Rand Paul is committed to the bit. He came in as the heel of the Senate, and he's not breaking character. Hence that filthy asshole's diatribe about transgender athletes at this morning's confirmation hearing for Miguel Cardona, President Joe Biden's nominee for secretary of Education.

"The Office of Civil Rights sent a letter to Connecticut saying that boys can compete with girls in sports, boys being forced to be allowed to compete in girls sports," he began, not even deigning to greet the nominee. "If you're confirmed, will you enforce that civil rights opinion?"

It was just eight months ago that Justice Neil Gorsuch authored the 6-3 decision holding that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal, after which schools were forced to let trans kids use the appropriate locker and restrooms because hello, that is law now, and not opinion. How quickly they forget!


"Thank you for the question," Cardona replied cordially. "I understand there is a lot of concerns about that. If confirmed, it is my responsibility and my privilege to make sure we're following the civil rights of all students, and that includes activities that they may engage in, in high school or athletics."

"What do you think in general about boys running in girls track meets, like they've been doing in Connecticut?" pressed the Senator, deliberately misgendering children because he is an incurable POS.

"I think that it's critically important that education systems and educators respect the rights of all students, including students who are transgender, and that they are afforded the opportunities that every other student has to participate in extracurricular activities," Cardona answered.

But Rand Paul wasn't done.

"Does it bother you that like the top 20 percent of boys running in track meets beat all of the girls in the state and it would completely destroy girls athletics?" he demanded, as if Cardona's personal opinion on an issue of settled law is in any wise relevant to his job performance.

"So you don't have a problem with boys in the girls track meets? Swimming meets? You're okay then if boys compete with girls?"

It was at this point that my own student athlete looked up from fixing her lunch to opine that she would "punch him in the face" if he talked like that about one of her teammates. Apple, tree, etc.

But Miguel Cardona is a lifelong educator, so he refrained from offering to finish what Rand Paul's neighbor started.

"Respectfully, Senator, I think I answered the question. I believe schools should offer the opportunity for students to engage in activities, even if they're transgender. I think that's their right."

At which point the dead-eyed congressman took the rest of his time to rant self-righteously about "most people in this country think it's bizarre and unfair!" And what about "some boy that is 6'2" competing against my 5'4" niece?" And "you're gonna run the Department of Education and you've got no problem with it?" And "what planet are you from?" And "I wonder where feminists are on this?" And "hulking 6'4" guys wrestling girls!" And a "disconnect with what Middle America believes!" And "I can't imagine that we're going to have a policy like that nationally."

Once again, we already have a policy like that nationally, thanks to the Supreme Court. Or, to be more precise, we have a policy that allows GIRLS to compete in GIRLS SPORTS. There are no crafty high school boys deciding to live as girls so they can register for field hockey and beat out female students for scholarships. Here on Planet Earth, the vast majority of full scholarships go to football and basketball players anyway.

Where do conservatives get these nutball theories? Do they think that movie White Chicks was a documentary? A hulking 6'4" athlete of any gender will be wrestling an opponent of comparable weight, because that is how wrestling works. Which Rand Paul would know if he'd ever attended a high school sporting event. Maybe he should, like, talk to an actual parent of student athletes? (Call me, Rand, I promise not to let my little girl beat you up!)

Four years ago Senator Paul happily voted to confirm Betsy DeVos, a nominee with zero educational experience who opined that rural schools might need guns on campus "to protect from potential grizzlies." Because bears are scary, but not as scary as a nine-year-old just trying to be okay.

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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