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When you awoke

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With Ron DeSantis’s presidential campaign having imploded before it got off the tarmac, even Republican legislators are getting bored with the Chris Rufo rube-running:

The bill banning rainbow flags from public buildings in Florida sounded like a sure bet.

Remember “The Free State of Florida”?

State Rep. David Borrero (R), the legislation’s sponsor, argued that it was needed to prevent schoolchildren from being “subliminally indoctrinated.” That rationale echoed other measures championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as part of his “war on woke.”

But instead of sailing through the Republican-dominated legislature, the DeSantis-backed bill died a quick legislative death, making it only as far as one subcommittee.

It wasn’t the only culture war proposal from conservative lawmakers to end up in the bill graveyard during the session that ended Friday. One rejected bill would have banned the removal of Confederate monuments. Another would have required transgender people to use their sex assigned at birth on driver’s licenses — something the state Department of Motor Vehicles is already mandating. A third proposed forbiddinglocal and state government officials from using transgender people’s pronouns.

Some of those ideas have come up in the past and may surface again next year. But the fact that the bills failed, even with public support from DeSantis, marks a change from the days when the GOP supermajority in Tallahassee passed nearly everything the governor asked for.

None of these battles are remotely settled, but DeSantis the lame duck is certainly preferable to the one some people with the power to enact statutes convinced themselves was going to be president.

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