Jason Lewis: Democrats’ war on the family

The "comfortable conservatism" that offends no one is the GOP’s Maginot Line and it preserves nothing except the status quo. The war on the family is all around us.

President Joe Biden speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House. (White House/Flickr)

(Jason’s Newsletter) — It’s the holiest season of the year, so that means only one thing for Biden Democrats. Time to ramp up attacks on the cornerstone of Christianity — the family.

The grotesque White House celebration for the horribly misnamed “Respect for Marriage” (RFM) Act had all the trappings of a pagan festival. From salacious drag-queens to a washed-up 70-year-old singer with purple hair. Yet without the help of Republicans like Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina this latest bill to thwart what’s left of family law in America wouldn’t have made it to the Democrats’ party.

Indeed, Sen. Tillis led the GOP’s “dirty dozen” in the lame-duck session to get the legislation to the president’s desk — along with attempts at amnesty for illegals and a “Christmas-tree” omnibus bill. It was the RFM Act that undercut both religious liberty and federalism all at once. With Republicans like these, who needs Democrats?

When the high court overturned Roe, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested its faulty foundations were propping up other rulings. Democrats went apoplectic for fear the next domino to fall might be Obergefell, which mandated gay marriage in all 50 states.

That opinion had already disposed of Bill Clinton’s compromise in the far more accurately titled Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) — something then-Sen. Biden was all in on. But in the wake of Dobbs, Democrats (with a little help from their friends) set out to codify in federal statute both Obergefell and Roe.

But they can’t do either legally for the very same reason the justices overturned Roe in the first place. As I (and many others) have been saying for years, the Constitution is silent on abortion and marriage. Therefore, under our federal system of divided sovereignty, these issues are left to the states under the enumerated powers doctrine and the 10th Amendment.

Now the last refuge of a scoundrel in the Jussie Smollett era is always race. So defenders of the RFM bill predictably trotted out the old shibboleth that if states could determine marriage laws on gender they could do it on race. But that is already prohibited and has long been held by the Court to be a violation of a racial classification under the 14th Amendment.

You don’t need the RFM Act to protect interracial marriage when the Constitution already does.

Congress can recognize gay unions for limited federal purposes (as they did here, though again an activist court beat them to the punch in Windsor), but it cannot write marriage and family law for state legislatures. That is what Justice Thomas was getting at.

Enter Tillis and the unhinged Theodore Olson, a former U.S. solicitor who has become so obsessed he’s forgotten his first oath was to the Constitution, not gay marriage. They claim the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) will protect religious dissent, so don’t you worry. Yet here again, under precedent as recent as Boerne v. Flores in 1997, federal statute can’t trump the states’ police power.

Which means two things — state legislatures may pass marriage (or abortion) laws if they choose and should the high court ever get around to overturning Obergefell based on its reasoning in Dobbs, it would most likely strike down the RFM Act, once challenged.

Oral arguments now before the Supreme Court are illustrative. The case revolves around a web designer’s objection to creating sites for gay weddings. Colorado says the designer must under its anti-discrimination laws. The business owner sued claiming the law infringed on her artistic expression based upon sincerely held views that marriage (historically defined for a couple of millenia) is still between one man and one woman.

What’s fascinating is if the Court rules for Colorado, they’d be ruling in effect against the RFM Act by deferring decisions like these to state prerogative. If they don’t, it would substantially weaken the law’s ability to command gay marriage, at least under “public accommodations.” The RFM Act may become window dressing either way.

As I write in Party Animal, The Truth About President Trump, Power Politics & the Partisan Press:

“Whether it’s abortion, gay marriage or the wanton destruction of women’s athletics through the denial of biological sex, the fear of federalism is also what’s driving the Democrat/Media complex on these issues. They simply don’t believe in a true ‘live and let live’ approach to governing in a large Republic where states are the ‘laboratories of democracy.’ In Florida, the Parental Rights in Education bill gave children a little bit of their innocence back by stopping agenda-driven schools from inappropriately discussing private sexual matters with toddlers. It came about in protest to the ‘treating’ of children’s ‘gender dysphoria’ without their parents’ knowledge.”

It’s good to see the Sunshine State not treating young people as a “mere creature of the State.” But parents are finding out what happens when a few activist “educators” do exactly that. A former “non-binary’” professor at Old Dominion told students the term “pedophile” is “stigmatizing” to “minor-attracted people.”

It’s no coincidence that adults under the age of 30 are seventeen times more likely to be trans or nonbinary than those over the age of 50, according to Pew Research. The cruel irony is the same education elites and “public health experts” are now recommending screening children as young as eight for anxiety and depression. Wonder why?

It wasn’t that long ago when older men dressed as women twerking with children at city-sponsored parades or schools adopting unisex locker rooms or medical clinics exploiting gender dysphoria to pad their bottom line all would have been considered child abuse.

But today, Joe Biden, the Catholic who once stood by his religion, tweets, “Transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time. There is no room for compromise…”

As they say, one thing leads to another.

This swift and headlong lurch into androgyny started a while ago when the revolutionaries realized before you can deconstruct the West you’ve got to deconstruct Western notions of the family. The Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools program celebrates transgender youth and normalizes gender fluidity in kindergarten.

Planned Parenthood, when they’re not doing their best to eliminate families, says “no worries,” we’re sexual beings beginning at birth. The cultural cesspool is so deep that Yahoo News worries aloud that Sen.-elect J.D. Vance may be “coming for your porn.” The point is the same liberals behind today’s excess were behind yesteryear’s — including a modern welfare state that screamed, among other things, “who needs fathers?”

Turns out, we all do. The nuclear family consists of more than “birthing people.” It’s made up of moms, dads and their children. The family unit not only civilizes, but it perpetuates and remains the best antidote to the state. If you can think of two things more important let me know.

Italy’s young new pro-family prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, is unabashedly taking on the demagogues, declaring, Yes to natural families, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology, yes to the culture of life, no to the abyss of death.” Whoa.

Predictably, the American press calls her a “fascist.” At least when scribes at the Wall Street Journal aren’t worrying about the low “percentage of female and non-binary” poker players. Or when Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine isn’t busy ignoring the crime wave killing the young and instead lectures that Transphobia is hazardous to your health.”

For years, Republican candidates have been uniformly advised to stay away from the most controversial social issues. They don’t play well with the moderate middle and standing for traditional values turns Americans off. In other words, if a corporate tax cut can’t solve it, don’t talk about it.

So they didn’t in the 2022 midterms. How’d that work out?

The “comfortable conservatism” that offends no one is the GOP’s Maginot Line and it preserves nothing except the status quo. The war on the family is all around us. From the classroom to the boardroom; from the pool to the pew.

For Republicans, there’s no avoiding it now.

This article was originally published at the author’s Substack and reprinted here with permission. 


Jason Lewis

Jason Lewis is a former Minnesota congressman and broadcast veteran. Prior to serving in the 115th Congress, Lewis hosted a talk radio program for over 25 years and has authored two books, Power Divided is Power Checked (2010) and Party Animal (2022).