Ron DeSantis — a updated Trump homunculus

Ron DeSantis has unofficially launched his presidential run:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said one of his biggest regrets in office was not speaking out “much louder” in March 2020, when former President Donald Trump advised the nation to stay home to slow the fast-spreading coronavirus.

DeSantis, a close ally of Trump, said he was involved in the early days of the White House’s pandemic response and had been offering advice to the President. But he was surprised when Trump made the decision that led to much of the US economy shutting down.

“I never thought in February, early March, that (coronavirus) would lead to locking down the country,” the Republican governor told the hosts of the conservative podcast “Ruthless” during an episode recorded Thursday. “I just didn’t. I didn’t think that was on the radar.”

The governor of Florida (the state with the prettiest name!) also denounced two conservative SCOTUS justices for upholding the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate for healthcare employees: “Roberts and Kavanaugh did not have a backbone on that decision.”

A month ago during a brief stay at Sanibel I overheard a conversation at the pool bar between the bartender and a young man of stunning rakish beauty that DeSantis would have loved to moderate. The former muttered something like, “Than god we live in Florida,” and the latter, a former high school ballplayer now “involved” in real estate, rhapsodized about being able to drive all over the state and finding everything open “unlike some places.” Seething in my damp bathing suit, I said, “Well, thank god we live in a state where hundreds died of COVID a day in July and August.” The pair said nothing. I like to think the previous afternoon’s chat during which I told him where I was employed quashed an attempt to shut me up or down; he seemed in every respect a decent guy. The former ballplayer on the other hand had the mien of a second-class boor.

While I’m not sure they’re Republicans or even voters, this pair represent millions of Floridians for whom COVID is at once an irritant only candy-assed Democrats worry but will blame Joseph Robinette Biden for not controlling anyway. They may even have experienced the hospitalizing or death of relatives from COVID, but then people die in car accidents or from tumbles in the shower every day. The Florida that DeSantis remembers as “locked down” lasted eight weeks, mind, after which restaurants, bars, and gyms returned to an almost pre-pandemic normal.

2022 and 2023 are gonna rock.

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