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GOP goes full authoritarian, anti-business with Disney attacks

The GOP, the self-proclaimed party of "free enterprise," is seeking to punish Disney over its support for gay and trans people.


The conservative movement has gone all-in on authoritarianism in response to Disney’s opposition to a homophobic and transphobic law enacted last week in Florida

Outrage over Disney’s rebuke of House Bill 1557, known by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay" bill, is exposing just how fraudulent the Republican Party’s proclamations about “free enterprise” truly are. 

Like a disgruntled despot demanding fealty, Florida Republicans and their allies are looking for ways to punish Disney for its stance.

To review: The law, which had Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' backing from the get-go, prohibits school lessons on gender identity or sexual orientation in third grade or below. It bans those topics for all grades if they're taught “in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

Disney executives, following intense pressure from their employees and fans, denounced the bill in a statement after DeSantis signed into law. The company vowed to help organizations working to repeal it.

Now, like a disgruntled despot demanding fealty, Florida Republicans and their allies are looking for ways to punish Disney for its stance — belated as it was — in support of LGBTQ people. 

Last week, Florida state Rep. Spencer Roach said he and other lawmakers have considered revoking a state law enacted in 1967 that effectively gives Disney unique autonomy over its massive Florida properties, including Disney World. 

DeSantis has also called on lawmakers to re-evaluate Disney’s special status after saying the company’s criticism “crossed the line.” 

And let’s make no mistake about what’s happening here. Is it good for lawmakers to consider practices that foster equity and competition in business? Sure. Are Republicans attacking Disney interested in that at all? Absolutely not. 

The timing of this newfound, hyper-focused obsession with Disney’s corporate power should make that abundantly clear. 

Fox News host Laura Ingraham got in on the act over the weekend with rant that channeled Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Joy’s comparison is an apt one referring to the way the Putin regime has brought private corporations under his control, largely by alleging they’re corrupt and turning public opinion against them. 

With that in mind: expect Republicans to keep trying to turn Disney into a menacing boogeyman.