Former President Obama made a terrible mistake when he said earlier this week in Virginia, "We don't have time to be wasted on these phony trumped-up culture wars, this fake outrage, the right-wing media's peddles to juice their ratings."
Mr. Obama, the culture wars are anything but trumped-up, the outrage is quite real, and this is hardly a right-wing publicity stunt to generate ratings. Quite the contrary.
The people of Virginia – more specifically, the parents of Virginia – and the nation are saying enough is enough. You do not mess with their children.
Mr. Obama, was the Loudoun County, Virginia, school board "just trying to keep [the] kids safe" when they hid the fact that a girl had been raped in the girls' room by a boy wearing a skirt?
And was it their zeal to keep the kids safe that moved them to allow males to use the girls' bathroom based solely on a boy's preference? Really?
As we've documented when the Media Research Center tried to exploit the issue, that sexual assault was much more complicated than the transphobic Brown would have you believe. The boy and girl had previously had sexual relations before in this very same bathroom, and this encounter began with the girl inviting the boy to the bathroom for sex; the girl withdrew consent, the boy wouldn't stop, and that's when it became a sexual assault. Also, the assault occurred well before the Loudoun County schol district started discussions about transgender rights for stiudents, so the assault had absolutely no connection with it.
For many years now, I have been saying that the left will overplay its hand, resulting in a cultural pushback. Be assured that the pushback is very real – not trumped up, not fake and not the creation of right-wing news media. Let the parents lead the way!
Ah, but it very much was the creation of right-wing media. Why? Because they wanted a Republican, Glenn Youngkin, to be elected governor of Virginia, and hyping hot-button culture-war issues was considered the best way to do that. Curiously, Brown made no mention of this race in the context of these issues being hyped, outside of a reference to Terry McAuliffe that didn't even mention that he was the Democratic candidate for governor against Youngkin.
As we've also noted, the fact that right-wing media largely abandonded the story after it served its purpose by getting Youngkin elected more demonstrates how fake that outrage was.
Indeed, Brown cheered how the culture wars got Youngkin elected in his Nov. 3 column, insisting that it showed "the culture wars are real, and parents have said enough is enough. Whether the issue was the dangerous, radical transgender agenda in children's schools ... or a destructive, overemphasis on racism in school curricula ... it appears that the voters spoke on these issues too." He went on to gloat that "it appears that the shocking news that the rape of a Loudoun County teenage girl in the girls' bathroom by a boy wearing a skirt was covered up by the local school board drew a sharp response from many parents. (And remember: the apparent cover-up was in the specific context of supporting transgender extremism in the schools.)"
So, yes, the culture wars were manufactured here to get a Republican elected. But Brown will never admit that truth, because his livelihbood of hating LGBT people depends on those culture wars looking as organic as he can make them. And part of that manufactured culture-war outrage is loudly insisting that it isn't being manufactured.