Here in Louisiana, there are usually more bad political stories than good. However, when something good comes along, I am always eager to encourage good behavior in the somewhat vain hopes that it will happen more often. Therefore, I would like to introduce to America one Representative Kenny Havard as a potential American hero.
In the state’s legislature is a bill that would ban from the stage any strippers that are not at least 21 years old. It is an unintentionally silly bill that is couched as one to combat sex trafficking (as of today, how that would actually solve the issue remains a mystery). However, the bill was apparently taken seriously.
Enter Rep. Havard, who recognized it as a ridiculous nanny state regulation, and introduced what he claims was meant to be a poison pill amendment to the law: banning from the stage any stripper who is more than 160 pounds.
Havard was eviscerated on the floor of the House for offering the amendment. Rep. Nancy Landry and Rep. Julie Stokes both called his action “offensive,” “disrespectful” and “disgusting.”
He said the amendment was a joke. What’s more to the point is it was a poison pill for a bill that terribly needed one.
There is zero reason to believe that a bill making a criminal out of a 20-year old stripper trying to pay her way through nursing school or finishing a degree in marine biology will have any positive effect in cutting down on human trafficking, which is its stated purpose. This is pure nanny-state garbage, and naturally in a supposedly conservative Republican legislature made up of politicians who took great pains to tout their credentials as advocates of smaller, less intrusive government there isn’t a single legislator either in the House or Senate with the sand to stand up and vote against it.
The flaw in Havard’s plan was that he caved to the pressure, said it was supposed to be a joke and then pulled amendment. But that hasn’t stopped the Left from piling on him as a sexist and misogynist. Via noted journalistic enterprise Slate:
I don’t think Kenny Havard actually knows what satire is. The bill passed 96-0 with Kenny Havard’s vote.
Salon, being Salon, went above and beyond in a piece about both Ed Rendell and Havard:
But elsewhere, down in New Orleans, Republican State Rep. Kenny Havard is still keeping track of the aesthetic standards of the chicks. But not really! He kids! HE KIDS! With a move that led Rep. Julie Stokes to declare she’d “never been more repulsed to be part of” the House, Havard hilariously amended a bill that would require strip club dancers to be 21 or over to include the provisions that they also not be older 28 or weigh more than 160 pounds. Stop, my sides!
Havard claims it was a joke and a poison pill amendment, but is that the truth, or was he doing something much more noble? Was he, perhaps, addressing a man’s right to not have his manhood crushed beneath a woman shaking her bits and grinding on him? We will never know for certain, but one thing is clear: he began a conversation about strip clubs that we all need to address.