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MSNBC panelists' took turns belittling Florida's first lady on Saturday, characterizing Casey DeSantis as both "America's Karen" and as being akin to an antagonistic cultist from a dystopian novel.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), Megyn Kelly and others quickly fired back, noting that the MSNBC talking heads' venom evidences not only their intolerance for strong conservative women but a fear of Casey DeSantis' efficacy as a mother, a wife, and a politico.
Former Republican Rep. David Jolly, voted out of office in 2016, and Tara Setmayer, the alleged-conservative Lincoln Project member who used to work for CNN, joined the titular host of "The Saturday Show With Jonathan Capehart" Saturday in watching an excerpt of a new DeSantis campaign ad.
Rather than engage with the political themes, which they cast as "dark," or address the specifics of what was said, the pundits decided instead to denigrate Casey DeSantis.
Jolly said, "Casey DeSantis is a fairly compelling political figure in Florida and now nationally. For many, she's the brighter side to Florida's angry governor. For others, she's become America's Karen."
Capehart laughingly repeated, "America's Karen," then noted Jolly had "taken his breath away" with this characterization of Florida's first lady.
Apparently this term was not yet in the MSNBC host's lexicon when in 2020 he raged against white women, suggesting that as a political force, they serve to enforce "patriarchal norms [rather] than dismantling them" and protect that system "where they and their children might lose the shared superiority and protection they get by being attached to powerful White men."
The MSNBC host, who elsewhere stated that men can be women, further insinuated white women maintain so-called institutional racism and that "the Democratic Party should stop wasting so much time on the lost cause of suburban wine moms."
According to the BBC, "Karen," used by Jolly as a pejorative, is a slang term "referencing a specific type of middle-class white woman, who exhibits behaviours that stem from privilege. ... 'Karen' is associated with the kind of person who ... is anti-vaccination, and carries out racist micro-aggressions."
The New York Post corroborated this reading of the term as a racial epithet, noting the term "has become social-media shorthand meaning a middle-aged white woman ... who makes a big fuss, and is not-so-blissfully ignorant."
Casey DeSantis, 43, is a mother of three and former news journalist who battled breast cancer and won. Extra to her successful career on television, she has championed various causes — such as cancer research and hurricane relief — for the betterment of her state while also actively supporting her husband, Gov. Ron DeSantis, both in Florida and in his current presidential bid.
While Jolly reduced Casey DeSantis' life, relations, and accomplishment to a single racially-charged word, albeit with a patriotic modifier, his co-panelist Tara Setmayer suggested Florida's first lady was a "Serena Waterford wannabe," referencing a major character in Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel "The Handmaid's Tale."
Waterford is the barren wife of the villainous Commander Frederick Waterford in the book, which was inspired in part by "the brutal Communist reign of Ceaușescu in Romania" and evinced a "treatment of women [that] is very Islamic."
Setmayer further claimed that Casey DeSantis "needs to cut it out," adding "there's all kinds of names for her."
The Independent reported that Gov. Ron DeSantis responded on Fox News Monday, saying that he and his wife would wear the term "America's Karen" as a "badge of honor."
"My wife is an incredibly strong first lady of Florida, a fantastic mother and a great wife, and that threatens the left," said DeSantis. "So she and I kind of shrug it off because we know it just shows they view her as a threat, because the message that she was bringing in Iowa about the rights of parents and how we are not going to take this anymore with the left trying to indoctrinate our kids, they understand that that resonates not just with Republican parents, with independent parents, and, yes, with Democrat parents."
Gov. DeSantis noted that his wife is "a great advocate for families, a great advocate for children. And I'm thankful that she's my wife. And I'm really honored that she's willing to go out there and press the case. And so we wear criticism from MSNBC as a badge of honor."
While the DeSantis couple opted to outclass the MSNBC panelists, Megyn Kelly fired back on her podcast, saying, "If [critics] were saying this sort of thing about a leftie, these same [commentators] would be outraged by the rampant misogyny," reported the New York Post. "But as always, it’s always fair game against a Republican wife. ... They hate her in a special way. It’s almost coming at her more viciously than with [former first lady] Melania [Trump]."
Kelly added, "I think the reason they are reacting so angrily to [Casey DeSantis] is they accurately perceive her as a threat."
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) suggested that Capehart and his panelists' attacks on DeSantis were "classless, and consistent with that network's chronic and indefensible mistreatment of @MELANIATRUMP. All this is indicative of MSNBC's status as the unscrupulous media arm of the Democratic Party."
TheBlaze reported last month that the executive editor at the Daily beast targeted Casey DeSantis in a deranged rant, stressing that she had neither the ideological mooring nor the aristocratic bona fides needed to qualify for acceptance by the media and the political establishment.
Rather than "America's Karen," Katie Baker, the executive editor of the leftist blog, called Florida's first lady "the Walmart Melania."
"While Casey may be trying to position herself after Jackie Kennedy (good luck) and even Melania, if this weekend is any indication, she’s falling far short. It doesn't matter how many times she wears that ice-blue Badgley Mischka cape-dress. The DeSantis’ will never be Camelot," wrote Baker, adding that DeSantis could never "embody the class and effortless elegance of Michelle Obama or Dr. Jill Biden."
Baker made explicit her classist digs with an allusion to "The Great Gatsby," suggesting that unlike F. Scott Fitzgerald's fictional characters Tom and Daisy Buchanan — inheritors of affluence and wealth — "the DeSantis’ are more like poseurs," bereft also of the Gatsbian wealth that the Trumps can "retreat into."
MSNBC recently provided tips on "how to counter the 'tidal wave of misogyny' spurred by anti-feminist influencers."
While the guidance was tailored to younger minds, juvenile mindsets fitting to disparage a woman in prime time on the basis of her immutable characteristics, age, and political affiliation, might similarly be cured with "consistent and positive engagement with men who are role models for respectful treatment of women."
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.