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Right and Left React to Trump’s Transgender Ban

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Max Boot in Commentary:

“This may be good politics, but it’s bad policy.”

Mr. Boot argues that Mr. Trump’s tweets on the transgender issue are a way of deflecting “attention from the multiple crises besetting his presidency” and an attempt “to try to stay in the good graces of the religious right.” Moreover, he notes, the president’s announcement is conspicuously absent of details, “leaving it to someone else to work out the actual policy he just announced.” Read more »

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From the Left

Gersh Kuntzman in The New York Daily News:

“If you’re not outraged by the ban on transgender people serving in the military, your prejudices are laid bare. But if you’re not outraged by the manner in which our President announced the ban, you are as big a jerk as Donald Trump.”

There may be little on which Mr. Kuntzman agrees with Mr. French and Mr. Boot, but all three writers condemn the method by which the president made his announcement. He notes that the three tweets came out minutes apart, leaving uncertain interpretations dangling in the air. Mr. Kuntzman concludes “as the kids say, #SMDH.” Read more »

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David Remnick in The New Yorker:

“Today’s outrage […] reveals yet another layer of his political cynicism, and his willingness to use any tactical means available to try to emerge whole from his current predicament.”

Mr. Reminck, the editor of The New Yorker, derides the president’s actions this week as “pure politics,” an attempt to pander to his base who want him to battle “secular-humanist coastal elites.” Read more »

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Richard Kim in The Nation:

“Remnick castigates the ban as ‘pure politics’ and ‘cheap and cruel politics’ — which begs the question if Remnick believes there is any other kind of politics, especially when it comes to this president.”

In response to Mr. Remnick, Mr. Kim writes that the “3-tweet policy announcement” should not be interpreted cynically as a mere distraction from Mr. Trump’s other scandals. It is, he argues, evidence that the Christian right “owns” Trump, and, further, a sign that he is willing to wage “total social warfare.” Read more »

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And Finally, From the Center:

• “Mac” to Dave Philipps in The New York Times:

“The government has invested hundreds of thousand of dollars into my training and my skill set. That’s not easy to replace.”

The Times collected reactions from transgender people who would be barred from military service by this policy Listen to this episode of “The Daily” podcast or read this article for more.

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Michael Bloomberg in Bloomberg:

“It might be instructive to look at Israel, whose transgender soldiers have helped to defend it from existential threat for almost two decades.”

Mr. Bloomberg opposes President Trump’s transgender ban on both moral and practical grounds. He points out that the “tremendous medical costs” associated with transgender service members amount to “about one-thousandth of 1 percent of the military budget.” Moreover, the policy, he writes, “smacks of disrespect: for the military’s careful process, for the value of political deliberation, for the American ideal of equality.” Read more »

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John Culhane in Politico:

“The Trump administration may soon learn that singling out a class of people for exclusion violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law.”

Mr. Culhane, a constitutional law scholar and a director of the Family Health Law & Policy Institute at Delaware Law School, explains all the legal pitfalls in the president’s ban. While it’s unlikely that the president or Congress will reverse the policy, he writes, the Supreme Court is likely to see it “as animus in the form of dismissal of an entire community.” Read more »

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David A. Andelman in USA Today:

“In most countries, the military serves as a direct reflection of society at large. The presence or absence of transgender service members is a critical sign of how open and sensitive a society is to all its members.”

Mr. Andelman, who is an editor emeritus of World Policy Journal, provides a comparative analysis of Mr. Trump’s transgender ban and puts the decision in global context. He explains how the president’s ban has, once again, “left the United States out of step with much of the world,” and aligns the U.S. “more closely to Russia.” Read more »

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Source: New York Times

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