Frank Bruni On Ted Cruz And Potty Pandemonium

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni rips Ted Cruz for this week’s anti-trans ads:

“I’m guessing that Cruz hasn’t met or read much about transgender people. ‘Grown adult men’ is precisely how many transgender men appear — with beards, muscles, pants — and exactly how they’d look to little girls in the women’s rooms that the North Carolina law would command them to use.

“And such legislation tells someone who may well wear a dress to march into the men’s room if her birth certificate said male. That’s a greater invitation to potty pandemonium than letting people make their own calls when nature calls and turn in the direction consistent with the way they conduct the rest of their lives.

“How would these potty prohibitions be enforced, anyway? What species of sentry or manner of inquisition would assess the external and internal anatomy of the bathroom-bound? Shall we divert government spending to this? We skimp on money to repair America’s infrastructure, but let’s find funds to patrol America’s lavatories.

“Cruz, Schilling and many others are obsessed with — or cynically exploiting — the hallucinated scenario of male sexual predators suddenly feeling emboldened to stalk little girls in public bathrooms, presumably because they could, if caught, claim that they identify as women and belong there.”

  • clay

    How would it be enforced?
    I assume they’re hoping for vigilante justice.

    • lymis

      Which is, frankly, far more likely to be perpetrated against cisgender people who look “suspicious” and transgender people who are following the law.

      There’s going to be much more upheaval against transmen in the ladies room than there ever has been against transwomen.

    • I’m surprised the NC law didn’t allow for ‘normal’ citizens to take the law into their own hands in public restrooms. They are all likely open carrying.

      • Steverino

        Their 2nd Amendment solution to what should be a 14th Amendment issue.

      • Skokieguy [Larry]

        One of the states created a ‘citizen’s hotline’ for the public to call and report suspicious activity.

    • PickyPecker
      • GayEGO

        It’s all just a bunch of Potty Talk!

    • Gustav2

      They have no intention to enforce the T part of these bills. It is cover for the rest of the crap.

      • clay

        In NC, yes, that’s how they covered the less popular points of the bill, but in KS, the legislature is wanting a $2500 bounty payment for students who “find” someone using the “wrong” toilet.

        • David Kerlick

          Which suggests that enterprising students with trans friends can split the money and raise funds for college (unless Bernie makes college free).

          • Randy Left Brooklyn

            More likely kids will get their friends to go into the prohibited restroom, take the money and buy reefer. The law doesn’t have any proof of trans intent.

          • clay

            as long as all those arrests don’t interfere with education

          • Nychta

            All the more need for scapegoats. 🙁

          • Jerry

            The miracles of trickle-down just keep coming…

          • cleos_mom

            And in Kansas at least, what’s trickling down is warm and yellow and smells faintly of ammonia.

          • Henri205

            Governor Brownback is certainly a visionary…..if your vision is what Kansas is becoming.


          • Ninja0980

            And yet Kansas is going to stay solid red for the future.
            Because contrary to what some on the far left think, you can hit rock bottom and still keep digging.
            And even when start to climb your way out, no assurances you will vote Blue in the shade they want.

          • clay

            As long as they radical GOP is in power, the moderate GOP won’t flee far enough to tip the balance– like moths to a candle.

          • Ninja0980

            Sad to say but some of them have fled… out of office and in the case of younger members of my mom’s side of the family.. out of the state.

          • Friday

            That’s unlikely to work out that way or be worth it. It’s to make everyone afraid to look the least bit like a trans person lest some Christian harass them. (While of course making trans people out to be dangerous pervs to justify violence and discrimination against them even more.)

    • Herald

      This is how they empower their fellow haters.

    • JT
    • ..

    • zhera

      Trans panic defense, coming soon to a court room near you.

    • David Kerlick

      The nutty GOP bill in Washington State would pay students a $2500 bounty for reporting trans in their bathrooms. Which suggests a moneymaking opportunity for enterprising students with trans friends.

    • MikeBx2

      And that hope of vigilantism would now be impossible to walk back even if they repealed the laws.

    • Friday

      Universal harassment of anyone any Christian claims isn’t ‘traditionally mascuine or feminine’ enough. Or feels like harassing.

  • WebSlinger

    the trans-movement is the GOPs new abortion, gun control, voting rights issue (the list goes on and on)…

    They are not informed because many (not all) of their constituents are not informed…

    It is a vicious cycle of ignorance where no one stands up and is willing to be educated.

  • Frostbite

    Come on now, we all know a magical sign on the door and a sternly worded law are all it takes to scare off predators!

    • Cuberly

      “Curses, foiled again!”

      Lol…today’s GOP, why let facts get in the way of some good old fashioned fear mongering bigotry.

      • Jerry

        And today’s GOP: Lots of solutions in search of problems.

  • greenmanTN

    If there need to be… Crotch Inspection Specialists I guess, just for the men’s bathroom of course, how do I sign up?!

    • i see what you did there. 😉

      • greenmanTN

        Dammit! And I was trying to be sneaky! 😉

  • Mark

    Starting to sound like the public bathrooms are THE places to be seen! Who knew it was to be such a groin party!

    • Traxley Launderette

      All the cool kids are peeing.

    • Robincho

      Toilet bouncers! Studio 54 had nothin’ on this!…

  • oikos

    “Cruz, Schilling and many others are obsessed with — or cynically
    exploiting — the hallucinated scenario of male sexual predators suddenly
    feeling emboldened to stalk little girls in public bathrooms.”
    This is textbook conservative projection behavior, in essence anything they fantasize about, they accuse others of wanting to do.

    • David Kerlick

      and Catholic Priests.

  • Prion

    Yes, Cruz is an ass but this cartoon equates trans to predators…

    • Tigernan Quinn

      No, it’s saying that a creep is a creep, regardless of which bathroom they use.

  • Prion


  • justmeeeee

    I think I know the answer to who could police the bathrooms for gender…TSA, of course! They already are trained in the basics and they don’t mind at all doing a job that is just for the sake of appearances.

    • zhera

      A new market has opened up for those airport x-ray machines that everybody hate. Maybe the x-ray machine lobby is behind these bills!

  • Prion

  • Galvestonian

    I can only imagize the clusterfuck that would occur if a fully transitioned transgender went into the restroom that matched the sex listed on their birth certificate. Major freakout…possibly even violence. Imagine the male heterosexuals that frankly ‘look’ feminine and/ or the female heterosexuals that ‘look’ masculine. I’ve seen some grandmothers that look more masculine than their husbands.

    • BobSF_94117

      There’s no “possibly” about it. It already happened before this issue came up and it’s only gotten worse.

    • Henri205

      Don’t forget:

  • Traxley Launderette

    Republican Logic:

    Gun control laws are stupid because criminals will get guns anyway.

    Bathroom regulation laws are required because criminals won’t go into the wrong restroom.

    • clay

      You can tighten that a bit more, since the GOP opposes tighter restrictions on unregistered, illegal guns being criminalized, as well. They want to keep possession of an unregistered gun, and failure to report a gun theft, as misdemeanors, only.

  • stuckinthewoods

    These potty prohibitions would be enforced by the Genitalia Gendarmes. It would be job creation, people!
    There would be finer points to work out. If someone were already in a stall would North Carolina have a “sit your ground” law?

  • CB

    So, let’s pretend this even is something to be worried about. (Since predation in a public restroom is already illegal, without respect to one’s attire or gender.) How is it going to be implemented? This is the latest, and arguably most ridiculous, issue of this insane political system. From Trump’s wall, to Cruz’s potties, to Bernie’s economics based on a 5% annual growth in the GDP to Hillary’s issue of income equality, everyone is just pushing emotional buttons with no substance or concrete plan to back them up. The cynicism, and lack of real plans have made this entire election cycle about emotion rather than rationality, and it’s exhausting.

    • KarenAtFOH

      It’s like they’ve given up on focus groups, and design campaigns based on troll comments everywhere.

    • BobSF_94117

      There are certainly policies that can be put in place to begin to close the income equality gap. It’s an insult to policy wonks to put that goal on par with Trump’s wall.

    • Skokieguy [Larry]

      And we have no real media left to ask basic challenging questions.

      Mr. Trump, what do you estimate the law enforcement, court and transportation costs, per undocumented alien to be? Multiply that by 11 million.

      Mr. Trump, how many law enforcement agents do you anticipate will be required to implement your plan.

      Mr. Trump, what crimes should the police and courts ignore so that they have the time available to arrest and prosecute undocumented aliens?

      Mr. Cruz, who will monitor and enforce bathroom laws?

      Mr. Cruz, will genital inspection be required before a citizen can use a public restroom?

      Mr. Cruz, when you repeal Obamacare, how many people with preexisting conditions do you estimate will die from lack of healthcare while a replacement law is designed, debated and voted on?

      Mr. Cruz, will the government pay the funeral costs of people who die because first responders or emergency room personnel have a ‘sincerely held religious belief’ that they feel prevents them from providing necessary medical care?

    • Chucktech

      I would agree, but in the emotional button pushing department, Trump and Cruz make Bernie and Hillary look like rank amateurs.

      But what else would you expect from Republicans in this day and age? Their palpable, pitiful desperation really gives them no choice but to pander, in the most crass and disgusting way, to the primitive, lower-brain instincts of their base.

    • Friday

      Well, on the ‘exhausting’ part that’s cause the *last* two election cycles never really ended. (Well, in large part, anyway, I suppose thewhole point of this one in particular is to tire everyone out with lunacy so they can trot out whoever is Romney this time.)

  • i think a lot of us and our allies are missing the point. which is simply: do our elected officials have nothing more pressing to do than apply their paranoid bathroom fantasies via legislation? i mean really.

    CD is trying to be less angry. so she will stop now. people who get to do nothing meaningful all day except play games with law really piss me off. and you know, the reason why more dems *don’t* make Fabulous, biting, winning campaign ads off of this obvious laziness and dereliction on the part of their opponents?

    b/c a lot of them are just playing games and having fun on our dime, too.

    • BobSF_94117

      The Republicans have something very, very pressing: winning the 2016 election at all levels of govt.

    • Sporkfighter

      “i think a lot of we and our allies are missing the point. which is simply: do our elected officials have nothing more pressing to do than apply their paranoid bathroom fantasies via legislation? i mean really.”

      Some of their financial backers have a great interest in a dysfunctional government. Hamstring the EPA, poison public education and turn it over to for-profit corporations . . . they’re forwarding that position every time they distract the electorate.

  • aar9n

    “I’m guessing that Cruz hasn’t met or read much” you sir are correct!

  • Cuberly

    And the excremental reptilian spins his web thusly…

    “Cruz Goes After Fox Over Hannity Fight: ‘I’m Gonna Focus On My Own Positive Message”

    Get out and vote people. Cuz who wants a world defined by that sleezeball liar. He’s proven to have a self-agrandizing & calculated answer for everything.


  • Gigi

    For all those who say they won’t vote for Clinton if Sanders isn’t the nominee or vice versa remember — if you don’t for the Democratic nominee, no matter who it is — you might end up with either Darth Cruz or Trumplestiltskin.

    • fuow

      They’re little children who imagine that, by punishing ‘us’, things will get better.
      Someday, Somehow.
      Which is the exact opposite of Sander’s sane and rational politics!

      • Gigi

        Bernie supporters are saying the same thing.

        • dwieboldt

          1 if 10 Bernie supporters say they will support Hillary if she gets the nomination… I’m sure however, that the number is much higher.

          • Friday

            Well, most of his *votes* weren’t from fanatics. Hec, I might have voted Bernie to help send the Dems a message, but the Bernie-or-busters convinced me they’d just use it to send the *wrong* message to Bernie. 🙂

      • Ninja0980

        They also somehow think people will want to listen to them after they’ve been through hell, in part because of their inaction.

    • Blake Jordan

      • Bonniemduncan1

        “my room mate Mary Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”..,……..!wc134ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !wc134:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsCollaborativeGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!wc134………

        • Ben in Oakland

          Mary is a whore.

        • Maggie 4NoH8

          Why can’t this woman be banned?

    • Diogenes Onionpants

      I know such people exist–they always do, and the Naderites showed how reckless they can be–but for every person who claims they won’t vote for one if the other isn’t nominated (here that seems pretty much limited to He Whose Name Shall Not Be Invoked), there are about a thousand posts by people accusing the other side of universally plotting to boycott the election out of spite.

      I think such concerns are over-blown–though I’ll be furious if Bernie (whom I voted for in the MA primary, knowing it wouldn’t matter) doesn’t put the same zeal into getting HRC, the inevitable nominee, elected in Nov. that he’s putting now into challenging her. For a lot of Bernie supporters, his failing to rally behind the Dem ticket would be an abject betrayal.

      • Jerry

        If he loses, which it appears is inevitable, he should frequently state, like he did in one of the first debates, that Hillary would be 100x better than any of the Republicans.

        • Diogenes Onionpants

          100% agree. Of course, he should be doing that now….

    • Ninja0980

      Not to mention Ginsburg and Breyer.

    • Gigi, I hate to think it but Trump does have appeal to a certain kind of Sanders voter. There are many articles up on the web — The Guardian ran this article in March “Almost 700 people replied to the call-out, and some 500 of them said they were thinking the unthinkable: a Sanders-Trump switch”. if you want to read more —

  • The moral panic is around little girls, not little boys, who of course always have been in danger in men’s rooms from real predators, i.e. straight male pedophiles, who can access men’s rooms freely right now. But we’re worried about little girls and the imaginary “scary” cross-dresser of Cruz’s fever dreams. But the reality is, every f>m person I know looks as male, according to society, as I do. So, according to this law, men who look like me would be required to use the women’s room just because they were born female. Good job.

  • Butch Stephens

    And now this news from the pedophile wing of the Republican Party–
    “Ex-Congressmen Send Letters Asking for Leniency for Hastert”

    • guest

      Did you catch that the good judge would not consider anything unless it was public and 19 people would not allow their letters of support to go public?

      Wonder whom they were? Wonder what other sick sexual perverts of the Grand Old Pervert Party, the Grand Old Pedophile Party wrote letters? Wonder if the “I’m not gay; I’ve never been gay,” toe tapping and the House Page pervert wrote letters?

      I am sure those GO Perverts stick together since tthey have to support their Family Values.

    • Chucktech

      Gag me. From the article:

      “He is a good man that loves the Lord,” [former House Speaker Tom] Delay wrote. “He doesn’t deserve what he is going through.”

      However, the article goes on to say:

      “Prosecutors have made clear that sex-abuse allegations will be the focus of sentencing. The hearing will include one accuser — a former wrestler referred to as “Individual D” in court papers — making a victim’s statement.”

      I thought the statute of limitations prevented any of his sexual misconduct to be considered in his prosecution and that his guilty plea is strictly about the improper banking issues surrounding the hush money.

      • Skeptical_Inquirer

        I’m really tired of idiots thinking believing in Jesus is some kind of virtue.

        Jeffrey Dahmer claimed to have found Jesus in jail. That doesn’t make what he did any better.

  • Gay Fordham Prep Grad

    Isn’t is a well proven fact that more child molestation has taken place in Catholic churches than in public restrooms? The law should prohibit minors from entering Catholic sites of worship until they attain the age of consent. Now that would be a real step forward.

  • penpal

    The problem is that Teabaggers are mentally ill and need therapy. No healthy person obsesses over wanting to pull down peoples’ pants to see what’s between their legs. Healthy people don’t care about that.

    • Chucktech

      Truth be told, I’ll bet they don’t obsess over this, either. This issue is nothing more than a dog whistle of hate and fear of things and people that they are ignorant on and without any desire to educate themselves on. Plus, they’re still smarting from their losses regarding gay rights, so anything that even remotely hints of sexual in nature gets them riled up.

  • Gayer Than Thou

    i will say this, though: Frank Bruni is all kinds of pretty.

    • Menergy

      Yummm, I totally agree. Shallow or not, I d like to see more, meet him and enjoy.

      • Oscarlating Wildely

        I met him very briefly– actually kind of quieter than I would have thought. Pleasant, though.

  • Jude Newton

    I generally counter with this: The very people who claim tighter gun laws don’t stop criminals because criminals don’t’ follow the law, so then how does restictive bathroom laws keep pedepfiles out?

  • Menergy

    Excellent: “potty pandemonium”!

  • TJ

    A return to Roman toilet system. A place where family and friends can meet. Problem solved.

    • “left hand, and a bowl of water.”

      one of the many reasons why i am a Sisto fan.

  • Sam_Handwich

    GOP2016: Show us your junk!

    • billbear1961

      Followed by a big SLAP in their goddamned, fucking faces come Election Day, I hope, Sam!!

  • 99% of what I’ve seen and read on this ridiculous issue usually state that there are no incidents validate this law. (Even Trump has said this – once) All this bathroom fear is actually being generated by straight republican white men. What I’d like to see added to this is the stat on the number of Trans people who have been assaulted in bathrooms – a stat that is much higher than reported. Their fear is very real.

  • bambinoitaliano

    What the GOP does is manufactured illusional entities, the way the masses bought into the existence of god. Once these imaginary premises get hold of the masses mind, all it need is a trigger word for all to conform. These politicians are not here to better the life of American citizens, they are here to control and enslave the masses. Just as some of the giant conglomerates are doing to the consumers. That’s what capitalism has turn into. The democracy in US is eroding. All the fake rage these politicians whipping up serve as a distraction for voluntary surrendering of the people power. How the country devolve into debating human function as an important national policy should serve as a giant red flare these politicians do not have the best interest of the citizens on this earth never mind America. It’s equivalent to my cousin’s sisters make $4500 on the weekend per hour without leaving her home scam.

  • billbear1961

    Cynically exploiting, Frank–cynically exploiting.

    Like the cynical, lying, fascist BASTARDS they are!

  • David Kerlick

    Snark at the end of an Economist article about right-wing “bathroom bills” being used to shore up support from the GOP base in the slave states. “In the long term, if they remain fixated on bathrooms, southern Republicans may, like Agamemnon, expire there.” [April 16-22, p22].

    • Chucktech

      Pure, unvarnished, pitiful, pathetic desperation. That’s all they’ve got that resonates with, especially, the “slave states.”

  • GanymedeRenard

    I’ve always liked Bruni’s quill. This piece is wonderously concise and even humorous in its own elegant way. It’s a shame that so many politicians just don’t understand the most basic human need anyone can have – trans or not.

  • GayEGO

    Bwahahahahahaha! Cruz’s comments on transgender people illustrate how ignorant he is. I will vote for Hillary or Bernie as I am not into right wing, religious, discriminators.

  • 2karmanot

    The teaPotties and Republicans are simply projecting their own craven tendencies.

  • Kissmagrits

    Seems to me – the GOP has finally cornered the market on underwear sniffing.

    And yet it’s a logical outcome considering the true believer Christianists who
    run the outfit. On to Cleveland and Godspeed. Your fate awaits you – – –

    Meanwhile the Dems should insist on a Wasserman test – – just sayin’.

  • James

    A good law has to solve a problem. As there is not currently a problem with sexual predators cross-dressing to gain access to toilet and changing facilities, and as existing laws already cover sexual assault and voyeurism, such laws do nothing to improve people’s safety. On the contrary, they make an already vulnerable group of people much less safe. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but still.

  • Henri205

    Rafael’s face is indeed punchable, but his policies and this pandering are vomit-inducing. What a vile, nasty fuckwad.

    • Gianni

      Ahhhh………but it gets votes from the dummies that buy into the bullshit.

  • A few things that are probably more worthy of our time and energy than discussing men dressed as women going into girls bathrooms:

    Sexual assaults on college campuses
    Sexual assaults by military personnel
    Crumbling infrastructure
    Increasing the minimum wage
    Mass shootings
    Keeping abortion clinics open
    Police violence against minorities
    Environmental damage caused by fracking
    Low-income housing
    Renewable energy
    Single-payer health insurance
    Banking industry reform
    Campaign finance reform
    Immigration reform
    Secret auctions of public land
    Preserving voting rights

    This list is not exhaustive. Not even close.

  • 1Truth1


    • Gianni

      For some reason, the “trans/bathroom” thing is the most horrifying to the religious and other idiots out there. Where oh where have all those trans women been going to the bathroom all these past decades and how have they gotten away with all that women/little girl molestation? None of it has ever made the news. What gives?

      • Vicious Malicious

        I imagine they’ve been waiting a long time to be able to publicaly say “LGBT people want to rape you!” They’ve missed being about to about gay men because everyone figured out that was bull shit

  • Bonniemduncan1

    “my room mate Mary Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”..,……..!wc134ctwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars…Learn. More right Here !wc134:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsCollaborativeGetPayHourly$98…. .❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦:❖❖:❦❦::::::!wc134……

  • StraightGrandmother

    This is WWT
    World War Trans
    Since the North Carolina Legislature is back in session today I have been busy on Twitter, we all can do a little something to help, right?

  • NMNative

    No matter how hard you try to educate, you simply can’t fix stupid.