So, here’s a question: Have Republican legislators in Florida lost every last bit of their minds? I know that’s like asking: Does Donald Trump’s mouth look like a sphincter? But, while Republicans across America make a habit out of embarrassing themselves in front of smart people, it appears that GOP goons from the Sunshine State are showing out where the sun don’t shine, and they’re doing it on another level. And we’re talking about a level that even has white nationalist fan club presidents like Newt Gingrich saying: Nah, y’all gots to chill.
Just last week, we reported that Florida official Blaise Ingoglia used his position in the state Senate to sponsor a bill that would effectively “cancel” the entire Democratic party because the party once supported slavery. (As if Black history-banning, reparations-denying, Confederate monument-protecting Republicans ever care about slavery in any other context.) Now, another state official from the dong-shaped state where critical thinking goes to die has introduced a bill that would require media workers like myself (if I lived in Florida, that is) who get paid to write about politicians to register with the state. (It’s like Captain America: Civil War if “team Stark” was full of idiot Republicans who are just salty about paid bloggers saying really mean things about them.)
Meet Florida State Senator Jason Brodeur.
Last week, Brodeur introduced a bill that would force bloggers covering Gov. Ron DeSantis, the lieutenant governor, state legislators and/or Cabinet members to register with the state and report whether they received compensation for their posts.
According to Newsweek, “Brodeur has defended the bill, saying that paid bloggers equate to lobbyists and should therefore be required to report their compensation,” which makes zero sense because a lobbyist’s job is to influence legislators and government decisions, whereas a blogger’s job is to influence their readers. But, hey, when party members are introducing bills to ban the opposition from their state, it becomes pretty clear that Florida Republicans are pretending to care about the constitution much like Ingoglia was pretending to care about America’s history of keeping Black people in bondage.
As for Brodeur’s Bill of Rights-shirking legislation, Clay Calvert, professor emeritus of law at the University of Florida, told Newsweek that what’s been proposed is “highly problematic” and an attempt by the government to “look under the hood of journalism” to see who’s paying writers to, well, tell the truth about them in many cases.
“It is tantamount to requiring bloggers to register, and that’s a form of licensing,” Calvert said. “One of the reasons we have the First Amendment is to give the press freedom, and to be free from government control.”
Oh, but I’m sure Calvert is just another looney leftist who’s putting feelings over facts. A fellow GOP troglodyte would never criticize Brodeur or his perfectly reasonable, practical and constitution-abiding bill.
Oh, wait—forgot about Gingrich.
“The idea that bloggers criticizing a politician should register with the government is insane,” Gingrich tweeted in response to the bill. “It is an embarrassment that it is a Republican state legislator in Florida who introduced a bill to that effect. He should withdraw it immediately.”
OK, but to be fair, I don’t know why Gingrich is suddenly acting so flabbergasted. He didn’t have the same smoke for Trump and all the other elected Republicans who accused the media of spreading propaganda while blatantly propagandizing the media by shouting “FAKE NEWS” from every mountain top they can find while supporting arguably the most fact-checked-and-found-lying president in America’s history.
I’m just saying, at least be consistent.
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