They're Coming For Drag Shows. Really.

If you can watch this Ron DeSantis press conference without a shiver going down your spine, there's something fundamentally wrong with you. Where is the mediocre white fascist Right's next moral panic going? What's the logical conclusion of their "groomer" fantasies?

Here is Florida Fascist Party Gov. Ron DeSantis explaining that he'd like to investigate drag shows. Right now, he's only talking about family-friendly drag shows where kids are present, but mark our words, the Satanic Panic will go far beyond that before this is all over. (JoeMyGod notes that he is flanked by an extremist sheriff named Carmine Marceno, who sounds like a real peach.)

Florida Politics has some transcript:

“I’ve asked my folks to look,” the Republican Governor said. “We have child protective statutes on the books. We have laws against child endangerment.”

DeSantis wants to let “kids be kids” and grow up in a “normal environment” without having political agendas “shoved down their throats,” he continued.

“You had these very young kids, and they must have been like 9, 10 years old, at a quote, ‘drag show,’ where they were putting money in the underwear of this — and that is totally inappropriate. That is not something that children should be exposed to,” DeSantis said. “We probably — we may have the ability to deal with that if something like that happens.” [...]

“Part of the reason why we fought the fight with parents’ rights in education is because there’s a movement to inject these things like gender ideology in elementary schools, even,” DeSantis said. “My view is our schools need to be teaching these kids to read and write and add and subtract and do the things (that are) supposed to be done in school. Injecting these agendas into it is wrong.”

Organizers of the Dallas drag show called it a family-friendly event, but DeSantis noted the “graphic language” used at the event, which featured a neon sign that read, “It’s not gonna lick itself.”

“It used to be kids would be off-limits. Used to be everybody agreed with that,” DeSantis said. “Now it just seems like there’s a concerted effort to be exposing kids more and more to things that are not age-appropriate.”

All of this is such bullshit.

The white Right has been in a 100 percent manufactured moral panic since this weekend, when literal actual self-described fascists decided to descend upon a gay bar in Dallas that was doing a family-friendly drag show for Pride weekend. Those insurgents screamed at and berated children and their parents, and kids covered their ears because they were scared.

Now, in Florida, an extremist state rep named Anthony Sabatini is calling for an emergency special session, because a kid-friendly drag show was advertised for Pride in West Palm Beach.

Sing along, everybody, it's a call-and-response! "If you think drag shows are sex shows, that's about you. (That's about you!) If you think drag shows are sex shows, that's about you. (That's about you!)" Come on, everybody, clap your hands!

DeSantis's weirdass spox Christina Pushaw says she's not sure DeSantis knew about the West Palm Beach thing when he made those comments. He definitely knew the American Right was collectively diarrheaing its pants because some kids had fun at a drag show during Dallas Pride.

If DeSantis and the rest of these people weren't such total losers devoid of happiness, they'd know you don't put quotes around "drag show," because it's not some exotic concept to people who live in the real world. Moreover, there's nothing inherently "inappropriate" about a man dressing up in exaggerated costumes and lip-synching, unless you're just a bigot with nothing to contribute to society, and to be clear, the people complaining are precisely that. As to the picture going around of a kid allegedly sticking money in drag queen's underpants, it appears that is a hoax. But they will just keep lying about it, because rightwingers are just liars wearing human skin.

It's like their drag.

But be clear: One picture isn't what DeSantis and the rest of his pathetic cohort are mad about. They're mad at kids being "exposed" to fun LGBTQ people whose very existence is the negation of whatever white supremacist "traditional Christian" sexual ethics these trolls want to brainwash children with. Kids are remarkably non-judgmental until bad parents teach them otherwise, so kids enjoying innocent drag shows featuring funny people dressing up in funny costumes and lip-synching to songs goes against the fundamentalist Christian obsession with grooming little children to become little fire-breathing bigots just like them. Therefore, they must be stopped.

And again, as we've noted, because these people live underneath rocks in joyless suburban Biblescapes from Chip and Joanna's ugly fucking shiplap hell, they think drag shows are inherently sexual, because repressed losers think everything is inherently sexual, and because they are scared of drag queens and the liberation they represent.

Florida Democratic politicians are calling this out for the absolute bullshit it is:

Orlando Democratic Rep. Anna V. Eskamani told Florida Politics that Republicans aren’t targeting heterosexual content. The recent push for family values is grounded in homophobia and transphobia, she argued.

“If you have concerns about sexualized content being available to those under the age of 18, then why are we not talking about Hooters or cheerleading or beauty pageants or billboard in our communities or magazines at the store or internet ads?” Eskamani said. “It’s just a continuation of homophobic rhetoric disguised as safety concerns.”

Fellow Orlando Democratic Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, an openly gay House member, called DeSantis’ comments “sad and pathetic.”

“This is not a parody. It’s the actual Republican Party of Florida putting forward proposals to regulate drag queens,” Smith said. “I mean, this is a joke. It’s laughable. I have to laugh, otherwise I would cry just at the pathetic state of affairs that our politics is in right now.”

It is absolutely fucking goddamned pathetic, and we shouldn't be surprised. The modern authoritarian Right is fully powered by racist Little White Man Little Dick syndrome. Of course they're going after drag queens next. Ofcourse. Of course a Texas GOP legislator wants to ban funny dress-up ladies from doing silly songs for kids, but has no interest in banning them from being with Christian youth group leaders. Of course this thin-lipped jackal taint Sabatini is calling for an emergency session of the legislature. Of course.

GROUP ACTIVITY EXPERIMENT: Google news stories about drag queens sexually abusing children and then google Christian youth group leaders sexually abusing children and do the math on your abacus! Google the Southern Baptist sexual abuse scandal and then google all the times things went terribly awry at Drag Queen Story Hour! Google the Roman Catholic church, like, just in general.

But none of that matters, because conservatives don't actually care if kids are sexually abused. As long as it happens within the Father Knows Best puritanical framework they like, their deafening silence on actual sexual abuse of children tells you all the stories you need to hear. Brain-addled QAnon wackjobs are obsessed with fake child trafficking they think Democratic politicians and Tom Hanks are doing in underground tunnels, but they don't have a word to say about real child trafficking.

This is all just stupid, ginned-up hysteria. As Melissa Gira Grant argued yesterday in The New Republic, they're laying the groundwork for Pizzagate shootings in every city. One of the loser fascists outside that Dallas bar, John Doyle, said something that day that should tell you exactly what you need to know about the thoroughly hallucinatory worldview these people are coming from:

“I wonder if the mama bear instinct is gonna come out in three years when the mainstream Democrat[ic] party platform is to rape their kids,” John Doyle, an influential figure in the white nationalist American Populist Union, taunted the families with kids lining up to get into the event, a family-friendly drag show at the queer club Mr. Misster in the Dallas gay neighborhood of Cedar Springs. Two children stood in line a few feet away from the approaching Doyle, plugging their ears with their fingers as he continued to yell at those in line through his megaphone. A crowd surrounded the club and chanted, “Groomer! Groomer!” One person waved a Christian flag. “The fist of Christ will come down on you—very soon,” screamed one man, with a rosary clenched between his fingers.

All these people are becoming radicalized together. And because of thin-skinned politicians like Ron DeSantis, they have every reason to believe they will be aided and comforted in their holy war. How long until Republicans try to ban drag shows, in general? How long until the fascist pig terrorists show up at gay bars on regular nights?

Oh wait fascist pig terrorists what?


[Florida Politics / The New Republic]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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