Ron “Don’t Say Gay” DeSantis is working overtime to dial back his “anti-woke” persona after it failed miserably

Ron “Don’t Say Gay” DeSantis is working overtime to dial back his “anti-woke” persona after it failed miserably

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Ron DeSantis

Ron “Don’t Say Gay” DeSantis continues to back down.

The Florida governor launched his failed presidential bid on the back of his anti-LGBTQ+ policies, with school book bans at the top of the list. Back in 2022, DeSantis signed a law making it easy for adults in any school district to challenge books on library shelves, with no limitations. The end result was complete chaos.

This school year alone, Florida is responsible for 3,135 of the 4,349 school book bans in the U.S. A large percentage of the banned titles deal with racial and LGBTQ+ issues.

Just this past week in conservative Clay County, one person challenged 40 books, the AP reports.

With these astronomical numbers in mind, DeSantis is finally admitting defeat. On Tuesday, he backtracked on one of his most infamous initiatives, signing a bill that narrows the law’s focus. Now, people without students in a school district are limited to just one challenge per month.

“The idea that someone can use the parents rights and the curriculum transparency to start objecting to every single book to try to make a mockery of this is just wrong,” said DeSantis. “That’s performative. That’s political.”

In pure “Meatball Ron” fashion, DeSantis is deflecting responsibility for his failed policy, blaming the astronomical number of book bans on… liberal activists?

Chaz Stevens, a character in the form of Vermin Supreme who once erected a Festivus pole made out of beer cans across from a nativity scene displayed in the Capitol, presented challenges in dozens of school districts over bibles, dictionaries and thesauruses.

Unable or unwilling to recognize satire, DeSantis’ office says Stevens’ behavior was the impetus behind the antigay governor’s decision to limit the law. The new edict ensures “book challenges are limited for individuals, like Chaz, who do not have children with access to the school district’s materials,” a DeSantis spokeswoman told the AP.

When asked to provide additional examples of (actual) liberal activists removing books from shelves, the spokesperson didn’t respond.

Stevens, for his part, says he’s thrilled to be singled out. “When they need to make stupid stupider, they send me up. I’m part comedian, I’m part activist, I’m part artist. I just want a better society,” he added. “I’m an idiot, but a smart guy at the same time.”

In other words, DeSantis just got played! Earlier this year, he admitted the law wasn’t working as planned.

“With objecting–if you go to a school board meeting objecting. If you have a kid in school, OK. But if you’re somebody who doesn’t have a kid in school and you’re gonna object to 100 books? No, I don’t think that’s appropriate,” he said.

“Tiny D’s” book ban retraction is only his latest setback since ending his presidential campaign. He’s made concessions in the settlements of multiple lawsuits involving the state and Disney; and his signature “Don’t Say Gay” legislation was also clawed back, with a Florida court deciding the law was too broad.

In addition, the court found the law doesn’t prohibit “incidental references in literature to a gay or transgender person or to a same-sex couple.”

Overall, DeSantis’ anti-LGBTQ+ agenda is hitting roadblocks in the Republican-dominated Florida legislature. According to Truthout, 21 of 22 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were effectively eliminated in this year’s legislative session.

Florida lawmakers also pushed back on the embattled gov’s request to place one of Moms for Liberty’s co-founders, Tina Descovich, on a state ethics board. 

DeSantis’ other signature piece of legislation, the Stop WOKE Act, is now curtailed as well. Last year, an appeals court ruled it couldn’t apply to colleges and universities, and recently included business in that group. One justice called the law “positively dystopian.”

Four judges in total have blocked the legislation, including two appointed by the former White House occupant.

Speaking of Trump, DeSantis recently pledged to raise money for the disgraced ex-president, despite being subjected to constant torment during the GOP primary. Trump and his allies accused DeSantis of being homosexual, potentially being a pedophile and wearing high heels.

When DeSantis first exited the race, he went after Trump, complaining about his vice grip on right-wing media. 

“[Trump’s] got basically a Praetorian Guard of the conservative media. Fox News, the websites, all this stuff,” he said, in possibly his most accurate comments ever. “They just don’t–they don’t hold him accountable because they’re worried about losing viewers.”

DeSantis went further in a private call with donors, opining about Trump’s “baggage” and his lack of accomplishments as president.

But yet, “Pudding Fingers” (another Trump nickname) will be on the fundraising circuit for the first ever former president facing a criminal trial.

With all of these humiliating developments, one might think that DeSantis would be humbled. But that would be wrong. He’s continued to enact cruel policies, including late last week, when he signed a bill banning Florida localities from equiring employers to provide outdoor workers with access to water, rest and shade.

Workplace safety advocates say the law will kill people. “Someone is going to die as a result of this legislation,” a telecommunications technician told HuffPo.

Florida Republicans say the controversial legislation is supposed to clamp down on a “patchwork” of local regulations regarding heat safety. The law was issued in response to Miami-Dade County lawmakers, who recently proposed legislation that would’ve required some employers to provide heat protections and water breaks to some workers.

But in reality, it seems to be about punishing the little guy.

DeSantis, battered and bruised, seemingly won’t stop until more of his constituents feel pain.


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