Ron DeSantis Can’t Make Florida Dems Lower Flag For Radio Bigot Who's Dead Now
Here's DeSantis's dumbass statement:
"To honor the memory of Rush Limbaugh and his service to our nation and state, I hereby direct the flags of the United States and the State of Florida to be flown at half-staff at the Palm Beach County Courthouse in West Palm Beach, Florida, the City Hall of Palm Beach, Florida, and the State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida," Gov. Ron DeSantis stated in a memorandum that was released Tuesday evening to the media.
Limbaugh was a racist and a bully, but President Racist Bully won Florida twice. Maybe honoring that asshole is what the state wants.
Except! Decent people also live in Florida for what I'm sure are very good reasons, and they want nothing to do with Limbaugh's grossness. Prepare to be inspired!
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the only statewide-elected Democrat, made it clear on Monday that she wasn't lowering shit.
"Lowering to half-staff the flag of the United States of America is a sacred honor that pays respect to fallen heroes and patriots. It is not a partisan political tool. Therefore, I will notify all state offices under my direction to disregard the Governor's forthcoming order to lower flags for Mr. Limbaugh – because we will not celebrate hate speech, bigotry, and division. Lowering the flag should always reflect unity, not division, and raising our standards, not lowering them. Our flags will remain flying high to celebrate the American values of diversity, inclusion, and respect for all."
This is so damn badass. Fried isn't refusing to recognize an esteemed Floridian just because she disagrees with their politics. Limbaugh wasn't a war hero or a patriot. He wasn't a successful actor or musician who happened to be an outspoken conservative. He was a verbally abusive creep. He wasn't even an innovative bigot. Last year (!), he polluted the airwaves with homophobic crap about Pete Buttigieg like it's 1991. Republican senators have moved on to attacking women of color who send mean tweets.
Fried is right that DeSantis lowered the standards for this honor. The previous White House occupant similarly demeaned the Presidential Medal of Freedom when he gave it to Limbaugh, the least-deserving recipient of the honor until GOP Reps. Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes got their own medals.
She's not alone in telling DeSantis to go fuck his autographed copies of The Way Things Ought To Be. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has also refused to lower flags for Limbaugh because he won't honor “hatred, racism, bigotry, homophobia, or anything else he has spewed over the years." Seriously, for real, that's all Limbaugh ever did.
But what about Palm Beach County, where Limbaugh kept his evil lair? Democratic County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay politely says no way.
"Although Rush Limbaugh was a significant public figure, he was also an incredibly divisive one who hurt many people with his words and actions."
Palm Beach County will not lower its courthouse flag tomorrow. https://t.co/8e2sTdzjsQ https://t.co/XmMwfbZVZl— Melissa McKinlay (@Melissa McKinlay)1614133431.0
McKinlay said, “The lowering of flags should be a unifying gesture during solemn occasions, such as in remembrance of the young lives lost during the Parkland High School massacre or first responder line duty deaths." This is an obvious point that any functioning adult should appreciate. DeSantis was already a terrible governor, but this stunt has lowered his standing even more.
DeSantis knew full well that most Americans loathed that racist bag of hot air. This isn't a new development. Limbaugh himself might've enjoyed that the flag order offended more Floridians than it inspired. But Florida Democrats pushed back against this petty demonstration of political might, and loudly declared that their state is better than Rush Limbaugh.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).