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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/9/21

Anti-Democratic Florida GOP Rotten to the Core

DeSantis signs elections bill, imposing new restrictions, regulations Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the controversial elections bill, Senate Bill 90, into law Thursday morning during an event in West Palm Beach.
(Image by YouTube, Channel: WPLG Local 10)
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Poor state Senator Dennis Baxley. The Florida Republican spearheaded an effort to approve an anti-democratic voter suppression law in the Florida Legislature. Baxley was probably thrilled that he was doing the bidding of Sunshine State resident Donald John Trump, and his errand boy, Gov. Ron DeSantis. Still, the politician was unable to explain the need for the legislation. According to a federal lawsuit filed by American Freedom Fighters, Baxley, when challenged, said:

"Some people say 'why?' and I say 'why not?' Let's try it. We can always do it differently next week or next month or next year, but why not try this?"

That answer doesn't exactly give citizens confidence in the motives of GOP lawmakers. It made me think hard about exactly who Baxley was imitating. At first, I thought Baxley was striking an Alfred E. Neuman pose. People of a certain age will recall the "What, Me Worry?" character from Mad Magazine. Baxley, in essence, was saying we have no need to worry because we can always change the law next year.

That is B.S. If anything, the chances are great that Republican legislators will return in the next few years to write more and more onerous and surgically precise provisions to make it harder for people of color, younger and older folk to vote. You can learn about the Constitutional offenses the new law commits by reading the lawsuit online, for free, compliments of Democracy Docket.

So, this Florida voter has some questions for Baxley: Why not get it right now? Why not tell Florida citizens why we need this law? Why did DeSantis sign it in private? And why did the possible future VP running mate with Trump also s tage a signing party at a Trump fan club, which was broadcast live on Fox News?

These are basic but important questions. However, the more I thought about the lame defense Baxley made, the more I honed in on the phrases, some people say "why?" and I say "why not?" The visionary invocation of these competing questions reminded me of the statement now-deceased Sen. Edward Kennedy made when he eulogized his assassinated brother Bobby. Teddy reminded people that solemn day that presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy had said:

Some men see things as they are, and say why. I dream of things that never were, and say why not.

Sen. Baxley, I don't think Teddy and Bobby Kennedy had voter suppression schemes in mind when they looked to a more just future for all Americans.

So, I wonder if Baxley even knew he was assuming the progressive Kennedy mantle when he insulted the intelligence of Florida voters with his intellectual dodge. But, if he did know, it is fair to ask if Baxley was also disrespecting many Floridians and their fellow Americans by mocking revered progressive leaders?

However, my mind didn't stop examining the statement Baxley made after considering whether he was pretending to be Alfred E. Neuman or a Kennedy dreamer. A third possibility sprang to mind, which requires me to quote an elite writer:

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart:

Based on the Jan. 6 Trump riot at the Capitol, the continuing lies and assault on our democracy by Trump and his political henchmen, I have concluded that the modern GOP is rotten to the core.

This article first appeared at my free Substack Newsletter, What's Going On, Anti-Democratic Florida GOP Rotten to the Core - What's Going On (

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Steve Schneider lives in Florida. He writes articles for Humor Times and Democracy Chronicles.

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