Coronavirus GOP WTF?!

Ron DeSantis Sent Bonus Checks To Florida Teachers – Many Of Them Bounced

Ever since the COVID pandemic began last year, few politicians have mishandled the disease as badly as Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has repeatedly tried to minimize the importance of vaccines and protective masks, holding himself up as some sort of beacon of fake freedom for the people in his state who refuse to do what’s necessary to control a public health crisis that has so far killed nearly 54,000 people in the Sunshine State.

In an effort to literally buy the loyalty of teachers in the state, DeSantis decided he’d take some of the federal money given to his state and hand out $1,000 COVID bonuses to Florida teachers. Great idea, right? Yeah, until the checks started bouncing.

According to the Tampa Bay Times:

When dozens of Florida teachers tried to cash their state-issued $1,000 bonus checks this week, they got a startling response: “insufficient funds.”

No, the State of Florida hasn’t run out of money. Instead, the bad checks are being blamed on a “banking error” by JPMorgan Chase.

Checks issued toat least 50 teachers in 22 different counties bounced because of the error, Florida Department of Education spokesman Jared Ochs said.

Of course, considering that DeSantis has long considered failed, one-term former President Donald Trump to be his political idol and mentor, you can understand why some of the teachers might have thought the governor had stiffed them. After all, Trump has failed to pay contractors for decades, leading many of them to going bankrupt despite Donald having contracts with them. Trump’s solution was to tie up the matter in court for years, waiting for the contractors to drop their cases against him because the legal bills became too much of a burden.

In the past, teacher bonuses from the state of Florida have been sent to school districts for distribution, but DeSantis couldn’t resist taking a page from Donnie Dirtbag and issuing paper checks with accompanying letters bearing his signature:

The state paid a private contractor $3.6 million to print and send the checks. That led some lawmakers and the union representing school teachers to accuse DeSantis of using the bonuses to score political points.

The state said that by sending the money directly, saying the $3.6 million was well below the 10 percent normally allotted or administrative costs on federal funding.

DeSantis is facing an uncertain political future. He’s up for reelection in 2022, but his poll numbers have collapsed and there are at least two Democrats (one of whom, Charlie Crist, is a former governor of the state) who are polling ahead of him and could easily win next November.

Turns out Ron DeSantis is indeed a lot like Donald Trump: Neither one of them is bright enough to realize that the solution to a pandemic is following the science and not trying to buy people’s loyalty.


Coronavirus GOP Polls

Abbot And DeSantis’ Poll Numbers Crater As COVID Deaths Soar In Their States

As COVID continues to ravage the states they lead and both hospitalizations and deaths reach astronomical levels in Florida and Texas, the GOP governors of those states are seeing their poll numbers fall drastically as they face reelection battles in 2022.

Florida has become COVID central in the United States, with the state setting a new record on Thursday:

And in Texas, over 55,000 people have now died from COVID-19 in the Lone Star State.

A just-released Morning Consult poll shows that 51% of independent Florida voters say they disapprove of the job Gov. Ron DeSantis is doing. That’s up significantly from a month ago, when just 38% of independents were unhappy with DeSantis.

Among all Florida voters, DeSantis’ poll numbers have fallen by 14% over the past 60 days. That’s not exactly a good pattern for a incumbent who will soon be asking the electorate for a second term in office.

In Texas, the latest figures show that over 3 million residents have COVID, and that has led to Abbott’s numbers cratering in a fashion that mirrors DeSantis, with the Texas governor seeing his support erode by 7 points overall in the most recent polling.

At this rate, both Abbott and DeSantis will be underwater with voters by the time residents go to the polls next November, which could set up a major loss for Republicans at both the state and national level, according to Perry Bacon Jr. of the Washington Post:

“So perhaps a dynamic young candidate who can spur high turnout while avoiding very left-wing stands could be a winner. The Democrats have one strong prospect to run this kind of campaign in Florida — 43-year-old Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is already running in the primary against Crist. They have two in Texas: former congressman and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, 48, who is strongly considering a gubernatorial run; and 30-year-old Lina Hidalgo, the chief executive of Houston-area Harris County.”

Abbott and DeSantis are learning that when you ignore the health and safety of your constituents in an attempt to “own the libs,” all you accomplish is cutting off your nose to spite your face.


Coronavirus Donald Trump Elections GOP

Former DNC Chairman Warns: DeSantis Is ‘More Of A Lunatic’ Than Trump

Perhaps no Republican political figure in the country right now is more similar to failed, one-term former President Donald Trump than Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

You might think that would give DeSantis a leg up on his GOP counterparts, but it doesn’t, because the DeSantis has let the same issue that led to the downfall of his political idol — mishandling the COVID pandemic — send his own favorability ratings into a chasm which gets deeper with each day and every death from the deadly virus.

Former Democratic National Committee chairman and Vermont governor Howard Dean — who also happens to be a medical doctor — says DeSantis is worse than Trump, and he explained his rationale Friday on MSNBC, telling host Ari Melber:

“I am shocked by DeSantis. I never thought I would say this but I think he may be more of a lunatic than Trump ever was. Trump finally come around thinking the best thing he can do for his supporters is get them vaccinated. And DeSantis is completely out of touch with reality. I am not sure what he could possibly be thinking now when you got more than half the population that’s in school districts refusing to comply, long before the court said it was okay, more than half of the people in Florida’s school districts said no. We don’t care, shut up and go away. This guy is not – if you are the governor, you can’t do that.”

Dean then added:

“This guy’s not competent to serve in any capacity.

“This guy is putting their children’s lives at risk. We’re going to have dead kids all over Florida in these districts that are following DeSantis. It is outrageous. I have never seen any governor of either party ever behave like this. It’s almost as if he doesn’t give a damn who has to die as long as he gets reelected.”

Ron DeSantis is running for reelection in 2022, and the latest polls in Florida show he’s incredibly unpopular. If thousands of children die of COVID on his watch, don’t be surprised if he gets kicked to the curb by voters in the Sunshine State.


Coronavirus Elections GOP

Florida Pollster: DeSantis’ Failure On COVID Could Hand The State To Democrats In 2022

Not so long ago, many in the Republican Party saw Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis as the most likely standard bearer for the party in the 2024 presidential sweepstakes, the man who would carry on the Trump legacy minus all the negatives associated with the failed, one-term former president.

Now, however, DeSantis’ stock is sinking by the day, as COVID ravages his state and he tries to prevent school districts in the state from imposing mask mandates on students.

Things are going so badly for DeSantis that there’s increasing discussion that the Florida governor may not even win reelection next year, which would destroy his chances of being a presidential contender.

Florida Democratic pollster Fernand Amandi explained Wednesday during an appearance on MSNBC just how far DeSantis has fallen over the past few months:

“The biggest story in Florida is this notion that Emperor DeSantis has no clothes. Five days ago today, they issued a 48-hour threat to two Florida school districts. Within 48 hours or by Monday morning they did not rescind their mask mandates, they’re going to issue punitive damages. What has happened since those threats were issued last week. Nine additional counties as the poll alluded to, 52 percent of students in the entire state of Florida are operating in districts with mask mandates and I think that’s only the beginning.”

Amandi said he believes that even more counties are about to buck DeSantis’ threats of withholding state education funds, and that will only serve to make the governor look even weaker:

“I think that, more than anything else, speaks to the political weakness that this governor has chosen on an issue that’s not only anti-science and against all medical advice, it is against all practical, political reasons to do this when parents overwhelmingly want to take every measure possible to protect their children from acquiring COVID in the worse environment of COVID that we have seen yet.”

That leaves Florida wide open for Democrats, Amandi concluded:

“Not only Florida is competitive, it would be a foolish decision not to engage because you have both Democratic contenders, Commissioner Nicky Freed and Val Demings, if that political reality happens, I think Florida is to take things if Democrats make the decision to invest now and say we can win this state based on DeSantis’ incompetence and disaster mismanagement of this pandemic.”

Imagine it. Florida with a Democratic governor and U.S. Senator. That would completely flip the longtime logic of Florida being a red state and all but seal the fate of the GOP in a state they cannot afford to lose.

Here’s Fernand Amandi on MSNBC:

Coronavirus GOP

Stephen King: Ron DeSantis Is Evil Enough To Be A Villain In My Novels – But He’s Too Dumb

Novelist Stephen King has created some incredibly memorable villains in his books, but he doesn’t think Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has what it takes to be among them.

As King explained during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” the novelist was asked about some of the tweets he’s sent out recently that were highly critical of DeSantis, and he made it clear that while the governor is certainly evil enough with his absurd COVID-19 policies, he doubts that the Floridian has enough brains to carry off any actual evil plans:

“Ron DeSantis is probably not the brightest bulb in the chandelier at the best of times.”

That led Colbert to ask:

“So, not an evil genius? Not a mastermind?”

King responded:

“No, I wouldn’t say so. You know, he’s got that deer-in-the-headlights look somehow.”

Colbert couldn’t resist adding:

“Deer in the headlights hoping that’s two motorcycles that are going to go right by him.”

It should be noted that King — who is a native of Maine — now spends half the year in Sarasota, so he’s had a chance to observe DeSantis up close, and he’s not impressed, firing off tweets making it clear that he thinks the Florida governor is a few cans short of a six pack:

Or, to put it another way, consider what the AV Club had to say about DeSantis not being fit for a King novel. They pretty much hit the proverbial nail on the head:

“So that’s evil, but is it Stephen King evil? Not according to King, who greeted Colbert’s pitch for a future fictional Florida governor villain with the dismissive shrug of a guy who knows what makes a truly compelling antagonist. After all, your best Stephen King monsters (your Greg Stillsons, your Randall Flaggs) couple their nefarious machinations with a complexity of thought and more than a little charisma, whereas, in King’s authorial estimation, Florida is currently being led by a garden variety venal, callous dope, whose threadbare conservative posturing couldn’t sustain even the shortest tale of terror.”

But if you want to think of something truly terrifying, just imagine Ron DeSantis as president. Now THAT’S enough to give you nightmares.