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No April Fool, Dr. Chaps Is Real

How to make Indiana look civilized! Enter Dr. Chaps!

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, April 01, 2015.

This has to be a wonderful week for gay rights activists. Not only have the usual bigots revealed themselves in such unattractive, hypocritical, and moronic ways and undeniably announced their various idiocies nationally, they've been shredded. Not only by the left, which would be expected, but strongly by the vast majority of the political center, which had been moving left on this issue and solidifying. Out of nowhere, though, strong elements of the political right are furious. Not for inspiring reasons, perhaps, but solid economic ones, bolstered by rather obvious legal support, and a public sense of exhaustion and pleasant surprise that all the verbal terrorism hurled against gays has, everywhere, been clearly revealed to be world class nonsense.

Indiana's Governor Mike Pence has taken it cleanly in the slats and found himself, if not alone, unable to get a round of applause from his normally and boringly centrist Republican support system. Indiana's idiot legislature - composed of the types who pose as having their thumb on the People's Pulse - passed a supposed Religious Freedom Law. Religious freedom was never the issue, what the law wants is religious idiocy and nonsense to sub for legislative law. Pence wanted to allow businesses to ban gay folk from their place of work. Restaurants, banks, anyone could ban gays. It's the sort of thing Republicans like to - by their standards - craftily install on the way to bringing back voter suppression and Jim Crow, because they're white and think anyone white and patriotic thinks like they do. Arkansas, in fact, is set to pass a law near identical to the one passed in Indiana just signed by Pence.

But white America is not at all like Indiana is in the mind of Pence. What has happened, is a kind of Perfect Storm of hypocrisy, coincidentally on the correct side of history. This is college basketball's week deciding the national championship, and therefore a huge gambling and money making deal. The games will be played in Indiana, where Hoosiers are rather fond of the game. But teams, colleges, universities have largely gone ballistic in their condemnation of this stupid, illegal law. Even the NFL - that huggy bear group of fabulous guys - is dinging Indiana.

The NCAA, which is a horrible, corrupt, and increasingly unpopular dictator of college sports, has had a bad year near opposite that of gay rights. Lot of issues, but let's just point out what John Oliver did to the NCAA on his show was what other HBO elements did to Robert Durst and Scientology and the careers of Tom Cruise and John Travolta in the last few weeks. (Hail HBO!) Unrecoverable revelations, slams, and self incriminating videos. So, let's say the NCAA wants to be on a winning, popular side in a national battle. Let's further say it needs to be. What has it done?

Squat, so far. Mark Emmert, the NCAA president, said this week that Indiana's new "religious freedom" law "goes against what higher education and America is all about." The NCAA is headquartered in Indiana, did I mention? When the bill was being discussed, though, he was silent. Still, he went on: "It's important to us because we're an employer here in this state." Uh huh. Okay, but he says it also offends the NCAA's supposed core values of inclusion and diversity.

Along with state governors and mayors disallowing any money for bureaucrats and politicians to go to Indiana on the public dime, certain elements and athletes in national sports have come out to decry this offensive and sick legislation. But so far, only Angie's List, a company that recommends local businesses on a national level, has put real money on the line. It's based in Indianapolis, but has cancelled a $40 million headquarters expansion. Previous, Salesforce, a big deal, cancelled "...all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination." These will hurt.

Here in Colorado, opinions on Indiana were immediately submerged by GOP state representative Gordon Klingenschmit, who hates gays yet insists we call him Dr. Chaps with no irony apparent. While state Republicans could have been patting the Indiana fiasco into shape, they had to deal with this fetid, fat creep. Because when an insane woman attacked a pregnant Longmont citizen and cut out the doomed fetus to be her own and nearly killed the mother, Dr. Chaps said this was simply God's punishment on America because of abortion.

And suddenly Indiana's GOP looked civilized in comparison.