Quote of the Day:

Some of us care little about the debate over public bathrooms. We do, however, care about the ongoing destruction of federalism, individual choice, and good-faith debate.

–David Harsanyi at The Federalist

Harsanyi points out that the best way to quash dissent and force your own moral code on others is to liken your cause to the civil rights movement. He writes:

Every liberal issue is situated somewhere on the great historical arc of “equality” and “justice.” If a person stands against even one of these causes—which were once great but are increasingly trivial—they have, according to the cultural imperialists of the Obama administration, aligned themselves with the Klan. Literally.

That is what U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch did when she announced that the federal government is filing suit against the state of North Carolina for passing a law requiring transgender people to use the restrooms appropriate for their biological sex (I am not saying this with politically correct language).

Harsanyi quotes Lynch:

This is not the first time that we have seen discriminatory responses to historic moments of progress for our nation. We saw it in the Jim Crow laws that followed the Emancipation Proclamation; we saw it in the fierce and widespread resistance to Brown v. Board of Education; and we saw it in the proliferation of state bans on same-sex unions that were intended to stifle any hope that gay and lesbian Americans might one day be afforded the right to marry.

Harsani comments:

Likening a spat over biologically segregated boy/girl bathrooms to the genuine, violent, systematic, state-sponsored, society-wide bigotry that took place in this country for a century is both intellectually and morally corrupt. It’s not all a continuum. Yet this administration peddles these kinds of risible comparisons in the cause of self-aggrandizement all the time. Hans Fiene has coined it Selma envy.

Have you ever known anyone who suffered because she was denied the right to use the men's room?

The North Carolina state law was passed in response to a Charlotte, North Carolina city ordinance that banned discrimination against transgender people. The ordinance might have attracted little attention except that it stipulated that transgender people have the right to use the restroom for the gender with which they identify. I am willing to bet that this part of ordinance came out of a vacuum: it was intended to create a wedge issue rather than to solve a civil rights wrong. Was there really any transgender citizen in Charlotte cruelly banned from the desired facility? I seriously doubt it. But as a wedge issue . . .

As trivial as this initially seemed to me, it really isn't:

In a broader sense, the suit is symbolic of the federal government’s eight-year crusade to decimate any semblance of federalism and streamline progressive morality. The administration ignores state laws that conflict with federal policy when it approves and it sues states when it does not. States that pass law enforcement bills President Obama finds unsatisfactory will see the full force of the Justice Department come down on them. Those with drug legalization laws and immigration laws he does like, even if they conflict with federal law, have nothing to worry about. Whether one agrees in theory with these moves—and I am liberal on drug legalization and immigration—allowing Washington to selectively enforce law conflicts with the kind of republicanism that allows us to be diverse and deal with unique problems locally.

Finally, it takes a special kind of audacity for someone working for Barack Obama, a pretend opponent of same-sex marriage for years, to accuse anyone who stood against “the right to marry” of being modern-day George Wallaces. Not to mention that this woman was first appointed by Bill Clinton, the man who not only signed The Defense of Marriage Act but admired and learned his politics from real-life segregationists. Such an indictment just adds a level of absurdity to these scurrilous attacks on people who are making good-faith arguments.

Is the left so afraid to be politically incorrect that nobody is willing to stand up and say that the civil rights comparison demeans genuine suffering?