Last year at this time, the Senate was about to confirm radical LGBT activist Chai Feldblum for another term as EEOC commissioner. This was part of a package deal which also would have seen the confirmation of two Republican nominees. The deal apparently was sealed by a “handshake” between Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer.
Pursuant to the deal, the three nominees were to be confirmed without hearings on any of them. Confirmation would occur by unanimous consent around Christmas time, when, it was hoped, no one would notice.
I noticed. I highlighted the lawless positions Feldblum had pushed through the EEOC as part of her radical LGBT agenda. I also pointed to statements she had made to the effect that when gay rights clash with religious freedom, gay rights should almost invariably prevail.
Important faith-based activists also noticed. Thanks to their efforts, “consent” was not “unanimous.” Several Senators, including Mike Lee, wouldn’t go along. Feldblum and the other two nominees were not confirmed.
McConnell, trying to keep his promise to Schumer, continued to push for confirmation of the three nominees during much of 2018. Big business joined the effort. These interests care little, if at all, about religious freedom. They just wanted an EEOC with a majority of pro-business commissioners. With Feldblum continuing to serve out her term and the two Republicans blocked (along with her confirmation), the Commission was 2-1 Democratic.
In mid-year, Feldblum’s term expired. Yet, through swamp magic, she was able to keep serving.
Now, however, Feldblum’s time is up. Unless she is confirmed by the end of the year, the EEOC will be down to just two commissioners. As such, it will be able to do neither good (as it sometimes does) nor mischief.
Thus, a final push is underway to confirm the package. The push is probably futile. Sen. Mike Lee doesn’t appear to be budging.
Why should he? Having endured Feldblum throughout 2018, why should Lee relent now? Mission accomplished.
The unfortunate byproduct is that Daniel Gade, one of the Republican nominees, is withdrawing from consideration. When I sounded the alarm over the Feldblum package, I didn’t know Gade. When I finally met him, I was so impressed that I half-regretted blowing the whistle on the deal. Let’s hope there’s a place for Daniel in the Trump administration or in a future conservative one.
What happens next? I don’t know.
Here’s what I think should happen. Trump should select two Republican nominees and McConnell should push for their confirmation. With a 53-47 majority, he has the votes.
If the Democrats present a pick for the third open slot who doesn’t share Feldblum’s lack of regard for religious liberty in cases where gays are involved, and who otherwise is unobjectionable, the three can be confirmed as a package. Otherwise, the Senate should confirm the two Republican nominees.
Finally, I want to call attention to this account of the Feldblum controversy on the NBC News website. Even by mainstream media standards — even by NBC’s (if any) — it is partisan rubbish.
For one thing, the article makes it seem like objections to Feldblum center around her support for gay marriage. That’s not the case. The fundamental objection resides in her view that gay rights should prevail over religious freedom in virtually all cases where they are in tension.
The author cites one post from Mike Lee. The post discusses gay marriage, but Lee’s focus is on oppression of “traditional marriage supporters,” not on the issue of gay marriage itself.
The EEOC can’t change the law on gay marriage — now deemed a constitutional right. It can make life difficult, and even miserable, for some who believe marriage is only between a man and a woman. It can also make life miserable for folks, of whatever persuasion on gay marriage, who simply don’t wish to share restrooms and showers with people of the opposite gender.
Under Feldblum, it has done both.
This is the case against confirming Feldblum. I can’t speak for Sen. Lee, and after his role in the passage of jailbreak legislation, I wouldn’t want to. I suspect, however, that this is Lee’s case against her, as well.
The NBC News article also paints Feldblum as a “pluaralist,” who believes fervently in religious freedom. It relies on articles she wrote after it became clear that her confirmation was in serious trouble. I debunked one of those articles here.
Feldblum can say whatever she wants. We should focus solely on (1) her actions as EEOC commissioner and (2) what she said before her job at the EEOC was at stake.
These actions and statements demonstrate that she’s too radical to remain as EEOC commissioner.