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The Cruel Dumbness of Ron DeSantis
Or How to Use Innocent Humans as Political Props and Get Sued
Florida Governor and phony political hack grandstanding media whore Ron DeSantis thought it was a good idea to lure 48 Venezuelan migrants in San Antonia, Texas onto buses and then air shuttle them to Massachusetts to continue his I OWN EVERY RIGHT-WING GRIEVANCE variety show. And while wildly popular with racists and general morons who get their news from gum wrappers and Fox News, it has painfully backfired. This embarrassingly unoriginal and agonizingly transparent political, and more pointedly inhumane stunt has drawn the usual ire from the sane, but now a lawsuit and investigation could bring what Tallassee immigration attorney Elizabeth Ricci suggested was “human trafficking and kidnapping charges” down on him.
Up until DeSantis piggybacked on this cynical idea from Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and Arizona Governor Don Ducey – the Republican bigot fascist brigade – he was rolling. He is the leading Republican candidate for president if Donald Trump goes to jail for stealing classified government documents, defrauding the state of New York, or fomenting an insurrection against the United States, or if he finally has that massive heart attack his appearance and diet has been hinting at for decades. He has managed to all-but own the base of Republican politics 2022, which is now anti-LGBTQ, anti-women’s reproductive rights, fearmongering, book-banning embrace of ignorance, which predictably shot him to the top of his party’s dung heap. He was the man, and may still be among the great unwashed, but this migrant thing is so onerous and pitiful, and to tweak Evangelicals, anti-Christian, never mind plain stupid, it may have not only gotten him into legal hot water, it might (gulp!) queer his chances at high office.
When you mull over the details of this stunt, it gets more and more horrifyingly stupid. And none of it had to happen. If DeSantis wasn’t obsessed with owning the national narrative of every Trumpist bottom feeding edict, this likely gets laughed off in the high-grade glue sniffing stage. Because, you have to ask: Why is the governor of Florida involved in quasi-border security debates he knows next to nothing about and has no jurisdiction over? Isn’t there enough stuff to wreck in Florida? Health Care? Civil Rights? Environment? The man has his hands full with his minimum ten press conferences a day schedule. A mere toe stubbing merits a podium, some mics, and his best 1987 Ronnie Reagan “deep in dementia facial tics mistaken for pride” schtick. The whole thing is like watching a monkey trying to fuck a greased football, despite it being a big winner in Florida, which may give us a clue why this cruel prank got out of the glue sniffing stage.
Of course, DeSantis stands by all of it. Using Florida taxpayer cash to pay conmen from something called Vertol Systems Inc. armed with what is termed in the underground as a “birddog fee” to lure (a term used by San Antonio law enforcement) 48 migrants, many of them women and children, from a sanctioned government migrant installation to an undisclosed taxpayer funded hotel with the promise of food vouchers and job opportunities in Boston. These poor, duped, confused and desperate people were then shipped to Florida on the taxpayer’s dime to give DeSantis another PR “win,” before hauling them off to Martha’s Vineyard in a tax-funded $615,000 airplane trip (that is over 12-grand a migrant, even though the normal cost of a flight from anywhere in Florida to Boston is like $400). This all done in service of a ham-fisted “gotcha” on a sanctuary state. The guess by those with brain bubbles was that DeSantis would make the (very expensive and likely taxpayer defrauded) knuckle-dragging point that New England elitists would be outed as out-of-touch with illegal immigration? Except none of the migrants are illegal. They were peacefully awaiting asylum like every migrant in the history of a nation built by poor and frightened people escaping persecution.
A stunned and disgusted Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salavar held a press conference to announce the investigation into this alleged crime, during which he could not fathom the exploitation of humans for what he described as “nothing more than political postering before being stranded with no shelter or food on an island off the coast of Massachusetts.” Sheriff Salavar concluded, “What infuriates me is that these poor people, who are here legally, and have every right to be where they were, were preyed upon by paid out-of-state operatives, who hoodwinked them into taking this needless trip to Florida.”
So, like some evil Bond villain petting a white Persian cat, DeSantis orchestrates this thing from afar, ripping off both the performance art of governors’ Abbott and Ducey (who run states actually on the fucking border) while making his weekly “Look at me, because daddy didn’t love me” cry for attention. And, in a move that might piss off the hardline anti-immigrant cabal, DeSantis’s scrambling administration began trying to make this a “human rights” effort by the governor, stating their hopes to cherry-pick 48 random people, lie to them, and send them all over the place before dumping them with no food or money on an island “for their benefit.”
The fun postscript to this travesty is that now faced with a class action lawsuit and criminal investigation, if DeSantis is found culpable in these shenanigans he will not only go down but the very migrants he hopes to kick out of America will get special visas due to being victims of human trafficking. And, to make matters worse, this heretofore political genius has ticked off the all-important Latino vote for Republicans in his state. The GOP previously enjoyed the lion’s share of the 200,000 Venezuelans in Florida, not to mention Cubans, who recall these kinds of draconian tactics from the late dictator Fidel Castro and are starting to voice their displeasure.
So, you know, a lose-lose-lose-lose move by the leading GOP candidate for president.
© James Campion September 24th 2022
email: realitycheck at jamescampion.com
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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, "Midnight For Cinderella" and “Y”. +, “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon” + “Accidently Like a Martyr – The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon” and published on June 1st, 2022, “Take a Sad Song…The Emotional Currency of “Hey Jude".
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