Last month, the Obama administration sent out a directive to every public school district in the country, telling officials to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that matched their “gender identity.” Lawmakers and leaders in 11 states have filed suit against the federal government in response to the directive, claiming that Obama has no standing authority to create this mandate.
At a town hall meeting for PBS this week, President Obama defended his overreach. “What happened and what continues to happen is you have transgender kids in schools,” he said. “And they get bullied. And they get ostracized. And it’s tough for them. My best interpretation of what our laws and our obligations are is that we should try to accommodate these kids so that they are not in a vulnerable situation.”
That’s your best interpretation? This explains so much.
Here, Obama is essentially admitting that he relies on feelings rather than legal precedent to guide his actions. He suddenly “feels” like the law should let boys use the girls’ bathroom and vice versa, so that’s all the legal advice he needs. It’s the same thing that led him to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, unilaterally change our gun laws, and push the Iran nuclear deal around Congress.
But our country doesn’t run on feelings. We don’t have any way of knowing how the founding fathers would have addressed this bizarre transgender issue, and we don’t need to know. Like Obama’s amnesty, this isn’t just about the issue itself. It’s about the power of the president and the limits therein. Limits that this president repeatedly chooses to ignore.
Put simply, it should not be this destructive to have a liberal Democrat in the White House. Yes, the country will always suffer under the policies of a left-wing president, but our constitutional balance of power protects us from the tyranny of any one man. At least, it did until Obama. Not only has Congress and the Supreme Court spent the last eight years asleep at the wheel but Obama himself has spent that time steadily expanding the powers of the executive branch. He is a double menace: His policies themselves are bad enough, but his constant weakening of our laws are even worse.
“Transgender students deserve the rights of anyone else,” said Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. “It does not mean they get to use the girls’ room if they’re a boy.”
See, that’s one opinion. Obama has another. The governor of some other state may have a different view. The people of Oregon or Nebraska or New York might feel some other way. That’s why it’s always best to leave these issues at the state level. Leave it to communities to decide which values they want to embrace. This is a big country. What works in Los Angeles doesn’t necessarily work in Raleigh.
This country does not need (and, indeed, cannot survive) one man – or one court – micromanaging every social issue that comes down the pike. No matter who becomes our next president, our first job needs to be holding them within the boundaries of that office.