The Corner

Josh Earnest Tells a Dangerous Half-Truth About Obama’s Transgender Edict

Responding to questions about the Obama administration’s sweeping transgender edict, Josh Earnest was at his disingenuous worst, claiming that the letter to every public school in the country — a letter imposing a speech code, opening girls’ restrooms and showers to boys, opening girls’ sports to boys, and opening girls’ dorms to boys — wasn’t a “threat” but instead represented mere “guidance” to public schools. 

At first I was going to call his statement a lie, but then I realized it was more like a half-truth. No, the letter is not a threat. That much is true. Instead, it’s a promise. As it clearly states, it represents the the administration’s existing interpretation of controlling law. This is how the administration will enforce Title IX. This is how the administration has enforced Title IX. In the event of complaints against a school district, the administration is declaring how it will respond. 

Public school principals and superintendents know how to interpret this letter, and they know what they risk if they refuse to comply. Earnest is bobbing and weaving to minimize public outrage, but he’s doing nothing to diminish the real-world effect of administration lawlessness.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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