I spoke with Pence on the same day that thousands of people rallied at the Statehouse in opposition to the law. And the same day that Angie’s List CEO Bill Oesterle announced that his company will abandon a deal with the state and city to expand the company’s headquarters in Indianapolis because of RFRA’s passage.
Oesterle’s statement is a telling sign that the outrage over RFRA isn’t limited only to the political left. Oesterle directed Republican Mitch Daniels’ 2004 campaign for governor. And it’s a signal that the damage from the RFRA debacle could be extensive.
Behind the scenes, Pence and his team have been scrambling to mitigate that damage — both to the state and to the governor’s political career.
Pence said, for example, that he had a “cordial and productive” conversation with Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, who announced shortly after Pence signed the RFRA legislation on Thursday that the company will cancel all corporate-related travel to Indiana. That conversation, however, has not led to a reversal of the Salesforce decision.
I asked the governor if he had anticipated the strongly negative reaction set off by the bill’s passage. His response made it clear that he and his team didn’t see it coming.
“I just can’t account for the hostility that’s been directed at our state,” he said. “I’ve been taken aback by the mischaracterizations from outside the state of Indiana about what is in this bill.”
Yes. I can’t account for the mischaracterizations of what is in the bill, based on what is in the bill.
This is standard HELP HELP I’M BEING OPPRESSED nonsense, making out that the people who are speaking up about being discriminated against are the ones being mean, and why do they have to bother us so with their trivial needs for civil rights and the ability to get their groceries and such? Why can’t they just lie down and let us roll over them, so we don’t have to bother with all of this?
As for this utterly dishonest argument:
In defense of the legislation, he noted that 19 other states and the federal government have adopted RFRA laws similar to Indiana’s. And he pointed out that President Barack Obama voted for Illinois’ version of RFRA as a state senator.
But the Republican governor and possible presidential contender left out an important fact. While Illinois does have a law that gives special protections to religious objectors, it also bans discrimination based on sexual orientation. Indiana, on the other hand, has no such ban.
And if you think THAT is an accident I have some lovely beachfront property in Indianapolis to sell you.
2 thoughts on “Mike Pence: We’re Discriminating But Not Like in a Mean Way or Anything”
Ah, yes, Indiana is completely benign, nothing to see there but corn and basketball. This is all just the work of a malicious press. Funny thing, though, when I was stationed near Indianapolis in 1967, 57% of the town was black, but it had a white mayor and an all-white city council, and the state’s KKK Grand Dragon used to cruise around town in a white Cadillac Coupe de Ville with a big Klan emblem on the door, and the black community was segregated in some of the worst housing imaginable.
In the `20s, Indiana was the largest state chapter of the KKK, and over half the state’s legislature were members. D.C. Stephenson of Evansville was one of the most nationally prominent members of the group, even after he was convicted of the rape and murder of a young (white) woman.
Indiana, not just corn and basketball. Gawd-fearin’ white bigots, too, and for a long, long time. This sort of assholery is not a new thing in Indiana.
Oh Mike, you’re taken aback, are you? All those second class citizens, demanding to be treated like they’re as good as you. How very unseemly. Perhaps if you raised their taxes?
I severely hope you don’t have any national political hopes, Mr. Pence.
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