Image from the DeSantis War Room’s June 30, 2023, Twitter video. Source: Screenshot
Ron DeSantis wants you to know he’s a manly man, a manlier man than any manly man ever born, with mighty currents of 100-proof androgen surging through his sinews.
If you took a bouquet of other masculinity-mongering Republicans — your Josh Hawleys, your Jim Jordans, your J.D. Vances — put them in a blender with some follicle-stimulating hormones, a heaping helping of Y chromosomes, and a dash of A1 Steak Sauce, then whizzed them up good, the resulting cocktail would still not approach the mega-maleness of Florida’s governor.
Get within half a mile of Ronbo and the bosky aroma of all that testosterone will knock you flat on your weakling backside.
Or so a video shared by his campaign would have you believe. The video, released on the last day of June — Pride month — has now been removed from Twitter. It took a solid week of relentless mockery and derision for somebody in DeSantis World to get a clue.
But it’s too late. The video is now famous.
Images of oiled-up, shirtless muscle gods, jutting-jawed body builders, and extravangantly eyelashed drag queens jostle for space with clips of Donald Trump holding a Pride flag, declaring he’ll “protect LGBTQ people” and stating in public that he doesn’t care what bathroom Caitlyn Jenner uses.
Along with intimations that Trump is a crypto-lib and a friend of the Friends of Dorothy, the video treats us to glimpses of Tommy Shelby, the gangster boss in “Peaky Blinders,” Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho,” Brad Pitt as Achilles, and DeSantis in a flight suit and mirrored shades pretending to be Tom Cruise in “Top Gun,” all set to a thrusting techno-beat.
Clearly these are the paragons of conservative virility America should celebrate.
But I have questions. First one: Who made this steaming pile of bovine excrement? A bottom-quartile 7th grader with a Moviola? One of DeSantis’ fraternity brothers? The video’s a ham-fisted hunk of homoerotica pretending to be an indictment of the alleged LGBTQ menace which Ron DeSantis will shoot dead with his own personal lightning.
Seriously, y’all: In one bit of the video, horizontal lightning bolts shoot out of DeSantis’ eyes.
Pete Buttigieg, U.S Secretary of Transportation, wondered aloud what kind of person gets up in the morning thinking about how to “prove your manhood.” His husband Chasten Buttigieg was less circumspect, tweeting that the video “is very gay.”
Somebody’s not merely confused; somebody’s also a weapons-grade chucklehead.
Do they not know that Patrick Bateman is a serial killer? Or that Tommy Shelby is a murderous criminal? Or that Ron DeSantis’ experience with flying is pretty much limited to riding in Mori Hosseini’s corporate jet?
As for Achilles, he’s indeed a great warrior and a hyper-stud, but his deepest erotic and emotional relationship was with his bestie Patroclus.
(If I can have a quick word, governor? This is what happens when you attack Humanities education. Read “The Iliad:” you’ll like it. Tons of manliness.)
As if all this weren’t enough, what’s with the part where DeSantis’ giant head, complete with an alligator underbite, appears submerged in a pond?
Now, you won’t be surprised to hear that everybody, his gay brother and his gay brother’s gay dog has attacked this epically silly, yet hateful, video.
The Log Cabin Republicans are horrified; Richard Grenell, a former Trump cabinet member and prominent gay rightwinger who has expressed approval of DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” law, calls it “undeniably homophobic.”
The splendidly named Gays Against Grooming (they go by GAG — insert your own joke here), a group of folks who don’t like being called part of the LGBTQ community, don’t believe in gender dysphoria, and claim to be “protecting children,” have been plunged into turmoil with board member David Leatherwood resigning over the group founder’s ties to Florida’s governor.
Call me old fashioned, but I thought the point of a campaign was to get more votes, not fewer votes. You’re supposed to bring people in, not run them off.
So, no gay votes for DeSantis then. Call me old fashioned, but I thought the point of a campaign was to get more votes, not fewer votes. You’re supposed to bring people in, not run them off.
The DeSantis election brain trust could have nipped this in the bud with a well-judged statement that: 1. The campaign didn’t create this god-awful video; 2. While they have made their disapproval of minors at drag shows, medical interventions in gender and, er, bathroom usage clear, we are, at the end of the day, all Americans; and 3. They do not support serial killers, sociopathic gangsters, or death by eye-lightning.
But no: For a week they double- and triple-downed on the video as a legitimate attack on that noted metrosexual Donald Trump. DeSantis told Tomi Lahren, “Identifying Donald Trump as really being a pioneer in injecting gender ideology into the mainstream, where he was having men compete against women in his beauty pageants — I think that’s totally fair game.”
Because when America’s beauty pageants go down, the whole country goes down.
DeSantis’ attack ferret Christina Pushaw tweeted: “Opposing the federal recognition of ‘Pride Month’ isn’t ‘homophobic.’ We wouldn’t support a month to celebrate straight people for sexual orientation, either.”
Is the Pushaw, by any chance, the political genius who thinks running to the right of Donald Trump is a winning strategy?
You cannot get to the right of Donald Trump. To the right of him is the airless vacuum of deep space. Trump voters aren’t looking for someone even more hateful, nasty, and demented. DeSantis claiming he’ll shoot immigrants, ban abortion nationwide, and appoint Supreme Court justices more extreme than Trump’s (maybe the KKK’s Imperial Wizard?) sounds desperate.
Trump people have no reason to abandon him: He’s the complete package of swaggering, if incoherent, snark plus exaggerated toxic masculinity. DeSantis is an amateur in comparison.
Meanwhile in the Republican primary contest, Ron DeSantis flounders somewhere between 16 and 22 percent in the national polls. The governor was last seen marching in a New Hampshire July 4th parade as the rain bucketed down. He looked like the guy who’d won third place in a Wet Dork-shirt contest.
Apparently, no one in his campaign had sense enough to bring an umbrella.
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