MSNBC knows why the Florida Republican Party cleaned up Nov. 8 in the 2022 midterm elections: Gerrymandering!
Yes, the offices of governor, attorney general, public defender, and even agriculture commissioner all swung even deeper red this week, because of, uh, gerrymandering.
Sure. Why not?
“[A] slate of projected GOPers [flipped] seats in Florida in districts where Republicans, namely, Gov. Ron DeSantis, gerrymandered the voter maps to shore up conservatives’ control of the state,” writes MSNBC blogger Ja’han Jones. “Specifically … GOP challenger Anna Paulina Luna in the 13th District and Laurel Lee in the 15th District, both winners in districts deliberately drawn to favor Republicans and heighten the party’s chances of retaking the House.”
He adds, “That’s valuable context as you hear pundits talk about GOP dominance in Florida. In many regards, it’s contrived.”
It’s true: Florida Republican House candidates performed well Tuesday evening, including Rep. Matt Gaetz, who thumped his Democratic opponent, onetime media darling and full-time conspiracy theorist Rebekah Jones, 67.8% to 32.2%.
It’s also true statewide elections went overwhelmingly in the GOP’s favor.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio won 57.7% to 41.3%. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis won 59.4% to 40%. Republican Ashley Moody won the attorney general race by 60.6% to 39.4%. Republican Wilton Simpson won Agriculture Commissioner 59.3% to 40.7%. Republican Jimmy Patronis won the chief financial officer position 59.5% to 40%. And so on and so on. It’s like this all the way down. The Republicans even scored a legislative trifecta, winning the governor’s mansion and overwhelming majorities in the state Senate and the state House.
Taken together, perhaps the story of Florida’s Tuesday evening is about more than just gerrymandering. After all, gerrymandering is totally irrelevant when we talk about statewide elections. And considering the margins by which Florida Republicans won statewide elections (Rubio by 16 points! DeSantis by nearly 20 points!), maybe the GOP’s dominance in the state is not, as Jones alleges, so “contrived.”
Maybe Republicans have actually done an excellent job of courting voters, organizing and coordinating get-out-the-vote efforts, and outclassing their Democratic opponents in every which way possible. But “gerrymandering” is a Democratic-friendly bogeyman, so who not just stick with that and avoid the unpleasantness of introspection?
The Republican Party did not perform well in the 2022 midterm elections.
It performed terribly, all things considered.
As a point of context, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who represents an R+7 district, is perilously close to losing her reelection bid to Democratic challenger Adam Frisch.
Naturally, because Boebert is an obnoxious, red meat-slinging acolyte of former President Donald Trump, the usual cast of characters in the press, including professional sleaze and MSNBC contributor Kurt Bardella, has taken great delight in her potential loss.
“What’s the meaning if Lauren Boebert, the second-most popular QAnon congressperson in MAGA — what if she goes, what if she loses?” asked MSNBC host Joy Reid. “And what job will she have? I don’t even think [Boebert’s restaurant exists] anymore.”
Responded Bardella, “My guess is it might be a gain for OnlyFans.”
Both Reid and former Missouri senator-turned-MSNBC-contributor Claire McCaskill smirked at the idea of a Republican female member of Congress turning to a career in amateur pornography.
“I don’t know what she would do in this scenario. I think that symbolically to take out one of the poster childs of the MAGA movement, someone who has been an absolute disgrace to the office that she holds, would be a great feather in the cap and would, I think, cement the fact that this has been an absolute unmitigated disaster for the MAGA wing of the Republican Party,” Bardella added.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Bardella. The man has held more jobs demanding more political “evolutions” than even Florida’s washed-up Charlie Crist. Bardella served briefly as Republican Rep. Darrell Issa’s spokesman. Bardella’s time on the Hill was cut short after he was caught leaking internal office emails to the press. Bardella then went to work for Breitbart News. He jumped ship later for the Lincoln Project, working alongside similarly unsavory failed Republican operatives. Now, Bardella spends most of his time peddling cheap applause lines to MSNBC’s audience of clapping seals.
In other words, you shouldn’t be shocked by his remarks regarding Boebert. As Bardella’s to-date curriculum vitae demonstrates, he will say anything (literally anything) for a paycheck. And now that his source of income depends largely on keeping MSNBC viewers entertained, it should surprise no one that he would make the OnlyFans crack. Hey, the man is just providing a service.
Hilariously enough, Bardella’s remarks did not go over well with certain members of his target audience. He responded eventually to the criticism thus: “There is nothing wrong with consensual interactions on platforms like OnlyFans. Anyone suggesting otherwise in an effort to shame or judge really needs to examine their own perception of women and their autonomy.”
This is just an amazing walk back. It’s as if to say, “It was a compliment! Sex work is work!” No one is nearly as stupid as he hopes.
For good measure, he ended his defense with the “But Trump!” cliche: “That said, I have zero appetite for the faux-outrage coming from the MAGA-ites because we all know they don’t give a rip about sexism, misogyny or equality. They are hypocrites of the first order. Just look at their standard-bearer.”
McCaskill likewise defended herself by invoking Trump, “I did not chortle. And I sure as hell am not gonna be lectured on hypocrisy by any ‘conservative’ who supported Trump and his minions.”
Anyway. Tune in later to MSNBC when Bardella and McCaskill discuss protecting the rights and dignity of women everywhere.
The following isn’t so much an example of media malpractice, per se, as it’s a continuation in a series investigating the ways in which the New York Times humors its increasingly humorless and emotionally unstable readership.
On Nov. 8, when it looked as if the GOP would indeed clean up in the 2022 midterm elections, the paper of record released a public notice advising readers on how best to deal with the supposedly impending heartbreak. It’s every bit as childish and foolish as it sounds.
“Elections and anxiety often go hand in hand,” the New York Times announced, adding a list of “evidence-based strategies that can help you cope.”
“Try five-finger breathing,” the paper continued. “Trace the outside of your hand with your pointer finger. When you trace up, breathe in, and when you trace down, breathe out.”
Next, it recommended a “cool down.”
“Plunge your face into a bowl with ice water for 15 to 30 seconds,” the paper suggested.
I swear I am not making any of this up.
“Move,” said the New York Times. “Even a walk around the block can offer some relief for an uneasy mind.”
The next suggestion: “Breathe like a baby.”
“Focus on expanding your belly as you breathe, which can send more oxygen to the brain.”
Lastly, the New York Times recommended readers “limit your scrolling,” a clear reference to social media consumption.
“Consider plotting out specific times when you will look at election updates,” said the paper of record.
You know, after a string of recent high-profile embarrassments, from public firings to major reporting errors to internal revolts, one would think the New York Times would eschew the more childish and self-indulgent impulses of its Too Online readership and focus on restoring its image as a straightforward, serious, and uncompromising news leader.
But one would be wrong! The New York Times apparently has no intention of treating its readers as adults, because the New York Times has apparently given up altogether on the possibility they may soon act like adults. Not sure if the readers should be grateful or insulted.