By David Glenn Cox
Mark Twain told a story about the San Franciso earthquake. A pastor was leading the services when the first slight rumble hit the church. The preacher declared, we won’t turned away by the works of the devil and continued his sermon. Then the first real shock of the earthquake hit, loosening every brick in the building. The preacher then declared, but it would be wrong to challenge the lord! And ran for the door.
Ron DeSantis AKA Covid Ronny, stood on the human stage a tough guy. Wearing boxing gloves and red trunks. Against mask mandates and vaccination mandates because…? That’s a good question. Why is a grown man so against protecting public health? Well, it’s because…well, see, it’s complicated. But I’m a tough guy and because I say so, should be good enough for you. I’m a tough guy like Donald Twump, and he doesn’t need masks or shots, so I don’t need masks or shots and neither do you. We won’t be turned away by the works of the devil.
Of all the three-foot-tall tough guys in the world they said he was the tallest. Twump’s first attempt to come to grips with the pandemic was to try and ignore it and maybe it will get discouraged and go away. This was his, one day you’ll look up and the pandemic will be gone, like Shane approach. When that didn’t work, phase two was tough it out. Come on! We’re losing money here! Open back up! Did you hear me? We’re losing money! Just open the churches by Easter. You’ll be fine, trust me! Then came the nervousness of the poke and hope strategy, with bleach and light bulbs. Maybe witch doctors or cattle laxatives might do the trick.
Any Elvis impersonator will tell you that you can’t be young Elvis today and fat Elvis tomorrow. You must pick an Elvis and stay there. Covid Ronny is stuck in the same predickheadament. He’s stuck in Twump tough it out gear, you don’t need a mask, don’t let the Democrats buffalo you. But as tough Ronny leads the tough charge, he suddenly looks in the rear-view mirror only to discover he’s leading the charge all alone. Covid Ronny had his rubber stamp legislature pass a law outlawing vaccination passports. Boy, that was tough. Faux News was so pleased Ronny was the conservative darling, he’s gonna show those Democrats, he won’t be pushed around.
Covid Ronny forgot that while it might look good on TV, it put his constituents like the Cruise Line operators in a hell of a fix. They weren’t running for office in November; they were metaphorically trying to keep the ship afloat. We aren’t that far removed from the horror stories of being quarantined for a couple of weeks in a Folsom Prison blues cruise ship cabin. Where the air conditioning only works good when the ship is moving and the ship ain’t moving. The cruise lines desperate to prevent another ship born outbreak standing against a Governor getting estimates on moving his furniture to Washington.
The cruise lines took the Governor to court, and a judge ruled, you can’t do that. Don’t be ridiculous. The Federal judge took DeSantis’s signature legislation wadded it up and threw it in the trash. Tough guy legislation doesn’t pass Constitutional muster. But Ronny is stuck in second gear and can’t progress, he’s locked in fat orange Elvis. His other signature legislation was outlawing mask mandates in Florida schools. Boy, was he tough! You aren’t going to force Florida school children to wear a mask! No sir! Florida parents alone can decide whether their children need masks. Cause we’re tough in Florida!
Local Florida municipalities and school districts have begun to impose mask mandates, despite Covid Ronny’s law. Covid Ronny bows up and gets angry, but the municipalities just say, “sue us.” It would be wrong to challenge the lord! Fear has overtaken the brave tough guy ink on plain paper.
Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy says he disagrees with DeSantis about mask mandates.“I’m a conservative. I think you govern best when you govern closest to the people being governed.” (Don’t be surprised when a crack in the ice appears under your feet. You slip out of your depth and out of your mind with the fear flowing out behind you as you claw at the thin ice.– Waters)
Suddenly, oh so suddenly, the gang of Republican tough guys ain’t so tough. Without Twump the terrible to lead the band all they can do is sing yeah, yeah, yeah with the chorus. Suddenly everything which seemed so real and so tough, appears as a stage play with sunny painted backdrops. It has all become too real for the Republicans to ignore. The plan was to stomp their feet and tell the virus to go away, because they’re tough. There is no plan B; this is it. The Republicans have walked the plank on Covid -19 and have no way back.
It reminds me of Peter Pan where they are trying to rescue Tinkerbelle. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel says, “Trump still leads the Party.” Officially, since Trump isn’t an office holder, the Party is supposed to remain neutral. Well, we all know how Republicans feel about rules and laws and such. But McDaniel stakes her claim to Twump’s amazing fund-raising abilities. Twump has raised over 100 million dollars. Isn’t that great? Isn’t that amazing? Last time around, Twump running as an incumbent burned though nearly a billion dollars and ran out of cash, cancelling ad buys before election day. Come on everybody, if we all wish real hard, Tinkerbelle will come back to us.
They are stuck frozen in a moment of time that is now history. Trying to pick up the shards and pieces of yesterday trying frantically, desperately, to put Dumpty Humpty back together again. Because there is no plan B.