On April 8, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed two bills into law that caught the attention of the Biden White House.
The first bill she signed requires students to use bathrooms appropriate for their biological sex, and the second bill makes it a felony for doctors to perform “gender reassignment” therapy or surgery on minors.
In her signing statement, Ivey affirmed:
I believe very strongly that if the Good Lord made you a boy, you are a boy, and if he made you a girl, you are a girl. We should especially protect our children from these radical, life-altering drugs and surgeries when they are at such a vulnerable stage in life. Instead, let us all focus on helping them to properly develop into the adults God intended them to be.
The vast majority of Alabamans obviously agree. That’s why the bills passed the legislature by overwhelming margins: more than 2:1 in the state house and more than 4:1 in the state senate.
Indeed, nationwide public opinion is on the side of the traditional understanding of the sexes. For instance, a Rasmussen poll taken early last year found majority opposition to transgenderism in sports, and another poll from December found strong support for the assertion that there are only two genders.
So how has the Biden administration responded? One might think that the president has enough to worry about—Ukraine, inflation, Hunter—such that he would ignore Alabama’s action. After all, Democrats are facing a challenging political environment—sample headline in Politico on April 9, “A sour and angry America poised to punish Dems this fall”—and so maybe, for their own sake, Democrats should pull in their horns a little bit.
But, no! The White House went the exact opposite way, charging at Alabama head on. On April 7, press secretary Jen Psaki declared from her podium, “Today’s vote in Alabama will only serve to harm kids.” And then she went further, from volunteering condemnation to threatening litigation:
Alabama’s lawmakers and other legislators who are contemplating these discriminatory bills have been put on notice by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services that laws and policies preventing care that healthcare professionals recommend for transgender minors may violate the Constitution and federal law.
Maybe the U.S. government will sue to overturn Alabama’s laws, and the laws of any other American state that dares to challenge the avant-garde vision of trans-triumphalism. If so, that’s a fight that will play well in liberal precincts, but not in most of the country. According to the left-wing Transgender Law Center, some 23 states have enacted new laws that trans advocates regard as “low,” or “negative”—and that number is growing; late last month, Utah banned transgender athletes from competing against girls (overriding a Republican governor’s veto, but that’s a tale for another time).
Indeed, in an exclusive to Breitbart News on the day she signed those bills, Gov. Ivey fired back at the Bidenites: “Alabama will continue protecting our kids and not letting out-of-state liberals like Jen Psaki and the Biden White House tell us what to do.”
Yet the Biden administration has been doubling down. Back on March 30, to celebrate the International Transgender Day of Visibility, the president himself issued a proclamation in which he committed to advancing “gender equity and equality,” and to “disseminating new resources to enhance inclusion, opportunity, and safety for transgender people.” For instance, thanks to this administration, “Americans will soon be able to select more inclusive gender markers on their passports.” (Note: “Trans Visibility” is not the same thing as “Trans Awareness”—Trans Awareness Week is in November, and Massachusetts celebrates Trans Awareness Month.)
And there’s more from this administration. Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, pledged on April 8: “I will do everything I can to defend any American, including children . . . if they talk about gender-affirming care, I am there to protect the rights of any American.” If we decode that language, we can see that the “right” to “gender-affirming care” means that Uncle Sam will pay for sex-change operations, including all the therapy and follow-up—a process that can easily run into the six figures. But since Becerra’s department boasts a budget of $1.7 trillion, finding the money won’t be a problem.
Also on April 8, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg came to the defense of his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, who had tweeted back in January that school transparency legislation–which critics have mischaracterized as “don’t say gay”– backed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will “kill kids.” Asked about his husband’s stark statement, Buttigieg said to the ladies of The View, “Yeah, he’s right.”
For their part, Republicans say that teachers talking about sex, of any kind, to five-year-old children poses the real danger of indoctrination, recruitment, and perhaps even predation. The current all-purpose word for such predatory behavior, fairly put or not, is grooming.
In any case, it’s not necessary or even advantageous to use the “g” word all the time, because the main goal is to expose the actual course materials, as Breitbart News has done, for example, in New Jersey, forcing the Garden State’s Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy to do a pullback and rethink.
In the meantime, victims of transgenderism are coming forward to offer their own eyewitness. For instance, Ryan Sereno, who transitioned for a time to be a “woman,” is now back to being a man. His firsthand testimony–including his recalling the ease with which he got hormone reassignment pills from Planned Parenthood–is more powerful than overbroad name-calling. Let the facts, as well as the witnesses, speak for themselves. After all, outright criminal behavior toward children is rare. However, weird sex education is, sadly, common. So for larger purposes of political persuasion, it’s best for the right to focus on the common.
In the meantime, the number of DeSantis-type legislative efforts–defined, first and foremost, as transparency so that parents and other adults can know what children are being exposed to–across the states is growing. Indeed, national polls show a comfortable majority for DeSantis-type legislation.
To which trans-totalist ideology responds not by carefully laying out plans for protecting children, but with a blunderbuss response: We’re right, and if you disagree, you’re a bad person and maybe a killer. That sort of scorched-earth rhetoric plays well with the Mainstream Media and with woke corporations such as Disney, but it’s unlikely to play well with the country.
In the meantime, eyeing the upcoming midterm elections, Republicans are laying out their anti-grooming argument and sometimes taking it even further to the explosive issue of child pornography.
On April 5, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri tweeted, “I just went to the Senate floor to try to pass a bill toughening sentences on child pornographers. And the Democrats blocked it, again calling the child porn crisis a ‘conspiracy theory.’ And that tells you everything you need to know.”
I just went to the Senate floor to try to pass a bill toughening sentences on child pornographers. And the Democrats blocked it, again calling the child porn crisis a “conspiracy theory.” And that tells you everything you need to know
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) April 5, 2022
The next day, Republican operative Dave Carney retweeted Hawley, adding, “Wonder how @Maggie_Hassan voted? With parents and children or the child pornographers?”
— Dave Carney (@granitewinger) April 6, 2022
Carney was referring, of course, to Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), who is up for reelection this year.
So how will this back-and-forth play out? We’ll know in November. Yet, in the meantime, it’s worth pondering how we got here.
How the Democrats Transitioned
As Rachel Bovard recalled recently in The Federalist, the younger Biden was once a sensible champion of middle class values; but that was back in the 1990s, when Biden himself was in his 50s. Since then, two things have happened.
First, Biden got old. ‘Nuff said.
Second, the intellectual world of the left changed, as transgenderism emerged as an ideology—or, as its proponents would insist, as a medical discovery. A look at Google’s Ngram Viewer, which tracks the usage of words in books, illustrates this trend. We see that “transgender” had essentially zero usage up until the 1990s. Meanwhile, the word “transvestite” had been in steady use beginning in the 1950s.
There’s an enormous difference between the two words: transgenderism is the idea that some men are really women (and vice versa) and so need to be surgically “reassigned.” By contrast, transvestitism is the reality that some people prefer donning gay apparel—as is the case, for example, with drag queens.
In progressive circles, “transgender” has taken off, while “transvestite” has fallen off—and, in fact, is now often seen as a nasty word.
This is the worldview of today’s libertarian-libertine left, much more preoccupied with sex than anything else. (The same Google Ngram Viewer shows us, for example, that while mentions of “transgender” have soared in recent decades, mentions of “class struggle” have plummeted. In other words, the new liberationist sexual agenda now trumps the older left economic agenda.)
For his part, Biden has never been a thought leader of any kind. He has preferred to be in the exact middle of any group he has been in, going with the flow, embracing predominant thoughts as his own—and that’s a big reason why he has enjoyed such a long career. So, of course, Biden finds himself, er, transitioning on transgenderism, just as he changed on abortion.
Mindful of the new Democratic reality, during his quest for his party’s 2020 presidential nomination, candidate Biden tweeted, “Let’s be clear: Transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time. There is no room for compromise when it comes to basic human rights.”
Let’s be clear: Transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time. There is no room for compromise when it comes to basic human rights.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 25, 2020
Since January 20, 2021, the 46th president has been surrounded by people (he, she, they) who have kept him on a narrow (if not necessarily straight) path. For instance, Biden established a White House Gender Policy Council, which issues reliably left-liberal position papers, calling for, just on March 8, “advanced equality for transgender Americans.”
For the most part, the MSM has been fully supportive of this agenda—when not cheerleading for it—and, yet, occasionally, peeps of concern can be heard. For instance, on April 5, the Washington Post headlined, “Teachers who mention sexuality are ‘grooming’ kids, conservatives say.” The piece quoted Rick Hess, director of education policy studies at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, saying that conservative parents feel “like we’re living in a bizarre-o universe.” Out of this parental concern came the fear that the left was insufficiently protective of–or maybe even supportive of–sexual grooming. Hence the new phrase, “Groomer-gate.”
Yet in the MSM, the progressive left usually gets the most ink. Therefore, the same Post piece also quoted Christine Soyong Harley, CEO of a group called SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change, who assured readers that progressive gender education just gives students “the ability to understand difference of families.”
SIECUS advances comprehensive sexuality education as a means of building a foundation for a long-term culture shift that will positively impact all levels of society, particularly issues of gender and racial equity, sexuality, sexual and reproductive health, consent, personal safety, and autonomy.
SIECUS commits to working to dismantle the systems of power and oppression which perpetuate disparate sexual and reproductive health outcomes and incubate stigma and shame around sex and sexuality across the intersections of age, race, size, gender, gender identity and expression, class, sexual orientation, and ability.
SIECUS is one of many similarly-minded groups that have achieved influence, and sometimes hegemony, in education and the culture.
Swept up in that same aggressive spirit, some U.S. states have gone even further than the Biden administration. One tweeter noticed recently that Chinese coronavirus tests in New York give the test-taker a variety of self-identification options, including “genderqueer.” (One presumes that “genderqueer” is a valid scientific category needed for medical knowledge, and so, of course, we should trust the science.)
In this, uh, fluid environment, the newest justice on the Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson, can’t—or maybe doesn’t dare—define “woman.” That March 23 non-answer to a question posed by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) inspired Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to go off: “’What is a woman?’ didn’t used to be a trick question… For all of recorded history, people have known what a woman is. But Judge Jackson is such a fellow traveler with the radical left that she cannot acknowledge common sense.”
Sen. Ted Cruz on Ketanji Brown Jackson: “‘What is a woman?’ didn’t used to be a trick question… For all of recorded history, people have known what a woman is. But Judge Jackson is such a fellow traveler with the radical left that she cannot acknowledge common sense.” pic.twitter.com/fJFyJy7AxT
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) April 6, 2022
And to think: Jackson was picked by Biden in no small part because she was a woman–a Black woman. To be sure, such a choice is a presidential prerogative, but the rest of us can ask: How did Biden know she was a woman? For that matter, how does Jackson herself know that she is a woman?
Jackson’s confirmation notwithstanding, it now seems clear that the forces of common sense are gaining the upper hand. Indeed, the backlashing of normalcy is bolstered by such popular tweet-resources as Peachy Keenan and Libs of TikTok–now joined by the wicked parodist who gave us Critical Grooming Theory.
If you are offended by the term “groomer,” it means you’ve been groomed.
— Peachy Keenan (@KeenanPeachy) April 6, 2022
The mental gymnastics to try to justify teaching 5 year old kids about sex… DeSantis broke these teachers. It’s epic pic.twitter.com/W2u2xZYa6E
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) April 6, 2022
Still, the left is fighting back. On March 31, an editorialist in the Washington Post called the grooming accusation a “repellent lie.” On April 5, New York magazine accused anti-trans-lib Republicans of seeking to tar all Democrats with a “pedophilia conspiracy theory.”
So the pro-traditional-family right can expect a lot more of that sort of onslaught: not just conspiracy theory, but homophobe, transphobe, McCarthyite, QAnon, anything and everything that can be heaved into the air. (And yes, the blazing away in defense of the trans-sex issue should remind us of the way that the progressive left also blazes away in defense of Critical Race Theory.)
It would, in fact, be deeply unfair to accuse all Democrats of being groomers, just as it’s deeply unfair for Democrats to say that Republican legislation, as in the case of Florida, will “kill kids.”
However, it would be fair to say that SIECUS-type sexual libertinism, including transgenderism, has gone too far. Right now, the Democrats are in charge of the federal government, and so they can deal with the problem if they wish to. Indeed, some states, such as very blue Illinois, have done just that, seeking to guarantee protections for students. But instead, as we have seen, the Biden administration is doubling down, spraying fire on Republicans, and not addressing the issue.
In such situations it’s wise to remember a saying from World War II, attributed to an unknown but well-spoken U.S. bomber pilot: The flak is heaviest when you’re over the target.