Oklahoma Dems try luck at pandering, grandstanding legislation…
10:06 AM EST on January 28, 2022
Although I like to criticize our crazed right-wing legislators for the nutty, usually-unconstitutional law proposals they flood our state with each legislative session, I do like to give them credit for being experts at the craft of legislative grandstanding.
Seriously, I don't think anybody does it better. If there's a nutty idea out there that will rally their base, troll their adversaries, and get them a lot of media attention in the process – good or bad – they'll have it packaged into a bill, heard before a committee, and pitched to a tipsy legislative aide at a bar before they knew what hit them.
For as good as Oklahoma Republicans are with this process, our Democrats seem equally as bad. That being said, some of them are now taking on their right-wing edge lord colleagues and coming up with their own grandstanding laws.
For example, State Rep. Forrest Bennett – the nice and chummy state rep from OKC with flowing locks and cornfed good looks who can charm the socks off any grandmother – thought he would prove some point, and get a lot of positive attention and "you're so cool" love, after he introduced a bill that would make child support start at conception.
Naturally, it backfired. Check this out:
As I mentioned earlier, quality grandstanding legislation will rally your base and annoy your enemies. Forrest's attempt somehow managed to do the opposite!
The humorless and winey woke base of the left that Bennett was trying to impress ratioed him with complaints, saying his idea would further marginalize women and make it easier for men to control their bodies and all that stuff.
Meanwhile, conservatives who want to ban abortion, and cling to the questionable philosophical idea that life begins at conception, embraced it:
After his attempt to be cool totally backfired, Bennett tucked his tail between his tail and tried to walk things back. It was painful and sad to watch:
Have you ever seen a Republican apologize for one of their controversial attempts at grandstanding legislation? I don't think so. It's not for the weak at heart.
Although Forrest failed miserably at his attempt, some Democratic lawmakers have done a better a job.
For example, Jason Lowe introduced some grandstanding legislation that would prevent judges from sleeping with lawyers who try cases before their court. It was inspired by Judge Timothy Henderson, the Oklahoma County Judge who stepped down in disgrace after it was revealed he was having consensual affairs with some of David Prater's prosecutors.
Although I doubt the bill would ever see the light of day – too many lawmakers are lawyers who want to be judges who want to sleep with other lawyers – that's a pretty good bipartisan attempt at grandstanding legislation. He should take things one step further and introduce a bill that would ban lawmakers from sleeping with lobbyists and legislative aids! The only question would be which lawmaker he would name the bill after.
In addition to that one, State Rep. Jacob Rosecrants also introduced a grandstanding bill that panders to energetic and mischievous elementary students:
In addition to extending recess, Rosecrants also wants to ban teachers from taking it away as a form of punihsment:
Lastly, the act would make recess ineligible to be taken away from students as punishment unless there is a threat to student safety.
The Active Oklahoma Kids Act, HB 3047, was filed for the upcoming session.
Anyway, those are just three examples of local Democrats wading into the GOP grandstanding waters. They have a ways to go to match the mastery of their conservative colleagues, but it's a start. We wish them the best of luck in their future efforts, and hope they introduce more bills that will get us clicks down the road.