Ron DeSantis gets owned by one of Florida's largest papers: 'What a fraud. What a phony'
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is said to be positioning himself as the next Donald Trump, a mantle coveted not just for its political benefit amongst lunatic right-wing extremists but also the seeming immunity it provides from media scrutiny. The most heartless decisions and bigoted distortions of reality are portrayed as savvy, not savage, if they're made with obvious political cynicism aimed at revving up the MAGA base.
DeSantis has spent more than a year benefiting from this dangerous double standard, whether it's on voter suppression, violence against Black Floridians, environmental poisoning, or, and especially, his homicidal approach to Covid-19.
A recent study found that had DeSantis worked to get people vaccinated in his state, instead of working relentlessly to raise doubts about science, deny low-income communities access to the vaccine, and push treatments owned by donors, the lives of more than 17,000 Floridians could have been spared this past summer alone. He has genocide levels of blood on his hands, and yet last week, DeSantis went on a victory tour of sorts, celebrating Florida's recent decline in cases following a full summer leading the nation in every grim category.
While being hailed by a presidential contender by the national media, those actually watching DeSantis's reign of terror up close were not fooled. The Orlando Sentinel, one of the biggest newspapers in Florida, ripped the governor a new one with a scathing editorial board piece published over the weekend:
Florida's summer of suffering was also a summer of silence for Ron DeSantis.
The governor had nearly nothing to say about his state's lengthy run as No. 1 in the nation in COVID cases, No. 1 in hospitalizations and No. 1 in deaths.
Instead, the governor held almost daily news conferences intended to burnish his presidential bona fides among the MAGA crowd, and boost his presidential ambitions.
... Florida led the nation in case rates for much of the summer, and our governor was silent. Well, not totally silent. He did rail against mask and vaccine mandates, measures intended to prevent people from falling ill.
Now, a governor whose sole contribution to fighting the outbreak was to expand antibody treatments for people after they got infected is taking full credit for the decline in cases.
As others have already noted, it's like a firefighter tossing a bucket of water on a house that's already been burned to the ground and then declaring victory.
What a fraud. What a phony.
It's so transparent, but far too many gullible Floridians and complicit politicians are going to buy and echo DeSantis' savior rubbish.
The public spanking wasn't the only bad news that DeSantis brought on himself last week.
DeSantis acquiesced and finally scheduled special elections in three south Florida legislative districts that currently lack representation. The primary is slated for January 11th and the general election will take place on March 8th.
DeSantis was sued by the Harvard Election Law Clinic on behalf of residents in Palm Beach and Broward County after he'd refused to schedule special elections the empty seats in State Senate District 33 and State House Districts 88 and 94.
Had he not done so, residents of those districts ran the risk of not having any representation for an entire year. That the districts are predominantly Black comes as no surprise, as it fits right in with DeSantis's record of disenfranchising Black voters.
The lawsuit was organized by Elijah Manley, a remarkable young activist and candidate in House District 94. Manley told me that DeSantis had initially lawyered up for a legal fight over the issue but finally did an about-face and scheduled the elections. Manley also said DeSantis never contacted him, any of the other candidates, or their lawyers about the challenge. The murder-happy sociopath governor also never bothered to issue a press release either in response to the suit or to announce the election dates.
Unfortunately, this is hardly a total victory. The regular Florida legislative session runs from January 11 through March 11, meaning that if a Republican or independent candidate decide to run in any of the elections, that district's residents will have no representation during the crucial period of the legislature. Republicans have no chance of winning any of these districts, but that's hardly the point — they may just deny these residents representation because they can.
DeSantis could have easily scheduled the elections to coincide with the special Congressional election, but because that would have been the decent thing to do, it was a nonstarter for him.
I followed this story closely; you can read more about it here.
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