It’s a good rule of thumb in politics that grandstanding politicians don’t make good legislation. They’re usually too busy trying to make a point or antagonizing their opponents to actually create legislation that will work and will solve a problem.

I have a feeling that’s what’s going on with Florida’s HB 1557, the Parental Rights in Education Act. It’s been nicknamed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. It looks like some Florida legislators and Gov. Ron DeSantis are looking to score points with the political right and, at the same time, antagonize the political left, particularly advocates for gay and transgender youth.

One of the biggest problems with the bill, according to legal experts, is it’s vague. NBC News recently had a story on their website where legal experts talked about the bill. They said it appears in some places to contradict itself, and it will be difficult for educators to know if they’re actually following it or not. This is particularly troubling as the bill provides individuals and parents can sue schools for not following the bill’s provisions.

There could be a less-than-honest reason for the vagueness.

“Vagueness is deployed for certain purposes. People aren’t vague just because they’re ignorant; they’re not vague because they’re sloppy; they’re not vague because they’re lazy,” Charlton Copeland, a law professor at the University of Miami, told NBC News. “Sometimes they’re intentionally vague to move the site of where the political fight is going to take place.”

For now, DeSantis and the legislators can point to HB 1557 and boast how they’re trying to protect children from indoctrination into the LGBTQA agenda.

If the legal experts are even half-right about the vagueness, this looks like a series of lawsuits waiting to happen.

Arizonans know something about legislation by grandstanding politicians. Take SB 1070, the state’s anti-illegal immigration legislation from a few years ago. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors who would have to enforce the thing said it was vague, and they were getting no direction from the state on how to enforce it.

What it came down to was SB 1070’s major purpose was to allow grandstanding politicians like Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Gov. Jan Brewer and State Sen. Russell Pearce to thump their chests and talk about how tough they were on illegal immigration.

Earlier this year, a bill came before the Arizona legislature that would’ve all but eliminated early and mail-in voting and would have done away with any machines in the process. Paper ballots and tabulation by hand only. The bill would also have allowed the legislature to reject election results, which would then lead to calls for new elections. This was part of a push for “election integrity” on the heels of former President Donald Trump’s claims the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican, effectively killed the thing by assigning it to all 12 of the House standing committees. This guaranteed it will get bogged down and never reach the House floor.

Bowers questioned the need for bills to protect “election integrity.” He added he felt the legislature had no right to overturn an election decided by the people.

The left has their own grandstanding politicians. A good example was the “Green New Deal” proposed by Sen. Edward Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The thing was hideously expensive and they offered no plans on how to pay for it. There were many “social justice” ideas unrelated to climate change in the plan. Many of the environmental ideas were impractical. Some of them, like building high-speed rail lines across the country, would cause even more environmental damage.

Of course, they replied that anyone who opposed the Green New Deal was a dirty, rotten racist who was against social justice and wanted to destroy the Earth. Either you supported the Green New Deal without question or you were a terrible excuse for a human being.

One gets the impression they weren’t really serious about the Green New Deal. They just wanted something to slam their opponents with and make them look bad while making themselves look like righteous crusaders for the environment and social justice.

So, beware of grandstanding politicians. Their ideas are rarely practical because they’re more interested in scoring points than anything else.

Maybe Florida voters need to read HB 1557 for themselves, or pay attention to legal scholars on what it means. They may not like what they see.


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