The pettiest bitch in politics has set his sights on the Special Olympics and America's national pastime.
For a guy who has his own buttrock anthem touting his unflappable — if somewhat vague — love of “freedom,” Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis sure does seem to enjoy going out of his way to quash anyone else’s private expressions thereof. And although he’s predicated the bulk of his career in public service (if you wanna call it that) on being the sort of punitive twerp who revels in making other people’s lives miserable, the past few days in particular have been a masterclass in showcasing DeSantis’ penchant for dickishness.
On Thursday evening, DeSantis quietly vetoed a $35 million dollar funding plan that had been earmarked for a new practice facility for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays baseball team in Pasco County, outside of Tampa. While the governor has yet to publicly address the surprise decision, he reportedly nixed the plan in response to the team’s recent statements in support of gun control measures following the mass shootings in both Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX — the hometown of Ray’s pitcher Brooks Raley. DeSantis’ spokeswoman, Christina Pushaw, has retweeted articles linking the Ray’s recent pleas for common sense gun reform with her bosses decision to withhold funds, seemingly confirming the connection.
Rejecting one national pastime (baseball) in favor of another (shooting people)? That’s the Ron DeSantis way! But, okay, perhaps you’re having a hard-ish time dredging up too much sympathy for a major sports franchise. Perfectly understandable. I think/hope however, we can agree that holding a press conference to brag about strong arming the Special Olympics is an order of magnitude worse on the “petty garbage person” scale, right?
And yet, that’s exactly what DeSantis did on Friday morning, after essentially forcing the Special Olympics — an institution dedicated to championing and celebrating the achievements of those living with developmental disabilities — to drop its coronavirus vaccine requirement ahead of the USA games in Orlando, scheduled for next week. This despite the CDC’s guidance for People With Disabilities, which explicitly cites “people who have trouble understanding information or practicing preventive measures, such as hand washing and social distancing,” and “people who may not be able to communicate symptoms of illness” as having a higher risk for contracting COVID.
“We don’t want to fight,” the Special Olympics said in a press release announcing their plans to acquiesce with Florida’s anti-vaccine mandate mandate, late Thursday evening. “We want to play.”
Ron DeSantis wants to play too, it seems. But if he doesn’t like how the other team is acting, he’s shown that he’s perfectly willing to take his ball (of taxpayer dollars) and go home.