After watching last night’s Democratic B-Team presidential
debate, it’s hard to put a finger on who was the most radical figure on the
stage. There was intense competition from Bill de Blasio, Elizabeth Warren, and
Tulsi Gabbard, but, for my money, Julian Castro won the prize for being the
most far-out candidate. Castro, who presented himself well in the debate,
nevertheless surpassed the other liberals on the stage not once but twice last
It’s difficult to stand out on abortion in a party in which
advocacy of taxpayer-funded abortion on demand up to the moment of birth is
becoming the norm, but Castro succeeded. How did he do it? you may
wonder. I’ll tell you: He did it by advocating abortions for men. No, I’m not making
When asked if his healthcare plan would cover abortion, Mr.
Castro, who served as mayor of San Antonio and Secretary of Housing and Urban
Development under President Obama, answered, “Yes, it would. I don’t believe
only in reproductive freedom, I believe in reproductive justice.”
“And, you know,” he continued, “What that means is that just
because a woman — or let’s also not forget someone in the trans community, a
trans female, is poor, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to exercise
that right to choose. And so I absolutely would cover the right to have an
For those of you confused about what a “trans female” is
(and I confess that I’m in that number), a trans woman is “a
person who was born male but whose gender identity is female.” In other words,
a trans woman is a man who thinks he is a woman.
By logical extension, a Castro Administration would extend
the “right to choose” to men who claim to be women. Castro doesn’t specify what
the choices would be but I think we can infer that he means they could choose
to kill their unborn baby.
The biological conundrum here is that, since they are men, trans
women, cannot get pregnant. Considering this scientific truth, Castro may have
stumbled upon an expansion of abortion rights that even pro-life conservatives
can get behind since it will neither kill any babies nor cost the taxpayers a
dime. The rub is in the details. Castro may be so woke that he would support
taxpayer funds to help men get pregnant so that they can then exercise their
newfound right to an abortion.
Exactly what “reproductive justice” means is unclear. It probably does not involve due process for unborn babies, however.
Castro may have misspoken or been confused about “trans
women,” but can we really be sure that he didn’t say exactly what he meant?
This writer would not be surprised either way.
Fresh from his expression of support for gender-neutral of
abortion rights, Castro moved on to advocate decriminalizing illegal immigration.
After attacking President Trump’s metering policy for asylum-seekers, which he
blamed for the drowning
death of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his two-year-old daughter, Valeria,
this week, Castro launched into his policy proposal.
“On day one, I would do that executive order that would
address metering,” he said. “And then I would follow that up in my first 100
days with immigration reform that would honor asylum claims, that would put
undocumented immigrants, as long as they haven’t committed a serious crime, on
a pathway to citizenship.”
“And then we’d get to the root cause of the issue, which is
we need a Marshall Plan for Honduras and Guatemala and El Salvador so that
people can find safety and opportunity at home instead of coming to the United
States to seek it,” he continued.
A few seconds later, Castro interrupted Corey Booker’s
answer to add to his own, saying, “My plan also includes getting rid of Section
1325 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, to go back to the way we used to
treat this when somebody comes across the border, not to criminalize
desperation, to treat that as a civil violation.”
“And here’s why it’s important,” he said. “We see all of
this horrendous family separation. They use that law, Section 1325, to justify
under the law separating little children from their families.”
“I want to challenge every single candidate on this stage to
support the repeal of Section 1325,” Castro added, noting that Elizabeth
Warren, Corey Booker, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee have already endorsed
While Castro’s idea of a Marshall Plan for Latin America has
some merit as a way to reduce illegal immigration, repeal of criminal statutes
for illegal immigration is a nonstarter. Without a filibuster-proof majority in
the Senate, repeal would be about as successful as Republican attempts to
appeal Obamacare and would only harden partisan divisions by providing evidence
that Democrats are an open-borders party. Decriminalization of illegal entry
into the United States would send the wrong message and encourage more illegal
Other Democrats were not so quick to sign on to Castro’s
plan. In a subsequent exchange, Beto O’Rourke pushed back at Castro’s demand
that he endorse repeal of Section 1325 (you can watch
the exchange here).
“As a member of a Congress, I helped to introduce
legislation that would ensure that we don’t criminalize those who are seeking
asylum and refuge in this country,” Beto answered.
“I’m not talking about the ones that are seeking asylum,” Castro
retorted, leaving no doubt that he meant migrants who cross the border
illegally since it is legal to seek asylum. “I’m talking about everybody else.”
“If you’re fleeing desperation, then I want to make sure you
are treated with respect,” O’Rourke answered, “But you’re looking at just one
small part of this. I’m talking about a comprehensive rewrite of our
immigration laws and if you do that, I don’t think it’s asking too much for
people to follow our laws when they come to this country.”
Castro then retorted that O’Rourke had cited human
trafficking and drug smuggling in his opposition to Section 1325 repeal, which
he claimed were covered by other parts of the US criminal code, but the
exchange exposed a fault line between the open-border Democrats and those who
favor a more liberal version of immigration reform.
In a collection of radicals, it is difficult to stand out,
but Julian Castro accomplished that last night. Abortions for men and making
Beto O’Rourke defend immigration law put the Texas liberal on the far left of
the far left. His extreme positions make it unlikely that he can win the
Democratic nomination and less likely that he could win the general election,
but if Democrats choose to nominate him, the name “Castro” would at least be
reflective of the current ideological direction of the Democratic Party. It
would be almost like placing a warning label on the ballot.