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Rich Lowry's idea of a free market.
Rich Lowry, writing for Politico, argues that Gov. Brewer's veto was a "foolish" mistake and that she was pushed into it by media hysteria. Fine, he's entitled to his opinion no matter how crazy. However, the foundation of his opinion, astonishingly, argues that discrimination of any kind is not a matter for government:
The cases that have come up relevant to the Arizona debate involve small-business people declining to provide their services to gay couples at their marriage ceremonies. A New Mexico photographer won’t take pictures. A Washington state florist won’t arrange flowers. An Oregon bakery won’t bake a wedding cake. It’s easy to see how offensive these decisions were to the gay couples involved. An entirely understandable response would be for the couple to say, “I’m sorry you’re so narrow-minded and I hope you evolve one day. In the meantime, I’ll take my business elsewhere.”

The market has a ready solution for these couples: There are other bakers, photographers and florists. The wedding business is not exactly bristling with hostility to gay people. If one baker won’t make a cake for gay weddings, the baker across town can hang a shingle welcoming all couples for all types of weddings. This is how a pluralistic society would handle such disputes. Instead, in the cases mentioned above, the gay couples reported the businesses to the authorities for punishment.

The question isn’t whether businesses run by people opposed to gay marriage on religious grounds should provide their services for gay weddings; it is whether they should be compelled to by government.

In other words, in Mr. Lowry's world, if a restaurant decided they wanted to throw out a gay couple, that couple should then offer thanks to the market and just go somewhere else. It isn't the government's role to protect the civil rights of people. If a business owner's God didn't like black people, for example, he could simply throw them out and put up a sign saying "no blacks allowed for religious reasons" and then let "the market" sort out the rest. If a Muslim business owner didn't want to serve Jewish people, just go somewhere else, Jews. I presume Mr. Lowry would appreciate some sort of app or website that kept a catalog of which businesses do business with which groups of people. That's the sort of society he wants to live in. Which was exactly how things were before the Civil Rights Act. Pretty shocking.

But more importantly, why is it that Mr. Lowry seems to think that it is the government's role to protect the rights of business owners? The government shouldn't protect a customer's right to be treated fairly. Instead, that should left up to the market. But a business owner's right to treat people unfairly, why that should be protected by government statute! No free market needed.

Originally posted to Triple-B in the Building on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  He went even further than that: (67+ / 0-)

    Mr. Lowry even went beyond that rather shocking statement. He then posits a bold faced lie:

    A religious freedom statute doesn’t give anyone carte blanche to do whatever he wants in the name of religion. It simply allows him to make his case in court that a law or a lawsuit substantially burdens his religion and that there is no compelling governmental interest to justify the burden.
    The Arizona statute, as passed by the legislature, does not simply allow 'him' to make his case that a lawsuit burdens his religious freedom. It shifts the burden to the plaintiff in such a discrimination lawsuit to prove that there is a compelling government interest in burdening 'his' religious excercise:
    B. Except as provided in subsection C, government OF THIS SECTION, STATE ACTION shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.

    C. Government STATE ACTION may substantially burden a person's exercise of religion only if it THE OPPOSING PARTY demonstrates that application of the burden to the person PERSON'S EXERCISE OF RELIGION IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE is both:
    1. In furtherance of a compelling governmental interest.
    2. The least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

    Keep in mind that the law also defined a person as "ANY INDIVIDUAL, ASSOCIATION, PARTNERSHIP, CORPORATION, CHURCH, RELIGIOUS ASSEMBLY OR INSTITUTION, ESTATE, TRUST, FOUNDATION OR OTHER LEGAL ENTITY" or in other words any and every institution in the state large or small.
  •  Market THIS, Lowry (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Capitalist, MartyM, TomP, ER Doc

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:35:12 AM PST

  •  sure (11+ / 0-)

    he's a wealthy white man. let the market stop discrimination. or maybe angels or wizards or the united federation of planets can solve it. just not the government. no worries.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:35:18 AM PST

  •  Give this man some teevee time..... (8+ / 0-)

    Keep it up're doing just fine.

  •  Sounds like Barry Goldwater 1964 (14+ / 0-)

    Regarding race discrimination.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:39:53 AM PST

  •  The Reactionary Right has not changed (13+ / 0-)

    Charlie Pearce cites this column today and reminds us that Lowry is merely channeling the arguments that were made in the white-supremacy magazine he edits on Civil Rights.

    Here is a paragraph that was in an editorial of the National Review at the time of the March on Washington.

    There are those who sincerely believe progress is not fashioned out of that kind of clay. There actually are true and wise friends of the Negro race who believe that a federal law, artificially deduced from the Commerce Clause of the Constitution or from the 14th Amendment, whose marginal effect will be to instruct small merchants in the Deep South on how they may conduct their business, is no way at all of promoting the kind of understanding which is the basis of progressive and charitable relationships between the races.
    The Reactionary Right lost that battle as they are losing this one.  They know it; as we all do.

    As their defeats mount, their rhetoric will intensify, but they can't, as they have wanted to, stop the historic march of bringing equal rights to ALL people.

    [Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security] do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

    by MoDem on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:50:34 AM PST

    •  Is there any other kind of right? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MoDem, a2nite, JVolvo, Eric Nelson

      There's absolutely nothing genuinely conservative about it.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:25:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kovie, JVolvo

        We need to start calling them what they are: reactionary.

        They don't want to conservative anything; they want to turn the clocks back.

        And, those at the white-supremacist journal really like the 1950s or is it the 1880s?

        [Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security] do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

        by MoDem on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:33:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  He needs to stop digging, being a radical RW (5+ / 0-)

    White supremacist Religious bigot
    is just not a good look. He's such an asshole. The problem is these monsters cant separate belief from action. The evil rotten RW  need to stop acting like evil monsters.

    Corporation, money & guns have more rights than humans.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:55:21 AM PST

  •  I'd like to take Lowry's comments to a different (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    place.  I'd like to see merchants make an affirmative statement that they will not discriminate against any customer, lest the market should punish them.  Fly a rainbow flag, or sticker.  Post it on Facebook, or Yelp. Polling suggests that the majority abhors these attitudes, particularly among the demographics with disposable income.  Let the market speak loudly and deprive these businesses of revenue.

    "Because I am a river to my people."

    by lordcopper on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:57:01 AM PST

    •  You know, if these bigots posted a sign in the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      window saying, "I refuse to serve the following people" and then listed them, that would be bad enough.   As it is, they put out a shingle, pull in unsuspecting gay couples and lesbian couples, and then declare their righteous superiority.  It's not just unconstitutional, it's petty and vindictive, too.

      It's not an exercise of their religion, it's an exercise in their need to demonstrate that they are better than the "evil sinners."  Self-righteous a*sholes.

    •  They can't do that as that law also gives (0+ / 0-)

      individual employees the right to discriminate and if such a business then fires or disciplines them the bigot can then sue and win.  So it is pretty much impossible for any business to be able to guarantee they won't discriminate.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 10:31:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's Make A "Hypothetical" Argument (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, cama2008

    Let's say that a person on a reality TV show made some homophobic comments. It would follow that Lowry would insist that everybody who reads his column should boycott that show and encourage the network which airs it to remove the show so that the market could discourage homophobia in our country.

    I'm certain Lowry would agree with this point of view. Anything else would be hypocritical.

    "H.R.W.A.T.P.T.R.T.C.I.T.G -- He really was a terrible president that ran the country into the ground."

    by Reino on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:58:19 AM PST

  •  Actually, I think that the market DID speak (18+ / 0-)

    Brewer didn't veto that bill out of decency or compassion, she vetoed it because the NFL and the Chamber of Commerce threatened her. Her REAL constituency spoke up. Because discrimination IS bad for bidnez and they know it.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:00:43 AM PST

    •  I do wonder if she would have vetoed it if she (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      wasn't term-limited.  (And I know she wants to argue she isn't, but I think she knows she'll lose in court.)

      It's probably unfair, to assume that Arizona in 2014 is the same as the Arizona I lived in in the late 1960s, but it sure was racist back then in a way I'd never encountered before.

      And the racism there was worse than what I experienced in Cicero and surrounding suburbs in the early 1970s.  (MLK famously remarked that he'd never seen racism in the deep South as bad as what he saw in Cicero.)

      PS- I'm a white male who doesn't "look" liberal so conservatives tend to assume I'm one of them.

  •  This WAS the market stopping discrimination, (8+ / 0-)

    actually, but on a macro level.

    It's not like Governor Brewer decided to veto out of her deep-seated support for the rights of sexual minorities.  No, it was the possibility of tourism boycotts and lost Superbowl games that spoke.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:03:25 AM PST

  •  Let market punish NFL for opposing the bill (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cama2008, a2nite, sweatyb, anon004

    Or, don't they have enough faith in the power of the market for that?

  •  Rich "Starbursts" Lowry: easily "compelled" (7+ / 0-)

    punditry's anti-pudendum

    A very wise TV executive once told me that the key to TV is projecting through the screen. It’s one of the keys to the success of, say, a Bill O’Reilly, who comes through the screen and grabs you by the throat. Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, “Hey, I think she just winked at me.” And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can’t be learned; it’s either something you have or you don’t, and man, she’s got it.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:18:24 AM PST

  •  Hey, here's another great idea (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, JVolvo, anon004

    How about letting the market, not government, put out fires, run traffic lights and deal with crime? How about letting the market, not government, protect us from evil Islamofascist terrorists, Mexican drug cartels and Justin Bieber?

    Oh, and Rich, how about letting the market, not government, get you a refund on that lobotomy? Because like how your brain works it's magic!

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:21:59 AM PST

    •  Another free market idea (0+ / 0-)

      Let's say, and why not, that I'm part of that snake-handler church where the guy died earlier this month from handling snakes. Their religious belief is rooted in a disputed passage that may have been appended to the gospel of Mark that says believers can handle deadly animals or drink poison without harm. I think it's nutty, but they clearly believe it's true and act on that belief.

      Anyway, as part of this sect, we decide we're going to open a restaurant. Now that health code and all that so-called "safe" food handling procedures kind of takes the fun out of proving that passage from Mark. We're not going to follow none of that gummint interference in the food we prepare for our customers. If some of them get poisoned or drop dead, well, they shoulda just believed harder or better or something. Not our fault. Besides, in Lowry's world, once the word gets around that you're taking your life in your hands by eating at the Snake Charmer Café, it'll close down all by itself.

      Except, of course, if some non-believer member of the public, upset because his wife died from the Tuna Surprise at the Snake Charmer, starts bad mouthing the café, we'll sue him for defamation, restraint of trade, and whatever else we can think of. Naturally, Rich Lowry will use his column to defend us because of religious freedom, free markets, small business, and job creation.


  •  Disgusting (man,words,ideas,party) (0+ / 0-)
  •  Lowry has always been a blowhard idiot. I would (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, a2nite, Lying eyes, anon004

    expect a bigoted and hateful opinion written by him as he is a very little man with a very small soul.  He also needs the money, and so he writes and preaches hate speech for the paycheck as well.  Bomb throwers in the conservative wingnut media alternate universe are all cut from the same opportunist cloth.  

    "When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy...." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:59:24 AM PST

  •  'silence' about a bad business = Free Market? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Eric Nelson, anon004

    How is this "Free Market" supposed to work if criticizing bad business owners is suppressing their 'Religious' views and unacceptable?

    -7.75,-6.41 Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking...

    by owlbear1 on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:05:42 AM PST

  •  If only we had examples from history (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lying eyes, anon004, ER Doc

    where leaving it to the free market didn't work out.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:40:15 AM PST

    •  I know. They are so few and far between! :-( (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Hate speech is a form of vandalism. It defaces the environment, and like a broken window, if left untended, signals to other hoodlums that the coast is clear to do more damage." -- Gregory Rodriguez

      by Naniboujou on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:25:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lowry seems to forget that Jim Crow was (5+ / 0-)

    a series of laws establishing de jure segregation. It took another set of laws to end Jim Crow, but de facto segregation lived on until the Supreme Court made it illegal.

    Lowry's simplistic view is not worthy of serious attention.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 09:10:49 AM PST

    •  Lowry is a white guy, he never had to remember (5+ / 0-)

      Jim Crow as a bar to him, or as discrimination against him.  

      He is another modern whimpering Conservative victim of equality, who longs for the day when he could raise his flag to the heroic armies assembled to fight for his right to economic and religious liberty to legally own, trade, rape, beat and murder black (substitute any modern protected class) Americans.  

      They long for an America, but it's not for Abe Lincoln's Union, the United States of America, but for their white idealized Confederate States of America, when white men like him could be "free."

      "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

      by Uncle Moji on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 09:59:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To this day (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        devis1, ER Doc, Uncle Moji

        there are people who are still fighting the Civil War in an unofficial War of Southern Aggression wailing about their lost "heritage." I live among them. They're my neighbors and, although I am white, I find the whole thing completely creepy.

        I view the charter school movement as a way to re-establish school segregation as well as a corporate grab for public money. In so many ways there are people who seem to be trying to go back to the "good" old days. We need to keep pushing back against them even more persistently than they are pushing, because they are persistent. We've got to beat them at that.

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 12:54:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What a salient point! (0+ / 0-)

          The charter school movement uses public school money to create a "specialized, segregated" body of students, not simply all those who live in a geographic area.  This is akin to modern private schools subsidized by those who are not welcomed in their schools, or a throwback to the segregated white free public schools of Jim Crow, open only to whites.

          "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

          by Uncle Moji on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 11:17:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Cheer Up... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in Mr. Lowry's world there will be no Charter Schools...  There will be no need for them.  Without that pesky  government interference in the housing market (Why can't people refuse to sell homes to people based on race?  The Market will sort it out!), we can soon herald a return to segregated neighborhoods with "separate-but-unequal" schools!  (I mean even worse than already exists today, of course!)

  •  Great Diary and great comment BBB. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brooklynbadboy, ER Doc

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 10:00:26 AM PST

  •  Um, kinda like how (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, anon004, ER Doc

    'the market' ended segregation, won women's suffrage... and like that?

    Lowry is stumbling around in the alternate reality shared by reactionaries who've already "got theirs", and let Gawd sort out the rest.

  •  Sounds like Lowrey has bought the churchy GOP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anon004, ER Doc

    ..reactionaries argument for re-litigating the constitution to restart a race they didn't win out-right back then.

    Because this really is the heart of it - imo

    why is it that Mr. Lowry seems to think that it is the government's role to protect the rights of business owners?
    ..and not the customers - the majority of people iow's

    The 1st amendment to the constitution's religious clause come in two parts: the establishment clause and the free exercise part of the clause carried out to the states via the 14th amendment.

    The religious wing of the GOP seem to believe that the free exercise section should nullify the establishment clause section in a truly "free market"

    And they'll lose again, but not before wasting everyone's time - again

  •  I For One Welcome Back 1963 When This Same (0+ / 0-)

    argument pointed to how all across the nation segregation had been ended by the market in the 1920's, before the Civil Rights Act gave us all these problems.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:02:55 PM PST

  •  Well, "the market" does everything else. (0+ / 0-)

    It's the Twin Screw Universal Controller from MST3K.

    It slices, it dices, it makes Julienne fries, it can turn you into a nine-year-old Hindu boy, it controls the ship's yaw, it's pitch...

    Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in.

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:10:16 PM PST

  •  Wow, old-style conservatism, ca 1967. (0+ / 0-)

    Henry Kissinger, I'm missing ya...

    Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in.

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:12:46 PM PST

  •  I don't believe Lowry actually wrote this (0+ / 0-)

    Somebody that stupid would not know how to turn on a computer, let alone put a sentence together.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

    by RichM on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:17:17 PM PST

  •  This meme cropped up on almost every thread (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tuesdayschilde, Naniboujou

    on Facebook I saw about the AZ situation. Usually but not always with some weasily caveat along the lines of, "Now I don't support this particular statute, but...," followed by something along the lines of Lowry's argument, and/or something like "...but should business owners ever have to act against their conscience?!"

  •  If you have ever watched the short movie depicting (6+ / 0-)

    the fight for rights for accessibility for the disabled you would never be so ignorant as to insist that the market will take care of these matters and there should be no government interference.

    I imagine that people like Rich Lowery would be the first to insist on government interference if he couldn't find a restaurant, bathroom, or building that would allow him to enter and allow him to conduct his business.

    Why should any citizen, or visitor, to this country not expect to enjoy the same rights and privileges as others.  What do you say to someone in a wheelchair that expects the taxes they pay should allow them the same access to public transportation as any other citizen?

    I have never in my life seen this level of bullshit.  Yes, there have always been these types of idiots around.  But I don't remember them being able to have this loud of a voice before to espouse inequality, a reduction of women's rights, lack of support for our veteran's and disadvantaged, and wanting to remove vital health care from millions.

    And while I am ranting, I just read that airlines are giving our 1% elite even more perks to allow them to stay away from the rest of us peasants by promoting special entrances, first boarding, and other lovely things.

    Let them eat cake, indeed.

  •  Capitalism is a cult to some (5+ / 0-)

    They associate capitalism with freedom and no evidence will shake their confidence.

    Lowry seems for forget that slavery was a capitalist enterprise (and a very profitable one).

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:21:04 PM PST

  •  The Market couldn't end slavery (3+ / 0-)

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:24:08 PM PST

    •  In my living memory (5+ / 0-)

      the market also failed to stop discrimination against blacks, Jews, Catholics, Polish, Irish, Italians, Hispanics, disabled and mentally ill people, etc.  I grew up near Darien, Connecticut, made famous for its anti-semitism in the 1947 film "Gentleman's Agreement."  The real estate community thrived on discrimination: by steering 'undesirables' away from the nicer neighborhoods they could artificially pump up the property prices, thanks to a clientele that was all to happy to be told of their genetic superiority.  My dentist was the only known Jewish guy in town, but he was deemed "okay" only because his wife was a Congregationalist.  Race-hate worked very well for a lot of people in that town.  As I understand it, those attitudes have never fully receded.  It is exceedingly naïve to think that Darien would have changed naturally without the vast wave of the Civil Rights movement.  

  •  This is the Rich Lowrey (4+ / 0-)

    who said that Sarah Palin "sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around living rooms in America."
    That, and that alone discredits anything he has to say ever again in this life or the next.

  •  Lack Of Empathy present in Conservatism (6+ / 0-)

    It's always a choice someone else makes, until it happens to them. Hate gays? Only till I have a gay son. Hate the poor? Only until I'm poor myself. This inability to project oneself into someone else's place is a lack of empathy, and a lack of humanity.
    The conservative solution to poverty - make it really, really unpleasant to be poor, and then
    hope people will do the smart thing and avoid it - has failed and failed and failed again."

    Yes. This is the "kick the dog" method. Kicking the dog is not a very good way to train a dog. It may get the dog to not do something when you are around, but it won't last. In addition, it makes the dog mean.

    Conservatives like punishing others and pretending to do God's work by punishing the poor. Just watch the Televangelists discuss how God gives economic rewards only to the faithful and punishes the apostates.

    Does a person who is poor due to health problems deserve to be sick? Who decides that?

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:25:46 PM PST

  •  Rich Lowry did not study history (0+ / 0-)

    Which is why he and "his kind" is doomed to repeat the mistakes.

    Where do I get a job writing the kind of biased non-factual drivel like this? I'm sure I could lie-up-a-storm just like these guys for half what they are paid.

    I would tell you the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order but, that would be facetious.

    by roninkai on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:26:48 PM PST

  •  Has Lowry ever traveled, with or without kids? (7+ / 0-)

    When our kids were young and we took long vacations by car, by the end of the day they were tired, cranky and hungry.  All we wanted was to find a motel and a restaurant to get them fed, rested and cleaned up.

    Lowry's free market could theoretically have refused us service in an entire city, and even denied us a tankful of gas to travel to another city -- where the same thing could happen again.  Lowry's punishment in hell should be to travel with a back seat full of kids asking "Are we there yet?" for eternity.

    •  With or without kids... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... there are so many scenarios that make "just go someplace else" not feasible.

      What if my car breaks down or my tire blows out in a one-garage town? What if I'm running out of tampons/diapers/Depends/whatever, and there's only one drugstore? What if I have a medical emergency on the road? Hell, what if I just really, really have to pee?

      Apparently those self-proclaimed Christians concerned about their religious freedom haven't caught on that the Samaritan, not the religious people that walked on by, is the hero in the parable.

      261.A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience. -Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

      by MaikeH on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:29:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You are free to start a business (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happyshadow, tuesdayschilde

    That is, to me, all the free market means.

    But the cost of starting your business freely (once it's classed into the proper tax category blah blah) is that you much accept that everyone else is free to patronize your business.

    If you keep the door closed to specific people because you don't like them, it's not a business, it's a club, and you should lose all the benefits that come with being considered a small business owner (e.g. being able to make a profit.)

    The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

    by catwho on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:30:07 PM PST

  •  I hope Lowry's car breaks down (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in Cow Walk, pop. 45 bigots, in the middle of a snowstorm.

    "Lowry? Thats'a funny sounding name.  We don't cotton to your type here," says the only mechanic, as he spits tobacco an inch from Lowry's tasseled loafer.

    "Too bad your fancy cell phone don't work here, fella," says the desk clerk at the only motel in town, as he turns Lowry away.

    "Sorry, we're closed," says the waitress as she locks the cafe door while Lowry, on the verge of freezing to death, approaches.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:30:16 PM PST

  •  The market has already provided options: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happyshadow, MrJersey

    People who want to discriminate can go to Uganda, or Russia, or a whole slew of middle eastern countries.  Why use government to interfere and distort the market by creating 'incentives' for people who want to discriminate?  The market has already provided them with options in a very efficient manner, it is up to them to take advantage.

    Typical republicans, always turning to government to solve their problems.

    And we love to wear a badge, a uniform / And we love to fly a flag But I won't...let others live in hell / As we divide against each other And we fight amongst ourselves

    by ban48 on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:35:47 PM PST

  •  The free market can solve some problems (3+ / 0-)

    but obviously not all of them. The problem I have with such writers as the one from Politico is that their belief in the "free market" is akin to religion. And just like any religious fanatic, they conveniently ignore or deny any obvious inconvenient truths. In addition, yes, it might not be that big of a deal for a person to go down the street to a different bakery for a cake, but what happens when it's a vital service that you need such as police, fire, medical help, even a loan for a business or home?

  •  are there any members of the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happyshadow, novapsyche

    oppressed group saying let the market solve it, just out of curiosity??  or just the oppressors..

  •  BBB makes very good points. (0+ / 0-)

    Are there laws or court opinions which make it illegal for a private person to discriminate against a gay person?

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:51:51 PM PST

    •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

      Protected by the first amendment. In fact, in most of Arizona, it's perfectly legal for business owners to discriminate against gay people.

      •  So, Lowry is also wrong about this: (0+ / 0-)
        The question isn’t whether businesses run by people opposed to gay marriage on religious grounds should provide their services for gay weddings; it is whether they should be compelled to by government.

        "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops." General Buck Turgidson

        by muledriver on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:02:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Unbridled Greed Is Satan's Agenda On Steroids (0+ / 0-)

    This guy worships Satan.  

  •  Uh, Rich Lowry, Dick! (0+ / 0-)

    "Three things cannot be long hidden: The Sun, The Moon, and The Truth." Buddha

    by Grandson named me Papa on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:19:40 PM PST

  •  free marketers are fantasy land morons (0+ / 0-)

    But it gets back to belief, it is easy to believe in something, regardless of all evidence to the contrary, it keeps you from having to think. How many times do we have to watch CEOs push the  envelope in order to take more before we can just laugh at these fools and ghouls?

  •  Lowry on Anti-discrimination Laws (0+ / 0-)

    There is nothing in Mr. Lowry's argument that is unique to anti-gay discrimination.  If his argument were valid, it would also be valid for discrimination against blacks, against Jews, against women, etc.  Is he prepared to take those positions explicitly?  If not, how can he defend taking this position?

  •  Here's the jiujitsu to use on libertarians (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tuesdayschilde, lcbo, MaikeH

    It's pretty simple to flip this one.  Note that the NFL was going to move the super bowl.  Note that several groups chose to stay away from Arizona after the illegal immigrant bill.  Note how their economy suffered.  

    Then ask why the 'religious freedom' of these people gets to damage the finances of their neighbors who may not support their view.  They'll likely rail on about persecution or blowing it out of proportion by the media.  Bring them back on topic by saying 'yes, yes but the bill will still have damaged others financially.  Perception or not, this bill would have been a tax on the hospitality industry in Arizona.'

    Wear a raincoat, in case you trigger Scanners level cognitive dissonance.

    •  What to tell libertarians: (0+ / 0-)

      Tell libertarians that a non-discrimination rule is, in effect, just another requirement for the privilege of having business license — not a slippery slope, eroding individual liberty in some unprincipled way, but a business regulation.

      They can argue about business regulation per se, but that’s a different question.

  •  On Wonkette, someone commented on all of the (5+ / 0-)

    people who want to talk about laws forbidding discrimination as being the same as slavery.

    Regarding the claim that bakers would now be forced to bake penis-shaped cakes, they said this would be the subject of a new film, "12 Years a Baker".

    •  Do they honestly think armed federal marshals (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MaikeH, MrJersey, bythesea

      are going to be holding their guns on Christian bakers demanding they make penis cakes? Talk about deranged.

    •  LGF had a penis cake thread last night (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Apparently the government will now force "devout bakers" to bake penis-shaped cakes for gay weddings (never mind that the only place those usually show up is at bachelorette parties, not wedding receptions) and photographers to take pictures of gay nekkid wedding orgies.

      First of all, the RWNJ imagination never ceases to amaze me. They have really strange ideas about what goes on at gay weddings.

      Second, no, if a baker doesn't have penis cakes in his/her repertoire, he/she can't be forced to bake them. Just saying, "Sorry, we don't have penis cakes" suffices.  However, if the baker does offer penis cakes, then everyone who wants one should be able to order one.

      261.A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience. -Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

      by MaikeH on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:43:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If I recall my history correctly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Southern state governments passed laws that forbade business owners from any form of racial integration.    Southern politicians felt no compunction to interfere with the so called free market or running of businesses with regards to race.  So there is no way, even if one wanted to, for a Southern business owner during Jim Crow days to have run his or her establishment without imposing racial discrimination.  Therefore, free markets do NOT solve the problem of discrimination.

  •  Two things: (0+ / 0-)

    1. We did that whole market thing for years and it resulted in the current law.  Why on Earth would we want to go back to the bad old days; and,

    2. With all this talk about religious freedom has anyone given any thought to the 'religious-ness' of the person supposedly offended.  I mean what if a paramedic says he doesn't want to resuscitate a gay guy because of his "religious freedom" and later we find that same paramedic likes to frequent the gay bars on the down-low.  I mean if you cite religion as the reason for your bigotry shouldn't you have to prove that you are a religious person who follows all the other rules and are not using your religion to hate ...uh I mean discriminate against others?  Shouldn't there be a panel to determine the truly faithful?

  •  The more things change, the more their the same... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Really, does anyone thing the same people who are railing against Gays today weren't the same people holding Klan rallies against blacks 40 years ago? The same folks holding rallies against women's vote and emancipation 150 years ago.

    The sad thing is, we have to treat bigots as if they're respectable people "Because of the Bible or Something" When in the end, all they are pitiful little people who woke up in a world they can't handle and have to take out the shock of existence on scapegoated others until time grants them the inevativle oblivion of death.  Really, do the rest of us who realize the world isn't made of roses dedicated to assuaging our doubts have to spend the rest of our live pampering them?

  •  As I said over @ Politico in full snark mode: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BeninSC, tuesdayschilde, lcbo

    Since the free market is so efficient at making sure all citizens are treated in a fair and equitable manner, I suppose Mr. Lowry and those who agree with him would like to go on record in support of the immediate repeal of both the Civil Rights Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

    It boggles the mind why a nation with such a strong, vibrant free market ever felt the need to pass such pointless legislation in the first place given that both Acts represent nothing more than a double helping of needless, over-the-top big-government regulatory nonsense meant to destroy the American entrepreneurial spirit.

    I mean, come on! Why indeed should hard-working Americans be forced to pay for and erect an ugly, intrusive wheelchair ramp in front of their hard-earned storefront when they don't want a bunch of damn cripples hanging around anyway?

    Surely a few strongly-worded Yelp reviews would sort the whole mess out in short order!

  •  Rand Paul made the same argument (0+ / 0-)

    Remember that he said he felt private business should be able to discriminate and that the market would take care of it because people wouldn't frequent those businesses.

    He was ok with The Civil Rights Act except the part that dealt with private business - he said if he were around it would have tried to modify that part.

  •  Shocking lack of understanding of our"Imperfect" (0+ / 0-)

    market. Not every jurisdiction has tons of bakers, photographers, or florists that do weddings.  Too many armchair economists believe the market just adjusts.  What if all of the florists in town decide to refuse service to the gay couple.  And what of the emotional harm it does people to be treated so poorly by some business.  I guarantee you that Lowry has never been the victim of sustained and persistent discrimination.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 11:39:32 PM PST

  •  brooklynbadboy, you, and mr. lowry, are both (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Van Buren, lcbo


    let me explain, as simply as I can, for mr. lowry's benefit. he's a simple man, salt of the earth type. you know, a moron. I give you more credit than that.

    every business in the US, be it exxon, or joe's flowers and wedding cakes, avails themselves of publicly provided goods and services, paid for by all taxpayers. these would be things like roads (the better to deliver their goods), a judicial system (the better to adjudicate contractual disagreements peacefully), police/fire/emt services (the better to protect their property, and help out in case of emergency).

    these items are paid for by all taxpayers, not just those who's "religious" beliefs mirror those of the business owner. as a result, all businesses, and their owners, have made an explicit agreement to abide by the rules of local/state/federal governments, in return for the publicly paid for benefits provided them.

    unless joe's flowers and wedding cakes is willing to pay for a completely separate physical/intangible infrastructure, solely servicing his business, he has no right whatever, to claim a "special" exemption to the general rules, period. his religious beliefs are totally irrelevant to the issue at hand.

  •  The market deciding requires there be a market (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, bythesea

    Lowry is one of many espousing this view. Forget religious grounds.  Some say the right of a private business to deny service shouldn't require any justification. But as Lowry says, if that happened, the customer could just take his or her business elsewhere.

    Well that may be true in LA, NY or San Francisco, but "taking your business elsewhere" may not be so feasible in more rural, less commercial parts of this country.   And if some little kid is going to pee her pants because the private gas station doesn't let blacks use the restrooms, it's little comfort to say they can just take their business to the next gas station 25 miles away.

    However, having said all this, I do wonder why gays and lesbians would want to patronize a place that thinks they are less than worthy human beings.  The money they pay for that wedding cake or photographer could very well go toward supporting anti-gay causes here and around the world. So to some extent, I do get the "take your business elsewhere" but I'd like to see that first and foremost be the consumer's choice.

  •  The "private" explanation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is complete BS. These conservatives who think restaurants and caterers should be allowed to turn away minorities think that government should be allowed to discriminate too (e.g. DADT, racial profiling).

    They don't believe in private freedom so much as they believe in the rightness of discrimination.

  •  Randy Paul is in the 98th pergentile. (0+ / 0-)

    No soup for you!

    I ride the wild horse .

    by BelgianBastard on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:52:49 AM PST

  •  FREE MARKET MYTH (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is no such thing as a free market.  All markets are regulated.  It is a matter of who does the regulation.  Elected government officials or unelected CEO's.  Lately neither have been doing a good job and the CEO's are winning regulating both markets and the government to their advantage.

    •  Also, all basics of a capitalist system (0+ / 0-)

      are provided by government.

      Property: is a pure creation of government, a set of laws that gives you a right with respect to a thing.  In nature, you would "own" something only to the extent you could keep someone else from taking it.

      Contracts:  also a creation of government.  You are free to make contracts because you know that, if the other party breaks them, the government will make them pay.  In nature, the stronger party always has incentives not to pay, to the extent any contracts could or would be made

      Money:  Money is worthless paper. It only works because everyone knows everyone else will take it.  Why do we know this?  Because the government requires it and also it backs up the value of the money.  In nature, not everyone would trust your private bank, making private "money" very very volatile and risky.

      Corporations:  These are also pure creations of government--very ironic.  A corporation is essentially your invisible friend.  You pay the government $100-200 or whatever, and the government agrees to recognize your friend as a "person" (simply meaning a legally distinct entity, not the expansive "person" as interpreted by the Repubs) who has certain powers described in the law.  Of course your invisible friend is actually helpless and needs you to do everything.  The point of this is to shield the owner(s) from personal liability for business expenses and debts.

      I am a Democrat BECAUSE I am a progressive.

      by darboy on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:24:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's not forget that Merkans also have the right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to defend their property rights from infringement by the wrong sort.  We should all be thrilled to live in Mr. Lowry's America.  Oh, wait.  Some of us did, but others have forgotten.

     photo LesterMaddox_zps6ce71458.jpg

    The ever-loving Christian Lester Maddox and his Christian son expressing their preference in patrons at their restaurant.

  •  Modern Day Negro Motorist Green Book (0+ / 0-)
    I presume Mr. Lowry would appreciate some sort of app or website that kept a catalog of which businesses do business with which groups of people.

    261.A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience. -Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

    by MaikeH on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:01:48 AM PST

  •  The same "the market will fix discrimination" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    We know this is false because of the example of Jim Crow.  And, one might say that discrimination was the government's fault; Jim Crow was a set of laws, if the government had not set up the laws, the market would have eliminated discrimination.  

    But, if that were true, wouldn't there have been massive instances of cheating?  Jim Crow laws would be tough to enforce without the cooperation of the majority (at least).  Laws such as marijuana laws, speeding laws, or underage drinking laws are flouted all the time because nobody cares that much about them.

    If Jim Crow was really just the oppressive law of a few bigots in power standing in the way of the almighty free market, then wouldn't there be widespread evidence of blacks being secretly allowed to sit at white lunch counters?  To stay at white hotels? To sit where they want on the bus?  etc.  But yet, there is no such evidence. hmmm.

    I am a Democrat BECAUSE I am a progressive.

    by darboy on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:03:37 AM PST

  •  Mr. Lowry has not experienced (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    firsthand the oppression of prejudice.

    It's easy to think the market will take care of things. Just like it did in Selma, or Munich. Yeah, lots of places there were looking to make money and not caring about color, religion, or identity.

    the future begins

    by zozie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:20:08 PM PST

  •  "...substantially burdens his religion..." (0+ / 0-)

    How exactly can a religion (i.e., a belief system) be "burdened"?  Only living things can be burdened.

    Does the legal ruling that corporations are people now also extend to religions?  Or is it, as I've longed suspected, that religions actually are corporations and by the transitive property if a=b and b=c, then a=c?  In which case, religions should be paying taxes.

    Feel trickled on yet?

    by War4Sale on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:44:23 AM PST

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