Florida Governor, Disney hater, and high-heeled shoe fan Ron DeSantis announced the immediate suspension of a democratically elected state attorney on August 9 with the help of an online meme. The resulting scene is sad, confusing, and yet another example of how the terminally online politician is just the worst.
If you’ve been reading Kotaku over the last few months, you’ve seen DeSantis’ ongoing legal fight with Disney over its special district, which gave the company unique control over Disney World’s taxes, water, and more before the governor had it removed. The presidential hopeful didn’t like that Disney lightly criticized his 2022 House Bill 1557, referred to by opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prevents discussion of sexual identity in Florida’s public schools. His fight against the mouse has gone poorly, costing him and his state $1 billion in the process. But DeSantis isn’t just picking fights with corporations that don’t align with his political views, he’s also going after elected officials in Florida who dare to not worship the ground upon which he walks.
As reported by CNN, on August 9 DeSantis (and his weird face) suspended elected prosecutor Monique Worrell of Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit citing “neglect of duty and incompetence” as the reasoning for the controversial move. DeSantis believes she hasn’t been tough enough on criminals, ignoring that the voters of her district get to make that decision. The move—one he’s done before—is being criticized by Florida democrats as a “political hit job” and a threat to the state’s crumbling democracy.
Sheriff using memes during an official press event
During the press conference announcing the move, DeSantis was joined by two local sheriffs, who CNN points out don’t serve any county that overlaps with Worrell’s jurisdiction. Both sheriffs criticized Worrell and praised DeSantis. But one of them decided—with I assume DeSantis and his team’s approval—to use the conference to show off printed versions of the “This is fine” meme.
“I want to show you a popular meme,” said Sheriff Grady Judd as he whipped out the image.
“This is fine. As the house is on fire, our little hot dog here says: ‘This is fine.’ He was a dog. Now he’s a hot dog because his house is on fire.”
At this point, the sheriff then swapped the popular meme out for an edited version that features Worrell sitting in the place of the dog, surrounded by flames. During all of this, DeSantis can be seen smiling behind the sheriff and his images.
“Well, I have another one,” said Grady. “Monique Worrell says: ‘This is fine.’ The fact that two police officers were shot in the face, this is fine. Despite criminals not being prosecuted, this is fine.”
The sheriff then proceeded to praise Worrell’s replacement, Judge Andrew Bain, pointing out he was an all-star football player (for some reason) before commending DeSantis on doing what’s “right.”
“I am your duly elected state attorney,” said Worrell in a speech following the suspension. “And nothing done by a weak dictator can change that. This is an outrage.”
Police officers praising a state governor for removing another democratically elected official using online memes. Things are going great in Florida…