Clarence Page Likens Bathroom Issue to Willie Horton, Laughs Off Danger

As this weekend's syndicated The McLaughlin Group discussed the issue of the North Carolina bathroom law which limits people from using public restrooms in state buildings that do not correspond to the gender listed on their birth certificates, Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune compared the issue to Willie Horton from the 1988 presidential campaign.

He ended up dismissively laughing when conservative columnist Pat Buchanan predicted that a crime against a child would someday occur if men are allowed to use women's restrooms, as the liberal columnist smugly cracked, "I'm waiting for it to happen, Pat. If it were going to happen, it would have happened already."

After Buchanan asserted that, "I do believe that you don't want men -- grown men going into girls' bathrooms. You don't want men in women's showers or locker rooms," and then advocated for a local law to prevent such activity, Page jumped in with his Willie Horton reference:

I think it's already happening, Pat. It's already happening, Pat. I mean, transgender people are using the bathroom of their choice right now. It is political people finding out -- this is kind of like Willie Horton. This is a great issue to hold up in order to get people alarmed and excited over something that is not a danger.

After the National Review's Tom Rogan warned that, "The problem is not transgender people. The problem is people who are going to take advantage of this for malevolency," Buchanan added: "You're going to have a bad incident occur with some kid, and that will explode this issue, and it will go against liberalism."

Page laughed as he and the Daily Beast's Eleanor Clift dismissed safety concerns for women and girls:

CLARENCE PAGE (laughing): I'm waiting for it to happen, Pat. If it were going to happen, it would have happened already.

ELEANOR CLIFT: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Have any of these bad incidents with kids occurred over the last decades in your memory that would even prompt this law?

BUCHANAN: How do you know?

PAGE: Everybody makes this argument, and nobody seems to come up with an example.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the syndicated The McLaughlin Group show from the weekend of Friday, April 29:

PAT BUCHANAN, AUTHOR/COLUMNIST: John, I think this is a state issue, and I think it's very much a local issue, and I do believe that you don't want men -- grown men going into girls' bathrooms. You don't want men in women's showers or locker rooms.

ELEANOR CLIFT, DAILY BEAST: It's not happening. It's not happening.

BUCHANAN: It's a tradition. They ought to write it locally into law, and if you say it doesn't happen, I will agree with you. But if it's not happening, it's not happening.

CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: I think it's already happening, Pat. It's already happening, Pat. I mean, transgender people are using the bathroom of their choice right now. It is political people finding out -- this is kind of like Willie Horton. This is a great issue to hold up in order to get people alarmed and excited over something that is not a danger.

TOM ROGAN, NATIONAL REVIEW: I think McCrory is wrong when he says you should have to use the bathroom of your birth sex, okay, if you're post-operative -- but wait, wait, wait, here's the thing, the law is blind essentially when it comes to the application of this, the practicality, and that means -- I don't think I should be able to go into a woman's bathroom, okay? I don't think that. And the problem is, I don't think transgender people-

CLIFT: The law isn't addressing that. They're not part of this issue as much as you'd like to be.

(...)

ROGAN: The problem is not transgender people. The problem is people who are going to take advantage of this for malevolency.

(...)

BUCHANAN: You're going to have a bad incident occur with some kid, and that will explode this issue, and it will go against liberalism.

PAGE (laughing): I'm waiting for it to happen, Pat. If it were going to happen, it would have happened already.

CLIFT: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Have any of these bad incidents with kids occurred over the last decades in your memory that would even prompt this law?

BUCHANAN: How do you know?

PAGE: Everybody makes this argument, and nobody seems to come up with an example.

NB Daily Crime Conservatives & Republicans Sexuality Homosexuality Transgender The Daily Beast McLaughlin Group Chicago Tribune Video Pat Buchanan Clarence Page Eleanor Clift


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