As Hurricane Ian hurtled toward Florida, packing 155 mph winds, politicians and commentators were busy bloviating, blowing out their own hot air.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) went so far as to say electing Democrats in the November midterms will help stop hurricanes.
“If the Republicans take charge, a number of them have been talking about an abortion ban, you guys know that, you featured it on the show,” Klobuchar said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“That’s why we got to win this midterm. We just did something about climate change for the first time in decades, that’s why we got to win this as that hurricane bears down on Florida. We got to win in the midterms,” she said.
Meanwhile, Politico, a liberal website founded by two former Washington Post reporters, sought to hit Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican — even before the hurricane hit.
And it only took two paragraphs for the site to get a fact completely wrong.
“Gov. Ron DeSantis spent his first term becoming one of the most influential Republicans in the country — a likely 2024 frontrunner who’s already shaping his party’s national agenda,” reporter Matt Dixon wrote.
“But DeSantis still hasn’t faced one of the toughest challenges a Florida leader can encounter: a major hurricane.”
The site later added this at the bottom of the story (while weirdly leaving graf 2 intact): “CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to add that Hurricane Sally affected the western part of the Florida Panhandle in 2020.”
Down in Florida, a reporter asked DeSantis about remarks made by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator Deanne Criswell on Tuesday.
“FEMA Administrator Criswell said today she acknowledged concerns about Florida’s … as it was said … lax response to the storm so far — ” the reporter started before DeSantis cut him off.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, give me a break. That is nonsense. Stop politicizing, OK? Stop it. We declared a state of emergency when this thing wasn’t even formed. We’ve had people in here. We’ve had counties that have done a lot of hard work.”
“And honestly, you’re trying to attack me, I get it, but you’re attacking these other people who’ve worked very hard. So that’s just totally false,” DeSantis said.
For the record, the question was wrong, anyway. What Criswell said during the White House press briefing was how the Gulf of Mexico region of Florida hadn’t taken a direct hit in several years and had nothing to do with the state’s preparation.
Last year, President Joe Biden got in on the act when he said preparing for a hurricane was just one more reason to … get vaccinated?
“Let me be clear: If you’re in a state where hurricanes often strike like Florida or the Gulf Coast or Texas, a vital part of preparing for hurricane season is to get vaccinated,” Biden said. “Everything is more complicated if you’re not vaccinated and hurricane preventable disaster hits.”
Joe Concha, longtime political commentator from The Hill, knew this was all coming, that the media and politicians would make the hurricane partisan.
“This is a serious time for serious journalism. But you know that there are some folks in this industry that are licking their chops, just waiting to turn this particular hurricane into Ron DeSantis’s Katrina, as if he could have done something to better prepare the state or done X-Y-Z, then he could have saved lives or saved businesses or saved homes,” Concha said on Fox News.
“If we’re going to start blaming governors when hurricanes hit in these situations, when they appear to be doing everything they can to prepare their citizens, you know that it’s a midterm year. And quite frankly, you know that 2024 is ahead. And as we’ve seen time and again with Ron DeSantis, they see him as a true threat in terms of winning the presidency and will take any shot, even the cheap shots, even the shots that don’t exist, like hurricanes that actually hit states when they say it didn’t. And just to try to take him down,” he added.
Initial reports say Hurricane Ian will likely wreak havoc for several more days. Most people will send their thoughts and prayers — and money — to help the survivors, politicians and pundits will no doubt seek political gain from the misery.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.