We reported on Democrat Andrew Gillum's murder of Republican Ron DeSantis at Sunday's Florida governor's debate, and with Halloween just a week away, Gillum was game enough for a rematch Wednesday night with the ghost of DeSantis's political future that's never to come.

The debate, held at Broward College, started off with a question about the pipe bombs delivered Wednesday to the Clintons, Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and Florida's own Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was in the debate audience. A charming DeSantis supporter outside the building reportedly held a sign stating "Democrats Fake News Fake Bombs."

DeSantis decried the sending of real bombs to even real Democrats, but he warned against "jumping to conclusions" about a matter that's politically damaging to Republicans. Then he quickly leapt to judgment over a recent report that Gillum had accepted a free ticket to "Hamilton," which probably had the market value of Madison County, Florida. Gillum claims he believed his brother had swapped Jay-Z and Beyonce tickets for the musical tickets. He admitted he should've "asked more questions" but he insisted that, loosely quoting Jay-Z himself, Florida has "99 issues, and Hamilton ain't one."

It's a little rich that DeSantis is trying to make political hay out of an FBI investigation that's tangentially related to Gillum when he's an enthusiastic supporter of a president with a growing number of felons in his iPhone contacts.

Gillum pointed out that a white supremacist group had put out a racist robocall against him for the second time in the campaign. The voice on the call impersonates Gillum in full "Amos 'n' Andy" as played by dumbass white guys. "Well, hello there. I is the negro Andrew Gillum and I'll be askin' you to make me governor of this here state of Florida." (Gillum doesn't actually speak this way.) Megyn Kelly might consider this just good-natured Halloween fun, but it's actually shockingly racist. DeSantis, for his part, condemned the ads on Tuesday but in the least convincing way possible.

"It's disgusting... I want to know who's doing that. I can tell you, we're not doing it. And I think the people who are doing it I think are doing it because they're trying to create division and I want to know who's doing it."

I don't think he really wants to know who's doing it. During Wednesday's debate, DeSantis was directly called out about the slime trail of racism following his campaign. Todd McDermott, the debate moderator, asked DeSantis about his speaking engagements at racist versions of Comic-Con, as well his relationship with David Horowitz, an Obama Muslim truther, who questions whether black people are oppressed in America at all because it's not like they ever tried to leave. Horowitz was apparently sick the day they taught history in all his history classes.

DeSantis tried to duck the question by accusing McDermott of "McCarthyism." Then it was suddenly amateur night at the Flop Sweat Theatre in Tampa with DeSantis playing the part of Col. Jessup in A Few Good Men.

"How the hell am I supposed to know every single statement someone makes? I'm not going to bow down to the altar of political correctness, I'm not going to let the media smear me!"

Yeah! You're goddamn right I ordered the Code Red! Now on cruise control, Gillum slid in for the kill.

"I'm not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist. I'm simply saying the racists believe he's a racist." Damn, Gina ... er Gillum. More than two million people and counting have viewed this clip of Gillum carving his opponent's face into a jack-o'-lantern and sticking a lighted candle inside. DeSantis was close to blubbering at this point. He needed a shot of whatever back-alley, rage-inducing steroid they gave Brett Kavanaugh before his big speech. He argued he wasn't a racist because he served in the military, which I guess is supposed to be some idealized "Ebony and Ivory" keyboard of perfect racial harmony. This is despite literally every war movie featuring at least one virulently racist character.

Desperate, DeSantis resorted to some "McCarthyism" of his own and claimed Gillum was connected to groups "who attack our men and women in law enforcement, attack our military." He even went so far as to say Gillum would release child-molesting "illegal aliens" onto the streets and use Florida tax dollars to set them up with shiny new vans and fun-sized Snickers. All because he hates Trump so much. Gillum, in a 30-second rebuttal, basically called DeSantis a lying sack of garbage who had disqualified himself to serve as governor of Florida. Check it out.

Man, Gillum just went all Oran "Juice" Jones on the dude: "I hope you learn a valuable lesson from all this. Florida's gonna find someone like me on Election Day. Until then, you gotta get outta here with your too-big, Talking Heads-suit-wearing, racist crumb cake face, cause you dismissed!" (Loose paraphrase.)

I gotta give it up for the brother: He can scream on DeSantis's ass like his dad and then effortlessly shift into Obama 2008 mode for his closing remarks. You get all caught up in the poetry, you almost forget Gillum had just ripped out his opponent's spine and showed it to him.

This is the Gillum we'll probably see more of if he does "bring it home" in November. However, it's really impressive to watch a black politician go for the jugular when confronting the obvious bigotry and lies of his opponent and his campaign. It's frankly refreshing, as too often Democrats are hesitant to call a spade a racist president who probably calls black people spades. We need more Andrew Gillums.

Watch the whole thing here.

Florida's Governor Debate Gillum vs DeSantis - Round 2 www.youtube.com

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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