Monday, February 12, 2024

ANNALS OF DeSANTISTAN: 2024 Session: 'War on woke' going broke? Culture war proposals stalling this year. (USA Today)

I pity the rude, crude, rebarbative, retromingent demagogues and their absurd entourages.  These tedious tawdry termagants trade in un-American activities. Share the shame of their insurrectionist trite tropes and emotional manipulation.  Their goal: to maintain one-party control in Tallahassee and local governments.  This subtle corruption of our governments by developers and other rich, powerful giant corporations is indefensible, and must be ended at once.  Pray for our country. From USA Today:

2024 Session: 'War on woke' going broke? Culture war proposals stalling this year

James Call, USA Today Network, Capital Bureau, February 12, 2024 

The legislature that unintentionally made the expression "don't say gay" famous now may be getting tired of the culture wars.

Bills this session that would ban the taking down of Confederate memorials and prevent displays of Pride flags by governments, for instance, are stalled or sputtering out.

Despite Gov. Ron DeSantis making a name on hot-button social issues with lawmakers' acquiescence, and playing off a culture warrior reputation in his short-lived presidential campaign, the 'war on woke' may be going broke in Florida.

A host of legislation is slowly fading as the 60-day session passed the midway point and lumbers toward its scheduled March 8 conclusionAs an example, of 12 bills that address cultural issues this session, six have yet to be heard in a committee. Five are one step away from a chamber floor, but four of those have no companion bill in the other chamber, signaling they could soon be at death's door.

A ruckus in the Florida Senate

One remarkable example of the culture war blues is a Feb. 6 Senate panel hearing, when lawmakers debated taking control of historical statues, memorials and other monuments out of the hands of local government and giving it to the state.

The fury unleashed there seemingly forced Senate leadership to pull the bill from any further consideration this year. 

The Senate Community Affairs Committee held back the proposal until the end of a five-and-a-half-hour meeting that went late into the evening, when most of the public had left.

Lawmakers were told the bill by Sen. Jonathan Martin, R-Fort Myers, was needed because although the Civil War may have ended in 1865, a war against white society continues, as evident in the removal of scores of Confederate memorials and statues since the summer of 2020 and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody. 

“This removal of statues that have historic significance that are over 100 years old is part of the culture war being waged against white society,” Charles Patrick of Live Oak told lawmakers. “And I'll tell you, who else are the targets of this? George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and Francis Scott Key.” 

Committee chair Alexis Calatayud, R-Miami, quickly condemned Patrick’s remarks. She said she did “not believe people who support this policy, share your perspective on supporting white culture, or supporting the concept of the need to push white sThen David McCallister of Dade City stood at the lectern and told lawmakers the bill was a good follow up to their 2021 anti-riot act and was needed to stop a mob's “first wave of a cultural war to destroy the past so they can control the future.” 

This is the second year Martin has sponsored the bill. He told lawmakers the number of statues and memorials removed in the wake of riots sparked by Floyd's deaths motivated him, but he disavowed the remarks made by supporters. 

“Many of the statements today made me sick, knowing I have to come up here and (speak) on this,” Martin said.

“I cannot disavow, any more, everything that you said,” he added to McCallister, Patrick and others.

'Vile, bigoted, racist,' senator says

Sen. Jennifer Bradley, R-Green Cove Island, who along with Martin and Calatayud voted for the bill, called the remarks “vile, bigoted, racist, and ... what is tearing apart our state.” 

Martin explained the intent was to preserve history for all Floridians by taking the decision out of the hands of local officials who may give into pressure from those who want statues and monuments removed. But the three Democrats on the panel walked out of the room in protest, leaving the remaining Republicans to OK the bill 5-0.

The next day, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, all but gave the measure the kiss of death. 

“There are problems with the bill,” Passidomo said. “More than that, there are problems in perceptions among our caucus ... so I’m going to take that into consideration. I’m not going to bring a bill to the floor that is so abhorrent to everybody.” 

Here's a list of a dozen culture war proposals filed this year, what they're about and where they stand in the process (SB means Senate bill; HB means House bill):

  • Protection of Historic Monuments and Memorials (SB 1122)Discussed above, this would reserve control of local monuments and memorials to the state and provide civil penalties for officials who remove them. Cleared two committees but blocked from floor by Senate president; no House companion.
  • Display of Flags by Governmental Entities (HB 901/SB 11): Blocks local governments from displaying any flag that represents "a political viewpoint, including, but not limited to, a politically partisan, racial, sexual orientation and gender, or political ideology viewpoint." House bill is one step from the floor; Senate companion still has three committees. 
  • Biological Sex (HB 1233): Would define “sex,” “female,” and “male” in Florida law and prohibit the Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing or renewing driver’s licenses with a listed sex different than one on a person’s original birth certificate. Has not been heard in committee; has no Senate companion. 
  • Gender and Biological Sex (HB 1639): Would define biological sex and require applications and licenses to indicate a person’s sex rather than gender. Would also require health insurance policies which cover sex-reassignment medications and procedures to also provide coverage to de-transition, or undo changes. Cleared two House committees and has one more before House floor; no Senate companion. 
  • Gender Identity Employment Practices (HB 599/SB 1382): Extends what critics call Florida's "don't say gay" law to workplaces, prohibits government employees and contractors from being required to use their colleagues’ preferred pronouns. Also makes it illegal to require sex and gender awareness training. Neither bill has yet been heard. 
  • Lewd or Lascivious Grooming (HB 1135/SB 1238): Creates crime of “lewd or lascivious grooming" and makes it second-degree felony. (The term 'grooming,' defined as encouraging a child to engage in sexual activity, has been used by conservatives against LGBTQ+ people.) Cleared two House committees on a combined vote count of 28 –2 vote and is one step from the floor. Senate measure cleared one committee and has two more committees to go.  
  • Defamation, False Light, and Unauthorized Publication of Name or Likenesses (SB 1780): Makes it easier to sue someone over allegations of homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. Also prohibits a plaintiff to cite defendant's public remarks. Cleared one Senate committee and has one more step before Senate floor. House companion cleared two committees, has two more committee stops. 
  • Single-Sex Student Organizations (HB 1027/SB 1728): Blocks trans people from filing discrimination suits against members of fraternities and sororities or other "single-sex student organizations" from any bias or penalties based on their single-sex status. Neither bill has been heard in committee.
  • Juvenile Justice (HB 1425/SB 1352): Would replace terms “gender-specific” and “gender” with “sex-specific” and “sex,” as defined by Florida law. Both House and Senate bills have cleared two committees each and are one step away from the floor.  
  • Child Protective Investigations (HB 1663/SB 1722): Would ensure that health care that is consistent with a child's biological sex does not constitute “abuse.” Also prohibits the initiation of a child protective investigation or removal of a child solely based on the parent's religious beliefs or ideology. Neither measure has been heard.  
  • Public Safety Programs (SB 1708): Would prohibit any safety program for specific groups based on their race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sex, or sexual orientation. Has not been heard in committee.
  • Total Abortion Ban (HB 1519): Holds that “state-sanctioned abortion is a crime against humanity” and that a person exists at the moment of fertilization. Not yet considered; no Senate companion.

James Call is a member of the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida Capital Bureau. He can be reached at Follow on him Twitter: @CallTallahassee.


Bob said...

Just more of his claiming victory when there is no victory... unless you call being sued and losing voters to be victory. Can't wait to see what that empty suit pulls over the next fews years as he becomes more upset about the non-effects of his far right political stunts. All this in place of doing the greatest amount of good for the most people. Nothing has changed for the better in this stage. Absolutely nothing. The people are con artists.

Anonymous said...

They want to set term limits for county commissioners so that they can run whackos though there more often and of course they won't be held responsible for anything they do because they can't get reelected anyway. That way more people can get in there and do for themselves and their rich cronies and then disappear. It's a right wing police and grifter state.