Making a list and checking it twice
Some conservatives claim that removing the list of protected categories from the "hate crimes" bill passed by the Indiana State Senate was a victory. It was not. We are losing ground, but we have not lost as much ground as we could have lost. We are worse off than we were a year ago.
The fact of the matter is that a "red state" with Republican super-majorities in both chambers of the legislature and a Republican governor still passed a "hate crimes" bill. Republicans are still accepting the Left's premise that two identical crimes should be punished differently if one of them is motivated by "hate." Republicans are still criminalizing beliefs, and are still allowing some crime victims to be placed in greater legal status than others. The fact that we got a law that is less bad than it could have been is not a victory.
What the amended version did not do is specify a list of specific politically favored groups. This is a good thing, because government should not single out specific groups as more worthy of protection under the law than everyone else. The law does not leave anyone without protection. It allows enhanced punishment for "bias crimes," written into the state code instead of a decision by the state supreme court.
Some of the more hysterical members of the Left have screeched that opponents of the legislation want hate crimes to "remain legal." This is utterly absurd, and is either dishonest or deranged. (It is almost certainly the former.) Hate crimes are illegal, as they should be. You cannot assault, harm, or murder anyone for any reason. You cannot commit property crimes for any reason. Hate crimes have never been legal in this state. As a law and order conservative, I want all violent criminals to be harshly punished. I have said this many times. Murder and rape should be eligible for the death penalty.
Unfortunately, the foot is in the door now. The likelihood of repealing this bad law is close to zero, and both Democrats and country cub Republicans will be back year after year to demand a list of politically favored groups be included in the "hate crime" law. I hate to be so pessimistic, but this is a bad law and will get worse. We must choose better candidates in our Republican primary elections.