Quick: What’s a sure sign that a conservative politician is feeling sensitive/vulnerable about his or her performance in office and may even be grappling with hints of potential ethical problems?
If you guessed “he or she is picking on vulnerable and unpopular people and ginning up controversy on what ought to be a non-issue in an effort to pander to the worst instincts of the least well-informed and most narrow-minded members of his or her political base” give yourself a gold star.
Today’s classic case in point: North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore responding to a modest little ordinance adopted by the Charlotte City Council last night that bars businesses from discriminating against gay, lesbian or transgender people, in addition to long-standing protections based on race, age, religion and gender.
It really ought to be a complete non-issue, just as it has been in scores of cities across the country with similar laws. Indeed, it ought to be a state law so that the handful of knuckleheads around the state who want to discriminate in such a way can be required to enter the 21st century.
Unfortunately, people like Moore seldom miss a chance to spread fear and misinformation — especially if doing so is all but guaranteed to fire up the haters and fear mongers who don’t have a clue about what the heck is really going on in the world. Here’s Moore’s official statement from earlier today on the the new ordinance:
“Speaker Responds to Charlotte City Council Decision on Unisex Bathrooms
Raleigh, NC – Late last night the Charlotte City Council voted in favor of an ordinance that would that would allow residents to use either a men’s or a women’s bathroom.
‘The Charlotte City Council has gone against all common sense and has created a major public safety issue by opening all bathrooms and changing rooms to the general public,’ Speaker Moore (R-Cleveland) stated on Monday after the council’s vote. ‘This ordinance is impossible to regulate as intended, and creates undue regulatory burdens on private businesses. I join my conservative colleagues and Governor McCrory in exploring legislative intervention to correct this radical course.’”
It’s hard to adequately convey what an utter crock of bathroom waste this statement is.
But here’s a try: The Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, one of the most important elected officials in one of the largest states in the most powerful country in the world, is unwilling to acknowledge the existence of transgender human beings or their basic human right to be and live as who they are. Despite the fact that millions of people all over the planet live quite peacefully and happily in communities with such protections (including in such radical leftist towns as Charleston, Columbia and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina), Speaker Moore is happy to spout nonsense about “unisex bathrooms” and manufacture a controversy in the North Carolina General Assembly just in time for the 2016 legislative session that convenes in April. What’s more, he’s engaging in all of this shameful/shameless pandering at a time during which he’s under assault from right-wingers in his party for being insufficiently reactionary and during which he is the subject of multiple news media stories about ethically questionable behavior.
What more do you need to know?