“There’s been a slow IV drip of common sense to legislators, and you have lots and lots of people speaking to them and saying, ‘It’s not viable to do an extreme thing,’ ” said a law professor who has been studying recent extreme things and the extreme people who enact them.
Blinder thinks -- not without good cause -- that the example of what happened to North Carolina after it passed its bathroom bill (not to mention HB2 which attempted to outlaw gay marriage for eternity) has dissuaded many Southern lawmakers in other states from attempting to punish people for their sexual orientation. North Carolina lost business, lost investment, lost tourism, lost respect.
...though the [anti-LBGT] bills have often been popular with conservative voters, they go down very poorly with another important constituency: big business. Officials in states hoping to attract major investments from out-of-state corporations — like Amazon’s second headquarters — say they drew a lesson from the boycotts and cancellations that North Carolina suffered over its bathroom bill.Blinder curiously does not mention another big "pucker factor" at work right now: It's an election year, shaping up to be a vicious gauntlet for some Republicans, and when there are so many fired-up voters who want to throw you overboard, it might be wiser not to rock the boat.
Not that the Republican masters in the North Carolina General Assembly have ever been wary of boat-tipping, since they gerrymandered themselves into cork-filled life-preservers.