Sen. Mike Lee has been holding out against the renomination of Chai Feldblum for another term as EEOC Commissioner. Feldblum is the architect of the Obama administration’s LGBT policy and an enemy of religious freedom in virtually all cases where it stands in the way of gay “dignity,” as she sees it.
I have heard that this week, Senate leadership is making another push to confirm Feldblum, along with two Republican nominees to the Commission. The idea, as I understand it, is to “sweeten” the deal by throwing in President Trump’s nominee for EEOC General Counsel.
I’m happy to report that Sen. Lee remains “steadfast” in opposing Feldblum. His office assures me that throwing in the nominee for General Counsel, whom the GOP Senate can already confirm without Democratic help, doesn’t sweeten anything.
Mike Lee deserves major credit for blocking Chai Feldblum’s nomination. He’s not just standing up to leadership, he’s also resisting pressure from some conservatives who want him to accept the Feldblum package in order to give Republicans an instant majority on the Commission.
As noted, though, Republicans control the Senate, albeit barely. They have the ability to confer majority status at the EEOC on Republicans without swallowing Feldblum.
The other point I want to make pertains to the alliance between social conservatives and economic conservatives/business interests. In Feldblum’s case, there is a tension. Feldblum has been so aggressive in trampling religious interests that she’s become unacceptable to social conservatives. They regard her, correctly in my view, as worse than a generic left-liberal on key social issues.
Thus, the business case (so to speak) in favor of confirming Feldblum, even assuming there is one, will not move most strong social conservatives. Feldblum represents a red line.
If the traditional alliance between social conservatives and economic conservatives is to be maintained, each faction (so the speak) must respect the other’s red lines. Some economic conservatives believe, in good faith, that there’s a good case for confirming the Feldblum package. But this is hardly a red line issue for them.
So again, I believe Sen. Lee deserves great credit for enforcing the red line against Chai Feldblum.