevant to the Vermont party. What are we to think of the Republican brand, when every one of its potential presidential candidates has come out in support of legalizing discrimination?

Vermont Republicans like to claim that they are different than the national party. But when the national GOP has no room for a mainstream view on such a fundamental — and simple — issue, it’s time to ask exactly how Vermont Republicans are different.

At the very least, they should unambiguously declare their opposition to laws like this one.

This has become the issue of the moment on a national stage. It appears to be a turning point that finds the Republican Party on the wrong side of history. And on the wrong side of “right and wrong” itself.

So what say you, Dave Sunderland? Jeff Bartley?

Phil Scott?

____________________________________

Update. I’ve received a comment from Senate Minority Leader Joe Benning; it can be seen below, but I’m also adding it to the body of this blogpost:

It was (is) a stupid law, drafted by people who either didn’t understand the ramifications or who had an agenda that America should not be following. If they were the former, they need better legislative council; if the latter, I’m surprised to see that element in Indiana.

But that’s just MY opinion.

Thank you for your direct, plainspoken response, Senator.

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4 thoughts on “The Indiana thing — Updated with response from top Republican

  1. Kelly Cummings

    Good question.

    I am very interested in their answers.

    I suppose if they don’t respond, well….we know what that means.

    Reply
    1. Sen. Joe Benning

      Well Kelly, it COULD mean that they just don’t read this blog. But since I do, permit me to allay your and John’s fears. It was (is) a stupid law, drafted by people who either didn’t understand the ramifications or who had an agenda that America should not be following. If they were the former, they need better legislative council; if the latter, I’m surprised to see that element in Indiana.

      But that’s just MY opinion.

      By the way Kelly, you accused me on these very pages for allegedly playing party politics when I asked Auditor Hoffer to investigate Jonathon Gruber’s billing practices. Just curious: you still think that was wrong to do because I was a Republican?

      Reply
      1. John S. Walters Post author

        Sen. Benning: Thanks for your two cents on the Indiana law. We may not share many beliefs or opinions, but you’re a straight shooter and I respect that.

        As for your call for an audit, you look prescient now. But to be fair to Kelly, the Republicans cried “Gruber” at every opportunity for so long, it became easy to dismiss it as partisan noise. In this case, I’m glad that Doug Hoffer is looking into not only the Gruber deal, but the broader health care reform effort. He’s also a straight shooter.

  2. Walter Carpenter

    “if the latter, I’m surprised to see that element in Indiana.” I am not surprised to see that element in Indiana. I would actually not be surprised to see it in New Hampshire, which has enacted a voter ID law. It has always been an ugly component of the American consciousness. It is even present in Vermont, though to a lesser degree than is found in many parts of the country like Indiana. It is the component which Rush Limbaugh and company like to tap into to propagate their mantra of intolerance and hate for anyone not like them. That a state legislature with the Republicans in the majority, and a Republican governor, came up with this kind of thing, and was endorsed by some of the Republicans mulling a presidential run, shows how they do not mind into this component as well.

    Reply

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