Judging the Beefs
Rogan & RFK v. Hotez + Newsom v. DeSantis
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Tim Miller: This week I'm back with three little words: Debate me, bro!
Terrifying Hulk-like figure: Yeah, come at me bro!
Miller: This is "Not My Party," Brought to you by The Bulwark. All over the internet, we're seeing lots of middle-aged white guys demanding that people debate them, and I'm kind of here for it.
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe in “Godzilla” (2014)): Let them fight.
Miller: To start us off, Joe Rogan and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are offering up a quarter milli to get vaccine specialist Dr. Peter Hotez to debate them about the COVID vax.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: I thought radiation opens up your blood brain barrier. For 18 years, nobody will debate me.
Hotez: It's like debating a holocaust denier.
Stan Smith (Seth McFarlane in American Dad): Just, just don't do it.
Miller: Some creepy Rogan fanboy even went to Hotez's house to try to bully him into debating Joe.
Fanboy: So why are you not like gonna debate RFK on Joe Rogan's podcast?
Hotez: Oh, come on.
Fanboy: Peter, it's just a question.
Fez (Wilmer Valderrama in That ‘70s Show): That's just creepy.
Miller: Meanwhile, California Governor Gavin Newsom has been taking a break from his day job to call out Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. And you better believe more debate challenges are flying.
DeSantis: Stop pussyfooting around. Are you gonna throw your hat in the ring and challenge Joe? Are you gonna get in and do it? Or are you just gonna sit on the sidelines and chirp?
Interviewer: You would do a two hour debate with Ron DeSantis?
Newsom: I would make it three, with a one-day notice with no notes. I look forward to that.
Man in Gravity Falls: Oh, snap!
Miller: But until these debates actually happen, I figured I'd referee a couple of the steamiest beefs.
Vince McMahon: Let's get ready to rumble!
Miller: Let's begin with Rogan and RFK Jr vs. Dr. Hotez. The pod boys who have absolutely zero medical background are targeting Hotez for promoting the COVID mRNA vaccine. Even though Rogan already got kind of roasted in this debate by Bill Burr.
Burr: I'm not gonna sit here with no medical degree listening to you with no medical degree, with an American flag behind you, smoking a cigar, acting like we know what's up, better than the CDC.
Elrond (Hugo Weaving in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring): It should have ended that day.
Miller: But the biggest podcaster on Earth is hungry for more. And now he's got RFK Jr. by his side. RFK is convinced the vaccine caused more deaths than it saved, and he's condemned it as the deadliest vaccine ever. Needless to say, this is bananas. Studies show that after the vaccine, excess deaths in our population were dramatically higher for people who didn't get the jab.
Cynthia Bush (Lindsey Stoddart in Bob’s Burgers): It's just so weird.
Miller: Look, there are definitely more nuanced, legitimate criticisms of people like Hotez and the medical establishment out there—for example, the original claims that vaccinated people weren't gonna transmit the COVID virus—but that's not the angle Rogan and RFK are putting in.
Chief Bogo (Idris Elba in “Zootopia”): Well, this should be good.
Miller: Instead, the new happy couple is convinced that there's some kind of conspiracy between liberal elites and big pharma to cover up deaths caused by the vaccine. And well, if you're gonna believe that you're too far gone to be persuaded by legitimate debate.
Ron White: You can't fix stupid.
Miller: So on this one, the winner is: Hotez! Next on the card, DeSantis vs. Newsom. So I just wanna get my biases out there: I find Ron DeSantis’s culture war nonsense so unappealing that it's kind of hard to get past. When it comes to whether gay parents and kids can have the same rights in schools, or whether it's okay for Disney to show a lesbian kiss, well, Gavin wins big—especially when you consider he was one of the first politicians in America to enshrine gay marriage as San Francisco mayor.
Jimmy James (Stephen Root in NewsRadio): Now that was a big deal!
Miller: So let's set the culture war stuff aside, because the economic debate is more interesting. Gavin scores here when he points out that most of America's economic growth happens in blue parts of the country, specifically California.
Newsom: 71 percent of the GDP in America are blue counties. Seven of the top 10 dependent states are your states.
Easter Bunny (Bruce Willis in “North”): Hard to argue with that one.
Miller: And he wins again on the topic of undocumented workers and DeSantis is handling of immigration.
Newsom: Fourth-largest economy in the world. We can handle all of this, okay? I'm a border state. Ron DeSantis is not. I know he is desperate to get in on the action.
Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell on Modern Family): He shoots, he scores!
Miller: But DeSantis lands some legit blows when it comes to the population scoreboard and how NIMBYs and progressive policies have resulted in a lot of Californians leaving for cheaper states. Hello, build some houses, Gavin!
DeSantis: California from its inception gained population every single year until he became governor.
Frank the Pug (Tim Blaney in “Men in Black II”): Ouch.
Miller: Put it all together, and Gavin might be ahead on the card, but their fight isn't over. And the real showdown could be delayed a few years.
Cotton Hill (Toby Huss on King of the Hill): To be continued.
Miller: In the meantime, if I was still a California resident, I'd probably want my governor to focus a little more on the sky-high cost of living and a little less on delivering brutal owns. And if I were a DeSantis fan, I'd want him to focus his ire on the dude shlonging him in the primary polls and stop “pussyfooting around” (to borrow a phrase).
Coach Conrad (Terry Mross in “Dazed and Confused”): You better get your priorities straight.
Miller: So there you have it. And if any of the losers don't like my scoring, well, I got three words for you: Debate. Me. Bro.
Tommy Gunn (Tommy Morrison in “Rocky V”): Any time, any place, anywhere.
Miller: See you next week for more Not My Party.