How to make truth the enemy

In “1984,” George Orwell’s dystopian government combatted truth by fashioning a ministry devoted to its destruction. The husband and wife team of Michigan state Representative Matt Maddock and Michigan Republican Party co-chair Meshawn Maddock haven’t gone quite that far, but they have tried to make telling the truth very inconvenient. And expensive.

The ignorant Republican couple have repeatedly been called out by the Michigan press for promoting baseless claims of widespread voter fraud and falsely suggesting that COVID-19 is comparable to the flu by fact-checking journalists. Their “solution” has been to promote legislation that makes fact-checking — not lying — an infraction.

The unconstitutional-on-its-face legislation being proposed by Representative Maddock would require fact-checkers to register with the state and insure themselves with $1 million fidelity bonds. Any fact-checker that failed to thus register with the state could face a fine of $1,000 a day. The legislation also allows anyone to sue a fact-checker over “any wrongful conduct that is a violation of the laws of this state.”

“My legislation will put Fact Checkers on notice: don’t be wrong, don’t be sloppy, and you better be right,” Maddock wrote on his Facebook page. It could pass, too. Republicans hold a majority in both the Michigan House and Senate.

If passed, the legislation will certainly be tested on appeal and will almost certainly be unanimously struck down by the United States Supreme Court. Maddock appears to be ignorant of Article One of the Constitution, wherein it is clearly enshrined that “Congress shall make no law respecting … the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Maddock’s legislation is an attempt to do just that.

The Maddocks have been at the vanguard of conservative movements in Michigan to thwart coronavirus restrictions. They also backed attempts to undermine the 2020 election results. Both were present in Washington on January 6th to join in the “Stop the Steal” campaign. Representative Maddock spoke to a crowd just before the mass insurgent storming of the Capitol.

The state lawmaker also promoted an effort to impeach Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (the same governor who was the subject of a kidnapping plot by Trump-loving cretins) over her coronavirus restrictions, even as cases in Michigan spiked last fall. In December, Maddock was one of two Michigan legislators signatory to a federal lawsuit challenging President Biden’s election victory.

The Republican war on truth marches on. This anecdote from the scurrilous politics of Michigan by this nauseating and villainous couple is brought to you by the Republican Party, who never seem to tire from telling us just how much they hate the Constitution, how much they hate Democracy and, above all, how much they hate the United States of America itself. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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