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Opposition To Neomi Rao And Patrick Bumtay Shows Identity Politics Is A Total Con


Democrats often accuse President Trump of being anti-women, anti-immigrant, and anti-gay, all while boasting their big tent approach for embracing all races, sexes, and sexual orientations. To show their commitment to diversity and inclusion, Democrats are often at the forefront of enforcing sex- and race-based quotas, from supporting affirmative action in college admissions to mandating quotas inside corporate boardrooms.

Yet when they confront minorities who disagree with their political rhetoric or ideas, many Democrats not only throw their effort at achieving diversity and inclusion out of the window, but also actively engage in despicable activities to prevent these minorities from advancing in life. The most obvious and recent example is how the Democrats are treating minority judicial nominees of President Trump.

Meet Neomi Jehangir Rao. Her parents are immigrants from India. Similar to many other high-achieving Asian immigrants, Rao got her bachelor’s degree from Yale University and her law degree from the University of Chicago. She clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, worked for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on the Judiciary Committee, and served in President George W. Bush’s White House.

She founded the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University’s law school before joining the Trump administration and serving as the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. She is instrumental in the administration’s deregulation effort, which has already resulted in an impressive “$1.308 billion from 47 separate deregulation actions.”

Rao’s Nomination

Last November, President Trump nominated Rao for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the seat emptied by the elevation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. If confirmed, she will be the first Indian-American woman to serve a federal court.

Yet the fact she is an accomplished and well-qualified minority woman means nothing to liberals. They have been out front opposing her from the moment she was nominated. In an attempt to disqualify her, BuzzFeed dug up Rao’s writings between 1994 and 1996, when she was a college student at Yale and right after. BuzzFeed selectively picked supposedly “inflammatory” writings on race, date rape, and LGBT rights to make Rao look bad unfairly.

For example, on date rape, Rao once wrote: “a good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober…And if she drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was part of her choice. Implying that a drunk woman has no control of her actions, but that a drunk man does strips women of all moral responsibility.”

Is this really inflammatory language from a 21-year-old woman, or is it reasonably sound advice? Yet the same Democrats who criticized Kavanaugh for enjoying drinking beers in college now are taking issues with a young woman’s suggestion of remaining sober. Even Politico admits that Democrats hope to draw blood from Rao precisely because she’s a minority woman with great credentials who might someday be nominated for a position on the Supreme Court.

Democrats clearly have no shame in opposing a minority nominee. Their rhetoric on racial equality, women’s rights, diversity, and inclusiveness doesn’t apply to anyone with conservative ideology. What can anyone conclude from this other than that their rhetoric is a lie?

Not the First Minority Nominee Democrats Have Fought

Rao is not the first minority judicial nominee Democrats have been working hard to destroy. Back in October 2018, President Trump nominated Patrick Bumatay of California to serve as a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Bumatay is a well-qualified candidate. He is a textualist, believing in the original meaning of the Constitution. He got his bachelor’s degree from Yale and his law degree from Harvard University. He clerked for Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Court, and for Judge Sandra L. Townes of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Bumatay currently serves as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.

Bumatay is also young. At the time of his nomination, he was only 40 years old. Besides his many career accomplishments, Bumatay should have been any intersectionalist’s dream judicial candidate. He is a Filipino-American and openly gay. He is a member of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association, and the Federal Bar Association. 

Bumatay is the second openly gay judge nominated by President Trump. If confirmedBumatay would be the first Filipino American to serve as a federal appellate judge and the second openly gay judge on a federal appeals court, after Todd Hughes, a judge nominated by President Obama and now sitting on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Who opposed Bumatay’s nomination? Wait for it: Democrat senators from California Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. Both demanded President Trump withdraw Bumatay’s nomination and complained that the White House didn’t consult them before it was extended, even though White House Counsel Donald McGahn detailed dozens of meetings with Feinstein’s office regarding the White House’s list of potential Ninth Circuit judges since Trump took office. Harris’ office, according to McGahn, simply “refused” to “engage with the White House at any level, whatsoever on the issue.”

The Reason for Harris’ Opposition?

Harris didn’t give any reason for her opposition. Feinstein characterizes Bumatay, someone with such a distinguished career, as someone “with no judicial experience.” We don’t know on what basis she thinks such a claim is important. All we know is that she withheld her blue slip (an opinion written by a senator from the state where a federal judicial nominee resides, which is normally important to moving forward the nomination process).

Both senators’ opposition to Bumatay likely has nothing to do with his qualifications. For one, they want to keep the Ninth Circuit, the liberal-leaning court in San Francisco, as the center of judicial resistance to the Trump administration. Even more importantly, the Democrats oppose Bumatay for the same reason they oppose Rao: Bumatay is a young conservative, and Democratic senators are afraid that he may become a future justice on the highest court.

On January 3, 2019, Bumatay’s nomination was returned to President Trump. It seemed President Trump caved to the anti-gay and anti-minority Democrats. According to the Wall Street Journal, Butmatay’s name was excluded from a new judicial nomination list that the president submitted to the Senate.

Democrats often accuse President Trump and the Republican Party of being anti-women, anti-immigrants, and anti-gay with little substantial evidence. Yet when Trump makes an effort to nominate highly qualified minorities to serve our country, it’s the Democrats who relentlessly suppress these minorities’ advancement simply because they hold different ideas.

There is no room under Democrats’ big tent for conservative minorities. So it’s worth asking: do Democrats really care about diversity and inclusion?

For far too long, Republicans have been playing defense on these issues while Democrats take charge of defining what diversity and inclusion is and how to achieve it. Harvard Professor Stephen Peter Rosen summarizes it this way: “It is important for Americans to understand that human progress has come through the competition of new ideas: religious, artistic, scientific and economic. Diversity of ideas and their free expression is the prerequisite of that competition.”

Thus, suppressing people with different ideas is a form of tyranny, and tyranny has no place in our republic.