Dinner with a moderate Republican friend. Have we mentioned that Florida is exhausting?

We saw friends tonight who we have truly missed this last year; friends and neighbors for 10 years, bonded over common interests, mutual likes and dislikes. We knew we agreed about Trump, and disagreed about DeSantis when we parted. I kinda sorta thought we might come together and be in accord about both. I was wrong, but the conversation was respectful, as always. What, my friend asked, were my three issues with the Governor? (Only three?)

  1. House Bill 1. During a global pandemic, the Governor’s primary legislative goal was to criminalize protests and to give those who would drive through protestors in an intersection immunity from prosecution. He declined to expand Medicaid with free Federal $$, or add $100 to the paltry $275 maximum per week unemployment payout. The friend had not heard of this bill and honestly didn’t believe my description of its provisions. Links were sent.
  2. Handling of the pandemic, which was the friend’s #1 pro DeSantis point. Aren’t we doing pretty well, he asked? Well, we aren’t all dead, yet, but whatever success Florida has had is partly climate, and partly because the Mayors who run the population centers have ignored the Governator. DeSantis, who has toddlers who have been kept safe on the grounds of the still closed Governor’s mansion, could afford to play the toxic-masculinity anti-hero. The Mayors, many of whom, like Lenny Curry, have teenagers, needed to run a different calculus. They imposed shutdowns and mask mandates in spite of the Governor’s orders. Those regulations in the largest cities are what kept the numbers manageable. Cf @natemonroe
  3. Cooking the Books. Firing the data scientist who created the state database; only counting state residents who were hospitalized and/or died while also encouraging medical tourism; selling vaccines to donors, and on and on.

4. The Bonus Round: The racism, the sexism, the general hate for an audience of one.

PS: He took the dough, and complained that it wasn’t enough.

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