On Tuesday, President Joe Biden obliquely referred to Off-Brand Trump when he asked state officials unwilling to help tamp down on the current pandemic surge to at least “please get out of the way.” This upset DeSantis very very much (or at least it did for the sake of fundraising letters), and his response already seems destined to go down as one of the defining burps of his political career.
“Why don’t you get this border secure and until you do that, I don’t want to hear a blip about Covid from you,” DeSantis whined.
That’s it? That’s the big comeback? That’s one of the top 10 stupidest political responses I’ve ever heard, and I’ve had to listen to Sarah Palin. You could almost hear the gears grinding in DeSantis’ head as he grasped for a what about response only to have the most generic of all conservative talking points clink through and deposit itself in his mouth.
What the hell, dude. That was pathetic.
That was like hearing Jack the Ripper grunt that well I hardly think you have the right to weigh in on my murder spree what with the state of tariffs these days, harumph.
That wasn’t a political comeback. That was a Republican National Committee fundraising whine recorded onto a talking birthday card, shoved into the mouth of a discarded Chuck E. Cheese animatronic, and kicked out of the back of a moving truck onto a Florida interstate. Do it over, you cheap hack.
The problem for DeSantis—except it’s not a problem because as has been well documented at this point that Ron DeSantis doesn’t give a damn—is that the pandemic situation in Florida really is explosively dire. Florida is heading towards a pandemic peak that may dwarf even this winter’s numbers; 1 in 5 of all U.S. COVID-19 cases are now in DeSantis’ jurisdiction; hospitals and other health resources are warning that they are facing crisis conditions; and the state continues to lag behind in vaccinations in large part because of DeSantis’ own sneering political attacks on health officials.
Despite all of this, DeSantis has continued to focus his attention on orders barring schools and cities from requiring even masks, all but assuring an immediate new surge as schools open. The man has been obsessive in placating the worst of the Republican base with no regard whatsoever for how many deaths his orders cause. And we can’t even feign surprise at that, because a significant chunk of his coup-pressing, sedition-backing, conspiracy-spreading, propaganda-manufacturing party has come out bluntly to declare that pandemic deaths are the price the nation must pay if the alternative is wearing a cloth mask during a national crisis.
There was a lot of ink spilled about the sacrifices of the declared Greatest Generation, the generation that won the war against fascism. What will the current Republican base be known for? My right to ignore safety measures during a national emergency trumps your kids’ right to live won’t be etched on any Florida monuments a half century from now, we will assume. Perhaps DeSantis can at least stack the bodies of the dead in patriotic ways.
What about the border. Pfft. This is what is so enraging about the current state of the Republican Party. It has the intellectual heft of a gum wrapper. Its leaders can incompetently make every national problem worse and be rewarded for it as long as they burp out something afterwards about how actually, it was the immigrants or the border or uppity Black demonstrators all along. A whole movement based on incompetent burping hucksterism, to the point that the Fox News base becomes enraged if any of their leaders dare do anything different.
By all means, we absolutely need to be considering the security of the border. Florida has a too-long border with the rest of the United States, its leaders continue to treat the deaths of 600,000 Americans as an insignificant nothing not worth their attention, and even before this surge it has been the source of countless infections from countless spring break gatherings and conventions and other glibly dangerous dare-yous. Close the damn border already. If DeSantis believes that the most urgent problem facing his state today is the state of its borders, lock the borders up, tight as a drum, until he and his death-dealing allies find the pandemic “victory” DeSantis has been forever insisting he has already presided over.