Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has been fumbling around in the swamp ever since he crossed the Rubicon by signing a discriminatory anti-gay law. Julius Caesar had the good sense that his rash ill-fated decision would not go well and declared “Alea iacta est” – the die is cast. But with a trapped look, Pence has been in a full damage-control mode to insist he meant no affront to gays when he set out to protect religious liberty with his approval of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ( Who thinks up these titles?).
Whether warding off direct hits on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning by dodging George Stephanopoulos’ questions or treating his hometown press to non-answers, the governor didn’t hesitate to blame the media and others for the “misunderstanding” over whether a private business owner could refuse to serve a gay customer, no matter that
it was a glass of wine or a wedding cake.
If there was anything clear about the tempest that he set off that stained the Hoosier state’s image, it was the erupting reaction from big companies, organizations, celebrity athletes and others who believed he was badly mistaken. And if you want to grab a politician’s attention, just mention that the cash flow in the state has been dampened.
Oh, he did say that if a revised bill would be handed to him, he would sign it, but only if it didn’t change the law. No, I didn’t leave out any clarifying words in the non-sequitur.
“This is not about discrimination,” he asserted on TV. “But we’re – not going to change this law.”
You must remember that religious conservatives say homosexuality is an abomination, which incites them to condemnation and cries for their own religious liberty. Still, we keep waiting for Pence to assure us that some of his best friends are gay…but…
One hometown radio host even went so far as to say the protests are a “frightening appeal to fascism.”
On the other hand, The Indianapolis Star, never known to be fond of liberals, was among the mourners, declaring: “It was a difficult , painful week in our state. Our Indiana….The law was unneeded and destructive.”
Still unclear to me is how the highest ranking political leader in the state could be so dense, dumb, numb, or out of touch with modern reality that he wouldn’t sense the trouble he would set off with his signature. But standing in the midst of it today he should finally be honest and lament, “The die is cast. I screwed up.”