Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
Via an email from the Patrick administration, I hit a link on Boston.com regarding a fascinating hard-brake-right from Baker on the transgender antidiscrimination bill.
Despite the nondiscrimination policy put into place under his tenure at Harvard Pilgrim, which includes “gender identity,” Baker (despite the fact his own Lt. Gov. sponsored the bill) pushed against the bill at his (apparently boring) convention:
On Saturday, after critics of the bill highlighted Tisei’s support for the legislation in phone calls to delegates and in petitions at the convention, Baker quickly issued a flier calling it the “bathroom bill and saying he would veto it if elected.
Now, I’m not under the impression that this bill is all that damned draconian. At best (or worst, if you’re afraid of equal rights for people you don’t understand), it makes it clear you can’t discriminate against someone who identifies, say, female, from using the women’s bathroom, nor could you fire someone who has nontraditional gender identity.
Conservatives want to claim that this bill will force unisex bathrooms and locker rooms. Oh noes! First, unisex bathrooms are no big deal (for gawd’s sake people). But that’s not what this bill does anyway, and to state otherwise is to grossly misrepresent the legislation for a political reason.
And as a political move, it’s pretty dumb. Since knocking off Mihos from the primary ballot, Baker should be spending the rest of the race tacking into the middle, instead of pandering to the far right. In fact, Cahill seems to be sewing the social conservatives up anyway, so, Baker’d be better served trying to wedge moderate voters away from Patrick instead of making them disgusted. Maybe he thinks tacking to the far right on trans issues won’t piss off moderates, who maybe don’t feel strongly (for or against, I imagine) on this issue, but the general tactic of shifting social-right in a state like MA - where, if people are conservative at all, it’s fiscally and anti-incumbent - when he is, essentially, already running in a general election, and he already has someone trying to run from his right, just seems suicidal. It sure looks like Baker has the embarrassing potential to come in third, doesn’t it?
Not that I want to give Baker any good advice, but I’m not impressed with his campaign brain trust.
In other news, Baker and Cahill are going after the same conservative voters. I’m shocked, shocked I tell you.
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