Lowry Ave. Bridge, Minneapolis, 2015. Photo by Tony Webster, Creative Commons License 2.0.

You might have thought that the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill the Senate passed Tuesday was nothing to cheer too much about from a progressive perspective. After all, to win the support of Republicans, it left out most of the big climate and "human infrastructure" items that had been in Joe Biden's American Jobs Plan and American Family Plan. Those goodies will go instead into the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that's getting underway this week, likely to be passed only with Democratic votes.

Ah, but Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), who sees woke radical leftist antifa supersoldiers everywhere, saw right through socialist Joe Biden's clever ruse! On Fox News Tuesday night, that clever culture warrior explained why he voted against the infrastructure bill: There's just too much crazy leftist stuff in it! You see, where we might see a bill that focuses on transportation infrastructure, expanding access to broadband, electric grid upgrades, and replacing lead water pipes, Hawley sees Marxist revolution and radical transformation of the USA into a place no patriot will recognize anymore!

He may have a point: Roads that aren't full of potholes and bridges that aren't falling apart may take some getting used to.


Here's Hawley scaremongering on "Fox News Primetime," doing his best to make highways sound terrifying. We were also impressed by host Lawrence Jones's suggestion that the bill was sneakily passed Tuesday while Americans were all distracted by Andrew Cuomo's resignation. In fact, Jones said, those tricksy Dems even fooled Republicans into approving billions of dollars for "things that have nothing to do with infrastructure at all, like radical equity and 'environmental justice,' whatever that is."

Then Hawley got to airing his culture war grievances and outright lies:

This isn't an infrastructure bill. This is a radical left woke politics bill that has stuff like gender identity mandates in it. The radical equity agenda, the Green New Deal — that's all in this bill and, by the way, it's going to cost trillions of dollars pork-barrel spending. There is stuff like bridges and highways in Canada in this bill. We ought to be building highways and bridges in the United States, not in foreign countries. This is a bad bill and that's why I voted no.

Oh, we would really love it if the Green New Deal had actually been in the bill, but no, it isn't, although maybe the funding for electric vehicle charging stations and electric school bus fleets — roughly $15 billion all together — stands in for it. Oh, and maybe the $115 billion in grid upgrades and resiliency, too. And no, this bill by itself isn't "trillions of dollars" — only about $550 billion is new infrastructure spending, with the rest of the trillion-dollar price tag going to already-approved projects.

But what about those awful woke "gender identity mandates," huh? We haven't seen any sort of explanation of that from Hawley, because the point is scaring Fox viewers without too many troublesome details. So we searched the text of the 2,000-page bill (thanks for that online doodad, CNN!) and we're pretty sure Hawley is building a woke monster out of the bill's boilerplate language on federal civil rights law. Here you go, from pages 2149 and 2095 of the bill:


Really, those are the bill's only mentions of gender identity: the boilerplate language of nondiscrimination law, updated to conform with the Supreme Court's 2020 decision finding that LGBTQ people are definitely covered by the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Now, Joe Biden did sign an executive order his first day in office that formalized the Court's decision in federal regulations, but even if he hadn't, it's still settled law, not some whim dreamed up by old radical Joe. If this bill has a "gender identity mandate," then all of federal civil rights law does.

Cue Hawley going to Fox and saying, "See, it's even worse than you thought!"

As for building "bridges and highways in Canada," that too is in the bill — pages 130-132 if you wanna look — but it's not just building roads in Canada for the hell of it. Rather, that section covers refurbishing parts of the Alaska Highway that extend into Canada, and the bill very carefully spells out the US-Canada treaty provisions regulating the project, which is kind of vital to US commerce with our biggest trading partner. So hey, more Hawley bullshit!

Pretty much the same deal with the wingnut fretting over "equity": The bill does indeed say that, for instance, broadband capability should be expanded to help close the "digital divide" and get fast internet to communities that haven't had it. But it won't require that the text of Ibram X. Kendi's books be included in every email. (Only excerpts!)

Oh, yes, Hawley had more, though we've tackled the primary exaggerations and paranoia above.

This is all Joe Biden's agenda. That's the key thing to know. This is the Biden far-left agenda, spending trillions of dollars to remake our society and to remake it in the image of the woke left. That's what he wants to do and that's what he is succeeding in doing right now. So, it's absolutely imperative the Republicans say no, this is not the right vision for this country. We are not a racist country. We're not an evil country. We're a good country. We don't need to be remade. Americans need to be empowered to live their lives. That needs to be our agenda.

Yes, it's a very scary world out there, and if we'd only known we could completely radicalize America and make it a socialist utopia by inserting a few words into a highway bill, we'd have done it long ago. Enjoy the revolution, comrades!

[Daily Caller / CNN / RealClear Politics / CNN / Photo by Tony Webster, Creative Commons License 2.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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