Fairness. Equity. “Follow the science.”
Democrats use these buzzwords as a cudgel to pound their self-righteous legislative agenda on the rest of us; be it tax increases, climate change, Covid or another “crisis of the day.” But in Kansas, the hypocrites blithely cast aside these sound bytes this year in defeating The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which would have banned transgenders from competing against girls and women.
Fairness and equity disappeared despite the physical advantages boys have over girls. High school boys regularly eclipse world records held by former Olympic champion women. State records in pole vaulting, for example, show boys reaching heights several feet above those of girls. Of the 100 top Division One NCAA 100 meter sprinters, the bottom 20 men have average times 3/4 of a second faster than the top 20 women. So, when Johnny wakes up one day and decides he’s Janie, and his parents don’t have the sense to convince him otherwise, he’ll get to compete in the sport of his choice as a girl. He’ll win; the biological girl – with a championship, state record, or athletic scholarship on the line – will lose.
“Follow the science?” Not when it comes to biology for Kansas Democrats and Governor Laura Kelly. Boys have greater upper body strength, larger hearts, greater lung capacity, stronger knee ligaments and faster twitch muscles. “So what?” say the naysayers, “Girls should quit whining and try harder.”
With that rationale, why not let the KU men’s basketball team compete for the Kansas 6A state title each year? “Boys, just try harder.” I’d make the same analogy about the Jayhawk football team, but I’m not certain the Les Miles-less squad would deliver at the end.
Democrats and RINOs in Topeka know this isn’t about fairness or science. It’s about politics, and their opposition is easily understood. Their party, in Kansas and nationwide, is on an eternal quest for the next “victim class,” and transgenders are the Flavor of the Month. Huey Long of Louisiana spoke of “Every Man a King.” Today’s Democrat battle cry is “Everyone But a White Male, a Victim.” You know, “systemic racism” with any other -ism not far behind.
But even they stumble here. Not only do they violate at least the spirit of Title IX, which seeks to secure comparable facilities and opportunities for female athletes, they victimize girls and women of all races, origins and ethnicities with this policy.
In the spirit of “fairness,” this is bipartisan discrimination of females. GOP House members were among the 43 to vote against this bill –Mark Schreiber of Emporia, Jesse Borjon of Topeka and Dave Baker of Council Grove; and don’t forget Mark Samsel, the Bible-verse spouting, undefeated gonad kickboxing champion of Wellsville High School.
In the Senate there was Carolyn McGinn of Sedgwick, Brenda Dietrich of Topeka and John Doll of Garden City joining Democrats to throw female athlete under the bus. I expect all GOP legislators who opposed this measure, opting for oppression over opportunity, to have primary opponents next summer. The House 5th District may not get a chance to jettison Mr. Samsel – any legislator found to have assaulted and battered a high school kid will likely decide he’d be better off ‘spending more time with his family’ rather than face his angry and embarrassed voters.
Republican opposition to this legislation is more difficult to pinpoint. Sappiness, yes; unprincipled, of course. But fingerprints of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce are all over these GOP votes. The Chamber – the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, but meet your membership quota crowd – is not a conservative bulwark. They were cowed, as usual, by “woke” threats to withhold events, athletic and otherwise, from the state in the wake of this becoming law. Instead of telling the NCAA to go to hell and backing Kansas’ women athletes, the cowed cowed the cowable.
The House Republicans who voted against this bill initially never got an opportunity, or got pressured, to sober up and change their vote to override the governor’s veto, but that won’t save those who joined Demcrats in the initial vote against women. The Senate had already dropped the ball in the veto session.
By one vote.
Andrew Johnson’s presidency was spared by one vote in his U. S. Senate impeachment trial, cast by Kansan Edmund Ross, who rejected the unfairness and political motivation of Johnson’s accusers. Either GOP Senators Dietrich of Topeka, Doll of Garden City or McGinn of Sedgwick could have stood up for fairness of Kansas girls and women, also, but all failed their Profile in Courage moment.
Because they and others in their party supported discrimination of more than half their constituencies, they must all face primary opposition next summer.
After all, it’s only fair.
– David Hicks is a political analyst and editorial contributor to The Anderson County Review in Garnett, Kan.