From the New York Times:
Obama Defends Transgender Directive for School Bathrooms
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS MAY 16, 2016
WASHINGTON — President Obama on Monday made an impassioned argument for his administration’s decision to instruct public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, saying that society must protect the dignity and safety of vulnerable children.
The remarks were the president’s first public comments on a directive released Friday that has added fuel to a searing national debate over transgender rights. Mr. Obama said the guidance, issued by the Education and Justice Departments, represented “our best judgment” on how to help schools wrestling with the issue.
“We’re talking about kids, and anybody who’s been in school, been in high school, who’s been a parent, I think should realize that kids who are sometimes in the minority — kids who have a different sexual orientation or are transgender — are subject to a lot of bullying, potentially they are vulnerable,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with BuzzFeed News.
Usually, reporters clean up these kind of stream of consciousness burbles to make the respondent sound more articulate. (Trump is an exception.) But a good passive-aggressive way to make most people look dumb or disingenuous is just to quote them word for word. For example, I can recall a frontpage article in the Houston Post in 1979 about my champion College Bowl quiz contest team at Rice U. that quoted me verbatim with all my usual stumbles left in from the phone interview we did. Nominally, the article was about what super geniuses we were, but I sounded like a doofus because I was accurately quoted. I thought it was a pretty clever way for the reporter to stick the knife in.
“I think that it is part of our obligation as a society to make sure that everybody is treated fairly, and our kids are all loved, and that they’re protected and that their dignity is affirmed.”
- 1 pt.: Run-on sentence
… “The president is turning the Constitution on its head,” Mr. Abbott [governor of Texas] told Fox News. “He’s trying to cram down as many parts of his liberal agenda on the United States of America as he possibly can” before leaving office in January.
… “We said, ‘It is our view that you should try to treat these kids with dignity,’ ” Mr. Obama said, adding that the administration had sought to help educators and administrators by including a set of “best practices” from school districts that have enacted similar transgender policies. “There are school districts who have been wrestling with this problem and have, we think, done a good job in accommodating them in a way that is good for everybody, and so you can learn from these best practices. This is what we are advising.”
But the directive represents more than just a suggestion. While it does not carry the force of law, it signals how the administration interprets federal statutes, bringing with it an implied threat that schools that act otherwise could lose federal funding.