Thursday, 7/21/16

  1. The weird and depressing GOP platform
  2. Obama picked the trans-potty fight
  3. Cheating is part of the rules
  4. XY: “systemic oppression of the highest order”
  5. The Donald, Lutheran?

1

In 2004, George W. Bush ran for reelection on a platform that included the goal of passing a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. It went nowhere at all. Twelve years later, same-sex marriage has been declared a constitutional right by the Supreme Court, it is legal in all 50 states, and it is supported by a majority of Americans. And how does the GOP respond? By calling in its 2016 platform for an amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in the U.S. Constitution.

Everything has changed. Nothing has changed.

And that’s not all. The platform draft approved by delegates last week also favors “conversion therapy” for gays (RNC chair Reince Priebus disputes that the platform explicitly calls for this, though the language seems intended to tacitly support parents who want to subject their kids to this “therapy”). The draft platform holds that “natural marriage” creates an environment in which children are less likely to become addicted to drugs or be otherwise damaged. And it describes pornography as a “public menace” and a “public health crisis.”

[I]t’s just … weird that in 2016, the Republican Party at the official level still pushes for policies like this. It’s like the official party still believes that politics can fix these problems, that politics can reclaim a culture that we conservatives have lost. The grassroots GOP voters don’t even believe this stuff, which is why Donald Trump is going to be nominated this week, and not an actual social conservative.

It’s not that I directly mind that there are GOP folks who believe that Obergefell was wrongly decided (as I do), and want to devote themselves to the hopeless cause of having it overturned. I find it frustrating for indirect reasons, including the way maintaining this illusion distracts from what we social and religious conservatives can and should be doing to respond effectively and meaningfully to this new world.

(Rod Dreher)

2

I joined the staff as a woman and felt safe at work. I was allowed to use the ladies room without question. I still experienced nagging insecurity over using women’s bathrooms for a few years, but overall, I lived a relatively comfortably “stealth” existence. Like most trans people, I was happy to fly under the radar.

But something has changed. Since March, when the North Carolina “bathroom bill” was first introduced and a leading presidential candidate saw fit to launch his own crusade to net a few primary votes, I have experienced harassment unlike anything since I first transitioned in the ’90s.

(Janice Dodero, a “transgender woman,” in the Washington Post)

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, there’s something missing from this story: The bathroom bill pushed back against Team Obama playing politics with a bogus election-year interpretation of existing law.

I can’t imagine a policy more irrelevant to the problems facing our society than bathroom privileges for transgender students. The bottom half of American society is collapsing. Voters are revolting against establishment candidates, casting doubt on the economic and cultural consensus that has predominated over the last generation. And the Obama administration presses for transgender rights? This is amazing, but not surprising given the history of post-sixties liberalism.

[T]he Democratic party depends on a constant bombardment of denunciation to gin up fear. That someone as intelligent as [Leon] Wieseltier participates in bigot-baiting in such blatant ways indicates how indispensable it has become for maintaining liberal power.

(R.R. Reno, Bigot Baiting)

3

The last act in this politically important but infuriating theatrical production came on Monday, in the form of a convention floor fight wherein anti-Trump delegates, joined by Tea Party grandees such as Utah Sen. Mike Lee and former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, attempted to force a state-by-state roll call vote on the rules of the convention. What ensued was a bit of parliamentary skullduggery from the textbooks.

And as a #NeverTrump conservative, let me be frank about what happened: We got steamrolled.

The movement got the requisite votes to get its way, but the chair refused to recognize it and called a break while whips frantically worked the floor, carrying affidavits, deflating the anti-Trump effort.

Did the RNC “cheat”? Sure it did. But this is a party convention. Cheating is part of the rules.

(Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, What’s Next for #NeverTrump?) Gobry also, depressingly, passes along why #NeverTrump will “descend into a civil war right after Trump loses to Hillary Clinton in November,” concluding:

The conservative movement is basically Monty Python’s People’s Front of Judea.

Coincidentally, Seth Godin, also on Wednesday, describes a “what’s next” scenario, but I can’t see the GOP successfully not getting stuck in “the story you tell yourself about why you didn’t get the sale.”

4

Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, announced Tuesday that they have filed a class action lawsuit against the XY chromosome pair on behalf of the nation’s transgender, agender, bigender, genderqueer, pangender, third-gender, trigender, and several dozen other gender noncomforming communities.

The XY chromosome pair is allegedly responsible for assigning sex to groups of cells shortly after conception, an action which the ACLU lawyers have deemed clearly prejudicial.

“It’s systemic oppression of the highest order that one chromosome has the ability to characterize people as either male or female, before they even have a say in the matter,” noted Romero in his press announcement. “Of course, we don’t believe that they’re humans, strictly speaking, at the time the discrimination occurs—but we are confident that the courts will continue to rule against biological reality on this and other issues, while applying a legal penalty that is consistent with a hate crime committed against another human being. The precedent is on our side.”

(Babylon Bee, emphasis added) As Mollie says:

5

Or Orthodox.

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.