What a year this is proving to be — and we’re only into January. First, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindall talks about non-existent “no go zones” where non-Muslims can’t enter. Then Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said most required vaccinations of kids should be voluntary and vaccines could lead to brain damage. And now you have North Carolina Republican freshman Senator Thom Tillis raising another issue: it’s time to champion freedom of the bathoom. Who is the government to require employers to make employees wash their hands after answering nature’s call and going back to make sandwiches, coffee, pizza or handle merchandise customers will touch?
I never knew “freedom” had a “p” in it.
But you learn something new every day:
Freshman Sen. Thom Tillis likes to tell a story about why he doesn’t believe government should require coffee shop employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom.
“Just to give you an idea of where my bias is when it comes to regulatory reform,” the North Carolina Republican said Monday, before telling the story at a discussion at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
In 2010, when he was in the state legislature, he had a conversation with an opponent of his views on regulations at a Starbucks.
He was arguing businesses should be allowed to opt out of regulations as long as they were upfront and transparent to the public about the move.
The two were sitting at a table near the restrooms, which prompted his opponent to ask Tillis if he would be OK with the Starbucks opting out of any regulation requiring that employees wash their hands after using the bathroom.
Tillis said he saw the question as an opportunity to illustrate his point.
“I don’t have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy as long as they post a sign that says, ‘We don’t require our employees to wash their hands after they use the restroom,’” Tillis responded. “The market will take care of that.”
Lawyers who might get to sue companies for customers claiming they may have gotten sick because they saw a sign like that and consumed more than what was on their plate might like this idea, too.
But lest you think we don’t give Mr. Tillis some credit where it’s due:
Tillis also discussed his efforts to build relationships, particularly with Senate Democrats.
“It’s really nice being irrelevant; it’s great being a freshman because you can really spend time just finding your way around,” Tillis said. “That’s what I am doing now and trying to build relationships that I think will be helpful on both sides of the aisle. … I’ve spent most of my time reaching out to members of the Democratic caucus and meeting with them one on one.”
1. Tillis should be applauded for reaching out to Democrats in an era when many politicians seem to feel reaching across the aisle is treason or a sign of wussiness. No, in fact, American history shows that it’s a sign of someone who can think beyond his or her own district or state and wants to try and win people over on some points, or at least be on good terms with them. Hopefully, he’ll keep this attitude throughout his term.
2. If Tillis truly believes that it’s all a matter of choice or whether you have time enough to wash your hands after using the bathroom, if he reaches out to Democrats, Democrats might consider wearing gloves.
graphic via shutterstock.com