Where Things Stand: Florida GOPer Takes DeSantis’ Agenda To An Even More Absurd Place

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ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 07: Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a campaign rally at the Cheyenne Saloon on November 7, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. DeSantis faces former Democratic Gov. Charlie Crist in tomorr... ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 07: Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a campaign rally at the Cheyenne Saloon on November 7, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. DeSantis faces former Democratic Gov. Charlie Crist in tomorrow's general election. (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Republicans in Florida’s GOP-dominated state legislature are using the next legislative session that starts March 7 to do their Republican governor’s 2024 bidding on a number of fronts.

State lawmakers plan to propose a bunch of bills that will not only further DeSantis’ ongoing “anti-woke” agenda, but also score him the kind of headlines he needs to continue pulling Trump supporters into his corner ahead of a 2024 campaign launch, which is expected to happen once the state legislature wraps up this new legislative session in May. DeSantis has remained rather coy about the timing of the whole thing, telling “Fox and Friends” last month that he’ll make up his mind about a bid after the session ends. It’s all pretty convenient.

The degree to which the legislature is beholden to DeSantis’ political objectives was apparent several times in the last year, as it passed bills that attack “wokeness” and diversity and voting rights and Florida’s LGBTQ community. The bills sparked outrage, and DeSantis made the kinds of national headlines he can use to cast himself as a suitably aggressive successor to Trump. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Ahead of this coming legislative cycle, his Republican state lawmakers/foot soldiers are laying the groundwork for more. They have already vowed to go after academic freedom by giving the governor’s office more control over public universities, and to inject partisan politics into local elections by requiring that school board candidates run with a political party affiliation. Both of these are winning issues on Fox News, and perfect grist for the pseudo-Republican political media machine that has sprung up to fearmonger about What These People Are Teaching Your Children.

But perhaps inevitably, there are some legislators who will take things beyond cruelty, beyond absurdity, to a whole new place: A Florida state senator has introduced a bill aimed at wiping out the Florida Democratic Party. Republican state Sen. Blaise Ingoglia is a man, apparently, who likes to cut to the chase. He filed the “The Ultimate Cancel Act” on Tuesday and the name speaks for itself. The bill proposes that the Florida Division of Elections “immediately cancel” the filings of any political party that “previously advocated for, or been in support of, slavery or involuntary servitude.”

Per NBC News:

The bill, called S.B. 1248, would require Florida officials to notify all registered voters who belong to any canceled parties that their party no longer exists. It would also change their voter registration to “no party affiliation” and “provide procedures” for those voters to update their affiliation to “an active political party.”

The bill would allow any canceled political parties to re-register with the Florida Department of State — but only under the condition that the party change its name to something “substantially different from the name of any other party previously registered” with the agency.

The bill is as unserious as it is a petty attempt to own the libs, but it reflects a quiet ambition of the governor’s. In his effort to make Florida a utopia for white conservatives, DeSantis has been far more subtly curbing the voting rights of those who don’t support him or his party for years. This guy just missed the memo on subtlety; he went ahead and said it out loud.

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