Awhile back, Louisiana Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards gradually loosened, then finally and belatedly dropped, requirements that individuals had to have a mask over nose and mouth (even if he hypocritically applied it in his own life). This week, completing a process begun months ago, he formally took off the mask he had used to fool gullible conservatives.
He had worn through his first term a mask of social conservatism, even though he did little other than make a symbolic gesture here and there by signing the few bills that reached him addressing these issues, mostly dealing with measures that had an impact of restricting abortion on demand, because of overwhelming legislative support. Never mind that as a candidate prior to his gubernatorial run he made statements favoring and, as a state legislator, votes, approving of facilitating abortion, and who knows how many socially-conservative bills never made it out of the Legislature because he signaled he wouldn’t back them.
That pretense now has vanished completely, confirmed with his veto of SB 156 by Republican state Sen. Beth Mizell, which passed both legislative chambers with heavy majorities. It would have disallowed biological males from competing in intercollegiate, interscholastic, and intramural sports in sports designated for females. In essence, unless a biologically-born male has had the obligatory surgery and took the necessary drugs to be classified as a biological female, the bill would prohibit that person from competing as a female. This backs a threat he made earlier this year.
His explanation to do was full of incoherence, misdirection, and lies. He alleged that the bill fomented “discrimination” which “is not a Louisiana value.” One wonders how he passed law school, for legal codes are if nothing else exercises in discrimination, allowing government to treat people differently. For example, every society has a law allowing government to treat differently, and severely including taking their lives, people who commit murder.
The only discrimination constitutionally suspect in America occurs when government treats different people differently for capricious and arbitrary reasons unrelated to some important and compelling objective advanced by society. And in this case, because clear harm could come to girls by denying them opportunity for personal achievement (and potentially rewards such as college educations) simply because they would have to compete against others with a genetic advantage defined by their insufficiently-altered birth sex, there is no discrimination against the latter. To illustrate Edwards’ intellectual confusion, in fact if any discrimination attaches itself to this issue, its that the bill prevents such discrimination against girls.
Edwards also laughably asserted that the bill fails to “unite” but serves to “divide our citizens.” He needs to look in the mirror he has thrust in front of himself; for the entirely spurious reasons above he would rather support the wishes of a few than the rights of half of the state’s children. Especially with public opinion solidly against his preference, there is nothing more divisive Edwards could do than veto this bill.
He also brought forth two straw man arguments; first, that no biological boy asserting a girl’s identity has attempted to compete in girls’ athletics so there’s no problem; second, that collegiate athletic associations would cancel championship events in protest if the bill became law. As to the first, if Edwards believes a problem has to happen before doing something about, then he needs to disband his Climate Initiatives Task Force because none of the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming scenarios on which the existence of the group is based have occurred (nor are they ever even remotely likely to, but that’s a story told elsewhere). As for the second, suffice to say that possibility already has been mooted, but it also betrays an attitude that doing the wrong thing is acceptable as long as you get thrown a lot of money for it.
But, leftist creature that he is, Edwards can’t be blamed for this bad outcome for girls as he followed his preferences. Who does deserve approbation for this outcome are those who voted for Edwards, especially for a second term, knowing he is a man of the left yet hoped against hope that his alleged social conservatism would guide his public policy-making. The Edwards blank slate campaign of 2015 might exonerate these deluded supposed conservatives, even relatively well informed ones, for their mistake that first time, but by 2019 full information about him was out about who and what he is so there was no excuse to support him if you claimed to be a conservative of any kind.
And yet enough still willfully disregarded this and likely provided the narrow margin for his reelection. So, so-called social conservatives who still backed and voted for him, how’s that Edwards governorship working to uphold your values? Have you finally woken up to reality? Thanks for nothing.