OSTRICH BY SHELBY STEWARD

The governor may resemble an ostrich that has dropped its pants. That is to say, all butt and no brains.

That is what the University of Florida sees. They worry that if they offend him or his stooges, they may lose funding. Not just if the university offends, either. If professors speak out, budgets may suffer.

This comes up because professors have criticized the governor’s new voting-security statute. The statute is intended to limit voting by persons of color; the professors see this as biased. They even discussed it publicly.

This is where I remind newcomers of the school’s history. From 1946 until 1958, the University of Florida fought in court, successfully, to exclude Negroes like Virgil Hawkins. The school has now proudly moved on to fight against a student memorial to Mr. Hawkins.

Anyway, the university barred the offending professors from testifying in their areas of expertise. That looks bad from here, though perhaps not from an ostrich-eye level.

The governor’s stooges were clear on this. According to Mori Hosseini, head stooge on the university’s board of trustees, testimony that offends the governor or Legislature “must stop, and it will stop.”

The professors sued. The court promptly blocked the university. In his 74-page ruling, the judge told the school that they should know better. He observed that the school risks losing accreditation. He even took note of a New York Times article reporting that the school had forbidden the professors to testify in their areas of expertise.

Naturally, the school did what anyone in its position would do: It issued a firm denial. Sure, the denial was a load of foetid dingo’s kidneys, but denial is still the bureaucratic reflex in such cases.

The governor continues to provide state money to the university to fight the case. Think of taxpayers as geese, laying beautiful golden eggs of money. Gov. DeSantis harvests them, using the proceeds to defend his new Jim Crow voting laws.

Gov. DeSantis described the 2020 election, where Florida was “the state that did it right and that other states should emulate.” You might think that if Florida elections were not broken, we ought not fix them.

That is because you have good sense. The governor has bird poop between the ears, and I know what the legislators are thinking — if they break something, maybe they can have jobs pretending to fix it!

— Andrews is a DeLand-area attorney and a longtime government critic. For purposes of the column, he finds it convenient that there is so much government to criticize.

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