There are many implications to be drawn from Indiana’s attempt to give discrimination against gays the cover of law but one of the more interesting has to do with what this will mean at the ballot box in 2016.
If there’s one takeaway from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s “religious freedom restoration” debacle, it’s that Republicans ignore today’s cultural environment at their peril.
Conservatives can continue to live in a bubble if they want to, but they should expect blowback, because outside that bubble is a far different reality.
Pence seems shocked by the widespread perception that his state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act invites businesses and individuals to discriminate against gay people on the grounds that serving them would, or might, infringe on the religious owners’ beliefs. But what other conclusion is there?
Time was when Pence’s move would have been seen as smart politics for Republicans. That was then, this is now. Even now Pence is scrambling to revise the legislation in response to the blowback, which is particularly interesting as Steve Benen notes: “If Pence wants to ‘fix’ his right-to-discriminate law, what does that say about the 2016ers who like the law as-is?”
And what does it say about their ability to read the electorate, particularly in the general election?