Good morning Austin:
Ted Cruz and John Kasich are teaming up to stop Donald Trump.
From Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe last night:
Kasich is down with that.
Meanwhile, Ted Cruz better be careful or he might lose the transgender vote.
That would be a joke if it weren’t for the fact that Caitlyn Jenner – the most famous transgender person in the United States, in the world, in fact maybe the only transgender person most Americans could name – apparently likes Ted Cruz for president, even though his hopes of stopping Donald Trump and becoming president seem to hinge on his ability to persuade Republican voters that the whole transgender thing is nothing more than a scam to use political correctness to enable grown men to molest little girls in public bathrooms.
Caitlyn Jenner was quick to defend Ted Cruz on the finale of I Am Cait last Sunday, but today it is Donald Trump who is supporting the reality TV star.
As the presidential race heats up, Jenner has found herself smack dab in the middle of it all. Caitlyn is not shy about voicing her political views, especially during the current season of her E! reality show. The very Republican Jenner has clashed with her new group of very liberal transgender girlfriends, causing a lot of tension and friction that makes for great television.
In the season finale of I Am Cait, Caitlyn Jenner defended Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz as all of her new friends tried to get her to understand that Cruz does not support the transgender community. Jenner for her part called Cruz “misunderstood,” which started a whole other debate about how she is supportive of a man who is actually not supportive of her.
Although all of Caitlyn’s friends make it clear that Jenner is supporting a party that does not support her, she would not budge on her views. The reality star admitted that she is voting for Cruz because overall she feels “he can take care of the big issues.” There was no backing down for Jenner, who not only stood her ground but is apparently standing behind Ted Cruz.
OK. But it’s kind of like a black person in 1963 backing Alabama Gov. George Wallace as he stood in the schoolhouse door to stop school integration because Wallace “can take care of the big issues.”
Donald Trump says transgender people should be able to “use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate.” On NBC’s Today show Thursday morning, the GOP front-runner said he opposes North Carolina’s “very strong” bathroom bill, which allows businesses to prohibit transgender people from doing just that.
“North Carolina did something that was very strong and they’re paying a big price. And there’s a lot of problems.” Trump said. “Leave it the way it is. North Carolina, what they’re going through, with all of the business and all of the strife — and that’s on both sides — you leave it the way it is. There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble. And the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife and the economic punishment they’re taking.”
Trump went on to say that he opposes the idea of creating a new, third bathroom specifically for transgender people because “that would be discriminatory, in a certain way,” and because “it would be unbelievably expensive for businesses and for the country.”
But Cruz pounced with this ad:
Enter, and exit, Curt Schilling;
From the New York Times.
Curt Schilling, a former All-Star pitcher and one of the highest-profile baseball analysts on ESPN, was fired from the network Wednesday, a day after he drew intense criticism for promoting offensive commentary on social media.
Schilling, who had worked for the network since 2010 and most recently offered analysis on “Monday Night Baseball,” was dismissed after sharing a Facebook post this week that appeared to respond to the North Carolina law that bars transgender people from using bathrooms and locker rooms that do not correspond with their birth genders.
The post showed an overweight man wearing a wig and women’s clothing with parts of the T-shirt cut out to expose his breasts. It says: “LET HIM IN! to the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving racist bigot who needs to die.”
To that, Schilling added: “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”
Which led to another ad from the Cruz campaign, which can’t get enough of this issue, defending Schilling.
Here is Cruz with Glenn Beck.
From Frank Bruni at the New York Times:
I’m guessing that Cruz hasn’t met or read much about transgender people. “Grown adult men” is precisely how many transgender men appear — with beards, muscles, pants — and exactly how they’d look to little girls in the women’s rooms that the North Carolina law would command them to use.
And such legislation tells someone who may well wear a dress to march into the men’s room if her birth certificate said male. That’s a greater invitation to potty pandemonium than letting people make their own calls when nature calls and turn in the direction consistent with the way they conduct the rest of their lives.
How would these potty prohibitions be enforced, anyway? What species of sentry or manner of inquisition would assess the external and internal anatomy of the bathroom-bound? Shall we divert government spending to this? We skimp on money to repair America’s infrastructure, but let’s find funds to patrol America’s lavatories.
Cruz, Schilling and many others are obsessed with — or cynically exploiting — the hallucinated scenario of male sexual predators suddenly feeling emboldened to stalk little girls in public bathrooms, presumably because they could, if caught, claim that they identify as women and belong there.
Here’s a news flash: They’d still be breaking laws. You know, the ones against lewdness and harassing and molesting kids. The ones that govern a male sexual predator whose targets are boys and who already has access to the same urinals that they do.
Besides which, child molesters aren’t famously expert at impulse control: I doubt that they’re raptly watching CNN and patiently awaiting some legislative green light to hunt for female victims by the toilets in public parks. They’re hunting already, and as everything from “Spotlight” to the Denny Hastert case has shown us, the grounds aren’t always the ones you expect, nor are the hunters.
From Gersh Kuntzman at the New York Daily News.
Say one thing for Ted Cruz: he’s stripped the transgender bathroom issue down to its naked glory: it’s not about facts, but fear. Not fear of being attacked in a bathroom — hello, Ted, that can happen now at any time — but fear that “repulsive perverts” like, presumably, GOP-loving Caitlyn Jenner will become increasingly accepted in a society where gender becomes a fluid, rather than Biblical, concept. People like Cruz made the same argument against gays who wanted to be Boy Scout troup leaders or adoptive parents. In an earlier generation, such people opposed the right of blacks to marry whites.
Cruz calls such concepts “the Left’s agenda, which is to force Americans to leave God out of public life while paying lip service to false tolerance.”
But it’s not false tolerance — it’s real tolerance. Italians, Irish, Jews, blacks and gays have all been run through the gauntlet of American intolerance, eventually making it through because, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.
Now it’s just transgender people’s turn at the lunch counter of American bigotry.
From Andrew Rosenthal the New York Times
No one is arguing that male “heterosexual perverts” (as Glenn Beck puts it) should be allowed to go into women’s restrooms and attack people – whether they are little girls, or older girls, or women of any age.
Mr. Cruz is actually talking about laws, passed in enlightened areas of the country like North Carolina, that ban the use of public women’s restrooms by transgender women.
These women suffer bitter abuse, bigotry and discrimination in many parts of their lives. Some transgender women are gay. Some are not. None are “adult men.” And being transgender is not a perversion.
It’s hard to know what is truly going on here, beyond the unceasing effort by smug politicians like Mr. Cruz to claim some special understanding of religion and liberty. And to claim that evangelical Christianity, as practiced by a particular group of right-wing white men, is somehow under threat.
Calling the 2016 election a “religious liberty election” on “The Glenn Beck Program,” Mr. Cruz said: “It has only been in recent years that the modern Democratic party, aided and abetted by the mainstream media and Hollywood, has decided that religious liberty is inconsistent with their extreme political protections, political bias. And that’s just wrong.”
It’s wrong all right — entirely untrue. The real pressure on Americans to adhere to a particular religious frame of reference comes from the Christian right, not the Hollywood left. Right-wingers like Mr. Cruz use religion as a cudgel in all kinds of areas – starting with denying women the right to make medical choices and limiting the civil rights of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual Americans.
Not all Republicans adhere to Mr. Cruz’s particular brand of intolerance in this area. Donald Trump said people should be able to “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,” and Governor John Kasich of Ohio has said that he would not sign the kind of “bathroom bill” so in vogue on the extreme right.
There is nothing in any anti-discrimination bill that would encourage the hordes of “heterosexual perverts” that so concern Mr. Beck and Mr. Cruz to storm women’s restrooms and assault innocent people. And there is nothing in the recent spate of “bathroom bills” that is going to prevent that from happening.
But that’s not really what the bills’ supporters want. Their real goal is to scare people, to divide Americans, and to make us believe that some of us are better and more righteous than others.
OK. You got me. The New York Times. The New York Daily News. The New York Times again.
Their criticism of Cruz is a consequence of their hopelessly New York values – live and let live, life is short, don’t sweat the small stuff, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, seriously, are you kidding, whattsamatta with you?
And here is Curt Schilling on his blog
See here’s the thing. I do NOT care what color you are, what race, what sex, who you sleep with, what you wear. I don’t care and I never have. I have opinions, but they’re just that, opinions. And opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one and they usually stink.
You know how I know you ‘offended’ people are full of crap? Because I’m not even close to any of the things you so desperately want me to be, so you can whine.
I’m loud, I talk too much, I think I know more than I do, those and a billion other issues I know I have. Like everyone one of you I have flaws, but I’m ok with my flaws, they’re what make me, me. I thank the Lord for the life I’ve been given. A life interspersed and occupied by men and women who are gay, by people of all races and religions, by men and women who dress as the other, by men and women who’ve changed to women and men. Not one decision I’ve ever made about a person has anything to do with those things I just mentioned, nor will it ever.
And From Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Facebook last night:
I’m totally disgusted with the threats from sports teams, entertainers, and some major corporations who want to punish cities and states who want to keep men out of ladies rooms. The world has gone mad and we must stand and fight. We shouldn’t even be having this discussion.
As you may recall I took a very active role in helping to defeat Mayor Parker’s ordinance that would have allowed men, under the guise of equal protection, into ladies rooms and ladies locker rooms. The citizens of Houston, including a majority of Democrats, overwhelmingly defeated the ordinance 2 to 1. We have had no backlash. The Final Four was played and the Super Bowl is coming. Businesses move here every month.
As I said in my TV ads I don’t want a man going into a bathroom or locker room with my mom, my wife, my daughter, or my grand daughter and I don’t know anyone who does. It’s a matter of common sense, common decency and safety.
I will not spend a single dollar with any business that says a man can enter a bathroom with the women in my family or your family.
Last week Target announced they would allow men in women’s bathrooms. I won’t shop there again. Apparently I’m not alone. In only a few days hundreds of thousands have signed boycott petitions.
Meanwhile, there was another Cruz ad out last week that brought a lighter, and better touch.
Well done, but I would have made one small addition.
Have the Huma Abedin character’s cell phone ping. She looks at it and furrows her brow.
“What’s the matter?” the Hillary Clinton character asks.
“It’s Anthony,” H.A. says of her husband, Anthony Weiner. “He’s tweeting again.”
“Well,” says HRC, shaking her head. “Bill was no picnic.”