April 7, 2021

A Conservative Governor Gets Overridden

Arkansas’s Asa Hutchison failed to make the case that allowing medical experimentation on his state’s children is in keeping with conservative principles.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem took some heat recently when she withdrew her support for state legislation that would have banned biological males from competing against girls in school sports. It seemed to be a case of caving to the Rainbow Mafia and its looming threat of business departures, but as Mark Alexander notes, “Noem is not a woke pushover so there is something more complicated at play here.”

This week, another Republican governor finds himself in the Rainbow Mafia hot seat, although the issue confronting Arkansas’s Asa Hutchison appears as nuanced at questions about Noem’s decision.

As Michael Wickline and Rachel Herzog reported yesterday in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Arkansas’ governor on Monday announced his veto of a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for transgender youths, prompting proponents of the legislation to urge both chambers to override his decision. Arkansas would be the first state to put such a ban into law, which would put the state in the national spotlight.”

Did you catch the advocacy in the above paragraph? The subtle journalistic malfeasance? “Gender-affirming care for transgender youths” is a euphemism ripped right out of the Rainbow Mafia’s playbook. Think about it: Only a mouth-breathing right-wing knuckle-dragger would try to deny the state’s young people a chance to “affirm” their identities. And if that weren’t enough, the reporters make sure to warn their readers that Arkansas would be the first state to do such a dreadful thing, and that a negative national spotlight would surely follow.

This is why we can’t trust the media: They’re agenda-driven hacks, and they simply won’t play it straight.

In fact, the Arkansas legislation, House Bill 1570, would prohibit healthcare providers from administering gender “transition” treatment, including surgery and hormone therapy, to people under 18. And given the utter lack of available evidence as to the long-term effects of such treatments on our children, isn’t a conservative approach warranted here?

Apparently not, according to Hutchison. “House Bill 1570 would put the state as the definitive oracle of medical care overriding parents, patients and health care experts,” he said. “While in some instances the state must act to protect life, the state should not presume to jump into the middle of every medical, human and ethical issue.”

Hutchison, clearly, isn’t above setting up a straw man, such as admonishing the bill’s sponsors from interfering “in the middle of every medical, human, and ethical issue.” Of course, they’re doing nothing of the sort. They’re addressing this particular issue, which affects the health and well-being of the state’s children, and they’re standing to protect them from medical experimentation, at least until they’re closer to the age of physical and emotional maturity.

In any case, the Arkansas state legislature wasn’t buying Hutchison’s argument. Yesterday, it voted resoundingly to override his veto, with the House voting 71-24 and the Senate voting 25-8.

In a contentious interview Tuesday night with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, Hutchison tried to make the conservative argument for staying out of it. “I go back to William Buckley; I go back to Ronald Reagan,” he said, “the principles of our party, which believes in a limited role of government. Are we, as a party, abandoning limited role of government and saying we’re going to invoke the government decision-making over and above physicians, over and above healthcare, over and above parents?”

It’s not an argument to which we’re unsympathetic. But if not us, who? And if not now, when? There comes a point at which we must ask ourselves: If conservative government isn’t meant to stand in the gap to protect our young children from radical and irrevocable medical experimentation, then what’s the point of conservative government?

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