I’m truly awful at reading electorates and predicting political outcomes, so no one should listen to me on those topics. Ever.
But after speculating yesterday that horrid Gov. Ron DeSantis may be courting a backlash in Florida by demonstrating every day what a hateful, nosy, fascist prick he is, a scrap of evidence that this might be happening arrived in the form a flipped mayoral seat in Jacksonville.
A few things to know about Jacksonville: It’s red because it incorporates Duval County, not just the portions of the county that could be truthfully described as “a city.” DeSantis won it by double-digits in the 2022 election. But last night, Democrat Donna Deegan beat the DeSantis-endorsed Repub to become only the second Dem mayor in the past 30 years. Also, DeSantis was born in Jacksonville.
A DeSantis-endorsed Repub gubernatorial candidate was bounced in Kentucky yesterday too. There’s further bad news for DeSantis via Florida Politics: one of his favorite billionaire donors cut a $1 million check to a potential in-state rival for the GOP 2024 nomination who is not named Donald Trump: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.
I had no idea Suarez was even thinking of running for president, but apparently he is. It’s a terrible idea — he’s likely to distinguish himself only by becoming the third-worst Florida resident seeking the presidency in 2024. But that’s $1 million that Citadel CEO Ken Griffin can’t piss away on DeSantis, and it’s further evidence billionaire donors are seeing how toxic and unelectable Ron DeSantis is. Good!
In other news, NC Repubs in the statehouse overrode North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto yesterday and banned abortion after 12 weeks. During the debate, one Democratic rep told it like it is:
“Women did not ask for your oversight. We didn’t ask for your approval,” Rep. Julie von Haefen, a Wake County Democrat, told GOP colleagues. “It’s our fundamental right to make decisions about our own bodies and our own health care.”
She’s right, but as in Florida, which enacted an even more draconian ban that most of the state’s citizens don’t support, Repub lawmakers once again affirmed that women aren’t fully competent adults and need fanatical busybodies to monitor their bodily functions and personal healthcare.
NC Repubs needed every single vote to override Cooper’s veto, and they got them all, including the vote of a turncoat former Dem, Repub Rep. Tricia Cotham. As you’ll recall, she campaigned as a Dem in a blue district and then switched parties last month, delivering the supermajority needed for the override.
Jezebel reports that Cotham ran on a pro-choice agenda for years. In a 2015 speech, Cotham told Repubs, “My womb and my uterus is not up for your political grab.”
Well, that was a big fat lie — Cotham subjected every NC woman’s uterus to her new party’s power grab. From what I read, she’ll almost certainly lose her seat over it. So why did Cotham make fools of her team and voters? Her former aide Jonathan Colby explained:
“I wish I could say that she took a giant bag of cash at an IHOP and that’s why she did this—but it’s so much dumber than that,” he said. “It’s just a deeply petty, personal thing.”
Colby provided details to Jezebel, and “deeply petty” is a great description of Cotham’s complaints:
- Cotham felt Democrats had repeatedly slighted her since her January swearing-in—including criticizing her for using the American flag and prayer hands emojis online and supposedly not clapping for her when the Republican House Speaker recognized her on International Women’s Day as the youngest woman ever elected to the State House. (They did clap, according to local news reports.)
- Cotham also bristled at criticism for missing a vote that let Republicans repeal a gun permit law.
- Cotham had also been annoyed that Planned Parenthood didn’t endorse her, despite her self-described “very powerful” speech on abortion rights. (She skipped the endorsement interview.)
In short, Cotham is an overly sensitive, self-aggrandizing jackass, so the Repub Party is a much better fit for her. If half the NC population has to lose their rights to assuage Cotham’s hurt feelings, well, that’s a price she’s willing to pay. Christ, what an asshole. The end.