Minnesota legislator authors bill to ban … “Bachelor” contestant?
To cleanse the palate, I’m not even going to scold him for making a mockery of the legislative process. We elected a game-show host president, for fark’s sake.
Besides, as a matter of self-promotion, this stunt isn’t half bad. Drew Christensen is all of 24 years old and has been a state representative since he was 22(!). He’s not just a backbencher, he’s a freakishly young backbencher. His influence in the statehouse is about as small as it can possibly be. What do you do with your time when the odds of one of your bills becoming law is essentially zero?
You find a press-friendly gimmick and use it to build a little name recognition.
He claims his Twitter gag was a civics lesson about how easy social media makes it for legislators to engage with their constituents but I’d bet the share of retweets that came from actual constituents in his home district is vanishingly small. He’s leveraging the buzz over “The Bachelor” finale to introduce himself to the public, knowing that he’ll be forgiven a little good-natured silliness on account of his age.
As for why a Minnesota legislator would take a special interest in “The Bachelor,” it’s because a Minnesota native, Becca Kufrin, was the runner-up this season. But not just any runner-up. She was initially chosen as the winner by the “bachelor,” Arie Luyendyk Jr, and accepted his marriage proposal in hour one of the season finale only to have him break it off later and propose to the original runner-up in hour two instead. She was, for all intents and purposes, left at the altar on national television.
And if you’re reading that and thinking, “When did we become a society where marriage is the ‘prize’ in a tawdry, voyeuristic game show?”, I’ll remind you again that we elected a game-show host president. America is completely cool with the idea of reality shows entailing grave real-world responsibilities for the participants.
Christensen wasn’t done, by the way. A smart promoter knows how to capitalize when the public is interested:
His original tweet did indeed blow past 10,000 retweets. And thus:
Don’t worry about Kufrin. ABC’s compensating her for her televised humiliation by giving her the chance to do the humiliating next season.
Oh — and yeah, for the record, of course Christensen’s bill is grossly unconstitutional. If it wasn’t struck down as a bill of attainder, it would be trashed as a violation of Luyendyk’s “right to travel” from one state to another. Fun trivia: The right to travel is one of the few constitutional rights in Supreme Court jurisprudence that derives from the Privileges and Immunities Clause, not the “substantive” component of the Due Process Clause. See? You learned something in this post. It wasn’t a total waste.
Here’s Luyendyk and Kufrin reuniting after — sigh — the break-up.