The Thinker: Rich Galen


The definition of the word mull.
Mullings by Rich Galen ®
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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Monkey Around

Rich Galen

Thursday August 30, 2018

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  • As the primary season continues to wind down, we focus more closely on those that are left. This past week two primaries - one for U.S. Senate in Arizona and one for Governor in Florida captured our attention.

  • The Florida primary continues to make news for two reason. First, the winner in the Republican primary, Rep. Ron DeSantis, overcame the campaign of former Rep. Adam Putnam.

  • This was an attention-getter because Putnam was not just the Republican establishment candidate, he was the Republican Establishment and was leading throughout most of the campaign.

  • DeSantis was the Trump candidate.

  • Now, before you grit your teeth and say something you don't want the kids to hear, when I say DeSantis was the Trump candidate that is something DeSantis built his entire campaign around.

  • Up to and including running a TV ad showing him reading "The Art of the Deal" to his young child, playing with blocks and telling the child we have to build a wall, and so on.

  • Trump Tweeted his endorsement of DeSantis and the campaign flipped. No question, Trump's endorsement was the difference.

  • On the other side, the Mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum, was the candidate of Bernie Sanders. He favors Medicare-for-all, getting rid of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the rest of what we now call the Progressive agenda.

  • After his win, DeSantis' team got him a visit on Fox to talk about his victory. In it he said that Gillum was going to be a tough candidate because he was "articulate" and that he "performed" well in the Democratic debates. He talked about the state of the State under the current Governor, Rick Scott.

  • So far, so good.

  • Then DeSantis said,
    "The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a Socialist agenda …"

  • Clang!

  • There are many benign phrases that include the word "monkey." Here are some:
    Monkey shines
    Monkey bars (playground equipment)
    The Monkey Bar (in the Hotel Elysée in Manhattan)
    A barrel of monkeys
    Monkey see, monkey do
    Monkey business
    Monkey wrench
    Monkey around (see, also, DJ Trump)
    Make a monkey of [someone]
    [I'll be a] Monkey's uncle
    [More fun than a] barrel of monkeys
    Chunky Monkey (Ben & Jerry's ice cream)
    Survey Monkey (on-line survey company) and, of course,
    Hey, Hey we're the Monkees

  • You will note that none of these include the phrase "monkey up."

  • Did I mention that the Democratic Mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum, is Black?

  • Almost everyone - Black and White - gave DeSantis a pass on the code words "articulate" and "performed."

  • All the way back in 2007, in a print interview, Joe Biden said of Barack Obama:
    "You've got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

  • Biden went on to become President Obama's VP, so Obama recognized the long-held theory that what comes out of Biden's mouth didn't necessarily get processed first by his brain.

  • But, DeSantis is no Joe Biden and his use of the phrase "monkey up" caused (and is still causing) great consternation if only because it was an unforced error within 24 hours of his declaring victory in the primary.

  • First. Will actual voters in Florida (as opposed to people sitting at their laptop in downtown Washington, DC) see this as a battle between Trump and Sanders or between DeSantis and Gillum?

  • Second. We will see what effect a Trump endorsement has on voters who are outside the GOP base. That is to say, we know Trump can move a ton of votes in a GOP primary, can he do the same for a Republican candidate in a general election?

  • Third. We will see if the Progressive Agenda has currency in a big, diverse state like Florida (as opposed to a single overwhelmingly Democratic Congressional District in Queens, NY).

  • DeSantis will also provide some clues for others who are running not just as Republicans, but as Trump Republicans: Can they act like, speak like, take similar positions to Donald Trump and not just get away with it, but use it to construct a winning coalition in November?

  • We'll continue to monkey around with this thought as we move through the next two months.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Two video links. One to DeSantis' appearance on Fox earlier this week and the other a transcript of Joe Biden's description of Barack Obama.

    The Mullfoto is an amusing look at the Marina in Old Town Alexandria, VA.

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