Commentators and news outlets engaged in furious finger-pointing after Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican Party’s historic midterm victories in Florida.
The editorial board of Florida’s Sun Sentinel lamented that the state has become a “crimson hellscape” on Wednesday, before quietly walking its condemnation back with a stealth edit.
The editors also accused DeSantis of “racial gerrymandering” and warned it would be “impossible for Democrats to slow down an extremist GOP agenda for the next couple of years.”
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune slammed the Democratic Party for failing their base by offering poor candidates.
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“Stop trotting out dog-eared candidates like defeated gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Crist, who has now lost just as many statewide general elections as he has won since serving as governor in the mid-2000s,” the Tribune editorial board offered as a “helpful hint” to Democratic leadership.
They also recommended to the Democratic Party, “Stop rolling out low-wattage candidates like unsuccessful Senate challenger Val Demings, who – for all of her assets as a respected congresswoman and former Orlando police chief – ran a relatively uninspiring race against Rubio.”
An Atlantic opinion piece, titled, “The Democratic Party’s Broccoli Politics,” suggested Florida Democrats lost due to having less appealing policies and a “Latino problem.”
“[P]olls suggest [Florida Latinos] were uncomfortable with Democratic support for the Black Lives Matter movement, with calls to defund the police, and with other progressive stances on social issues,” the article observed. “The Cuban American Democrat running to be my state senator featured her wife prominently in her campaign literature, and invited supporters to a get-out-the-vote drag party. She lost by eight points in a district Biden won.”
DESANTIS TOUTS ‘WIN FOR THE AGES’ AS HE AND RUBIO SCORE BIG VICTORIES, SHADING PURPLE FLORIDA RED
The article’s headline referred to the idea that Republicans were offering sweeter policies for short term benefits.
“My two cents, as I wrote in an essay about Cape Coral after Hurricane Ian, is that the sugary DeSantis vision of a Free State of Florida paradise where nobody will force you to pay income taxes, get vaccinated, care about climate change, limit your water consumption, or build your house in a safe location is extremely alluring,” the article explained. “It promises ice cream when Democrats are mostly offering broccoli.”
Media pundits weighed in as well.
CNN political commentator Ana Navarro accused DeSantis on Wednesday of having “gamed the system” that led to his blowout victory on election night.
“He turned Florida into an unlevel playing field. They changed election laws making it harder to vote by mail. They paraded a bunch of people — Black people that they arrested for voting fraud and paraded them in front of national media. He created an election police,” she said.
She also blamed Democrats for choosing an uninspiring candidate to run against DeSantis.
“Who can blame them when you nominate a corpse? I mean, yes, [DeSantis] won bigly, but he won against a corpse, a political corpse and that’s an insult to corpses,” she said.
CONSERVATIVE LATINOS BLAST SUGGESTION SPANISH LANGUAGE ‘DISINFORMATION’ HELPED DESANTIS WIN: ‘TRUSTY TROPE’
Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed Florida’s shift to a solid red state in the midterms was due to “a massive disinformation problem in Spanish language media.”
She tweeted, “The Latino vote is not the same everywhere! There are huge generational differences and in Florida population of older voters (more likely Rs) much larger than younger. Socialism does not play there. And there is a massive disinformation problem in Spanish language media.”
Many commentators mocked her post, such as author Chad Felix Greene, who replied, “Latino voters leave the Democratic Party in droves and the Democrats smugly dismiss them as being old and simply misinformed.”
MSNBC’s JOY REID FUMES FLORIDA IS ‘FAR-FAR-FAR-RIGHT STATE’ AFTER DESANTIS, RUBIO WINS
MSNBC host Joy Reid called Florida “a far, far, far right state” and blamed the Democratic defeat on lack of Black turnout.
“It’s been moving in that direction. And with Obama not on the ballot, you know, I have been talking with people who have been looking at African American turnout. The precincts are barren. Turnout among African Americans is dismal in Florida,” Reid said.
Founder and partner at Hone Strategies and Democratic strategist Joshua Karp told The Washington Post, “This state is really a portrait of what happens when Florida Democrats fail, over many, many years, to communicate a working-class economic message.”
Post reporter Tim Craig connected the state’s rightward bent with extremist groups: “Florida has increasingly emerged as a hot spot for extremism. More residents were arrested here for allegedly participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol than in any other state. Members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group with a history of violence, sit on county Republican Party executive committees, including in Miami.”
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