I swear, after this, I’m moving on from HB600, but, like I said, I think what happened during that vote brings into stark relief the problems we Democrats have. So, Steve Ross has a good post about why it’s counterproductive to be mad at the handful of Democrats who voted for HB600 and not the Republicans. I, of course, am also mad at the Republicans, but I expect nothing different. I do expect people ostensibly on my side to, you know, be on my side.
Ross says a couple of things specifically I want to address:
It’s natural to be more mad at people on your side that vote against you. They’re right there. That other side is so far away. But to what effect? Do you really think any of those 8 Democrats are going to listen to you after you throw them under the bus? Probably not. So the question I ask myself before I start, “what is my intended outcome?”
Discrimination aside, at the end of the day, this bill restricts the ability of a community to hold itself to a higher standard for the good of the community, and removes a community’s ability to contract according to local standards. This bill restricts Nashville to a lowest common denominator, which is ultimately anti-competitive in a world where community standards are constantly being raised.
I want to be clear that this is not a matter of me thinking that Ross is wrong. This is just a point in the conversation where we’ve reached a fork in the road and where he wants to go is not a place I can travel. For me, there is no “discrimination aside.” I don’t believe that, for instance, for Glen Casada or Jim Gotto, there was any “discrimination aside.” This was exactly about a small group of self-identified businessmen who met in semi-secret at Lifeway to plot how they could continue to fuck over gay people and transgender people AND continue to do business with Metro and how they’re getting the state to let them, when they couldn’t make Metro do what they wanted.
I don’t care how they framed it to be palatable to the less pro-discrimination Representatives who voted for it. I’m not interested in treating the cover they gave those cowardly fuckers as if it has equal weight to the truth of the matter. And I’m not interested in coming up with ways to make doing the right thing more palatable to cowards.
Probably that is valuable work that needs to be done. I’m just not interested in doing it.
I don’t think you can be so nice to people who are more powerful than you–and let’s not be mistaken into thinking that you and I are on the same footing as even the representatives in our state legislature–that they will do anything more than make your particular life comfortable. You can be so nice that you become the exception, the pet that needs to be spoiled.
But I can’t think of a single historical example where people who behaved themselves ever got people with power over them to give them real justice. And I’m not that interested in whether Eddie Bass, Charles Curtiss, John DeBerry, Bill Harmon, Michael Ray McDonald, Joe Pitts, David Shepard, John Tidwell, and John Mark Windle listen to me. They didn’t listen to me before.
I’m interested in them rethinking this bullshit pro-discrimination stand they’ve taken, whether on purpose or inadvertently, and not doing it again, because I’m interested in not only living in a state where it doesn’t suck to be a woman or gay or transgender or some combination therein, but also because I’m interested in belonging to a party where “should I help bigots fuck over vulnerable people?” isn’t even a dilemma for Democrats because the answer is always “no.”
If people feel thrown under a bus because I can’t play nice when they’ve helped make life harder for people, then I don’t really know what to say. Maybe they should feel thrown under a bus. Maybe while under that bus they should take a long hard look at the people they threw under there when making that vote.