Liberal Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts rode the second Republican wave of national victories in 2014. Democrats damaged themselves with Obamacare, even in “RomneyCare” Mass. A Republican won Massachusetts’ U.S. Senate special election in 2010. A Republican stronghold of working-class Americans is breaking out in the middle of the state.
And now, Massachusetts has Baker.
He had run for Governor in 2010, rightfully banking on the Tea Party wave. He didn’t make it against incumbent “Mr. Governor” Deval Patrick. The second time, Massachusetts voters welcomed him to the corner office.
He made some welcome changes to the way the commonwealth political class does business. He removed a lot of the frills and trappings from the governor’s office. He did away with a lot of the unnecessary glitz. He submitted budgets which didn’t raise taxes or fees. He is a “good guy” with Democrats as well as Republicans (after all, the Massachusetts state legislatures retains a wall of blue). He has expanded cooperation between ICE and the Massachusetts State police. Public safety and fiscal prudence matter to him.
But on those cultural issues, Baker really burns his base!
He promoted an openly gay rights platform. In 2010, he candidly admitted himself to the left of President Obama on gay marriage (at the time, Obama remained coy on the subject, until Vice President Uncle Joe Biden opened his mouth—again). A number of commercials advertised Baker as “100% pro-choice.” In 2014, he stayed true to this agenda, although pro-liberty advocates hoped that he wouldn’t trample their rights in the process.
He still seems happy with gun-grabbing in a state where “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire and Gun-Enthusiastic Vermont border to the North. How about those farmers who fired “The Shot Heard Round the World”?
So, is Baker a Republican’s dream in a Democratic strong-hold? In 2014, concerned conservatives asked the same question. They were rooting for pro-family Mark Fisher, a Tea Party activist with strong connections and conservative values. In a head-to-head debate with candidate Baker, he identified his political role model with ease: Scott Walker. Baker laughed, chuckled, struggled with the question, then blurted out the least objectionable leader: Jeb! By the way, Walker is planning a third term in a purple state turning red. Jeb repudiated his conservative legacy as Florida’s governor when he ran against the base for the presidency, then dropped out after South Carolina.
Because Republican forces believed “moderate” Baker would be better, Fisher lost at the state convention (despite allegations of electoral misconduct. Baker challenged major loser Martha Coakley, a terrible campaigner and figurehead for the Massachusetts Dems.
Yes, Baker won, but at what cost? And how should the pro-family Republican Party respond?
The Massachusetts conservatives (weary of their new leader) and the Republican base have already started asking: “How much longer will Baker defy his base?”
The answer: as long as possible.
Earlier this year, Baker raised a million dollars to elect liberals to the state Republican central committee. He attacked fellow Republicans—while three contested legislative seats went unchallenged to Democrats.
Now, he’s turning more heads, flushing the GOP pro-family agenda in the process. Baker announced support for a statewide “Transgender Bathroom Bill.” This crappy capitulation is worse that his decidedly liberal stance on cultural issues.
Even though he had caved to the left on abortion and gay marriage, he had staunchly opposed the transgender agenda, and did not support allowing biological men into women’s bathrooms, and vice versa.
“Governor-elect Charlie Baker would not support expanding the state's anti-discrimination laws to add protection for transgender people in public places, such as restaurants or theaters.”
Let’s remember that those “public places” are also private property. Men and women may operate their businesses as they see fit. Baker stood on the right side of this issue.
“Baker, a Republican, does support an existing law that protects transgender people from discrimination in employment and housing. But he said Monday that he does not favor a bill that is expected to come before the legislature next session to add a prohibition against discrimination in places of "public accommodation.”
Well, now he does!
What does this turn-around say about the state of the Republican Party, especially in a region where conservatives are just now clawing back inch by inch? A stark lack of conviction is the norm, and has infected elected officials. The LGBT lobby enshrined same-sex “marriage” in Massachusetts. This battleground victory allowed the further advance of this horrific agenda around the country. Because of judicial fiat, “gay” marriage has become the dictate of the land. Schools teach it, require kids to learn about it, and even encourage experimentation with their own identities. People have lost their jobs for speaking out against gay marriage or the dangers of same-sex conduct (including well-respected Dr. Paul Church of Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center).
Now, even in the reddest of states, politicians are avoiding or caving to this controversy. They want to be liked, they want to win on issues that will generate little conflict with a wide swath of the electorate. While South Carolina lawmakers discussed enacting a similar set of restrictions on public bathrooms, Tea Party Governor Nikki Haley questioned the necessity of such a measure. U.S. Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina (in a tight re-election bid) has refused to dig in his tar heels with Governor Pat McCrory. Other states have already rolled out these transgender laws, without regard to public consideration.
Will the transgender bathroom agenda be the next Republican capitulation, with RINO Baker leading the way?
Conservatives need to stop the stalling. Republican leaders need to protect the gender distinctions within bathroom stalls, stand up for the normal, moral distinctions of male and female. This bathroom fight is about more than “Splish Splash” restrooms, but public safety, individual privacy, and the fundamental definitions and distinctions which make life and prosperity possible: male and female, and the families which follow.