Five Best Wednesday Columns

Harold Meyerson on Arizona's anti-gay bill, Rolando Tomasini on Maduro's lack of legitimacy, Dahlia Lithwick on "Stand Your Ground," Maureen Dowd on NYC's St. Patrick's Day parade gay ban, David Horowtiz on why Republicans need the Tea Party. 

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Harold Meyerson at The Washington Post on Arizona’s anti-gay bill. “Recently in Kansas, Republican legislators in the lower house passed a kindred bill only to have it die in the state Senate when GOP legislative leaders realized that it went too far. But the fact that two absurd proposals swept through two states’ legislative bodies with nearly unanimous Republican support signals a kind of panic within the GOP base at the recent advances in gay and lesbian equality, in particular the right to marry,” Meyerson writes. “On the other hand, the president of Uganda signed into law Monday a statute that would sentence to life in prison people convicted of “aggravated homosexuality” (that is, people convicted more than once for having had gay sex). If Arizona’s Republicans and Catholic bishops don’t like it here, why don’t they move to Uganda?” Robert Mann at The Times-Picayune tweets, “Arizona uses religion as a shield for bigotry.”

Rolando Tomasini at Al Jazeera English on President Nicholas Maduro’s lack of legitimacy in Venezuela. “The government's excessive repression methods over the past week have pushed the limits of its erstwhile popular support, provoking the masses to express their disaccord with President Nicolas Maduro. Residents from the poorest areas have adopted the same methods against the government's violence and repression, setting up barricades, blocking military access, fighting back against the guards and using social media to show the world that they, too, have had enough of the government's mismanagement,” Tomasini writes. “It is impossible to establish dialogue when you control and restrict channels of communication. Maduro refuses to take responsibility for the brutal violence taking place all over the country. Members of his party, cabinet and military forces have begun showing signs of declining support of Maduro as the situation continues to deteriorate.”

Dahlia Lithwick at Slate on the “Stand Your Ground” law. “Aggressive human interaction, post-Trayvon, now follows a painfully familiar pattern: An altercation occurs. Someone says he feared for his life. An unarmed victim (often young, black, and male) is shot and killed. The headlines either explicitly or implicitly invoke “stand your ground. Given all this, it’s not unreasonable to argue that, in America, you can be shot and killed, without consequences for the shooter, for playing loud music, wearing a hoodie, or shopping at a Walmart,” Lithwick writes. “Every time we hear about a Zimmerman, a Dunn, or a Cyle Wayne Quadlin, we get a little bit closer to believing that we need to become a Zimmerman, a Dunn, or a Cyle Wayne Quadlin merely to protect ourselves.” Emily Bazelon at Slate and The New York Times Magazine  tweets, “We are becoming a Stand Your Ground nation: gun lobby shifts expectations about any altercation.”

Maureen Dowd at The New York Times on the NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade LGBT ban. “It has just always seemed strange to me that gays were fighting so hard for so long to bust into such a hoary, boozy, corny tradition. Didn’t they have something more fun and cool to do? But certainly, if gays want in, they should get in. And that’s why Mayor Bill de Blasio is right to blow off the parade in protest of the Putinesque restrictions,” Dowd writes. “Some New York liberals and elected officials pressed the mayor to bar uniformed police and firefighters from marching, but de Blasio, perhaps fearing a shellacking with a shillelagh, demurred. The mayor of Boston, Martin Walsh, also vowed not to march in his city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade if banner-waving gays are banned, although he’s being more conciliatory than de Blasio, working to broker a deal.”

David Horowitz at National Review on why Republicans need the Tea Party. “How do we make this marriage survive? First of all, by recognizing that the basic difference between the Tea Party and the Republican party is a matter of tactics and temperament, not policy and ideology. I probably should acknowledge here that I am a huge fan of what the Tea Party represents, though not always what it does. I believe the emergence of the Tea Party is the most important political development in conservatism in the last 25 years, and is possibly the last best hope for our country,” Horowitz writes. “I said we were not so good at politics. Actually we’re terrible at politics. Whenever a Republican and a Democrat square off it’s like Godzilla versus Bambi. They call us racists, sexists, homophobes, and selfish pigs, and we call them . . . liberals. Who’s going to win that argument? Who is going to believe you when all your motives are ulterior and degenerate?”

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.