You’ve got a lot of people in [the media] who wax poetically for weeks and weeks about how Florida was going to be just like New York. Well, hell, we’re eight weeks away from that and it hasn’t happened… People just don’t want to recognize [our success] because it challenges their narrative, it challenges their assumption.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, May 21
We watched a video of DeSantis scolding the media and congratulating himself for being smarter than all the experts who had cautioned against prematurely scaling back efforts to halt the spread of covid-19.
Swamp Rabbit’s parole officer Victor Cortez was incensed. “How did such an idiot become a governor? He looks like a freaking shoe store manager.”
“He ain’t smart enough to manage no shoe store,” Swamp Rabbit said, adjusting his dirty old cotton mask. “He’d screw that up, too. He’d order all the shoes in the same size and they’d all be wing-tips.”
I jumped in, ranting about recent statistics. Infection rates are way up, especially in the Sunbelt. Florida broke its own record for new single-day covid-19 cases on June 26, a little more than a month after DeSantis gloated over his great success in curtailing the virus.
“He’s so dumb he didn’t even understand that Florida infection rates wouldn’t stay low if lockdowns were lifted too soon,” I said.
Victor advised us to look at the big picture. The rot starts at the top, right? An incompetent, sociopathic real estate hustler rides a national wave of ignorance and bigotry all the way to the White House. He hires and fires staffers until he’s surrounded by obsequious hacks who are even dumber than he is. He uses his popularity with “the base” to ensure the loyalty of elected Republicans.
The country is hit with a mysterious, deadly virus. Republican governors make half-hearted efforts to limit its spread but always defer to Dear Leader, who denies the problem and won’t even wear a mask. It’s almost as if Republican officials were conspiring with their most ignorant constituents, who think mask-wearing and social distancing are threats to their liberty.
“It ain’t a conspiracy,” Swamp Rabbit said. “It’s a confederacy. Half the country is trying to do the right thing, the other half is whistling Dixie.”
Footnote: It’s not strictly a North/South split. Plenty of yahoos up North are helping spread the virus. Take a look at a resort like Wildwood, NJ, where business owners are hoping for a busy Fourth of July weekend.