Monday, December 26, 2011

Blank Slate Governor Filling in Some Spots

Let's face it. Michigan voters didn't know much about Republican Rick Snyder when he was elected governor. He didn't reveal much about what his political views were, relying on commercials about being a nerd. The result was that people projected their own hopes for what they wanted him to be onto essentially a blank slate.

Take for example, his views on gays. People took a Snyder comment about gay marriage and expanded that to believe that he was a "moderate."

As the months have gone on, Snyder has signed legislation that would warm the heart of any conservative -- virtually stripping people of their right to vote for local elected officials, gutting funding for local schools, slashing funding for public universities, eliminating taxes for businesses and shifting the burden to the elderly.

But the legislation that finally brought Snyder into focus for a lot of people was his signing the bill banning governments from giving benefits to domestic partners of their employees. In effect, Snyder was willing to tell the world that gay people are not welcome here.

Detroit Free Press columnist Brian Dickerson wrote that the "good governor" had sided with the bigots in signing the legislation. Dickerson understated the matter. If Snyder had signed legislation banning domestic partner benefits for interracial couples, would anyone have doubted that he was a racist? If he had signed legislation banning domestic partner benefits for Christians married to Muslims, would anyone have doubted that he was a religious bigot?

How many pieces of similar legislation does Snyder have to sign before people recognize that Snyder didn't just side with the bigots against gays. He is one.

No comments: