Michigan lawmaker and 'Big Lie' adherent introduces bill to register and punish … fact checkers?

Meet Michigan House member Matt Maddock. He’s a Republican who bought into the fiction that a gurgling bucket of Twinkie filling and circus peanut goo couldn’t have possibly lost to that nice man with the infectious smile and conspicuous lack of boat parades. He also thinks fact checkers need to be brought to heel. Because if there’s one thing the disordered unraveling of longstanding democratic norms can’t abide, it’s the checking of facts.

Feelings about facts aside, Republicans love the First Amendment. Just ask them. Unfortunately, they don't understand what it is or what it does. On that score, it’s kind of like falling in love with a president who’s actually a chaos agent sent by the Kremlin. That’s a completely hypothetical scenario, of course. Nothing like that would ever happen in America. We’d be the laughingstock of the universe.

Republicans think the First Amendment allows them to write or say anything they want without facing consequences from anyone. Unfortunately, the terms of service (ToS) for major social media platforms—like Twitter and Facebook—don’t say “write or say whatever you want.” They have rules. Just like I can’t go to church and secretly replace the communion wafers with Corn Nuts and the sacramental wine with Folgers Crystals. I could do those things, but they’d likely excommunicate me at last, after all these years of personally lobbying the Vatican MySpace page. 

Of course, there are oodles of things Republicans don’t understand these days. Like how elections work. No, one of the candidates can’t just declare that he won after he actually lost by more than 7 million votes. And people are not obliged to believe him, which is, of course, where Maddock comes in.

  • May 12, 2021