Thursday, May 12, 2016
Two Can Play at That Game
The United States of America has now gone to court to sue one of its own states. More than that, its Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, who also will soon have to decide whether to indict an active candidate for president, took a podium to announce that it would be doing so.
The topic, as we are all aware, is bathrooms. As in the extent to which the people of the state, in this case North Carolina, are free to elect representatives who pass legislation forbidding localities from enacting their own statutes designating who can use a bathroom, other than those whose chromosomes tell them which one to use.
Let's not get too tied up with the bathroom part of the topic, though. First of all, I already covered it and I don't need to argue the case again. More importantly, though, it's not actually the point. Let's look at what Mrs. Lynch actually said from that bully pulpit:
"And what we must not do, what we must never do, is turn on our neighbors, our family members, our fellow Americans for something that they cannot control and deny what makes them human ... [N]one of us can stand by when a state enters the business of legislating identity and insists that a person pretend to be something or someone that they are not."
I suppose that in Mrs. Lynch's view, it's OK for someone to pretend that they're something they're not, in this case, a woman pretending to be a man or vice versa, but it's not OK for the state to stop them from doing so -- or force them to do so.
Now, it's one thing when the person in question is pretending to be a real-estate agent, or a cop, or Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny. Each of those has its own consequences. It's quite another when the person is pretending, for whatever reason, to be a member of a protected or otherwise advantaged classification, to which they are entitled no such rights at all.
Let me make it simple. The logic used by the Attorney General is unfortunately simple and, as such, can be co-opted for purposes far beyond its original intent -- but nonetheless, equally valid.
What do I mean? Simply put, if it is OK to say you are a woman because you "feel" like a woman, then that feeling can be used to justify claiming benefits that are merited solely based on one's being a woman -- or, for that matter, black, Native American, south Asian, Alaskan native, or any of the racial, ethnic or other classifications under which one can claim preferential treatment from the Federal and state governments.
If I own a small business, and I want to compete for business to provide products or services to the Federal government, as a white male I can only compete in those procurements set aside for small businesses, with no other preference stated. I cannot compete in the so-called 8(a) program, under which small businesses can register based on the race, ethnicity or gender of the owner.
But if tomorrow I wake up and declare that I feel like I'm a woman, or black, or Pakistani or Martian, well, then, in the view of Loretta Lynch, I can sue for the right to be accepted into the 8(a) program based solely on how I feel.
That's called "unintended consequences." And if I owned a small business, and putting on some lipstick, a dress and high heels would help me compete for Federal business I couldn't get otherwise, well, maybe I wouldn't do it myself, but I guarantee you someone will. And they'll show a clip of Loretta Lynch's words and say "Give me my rights."
You know, I have the utmost sympathy for people who have grown up completely conflicted about their gender identity. I really do, and I've said that in these pages. It is actually not about them, at least this piece is not.
It is, though, about how the Obama left can get so high and mighty that it thinks it can go do "ready, fire, aim" without regard for the consequences. That's why his State Department can, without thinking there's any risk of exposure, neatly excise content from a press conference from its own recordings, or lie to the public about its dealings with Iran, two things dominating the news this week but less than they should.
And that's why its Attorney General can simply spout things in defense of its lawsuits that eventually will bite them in the rear. And I do hope that the first company that somehow sneaks into the 8(a) program despite its presumed lack of actual qualifications, picks the Justice Department, led by good old Loretta Lynch, as its first agency with which to try to do business.
Now there's a lawsuit I can't wait to see.
Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
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