Don Quixote legislation attempts aka Virtue Signalling

A significant percentage of the cockanamie, likely unconstitutional legislation that is proposed almost daily by the censorious nitwit wing of the GOP is what I call Don Quixote legislation.
The people floating the legislation often have not bothered to draft them properly, and may not even have considered all of the implications of the proposed bills (this is probably why at one point the state of Texas proposed marriage protection legislation that, absent any different interpretation by the courts, could have outlawed heterosexual marriage. Personally I think the state should not be in the business of setting rules for marriage other than that the parties to the marriage are capable of informed consent, but that’s because on these any many other matters I am a libertarian).
The proposers of these bills know full well that they are unlikely to (a) ever make it into law, and (b) if they make it into law they will most likely soon be struck down by one or more courts.
They don’t care about these practical items. Their purpose is not really to get the half-baked cockanamie bill or bills passed into law. Their purpose is virtue signalling. They are saying to their base, for example “look, I know you’re terrified about perversion of The Children, and you’re for tough legislation against those three-legged trisexual perverts using the bathroom, so I just tabled the Unbelieavabubble Three-LeggedTrisexual Bathroom Bill”.
Virtue signalling is a no-lose tactic. If, by some bizarre series of events or miracles, the Unbelievabubble Three-Legged Trisexual Bathroom Bill makes it into law, they get to say to their base “look, I came through for you”. If the bill dies in committee (which is where most bad bills go to die), then they get to say to their base “look, I tried”.
If the bill makes it into law and gets struck down, they get to say to the base “see, here we go again – unelected judges legislating from the bench again – Please Send Money”.
If you want an excellent contemporary example of virtue signalling at national level, you can examine how the GOP, after gaining control of the House of Representatives in 2012, proceeded, over a 4 year period, to schedule at least 57 separate votes to repeal the PPACA. The votes were purely symbolic, a total waste of House time, and our taxpayer dollars, but they were a means of signalling to the GOP base that the party was Deadly Serious about repealing what they named “Obamacare”.
There is no downside to this form of political masturbation for the person doing the virtue signalling.


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