FL’s political forecast: Stormy with a chance of idiocy

Mar-a-Lago, President Trump's official address, is located in Palm Beach County. Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Along with a jump in coronavirus infections, Florida is suffering a predictible spike in its already sky-high rate of self-defeating idiocy.

Witness the newest immigrants to the Sunshine State, the Trump Crime Family: Individual 1, sulking, nursing his narcissistic wounds, says he plans to flounce down to Mar-a-Lago on Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day and hold a campaign rally, causing a massive cognitive disconnect amongst his cultists.

As one Palm Beach County supporter said, “Why is he planning a rally when he won the election?”

Meanwhile, Princess Ivanka and that blow-up doll she’s married to just paid Julio Iglesias $30 million for a 1.8 acre lot on Indian Creek Island.

Ivanka Trump. Credit: Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images

Ivanka probably figures Miami-Dade beats Manhattan — where people cross themselves and make the sign against the Evil Eye at the very mention of her name — for launching her political career.

Julio Iglesias probably figures coastal property in low-lying South Florida is not a great investment, what with that Chinese Hoax looking less hoax-y with every sunny-day flood.

Still, for that kind of money, Vanky and Jerry could have bought themselves a nice chicken farm in Lake County, historically a Klannish kind of place where many of its residents are, as the State Song of Florida says, “Still longing for the Old Plantation.”

They could hang out on weekends with Anthony Sabatini, our loudest, dumbest, legislator.

Sabatini, initially famous for a youthful blackface episode, has busied himself encouraging Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenaged vigilante who shot two protesters dead in Kenosha, to run for Congress and filing endless challenges to mask-wearing — which is for pussies.

Freedom

Sadly, even though Real Americans know masks interfere with your freedom to get — and give — COVID-19, increasingly-exasperated judges keep throwing out these lawsuits.

But this Real American never quits in his quest to protect your precious bodily fluids. The state’s chief health officer could, by law, impose a coronavirus vaccine on you, but Rep. Sabatini has filed a bill to stop such nonsense.

We’re all going to die: Surely, a good, clean bullet is the all-American way to go, especially for college kids. So Sabatini’s also sponsoring “campus carry” legislation.

Who cares that university presidents (liberals), professors (socialists), and students (ignorant pawns of socialists) are all against you toting your piece to class? They are poorly educated.

Anthony Sabatini

As Sabatini, who graduated from U.F. law school three years ago, told a reporter, “Ninety-nine percent of them have never even seen a copy of the Constitution.”

Yep, clueless Youth, the United States Constitution utterly unknown to them, their brains destroyed by leftist lies about climate change, evolution, and the poetry of Walt Whitman, should be packing heat.

One begins to suspect law school ain’t what it used to be.

Bay County personal injury attorney Bill Price declared on video his intention to commit a felony. He declared he would temporarily move to Georgia, register to vote using his brother’s address, and help keep the U.S. Senate in Republican hands.

This is evidence of voter fraud, though not the kind Rudy Giuliani keeps hollering about.

Another lawyer, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, has filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the results of the presidential election.

This genius move originated in Texas, a state commentator Charlie Pierce calls “the meth lab of American democracy,” courtesy of AG Ken Paxton, who faces three felony counts of financial impropriety.

Once they stopped giggling, the U.S. Supremes kicked the suit to the curb.

But the lawyer who’s recently not merely stepped in something malodorous but rolled around in it like a lobotomized dog, is our own Ron DeSantis, B.A. Yale, J.D. Harvard.

Fred Piccolo, DeSantis’ spokesman, insists the governor “had no knowledge” of FDLE’s gun-brandishing raid on the home of Rebekah Jones, a former Department of Health data analyst.

Grown people find that hard to believe.

Jones, officially fired for “insubordination” earlier this year, really lost her job because she refused to massage Florida’s COVID numbers to make DeSantis’ “Virus? What virus?” approach to the pandemic look less idiotic and less deadly to the citizens of the state, nearly 20,000 of whom have died.

Since getting canned, she’s been running a rival COVID dashboard with all kinds of information the state of Florida doesn’t think you need to know, such as hospital bed availability.

“Weak,” “fishy”

Clearly, this was chapping somebody’s backside. Next thing you know, there’s a search warrant, described by various lawyers and cybersecurity experts as “weak,” even “fishy,” accusing Jones of “hacking” into DOH’s employee messaging platform, urging them to “Speak up before another 17,000 people are dead.”

Thing is, everyone who works there shares the same user name and password — a password that was publicly available on the internet.

Your cat could pull off that “hack.”

Nevertheless, state cops waved guns in front of Jones’ young kids, aged 2 and 11, confiscated cellphones and laptops, and generally behaved as though Jones was some kind of dangerous maniac out to destroy Our Way of Life.

But this isn’t about some unauthorized use of a ludicrously insecure state site or whether Rebekah Jones broke some low-rent law, it’s about intimidating future whistleblowers. It’s about Ron DeSantis’ suppression of information that should be public, his slavish caving to Donald Trump.

It’s not about us, the people of Florida. It’s about DeSantis’ ambition.

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Credit: Screenshot, ABC News video

DeSantis has always been one of Trump’s political toadies, doing whatever he’s asked in service to the dangerous buffoon in the White House, figuring he will be rewarded by Trump’s compliant voter base.

He has misled the people of Florida. Instead of science, he embraced Donald Trump’s incessant quackery.

Hydroxychloroquine? Order 1 million doses even though it doesn’t work on COVID-19.

Epidemiologists? Who needs them! How about taking herd immunity advice from Dr. Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist who knows nothing about immunology. The president digs his show!

So what if a bunch of old people die? They probably voted for Biden.

Information? The people of Florida will know only what the governor wants them to know.

Anyone who steps out of line can expect retaliation.

A member of DeSantis’ own party, Sarasota lawyer Ron Filipkowski, has now resigned from a state judicial nominating commission, saying, “What you’re doing is using police powers. You’re using law enforcement in intimidating people who are trying to tell the truth.”

In his resignation letter, Filipkowski wrote, “I no longer wish to serve the current government of Florida in any capacity.”

Who can blame him? The current government of Florida certainly does not serve us.

Diane Roberts
Diane Roberts is an 8th-generation Floridian, born and bred in Tallahassee, which probably explains her unhealthy fascination with Florida politics. Educated at Florida State University and Oxford University in England, she has been writing for newspapers since 1983, when she began producing columns on the legislature for the Florida Flambeau. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Times of London, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and Flamingo. She has been a member of the Editorial Board of the St. Petersburg Times–back when that was the Tampa Bay Times’s name–and a long-time columnist for the paper in both its iterations. She was a commentator on NPR for 22 years and continues to contribute radio essays and opinion pieces to the BBC. Roberts is also the author of four books, most recently Dream State, an historical memoir of her Florida family, and Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America. She lives in Tallahassee, except for the times she runs off to Great Britain, desperate for a different government to satirize.