And so, money talked, out there in the Arizona desert. It climbed up on a chair and screamed until its tonsils burst. It shouted from the mountaintops.
You want to know why Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, no wild-eyed liberal, vetoed a bill that would have thrust her state 50 years back in time?
Money. Cold, hard cash.
Bidness, as they say a couple of states over in Texas, is all. Bidness trumps every other consideration in a capitalist society, including plain dunderheaded bigotry.
This no doubt would come as a surprise to the Arizona legislators who voted for the reprehensible piece of garbage known as Senate Bill 1062, but it's not 1955 anymore. And this ain't Mississippi.
Which is to say, the day is moldering in its grave when you could stick a No Negroes Allowed sign in the window of your business, the moral equivalent of what Arizona tried to do with 1062. Its pretzel logic -- that not allowing Christians to discriminate against gays somehow constituted discrimination against Christians -- not only was the same tired ploy used 50 years ago by Southerners to defend segregation. It swam against a tide of history that would have drowned the entire state had Brewer not had the good sense to recognize as much.
This is, after all, 2014, and so if Brewer hadn't eighty-sixed 1062, businesses would have fled Arizona as if Mao himself were running the joint. And that includes the big dog, the NFL.
It's a $9 billion business, and that's a big stick to swing. It also had selected Glendale, Ariz., as the site of the Super Bowl next year. And so when this assbackward mess landed on Brewer's desk, the CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee paid her a visit.
I don't know exactly what was said. But I can guess the gist:
OK, Governor, here's the deal: The last time the Super Bowl was in Glendale, in 2008, it generated somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 million in economic impact. If you sign this bill, next year's Super Bowl is going to generate zero. That's because the NFL will move it to a place far, far away from here. Especially in light of the Michael Sam story, it can't afford to be associated with a state that provides legal protection for anti-gay bigots. It's simply not good business.
Oh, and by the way: I hear Major League Baseball isn't thrilled about 1062, either. Something you might want to think about considering -- what is it? -- 15 MLB clubs have their spring training sites in Arizona.
Clearly, Brewer thought about that, and much else, besides. And while it's probably too much to say the NFL subtly putting the arm on her was the deciding factor in Brewer's veto, it's not too much to say that the Shield has enough economic clout to at least make itself heard.
Yes, money talks. And in this case, most eloquently.