Chutzpah Times Two

Years ago both the banker’s move and Indiana’s might have passed with barely a whimper. With the Internet it’s much easier to drum up indignation.

chutz·pah ˈho͝otspə,ˈKHo͝otspə
noun informal
shameless audacity; impudence.
synonyms: audacity, cheek, guts, nerve, boldness, temerity
“it took a lot of chutzpah for her to walk in on Owen’s bachelor party”

Twice this past week I’ve looked at news stories and said, “Yeah, that took chutzpah.”

The first came from America’s bankers who’ve threatened to withdraw support from Democratic senatorial candidates because of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and tougher regulations on-the-way from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Where’s my violin?

Representatives from Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, have met to discuss ways to urge Democrats, including Warren and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, to soften their party’s tone toward Wall Street, sources familiar with the discussions said this week.

Bank officials said the idea of withholding donations was not discussed at a meeting of the four banks in Washington but it has been raised in one-on-one conversations between representatives of some of them. – Huffington Post

So, in spite of the civic minded BS banks have passed out over-the-years, donations are just a way to buy candidates… not that it wasn’t obvious before. Tying contributions to specific congressional action takes chutzpah. That it’s done in-the-open shows the banks think/know they’re above the law.

The second chutzpah moment comes from Indiana where the Religious Freedom bill was signed into law this weekend.

The law asserts that the government can’t “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” and that individuals who feel like their religious beliefs have been or could be “substantially burdened” can lean on this law to fend off lawsuits. – CNN

In Indiana you can refuse service to someone because they’re gay or transgender if that would substantially burden your religious beliefs. Talk about being on the wrong side of history!

On ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos tried to get a definitive answer from Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

Pence refused to answer two “yes or no” questions posed to him by Stephanopoulos over the potentially discriminatory ramifications of the bill, including whether it would allow a florist to deny services to a gay couple, as its supporters maintain.

Governor Pence said he didn’t expect the harsh reaction this bill is receiving. Seriously? Is he deaf? You could hear the opposition lining up from here in California.

Years ago both the banker’s move and Indiana’s bill might have passed with barely a whimper. With the Internet it’s much easier to drum up indignation.

It would be nice if the bankers and Hoosiers were forced to reverse course with no room to save face. It’s the least you can do for this much chutzpah.

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