Thursday, April 21, 2016

Donald Trump Escalates 'Gender-Neutral' Bathroom Debate


He's totally unpredictable. He said he didn't care what restroom Caitlyn Jenner uses at the Trump Tower, which is kind of going against all the conservative angst this last week or so over North Carolina's transgender legislation.

At Politico, "GOP culture war breaks out over transgender bathrooms: Trump escalates debate with his own shrug on an issue that has the GOP in fits":

Donald Trump on Thursday freshly exposed the fissures dividing the Republican Party by responding to the transgender bathroom wars with a shrug — setting off a fierce response from Ted Cruz who accused the Republican front-runner of being no better than the “politically correct leftist elites.”

The latest front in the culture wars is now a bathroom stall. The raging debate over whether transgender people should be forced to use bathrooms of their gender at birth is acutely playing out within the GOP, and it’s now become a central topic on the presidential campaign trail.

Social conservatives see Big Business — once a close ally — becoming a pawn of the left, joining forces to convince Republican governors that anti-LGBT bills will kill their economy. Some more moderate Republicans, on the other hand, once again see the party picking divisive fights that will hurt them at the ballot box.

For Trump, the consummate businessman, it’s the chance to highlight the identity crisis of his adopted party.

“I will tell you. North Carolina did something that was very strong. And they’re paying a big price. There’s a lot of problems,” Trump observed on NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday, saying that he agreed with remarks from a commentator he did not name who said North Carolina should leave its laws as they are.

Alluding to businesses that have left the state or canceled plans to expand after North Carolina passed a law in March banning transgender people from using the facilities of their choice, Trump called it reason enough to “leave it the way it is.”

“There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go. They use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate,” Trump said. “There has been so little trouble. And the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife and the economic — I mean, the economic punishment that they’re taking.”

Sensing a chance to expose Trump as a phony Republican, Cruz pounced. He talked about Trump’s comment on Glenn Beck’s radio show. He talked about it at his morning rally. And then, for good measure, he issued a statement...