Look, we don’t want to get into this, but he brought it up ...

KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - 2022/04/14: Governor Ron DeSantis signs Florida’s 15-week abor...
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Ron DeSantis misses the days when cartoons didn’t make everyone so horny

At this point in the right’s ongoing, bad-faith culture war bullshit against the LGBTQ+ community, it should be obvious that the Republican push to penalize the Walt Disney Company for simply (and belatedly) opposing Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill is about as philosophically coherent as a 9th-grade book report on War and Peace, written the night before on a diet of Adderall and Red Bull. Which is to say, it’s all desperate, flailing gibberish.

Unfortunately, as the GOP has found — and capitalized upon — there is a sincere audience of crypto-fascist voters genuinely hungry for this particular flavor of flailing gibberish, which is why Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis can go out in front of a room full of people and say the following:

Now, let’s put aside the fact that DeSantis’s gripe here is all because Disney — after intense pressure from its employees — said “hey, actually, this homophobic bill that criminalizes teachers who raise any sort of sexual or gender diversity in class might not be a good thing,” and not because, as his comments suggest, the company is suddenly releasing a nine-part limited run series on Disney+ featuring cartoon animals in various Kama Sutra-inspired states of orgasmic congress. Let’s forget all that, because like I said, at this point in the GOP war on the LGBTQ+ community, trying to find logic in Republican allegations is a fool’s errand.

Instead, DeSantis’s remarks raise an even more pressing and urgent question: What the hell sort of cartoons was Ron watching when he was a kid?

Let’s do some quick math here: Ron was born in 1978 and is 43 years old. That would make the mid- to late-‘80s his prime cartoon-watching era. So, when he says he could watch shows without having to worry about “what are they trying to inject in” and “what kind of ideology are they trying to pursue,” is he talking the ideologically neutral stuff like ... this?

Or maybe he meant this?

I know, I know, he’s probably talking about extremely non-sexualized shows like this:

Or stuff like this, which — when it came out in 1988 — surely wouldn’t have had any effect on 10-year-old Ron. Nope. No way. No sir:

In fact, even if Ron was artificially aging himself up in a vainglorious attempt to harken back to the chaste conservatism of the 1950s and earlier, he’d still be talking about stuff like a rapey skunk or an unnaturally busty flapper.

This is, in a nutshell, the dishonest rot at the heart of right-wing moralizing — an effort to reinstate a sort of conservative nostalgia for something that never really existed in the first place. DeSantis isn’t the first Republican politician to do it, and he won’t be the last. He is, however, at least in this instance, one of the worst at it. And that’s saying something.