Asa Hutchinson never had a chance in hell of becoming president. We all knew that. He is as exciting as a low-sodium saltine cracker and as genuine as “grape” flavored Kool-Aid.
He’s not a bad man, I think. He is still sentient, which apparently would disqualify him for nomination as a Democrat. But as a very very Establishment figure, he appeals to the current Republican Party’s base as well as a square peg in a round hole.
Proof of that was his appearance today with Tucker Carlson at The Summit, where he crashed and burned spectacularly within the first 10 seconds of his conversation with Tucker.
Whatever else you think of Tucker, you really have to admire his ability to get to the heart of the matter.
TUCKER: “Is it treatment to prevent [a child] from going through the natural process of adolescence? How is that treatment?”
ASA: “Tucker, I hope that we’ll be able to talk about some issues…”
TUCKER: “This is one of the biggest issues in the country, and I think…every… pic.twitter.com/15UKgrfvl5
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) July 14, 2023
Tucker’s question about Hutchinson’s veto of a bill banning puberty blockers and hormone treatments for minors came right out of the box.
Hutchinson’s veto was overridden in the legislature, but Hutchinson defended his opposition to the bill back in 2021 to NPR and today he dismissed it as an issue worthy of discussion.
[I]n my veto, I wanted to say to my Republican friends and colleagues that we’ve got to rethink our engagement in every aspect of the cultural wars. The Republican Party that I grew up with believed in a restrained government that did not jump in the middle of every issue. And in this case, it is a very sensitive matter that involves parents, and it involves physicians. And we ought to yield to that decision-making, unless there’s a compelling state reason. And I think this is too extreme for me to sign.
Obviously, the people of Arkansas disagreed. Overriding a governor’s veto is a vanishingly rare phenomenon, and only happens when there is considerable passion on the issue by a vast majority of the people.
Hutchinson has a right to disagree, and it took courage for him to stake out his position on such a fraught topic and stick to his guns, although some cynics think it had as much to do with his support from the medical community which makes a bunch of money off this stuff.
I am hardly cynical, though. Have you ever known me to be cynical?
Regardless of the reason he vetoed the bill, the override and subsequent culture war over “gender-affirming care” should have made it blindingly obvious that it was a big issue to people. Yet Hutchinson dismissed it as a distraction.
That didn’t go over well.
Forced to respond at greater length, Hutchinson gave a limited government/parental rights response, which is admittedly the best argument he has. But then he went off the rails again by suggesting that puberty blockers and hormone treatments are not permanent, which is plainly not true.
Parroting the line of the Left wasn’t going to get him out of the disaster.
Asa responds to question about child transition surgeries: “Tucker, I hope we’ll be able talk about some issues.”
Tucker: “This is one of the biggest issues in the country. It is a central issue. These are children who are being altered permanently.”
Audience: *erupts*… pic.twitter.com/8IevOPa6ho
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) July 14, 2023
The reviews were not good. Glenn Beck compared the exchange to the Hindenberg disaster, which seems apt.
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) July 14, 2023
The parental rights argument has legs, and should. The State should be very wary of getting between parents and their children, and just as wary of interfering in the relationship between doctors and their children. It is a matter of immense weight to do so, and the presumption should be that doing so is illegitimate.
It should be a presumption, but as with most cases, it should also not be an absolute. As a practical matter, the State does get involved in cases of abuse, and abuse by its very nature is defined by community standards. Whether and how much corporal punishment a parent can impose on a child is one example and disputes regarding what it is acceptable for parents to do are settled in the legislature which is best positioned to take the temperature of the populace and express its will.
That happened in Arkansas.
It’s clear that for Republicans–and indeed, according to the polls, the vast majority of Americans–that sterilizing and mutilating children even if they express a desire for the procedures is a step too far. Their desire is not sufficient, and neither is the parents’, because the act itself is deemed abusive.
This is in principle no different than making illegal sexual relations between a 10-year-old and an adult, even if both “assent to” or express a desire for such. Children are mercurial, have no firm grasp of their interests, and sometimes adults either reinforce destructive desires or even manipulate children into “wanting” things that are bad for them.
In any case, having Carlson or someone like him doing these interviews (and, I hope, debates as well) would be a good thing. “Journalists” in the MSM mold ask stupid questions that don’t help Republicans sort out the issues they care about. If a candidate is going to blow up in front of everybody, it should be related to an issue that matters. Not the ticky-tack stuff you see in most debates and conversations.
Read the full article here