Saturday, April 29, 2023

Facts Are Non-Negotiable

Welcome to the Facts Irrelevant Age. First, the inconsequential, in which the controversial Bud Light individual is criticized:

Actually, in this clip Mulvaney does not call for the arrest of anyone. She complains that identifying an individual by the wrong gender should be illegal. Sometimes an individual is believed to have committed an extremely minor infraction, in some states referred to as a petty misdemeanor, and is merely given a summons. This is nor a trivial distinction.

Nonetheless, it is ironic that Mulvaney says "using 'he' pronouns and calling me a man over and over again- I feel that should be illegal."   According to Wikipedia- which refers to Dylan as "she"- "in December, 2922, Mulvaney confirmed on Instagram that she had undertaken facial feminization surgery. She posed an image of her face....."

Dylan now looks like a woman, as do many men I've seen in my decades on this earth. They, too, were men, however they looked. Dylan identifies as a woman, as Dylan is entitled to do. That does not make Dylan a man when the biological determinant is that of a man. The policy implications of that are up for debate; the reality of the gender should not be.

Not surprisingly, Republicans are at least as dishonest on the issue. As Politico explained last week

House Republicans approved their measure to restrict transgender students from playing on women’s sports teams on a 219-203 vote Thursday morning.

The legislation — H.R. 734 (118) — is a key part of the GOP’s education agenda and mirrors more than 20 laws that have been adopted in states across the country. It bars transgender women from playing on teams consistent with their gender identity and amends Title IX, the federal education law that bars sex-based discrimination, to define sex as based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.

The sex of 99%+ of us is determined at birth. The sex of a man who has undergone gender transformation surgery is female. That's simply a fact, Jack. The Republican definition is biologically, scientifically inaccurate. (I know you're shocked.)

But if we may- uh, transition- to a far more significant matter, the characteristically brave and sincere Olivia Troye unfortunately misses the point:

On Fox News on April 26, the former South Carolina governor had stated

I think we can all be very clear and say with a matter of fact that if you vote for Joe Biden, you really are counting on a President Harris because the idea that he would make until 86 years old is not something that I think is likely.

First off, stop with this apology stuff. It has been all the rage for several years now to call for an apology by someone who says something one doesn't agree with. An "apology" is very rarely offered, replaced by something like "I apologize if what I said may have offended you." Moreover, we're all big boys and big girls, and this is politics. Please get over your hurt feelings.

Joe Biden was born on November 20, 1942. As of 2020, the life expectancy for an 80-year-old male is 7.8 years. The good news is that would put Biden beyond the (86-year-old) point at the end of a second term. Additionally, this is for an average male and given that Joe is affluent, white, has been generally healthy, and has access to excellent medical care, he is above average. The bad news is that this appears to be the mean, a figure pushed upward by men living to be 90 or older, and the median- which would be a more relevant statistic here- is obviously lower. The bottom line is that we simply don't know (also, SHARE!)

Nonetheless, it's telling that Haley would raise this issue and add "President Harris."  She evidently believes this is salient with GOP primary voters, although there would have to be an earthquake in Republican party politics for her (or Mike Pence; especially, Mike Pence) to get the nomination.

And not only Republican voters.  Biden is significantly less liked by members of his own party than is the norm, and Harris is even less popular among Democrats than he.  

This is a major problem, one largely ignored by Democratic politicians and power brokers. It is analogous to Democratic senators ignoring the problem of Dianne Feinstein not immediately retiring, and is far more difficult to contend with. Colleagues could tell Feinstein to call it a day because her absence is clearly harming the Party in the Senate and she could be feted- justifiably- as having had a long and distinguished career in the chamber, following a short and distinguished career as an elected official in California.

Not so with Harris, whose career in the Senate was short and whose work as Attorney General in the same state was fairly miserable. Moreover, political reality would require her to be replaced by someone black, preferably female, which narrows the field. The best replacement already is on the United States Supreme Court, so that is a no-go. Another suitable substitute would be Florida's Val Demings or perhaps Ohio's Emilia Sykes, but dropping Harris for anyone would be controversial and would have to handled delicately.

Yet, the truth must be faced. It must be faced with Kamala Harris; with individuals being of the same gender as they are (or, rarely, have become) biologically; and with age, as with Dianne Feinstein, who does not show up for work and with Joe Biden, who does.  Sooner or later public policy and party strategy will have to reckon with reality, and that starts with facts.


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