Glass Jaw Ron: what Polk County's Rick Nolte scandal tells us about DeSantis' weakness
DeSantis far prefers torture to an actual fight. He can't take even a mild jab. His glass jaw prevents him from fixing any personal error, even in his own interest. That pathology will undo him.
I don’t know who connected new Polk School Board Member Rick Nolte to Ron DeSantis. But I want to thank them. When the tiny dictator endorsed Nolte back in the summer, he handed me self-declared campaign crimes, a “T.I.T.S. need to be more developed” Facebook manifesto, and Nolte’s general gross doofus-ry.
Rarely have I had better material to weaponize. And that doesn’t even count James Dunn.
The DeSantis endorsement of Nolte was irrelevant to his election. But it irrevocably yoked DeSantis to a loser — the 1 in 6-1 board votes. That’s because Polk County voters rejected book-banning at the ballot by crushing Nolte’s would-be book-banning colleagues in November after his narrow win in the August primary.
Now, DeSantis is stuck with a guy with no power, who says hilariously dumb and gross stuff in public. Nolte said the following just before he cast an impotent vote for book-banning just last week.
A lot of this is judgment calls. What is grey to one person, might be brown to another. We've got so many good books out there that. Books like we don't really look as close as we need to, like, not really books, but the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, all those good things; and we're debating over some books that are marginal. So, I don't know, it's gonna be interesting.
Sure, this quotation lacks the visceral punch of Nolte’s classic “T.I.T.S.” Facebook manifesto above. But it’s still high quality crank prose poetry. I think we should call it: The grey and the brown.
The tough guy who isn’t
As I keep saying, “T.I.T.S.” Nolte is Ron DeSantis. And they both took a 6-1 spanking last week in “red” Polk County.
Yes, whatever criminal-adjacent cranks are calling themselves the CCDF these days yet again tried to ignore Polk County voters. Yet again, the book banners tried to tell you what your child can’t read in the Polk County public schools you pay for.
Yet again, it did not go well for them — or Nolte, their crank champion.
The School Board collectively rolled its eyes while “T.I.T.S” Nolte cast a single impotent vote for indoctrinating your kids in his gross image and tried to explain it with the nonsensical Mad Libs above. Story here from The Ledger and from Lakeland Now here.
You might expect, after such a public slapdown of his guy on the book-banning platform so dear to his heart, that Ron DeSantis, the godfather of cranks, would come into Polk County all red-faced and panting threatening to remove the six board members and superintendent.
You might expect big, tough, New College-looting, Trump-slaying DeSantis would go to battle for his boy “T.I.T.S.” Nolte and the greater good of book banning and indoctrinating the libs.
You would be wrong. And it’s important to recognize why.
Don’t confuse torture with confrontation
DeSantis likes torture, where he has complete, unchecked power to inflict pain on people who are immobilized before him and incapable of mounting a defense. He does not like an actual fight, when someone can hit back in any way.
On the rare occasion he puts himself in position to get hit, he freezes up and blinks at the screen like a malfunctioning robot. It’s happened in debates; and it happens figuratively within troublesome issues for him as well.
DeSantis has a glass jaw. And that’s why he ducks any confrontation that involves an actual confrontation.
The mildest jabs immobilize him. Trash talk rattles him.
I assure you Trump senses it. He will try to engineer confrontation after confrontation with DeSantis. And I suspect DeSantis will just duck all the Republican primary debates — and try to ride gross billionaire wishcasting and front-runner-ism to the White House.
This tendency to duck a fight explains why DeSantis quietly and abjectly backed down when his Department of Education threatened to fire hundreds of Polk County teachers for attending a rally in 2020.
It’s why he silently backed down on behalf of Richard Corcoran after Corcoran corruptly tried to transfer the Jefferson County public school from one shady private operator to another last year. (See below.)
In both those cases, though, DeSantis wasn’t the actual author of the scandals. He could silently slink away from both and pretend like they weren’t even happening because his own prestige wasn’t on the line.
“Gov. removes book-banning, self-declared felon School Board member he endorsed” — the headline DeSantis can’t handle
By contrast, DeSantis owns “T.I.T.S.” Nolte completely.
And that’s why he won’t say a word about Nolte’s latest humiliating defeat on behalf of DeSantis-ism in Polk County. DeSantis and his people will just take it — and pretend like they don’t hear me trash-talking them about it.
Which I will do relentlessly.
I’m sure DeSantis is mad at whoever set up the endorsement. (Please, please tell me, somebody.) But his glass jaw can’t take even the mild blow of removing the crank he took a picture with once and “endorsed.”
DeSantis does not want to say anything — at all— about his guy Nolte. He wants to pretend this picture does not exist.
That’s why Polk Sheriff Grady Judd and State Attorney Brian Haas have gone completely in the tank to protect “T.I.T.S” Nolte from any real investigation or prosecution. It’s why Nolte somehow has access to the GOP’s top campaign corruption defense lawyer, a guy named Richard Coates.
That’s why, as we speak, DeSantis’ silly Elections Commission is clearly trying hard to figure out a loophole for Nolte to beat his self-reported felony cash donation rap. See stories below.
The wider media — and Democrats, for some unknown reason — have ignored this damaging corruption story completely. And DeSantis wants it to stay that way. He’ll corrupt everything and everyone to avoid: “DeSantis removes T.I.T.S. Nolte” as a half-day headline.
A crucial pathology
But that’s also why he won’t fight for Nolte and come into Polk County threatening to remove the six School Board members and Superintendent Fred Heid who defied him last week.
He doesn’t want “DeSantis backs T.I.T.S. Nolte and CCDF, removes Superintendent Fred Heid and Board Member Lisa Miller” as a headline either. Because that becomes a real fight; and “T.I.T.S.” Nolte is big big part of that story. Also, Big Capital in Polk County likes Heid and Miller and really doesn’t want to think much about education politics. (They kinda like me, too, though it pains them to admit it. LOL.)
DeSantis could remove Nolte, win some civic credibility, and replace him with a more competent gross book banner. But he won’t even do that. He won’t even act in his own naked self-interest because he can’t take the headline that would follow. He’s that fragile.
So he’s frozen, immobilized by his own brittleness.
That’s a deep psychological pathology to understand and exploit. Nobody in Florida (other than maybe me) has really sought to do so.
But I’m not widely read; and Florida isn’t the country.
There are plenty of other folks, though, who can punch. They are waiting, across the political spectrum, beyond our state borders for a shot at Glass Jaw Ron — which makes a much better nickname than Trump’s “DeSanctimonious.”
DeSantis is not ready for them.
Start trash talking this guy, not dreading him
DeSantis’ political “genius” comes primarily from recognizing the weakness of others. He is not personally formidable.
But he is willing to use the powers of state government as instruments of torture. He is willing to corrupt state law enforcement and investigative agencies to protect cronies or people like Nolte who would embarrass him.
That placing of special people above law endears him to our grossest billionaires, who are desperate for someone other than Trump to help them loot the country. Their money is formidable. It’s DeSantis’ main advantage.
DeSantis also has the great good fortune to govern against an extraordinarily weak, one-party legislative body devoid of any legislative will of its own, any functioning opposition party, or a powerful, narrative-creating media structure.
All of that helps quash discussion of anything DeSantis doesn’t want discussed. It suppresses his many scandals.
Democrats, if they want any shot at relevance in this state, need to start trash-talking DeSantis over scandal and personal weakness, rather than dreading him and curling up in the despair balls that he and his bros feed on like Dementors.
Nobody cares if DeSantis makes you sad or afraid. In fact, that’s what his base wants. Don’t give it to them. Mopers never win anything.
Yeah, I’m baiting you, Glass Jaw Ron. Come on down to Polk and fight for “T.I.T.S.” Nolte
Also, trash talk is much more fun and better for general morale. Those of us who want a better, less corrupt and gross Florida, are fighting an insurgency designed to defeat DeSantis-ism in ‘24 so we can rebuild Florida afterward. We should seek to enjoy that fight it a little so we can sustain it.
Polk County is a good model for how that happy insurgency can succeed.
We had fun with the CCDF book-banners here in Polk — and it was a big reason why we crushed them. See “Hannah Book Bannah” and the “Anus people.”
I promise you Trump is ramping up to have dark some fun trash talking DeSantis’ glass jaw. We should be, too.
And what if Tiny Dictator Ron sees this article and finds his courage and goes all-in on helping “T.I.T.S.” Nolte purge Polk’s school libraries? What if he figures out dumping T.I.T.S. Nolte actually advances his personal interests?
Good. Bring it.
Both cases would mean I baited him — made him react to me. And fight my fight.
Unlike Ron “the Freezer” DeSantis: I want that fight and/or that headline. I don’t really care which.
Also, Wrong DeSadist is my nickname for him, although I really do like Glass Jaw Ron!
thank you for this! I think you're very accurate on Glass Jaw Ron and his fragile psyche. Here's a good example of his doublespeak, and I bet he's shirking away as we speak from this. https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2023/02/10/desantis-guns-election-emails-ban-tampa-convention-center-concealed/