On National Public Radio, liberal pundit Cokie Roberts said Monday morning that President Obama's push to allow transgender people to use whatever bathroom they want—despite the gender on their birth certificate—is a way for the president to help the Democratic Party maintain control of the White House.
On NPR’s Morning Edition Roberts said, “You always wonder, though, at this stage in the year - in the calendar, why would these rules come out? And yes, the president wants to get a lot done before his time is up.”
“But it also might be a political ploy on the part of the administration to try to get young people excited and remind them that the Republicans, in many cases, are against transgender people, gay marriage, that kind of thing, just an attempt to keep the Obama coalition together going into the election,” Roberts added.
However, the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker—also part of the discussion—disagreed with Roberts. “I don't think people are very interested in arguing about that right now,” Parker said. “I think they're much more concerned about, you know, who's going to be the president than they are about who's going to which bathroom.”
The discussion is related to the states and school districts deciding whether to comply with a directive from the Obama administration stating that transgender students may not be treated differently from other students. Both the Education and Justice Department warned the states not to discriminate against transgender students or else they risk losing federal education funds, though the guidelines aren’t legally binding.
Transgender usage of bathrooms has become a contentious issue this year. On Tuesday, Texas governor Greg Abbott posted on Twitter
The Democrats are trying to retain control of the Executive branch for another four years. The transgender bathroom issue may be their only lifeline in light of failed policies, domestically and internationally, under eight years of an Obama presidency.