As expected, President Trump has rescinded Obama’s letter of guidance threatening schools with a loss of federal funds if they didn’t let self-declared transgender students use whichever bathrooms or locker rooms they wanted. It’s being treated by the left as a horrific blow to civil rights, but like so much of what Trump has been doing that’s been painted as dragging America to the far right, it just returns us to the center, where we were for decades before Obama tried to drag America far to the left.
Trump’s change just puts the issue back under state and local control. If schools in places like San Francisco believe that boys who claim to feel like girls should be able to use the girls’ bathroom, then that’s between them and the students’ parents. Spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump sees this as a state’s rights issue. It will be fun to see how liberals attack that rationale, after they’ve spent the past three months as born-again states’ rights advocates, arguing for the states' rights to negate the Electoral College, defy immigration laws and executive orders, and even secede from the union.
In one heartening sign that Trump Derangement Syndrome might finally be wearing thin, even the Trump-baiting Washington Post (New motto: “Democracy Dies In Darkness”) has a piece admitting that Obama’s transgender bathroom move was “on shaky ground from the get-go.” If he wanted “sex discrimination” under Title IX redefined to include “gender identity,” he should have lobbied Congress, because only they have the power to rewrite laws. Instead, he tried to do an end-run around the Constitution, using a “guidance letter” and a threat to take away schools’ funding to force an unpopular massive social change onto parents and school children. State officials called it “blackmail” and launched 23 lawsuits to stop it.
As WaPo notes, their own blogger Ed Rogers was prescient when he wrote at the time, “This is exactly the type of rule-by-fiat approach that has given rise to the frustration that has now produced Donald Trump.” And now that Trump is President, Obama’s go-it-alone-with-the-stroke-of-a-pen approach has made it extremely easy for Trump to reverse the policy all by himself, with just the stroke of a pen. Or more accurately, an eraser.
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