Some stories are so dumb you hope they will resolve themselves or die of shame before they reach the national airwaves. 

That was my hope for the so-called Republican-inspired Drag Bills, the latest of which just saw Tennessee becoming the first state in the union to ban public drag performances - even though their own Governor Bill Lee has enjoyed wearing drag himself.

Yes, that's right, the home state of Dolly Parton, who has relied on drag queens for sartorial inspiration for her entire career, has just outlawed the work of some of her lifelong friends and biggest supporters. 

You might not know it but LGBT people love Dolly Parton the same way that Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida loves sticking it to everyone who doesn't vote for him. It's literally bottomless.

But Dolly's been as quiet as a rooster in a fox's den about the hateful new Tennessee bill, which will soon head to the desk of Republican Governor Bill Lee (who has been photographed wearing drag himself) to sign.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is set to sign a bill that bans and criminalizes drag across the Volunteer State.

Under this law, Governor Lee himself would face prosecution and jail time for his decision to dress up as a “hard luck woman” in high school.

Nice legs though!

— Christopher Hale (@chrisjollyhale) February 26, 2023

The Tennessee bill bans ALL public drag performances, meaning that it could also easily ban Pride parades in the entire state. It also bans transgender people from performing, charging anyone who attempts to do so with a felony. 

It is blatantly unconstitutional of course, but Republicans don't care about the Constitution when the people they dislike are being denied their rights.

In case you're wondering who's really being attacked here, along with the drag ban, Tennessee lawmakers also voted to send a bill to the governor that bans doctors from providing gender-affirming medical care to transgender teens such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy. 

They also mentioned banning gender-affirming surgery on teens but that's blatant misinformation because gender-affirming surgery is not – and has never been - offered to minors under 18 anywhere in the US, ever.

It's just a dramatic lie to scare you into thinking that trans kids are somehow being “converted” without their own consent. It's alarmist nonsense. All health providers and politicians already know this.

So what the Tennessee GOP is really doing, it seems clear, is using the most vulnerable people in the LGBT rainbow as a Trojan Horse to attack the entire LGBT community. It's also using the state courts to gay bash because you can't still do it on the streets anymore in polite society.

WATCH: In the midst of the felony drag bill passing in the state, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is asked if he "remembers dressing in drag in 1977." This was his response.

— FoxNashville (@FOXNashville) February 27, 2023

Guess what, though? Drag is a form of free speech. In gay culture, drag is a performance used to celebrate the strong women that the gays love. It's also used to commiserate with them in the face of a sometimes common enemy (straight men), and to say publicly what is privately thought with the clowning mask of drag itself. It's a performance in other words, and it's often political, and when it's done right it's usually hilarious.

If you think this drag bill doesn't affect you because you're straight, think again. This isn't just an attack on LGBT people, it's an attack on all freedom of expression. It always starts with the most vulnerable to test the political waters, but soon it becomes emboldened when there's no significant pushback. What's really happening here is the power of government is being used to silence all opposition.

If you haven't noticed, it's a year now since Ron De Santis' odious Don't Say Gay Bill passed. Since then he has banned the teaching of history that he doesn't like, he's banned all the books he doesn't like, and he's made gender studies and every diversity and inclusion initiative an impossibility.

He's even banning the presenting of any history of the US that conflicts with the great narrative of “the creation of a new nation based on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.” 

It's just a lousy power grab to prevent you from knowing the history of your country, including the long struggle for freedom waged by minority groups here, in the hope you will soon live in ignorance - and then hand that ignorance on.

But reality tells a different story, if you care to look. A report in The New York Times this week reminds us that hundreds of thousands of migrant child laborers are now working punishing shifts in every state of the union, as though it were 1823, not 2023.

Child workers from Guatemala are deboning chicken behind the scenes at Whole Foods, the Times reports. They are sowing the labels onto garments at J-Crew. They can be found working behind the scenes at Target, Ben & Jerry's, Walmart, General Motors, and on and on.

The work for low pay in the most dangerous conditions. Where are the principled Republican bills to protect their rights? Why are they not even being discussed at all? 

The truth is that more kids now die from gunshot wounds here than from disease, accident, or abuse. But don't hold your breath waiting for any Republican campaigns to protect them from all the mass shootings.

Instead, here's some kooky drag queens to beat up. That's how the GOP does it year after year – so are you still being fooled?