For months, the right-wing media has launched obsessive, anti-gay attacks on President Obama's gay and lesbian appointees. The attacks are ugly, gay-baiting smears (trust us, they're ugly), and have had little, if anything, to do with the appointees' qualifications to do their jobs. But many on the right would be loathe to openly admit that they oppose an appointment because of that person's sexual orientation or gender-identity.
Enter the Christian Broadcasting Network's [CBN] David Brody (you know, the one who used to regularly appear on NBC's Meet the Press as a credible roundtable guest). He plainly suggested yesterday in a blog post on CBN's website that Obama should not have nominated Amanda Simpson to be the Senior Technical Adviser to the Commerce Department because she is a transgender woman.
Brody doesn't even hide the fact that he doesn't care about whether she's qualified or not; rather, he has a "newsflash" for us: "The transgender thing doesn't play well with millions of conservative Evangelicals," or "the million of [sic] conservative Independent voters and Catholics who will be up for grabs again in 2012 as well." Here's a portion of Brody's post:
President Obama has appointed a transgender woman named Amanda Simpson to be the Senior Technical Advisor to the Department of Commerce. It's the first time a President has appointed an openly transgender person. You've got to hand it to the President on this one. He delivered on his campaign slogan because this is definitely "Change you can believe in."
Oy-vey. Someone hand me an Advil. I wonder how this is going to play in the heartland.
I know. I know. There will be those who say all that matters is whether or not Simpson is qualified for the job. And I know there will be those who will wonder why I am even writing about this considering there may be more important topics to discuss but here's a newsflash for you: The transgender thing doesn't play well with millions of conservative Evangelicals. Sorry if Biblical absolutes offend you or are so "1950 ish" but don't think conservative Evangelicals are apologizing for it.
I understand President Obama won't be after die hard conservative Evangelicals in 2012 but let's remember that moves like this don't play well with the million of conservative Independent voters and Catholics who will be up for grabs again in 2012 as well. A move like this could easily be part of a liberal ammunition package against the President in 2012. Hey, remember how he won North Carolina and Indiana in 2008? You think those conservative minded states may listen a little more closely when they hear the word "transgender?" Oh, and one more thing. I know the economy is the big story but don't think for a second stories like this don't resonate in people's minds. They do. It's part of the psychology of voting and it all lumps in with a larger portrait. Can anyone say Chai Feldblum? Research here.
This isn't new territory for Brody; back in October, he accused Department of Education appointee Kevin Jennings of "not reporting sexual abuse of a minor to authorities" and of "[p]ushing a homosexual agenda." It appears that his opposition to LGBT appointees has now devolved into, well, it won't "play in the heartland."