Biden appeals to base as he digs into transgender culture war – Colorado Springs Gazette


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As the White House rolled out a full slate of events for Transgender Day of Visibility on the same week that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill into law, both sides appear to be digging in for the latest hot-button culture war.The Biden administration held four separate events for the day of visibility, while the Department of Health and Human Services flew a transgender pride flag outside its headquarters. Leaders from both parties are embracing the transgender rights issue as a winner for their side, and both may be right.WHAT IS DISNEY'S ENDGAME IN BATTLE WITH FLORIDA?"This is clearly red meat for the Republicans and the Republican base, and that's what Gov. DeSantis has basically said," said former Democratic Party activist-turned-Colby College politics professor Sandy Maisel. "For Democrats, it's in the wheelhouse for the progressive wing of the party ... It's a winning issue for both sides to their base."The Biden team's celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility included a presidential address to transgender Americans, a White House visit by transgender Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider and "transgender kids and advocates" who spoke with transgender Admiral Rachel Levine, a transgender pride flag flying at HHS, and a roundtable discussion with transgender students in Florida led by Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.The Florida conversation specifically focused on the parental rights "Don't Say Gay" bill, along with other topics such as mental health and student well-being.The day before, DeSantis released a video touting the bill, which he holds is being mischaracterized by the press and Democratic politicians."I don't care what corporate media outlets say, I don't care what Hollywood says, I don't care what big corporations say," he says in the clip. "Here I stand, I'm not backing down."BIDEN ADMINISTRATION GOES ALL-IN ON TEENAGE TRANS SURGERIES DESPITE HUGE RISKSThe issue will help both parties turn out their base in the midterm elections, agrees Democratic strategist Brad Bannon. However, he predicts it will be a long-term winner for his party."In the short term, this probably works for Republicans to turn out their base of older voters," Bannon said. "But the reality is, if you look at millennials, who are now the biggest voting bloc in the nation, their voting power is going to increase, while the voting power of people who are seniors will decrease. This is a long-term liability for Republicans."GOPers, led by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, scored victories in 2021 by working to combat COVID-related school closures and mask mandates, a move that proved so successful it was eventually co-opted by Democrats. Republicans are now looking to continue on the same path with other education-focused issues like critical race theory and the teaching of gender ideology."Biden's celebration of the far-left's radical gender ideology is no surprise coming from a White House that went woke on day one," said Andrew Brennan, director of faith communications for the Republican National Committee, in a statement. "From trying to destroy women's sports to teaching toddlers about sexual identity, ‘extreme' doesn't even begin to describe the Democrat Party in 2022. Biden and Democrats will discover just how out of touch they are when Americans reject their radical agenda this November."Disney has found itself dragged into the controversy as some of its employees staged a walkout and leaked portions of an all-hands meeting displayed executives standing by a commitment to identity politics. The company employs 80,000 theme park workers in Florida.The issue may ultimately boil down to a messaging war, with both sides portraying the other as extreme. DeSantis repeatedly points back to the text of the bill, which only affects classroom instruction in early grades, while the Biden administration says the problem is really about discrimination."In the past year, hundreds of anti-transgender bills in states were proposed across America, most of them targeting transgender kids," Biden said Wednesday. "The onslaught has continued this year. These bills are wrong. Efforts to criminalize supportive medical care for transgender kids, to ban transgender children from playing sports, and to outlaw discussing LGBTQI+ people in schools undermine their humanity and corrode our nation's values."Maisel, the college professor, said the issue can also be a strong one for Biden as it aligns him with his more liberal base, a group he often finds himself at odds with. On the flip side, the prominence of the issue within the GOP and for rising star DeSantis shows that culture wars are now taking primacy for Republicans. While the Democratic Party is often divided between its more liberal bloc based in the northeast and moderates elsewhere, he sees the GOP as clearly embracing cultural divisions.CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER"DeSantis is winning the messaging war," he said. "Democrats are saying it's the 'Don't Say Gay' bill, and many of his supporters want it to be the 'Don't Say Gay' bill. He's trying to have it both ways, and he's a very savvy politician."Original Location: Biden appeals to base as he digs into transgender culture warWashington Examiner Videos

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