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Just How Out of Control are State Republicans?
A lot . . .
Still riding high on their last great election victory in 2016, and ignoring the shellacking they got in 2018, 2020 and 2022, State Republicans are off to great 2023 legislative session setting out to prove to Americans why they should not be allowed anywhere near the levers power for at least a generation.
Here are some dystopic pieces of legislation which Republicans would like us to live under:
Florida House Bill 991
Currently working its way through the House Judiciary committee, FL HB 991, makes it easier to bring defamation suits by narrowing who is considered a public figure, proclaiming anonymous sources are automatically considered false and awarding attorney fees and costs to prevailing defendants.
If you call someone a racist, homophobe or other word that triggers the Right.
[U]pon any single publication, exhibition, or utterance, such as any one edition of a newspaper, book, or magazine, any one presentation to an audience, any one broadcast over radio or television, any one exhibition of a motion picture, or any one publication, exhibition, or utterance on the internet. (Emphasis added)
That’s right, if you call someone a “racist” or “homophobe” on the internet they can sue you for defamation and win a minimum of $35,000 plus attorney fees. I wonder if that will also apply to calling people “groomers” and “pedophiles”?
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) says:
HB 991 exacerbates the threats to freedom of expression presented by HB 951. For example, with regard to anonymous sources, HB 991 does not simply presume that statements from anonymous sources are false, as in HB 951. Instead, HB 991 retains that presumption, but also goes further: When the journalist or media outlet refuses to identify an anonymous source, plaintiffs bringing a defamation claim need to prove only that statements from anonymous sources were published negligently, not with actual malice.
South Carolina House Bill H. 3549
Introduced in December 2022, this bill titled, “South Carolina Prenatal Equal Protection Act of 2023”, makes any abortion, starting at fertilization, a capital murder punishable by execution. Now most Republicans are quick to say any punishment shouldn’t apply to the mother. But not South Carolina Republicans. They label the mother as a defendant unless the abortion occurred because of, “the threat of imminent death or great bodily harm.”
H. 3549 started getting noticed in March 2023 and since then it has lost 13 of its 24 sponsors with many shocked politicians having no idea that they were supporting something calling for the execution of women who have abortions as soon as the egg is fertilized.
Tennessee House Bill 878
In Tennessee they are trying to make it legal to discriminate against couples that want to get married. If you are empowered under Tennessee law to perform marriages you are allowed to deny those services to couples who legally able to get married if performing the ceremony would violate not only your religious beliefs but also your own conscience.
I can see the problem forcing religious ministers to perform wedding ceremonies for couples that may violate the religious tenets of those ministers. However, this applies to everyone who can solemnize marriages which include: county legislative bodies, county mayors, county clerks and other secular state, county and local government officials.
If you are a same-sex couple and your local mayor disagrees with same-sex marriage, too bad.
If you’re a mixed-race couple and your county official personally disagree with mixed-marriages, too bad.
These are not the actions of a party on the rise. They are the actions of a party that knows it is in deep trouble and instead of changing course they are doubling down. Instead of stemming the bleeding they are furiously opening up new wounds.
The GOP has lost Millennials, Gen-Z and are well on their way to losing Gen-
Alpha. Every day their boomer base shrinks and more Zoomers become eligible to vote. The conventional wisdom has been that the youngs don’t vote. But recent history shows that changing and once they have a taste of voting they are more likely to continue voting and they want nothing to do with today’s Republican party.
The pundit class is worried about the future of America and clutch their pearls about a resurgent Donald Trump.
They were wrong in 2018.
They were wrong in 2020.
They were wrong in 2022.
They are going to continue being wrong because they think in the old paradigms. Those are gone now. They’ve been tossed aside. This is the pendulum swinging back after 40 years of conservative revolution starting with Reagan. We are moving forward to a society that cares for one another and wants to take care of one another. The old guard is trying to rise and drown the world in one final paroxysm of helpless rage.
Gen-X has held the line against their Boomer parents and raised the Millennial and Zoomer armies to take society back. And they are ready for the fight now.
Hey mom and dad, I guess you should have paid attention to what we were cooking up when you made us stay outside with each other all day long.