Why would GOP primary voters possibly decide to give the presidential nomination to a celebrity businessman who spent most of his life as a Democrat when they had an entire stage full of seasoned Republican governors and senators to choose from?
Because they were fools? No. They did it because they spent years watching the “serious” GOP sell out conservative principles, and decided they had nothing to lose by taking a chance on something new.
Yet, even after the electorate so dramatically rewarded the base’s decision in November, the Republican old guard still hasn’t gotten the message.
CBS News reports that the House of Representatives just voted 209-214 to allow the Pentagon to subsidize transgender soldiers’ gender transition surgeries…and twenty-four Republicans sided with the Democrats.
GOP Rep. Vicky Hartzler, of Missouri, had introduced an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have rolled back an Obama directive requiring the Defense Department to pay for transgender surgeries. In a statement about the amendment, Hartzler argued that the government shouldn’t be paying for “very expensive gender change surgeries that even most private insurance plans don’t cover.”
She also suggested that spending funds on the surgeries — which she pointed out would cost about a billion dollars over the next decade — would damage the country’s military readiness, and she said that her proposal would ensure “our defense resources are allocated in a way that is smart and good for our national defense.”
Rep. Duncan Hunter, of California, who supported the bill, doesn’t believe American taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for the treatments. “Figure out whether you’re man or a woman before you join,” Hunter said.
Indeed, according to a RAND study, these surgeries would cost an additional $2.4 million to $8.4 per year…to serve a mere 29 to 129 “trans” soldiers projected to actually take advantage of them (to be clear, the estimated number of trans soldiers is much larger; it’s believed they just wouldn’t seek these surgeries).
Even if we set aside the obvious point that identity politics and social engineering have no place whatsoever in the United States military, that strikes me as an astoundingly inefficient investment. Recruiting enough troops to maintain a large enough fighting force is an important issue, but even if all 129 of that number decide the lack of government-subsidized transitions is a deal-breaker to military service, I suspect making up the difference is entirely doable.
But most importantly, we expect Democrats to disregard all of these considerations; what’s a Republican’s excuse? Does military readiness matter anymore? Does fiscal responsibility matter anymore? Does resisting the long march of leftist cultural redefinition matter anymore?
This vote represents a shameful abandonment of all three legs of the conservative stool: economic, social, and defense. Apparently these twenty-four Republicans need another reminder that the public’s patience has run out. Hopefully they’ll get one in the form of primary challengers.