Democrats Playing Politics with Hurricane Ian
In the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Ian, and even in the lead-up to its landfall, democrats have politicized the natural disaster in an attempt to tarnish conservatives’ new champion, Governor Ron DeSantis.
Politico was thinking about political damage as Ian bore down on Florida with Category-4 winds and deadly flooding potential.
“Gov. Ron DeSantis spent his first term becoming one of the most influential Republicans in the country. But he still hasn’t faced one of the toughest challenges a Florida leader can encounter: a hurricane.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis spent his first term becoming one of the most influential Republicans in the country.
But he still hasn’t faced one of the toughest challenges a Florida leader can encounter: a hurricane.https://t.co/Ad4eIBbsSI
— POLITICO (@politico) September 27, 2022
Twitter users quickly noticed the narrative that Politico and Democrats writ large were teeing up. GOP Strategist For O’Connell called the move “despicable.”
Latest hurricane hasn’t even hit Florida & MSM is already looking to bludgeon DeSantis with Ian. https://t.co/XbKxuJbVsH
— Ford O'Connell (@FordOConnell) September 27, 2022
Other Twitter users echoed O’Connell’s sentiments.
It’s almost like the want Florida to be destroyed as badly as possible so they can have a press briefing ripping DeSantis over it.
Shameless clowns. https://t.co/954TKaDD0L
— Tough Talk with Ty 🇺🇸🏳️🌈 (@toughtalkty) September 27, 2022
Yeah I just assumed the media will say "Ron DeSantis murdered people with a hurricane" regardless of what happens. What a shocker. https://t.co/tSJCyXSesa
— Bryden – DJ Beer Belly (@1andonlyBryden) September 27, 2022
They WANT death and destruction so they can blame it on DeSantis.
Truly gross. https://t.co/T782VQxKsp
— Ge🎑rge Wept (@GeorgeWept) September 27, 2022
Rachel Vindman, the wife to Trump-hating retired Army officer Alexander Vindman, also went after DeSantis.
“We should use they/them pronouns for hurricane Ian to annoy DeSantis.”
On top of the cynicism of this approach, it’s also not true, as multiple Twitter users also noted.
Fact Check: FALSE
Hurricane Sally hit Pensacola in September 2020, it was the most destructive hurricane to strike Pensacola in 16 years.
Here’s @GovRonDeSantis at a briefing, committing to keep tolls lifted after our main bridge was destroyed.
— Alex Andrade (@RAlexAndradeFL) September 27, 2022
I have to revisit this post. How did Matt forget Sally? #1 Matt forgot hurricane Sally because Desantis did such an amazing job so no one remembers it?
— southern guy 🇺🇸 (@nononsenseFL) September 27, 2022
Aside from attacking DeSantis directly, Democrats have leveraged the event to support the climate change narrative, implying that Hurricane Ian is due to global warming.
Senator Amy Klubchar said as much during an interview.
“We just did something about climate change for the first time in decades. That’s why [Democrats] have to win this as that hurricane bears down on Florida,”
Did Amy Klobuchar just suggest voting for Democrats will stop hurricanes?
"We just did something about climate change for the first time in decades. That's why [Democrats] have to win this as that hurricane bears down on Florida." pic.twitter.com/F9cDc7QAr9
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 27, 2022
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro nipped this idea in the bud.
Activists will say that climate change is a trend, not individual data points. Meanwhile, they say Hurricane Ian is happening because of gas-powered cars. You can't have it both ways. Don't let them fool you into thinking their politics are "The Science." pic.twitter.com/flD0niiFyl
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 29, 2022
Author Michael Shellenberger also weighed in, saying that the data does not indicate climate change has impacted hurricanes at all.
For over a decade, journalists have claimed that hurricanes are becoming more frequent & intense, but they data show they're not. By manipulating & misrepresenting data, reporters are being deliberately misleading. In other words, they're lying. https://t.co/35g4MfjwNE
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) October 4, 2022
The politicization didn’t stop after the hurricane made landfall either.
Vice President Kamala Harriss incorrectly stated that aid would be distributed “equitably” to those harmed by the hurricane.
This is false. @VP's rhetoric is causing undue panic and must be clarified. FEMA Individual Assistance is already available to all Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of race or background. If you need assistance visit https://t.co/x9X8AstnzL or call 1-800-621-3362. https://t.co/idsw1PX86x
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) September 30, 2022
MSNBC’s Joy Reid implied DeSantis was a segregationist for warning looters that Florida is a Second Amendment state.
“When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”—segregationist Miami sheriff Walter E. Headley, 1967
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) October 1, 2022
Sean Hannity lauded Florida for its response to the disaster while calling out the political attacks.
“And as we speak around the clock, rescue recovery efforts all across the state are continuing, all while Democrats in Washington, they typically play politics and that’s what they’re doing. On Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris announced the federal government would be doling out hurricane relief funds on the basis of race, all in the name of equity.”
Hannity recently interviewed DeSantis. While most of the interview focused on outlining the state of affairs in Florida and recovery efforts, the Governor responded to Kamala Harris’s comments as well.
“I think she’s trying to play identity politics with a storm and a natural disaster, and I think it’s ridiculous, and honestly, we had the FEMA administrator in Florida with us, and she threw cold water on that, so that’s not going to happen. It’s totally not appropriate. You don’t have to politicize every single tragedy in this country, and I think people I tell you in Florida are sick of this nonsense….. They just want us to band together.”
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 4, 2022
Additional stories you may want to read: