Things of this magnitude


Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, has said flags in the state will fly at half-staff for Rush Limbaugh, the hard-right talk radio host who died this week aged 70.

Is that a thing? Lowering flags for random entertainers?

DeSantis, a controversial governor known to some as a “mini-Trump” and widely thought to have presidential ambitions, called Limbaugh a friend.

What’s that got to do with anything? Do governors usually get to lower flags for their friends? I thought flag-lowering was meant to be an exceptional thing with some connection to public service.

Appearing with James Golden, longtime producer to the leading “shock jock”, the governor told reporters: “When there’s things of this magnitude, once the date of interment for Rush is announced, we’re going to be lowering the flags to half staff.”

What magnitude? He was a rude angry right-wing hack. A talented hack, maybe, but still a hack.

Golden called him “a second-generation founding father”.

“The seeds that he planted,” he said, “are going to sprout in America and continue to grow for generations and generations to come, and America will be great again, not just because of Rush, [but] because of men like – and women – but men like this governor.”

What seeds are those? The seeds of loud angry hostility to and contempt for anyone who isn’t a loud angry hostile white guy?

DeSantis has previously ordered flags to be at half-staff to honour law enforcement officers killed on duty, members of the US navy killed in a mass shooting in Pensacola and the liberal supreme court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, among others.

Those all seem appropriate. A venomous talk radio star, not so much.

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