What's Wrong With DeSantis

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

The man to watch in the next presidential campaign, given Trump's unfortunate hold on the GOP, is Florida's Governor, Ron DeSantis. He has an excellent chance of winning the nomination as things stand because of four things: (1) He is very popular with Trumpists; (2) He stands up to media, but has better self-control and a far more professional demeanor than Trump; (3) He sounds superficially like the classical liberal better Republicans and voters like me wish were on the ballot; and (4) His handling of the pandemic, simply by being relatively sane, makes him much more attractive as a President than most other, more blatantly despotic governors.

All of these things become apparent in a favorable piece in the Washington Examiner.

If any one politician "won" the pandemic, it was he:

Republican strategist Michael DeVanney says the event broke fundraising and attendance records. "We would have had more, but we were limited to 750 people," he said. The event was initially capped at 450, but Gov. Tom Wolf eased restrictions a few days before, and the extra 300 seats sold out in a single day. "DeSantis is seen as a governor who got how you manage your state during a pandemic right, especially on nursing homes and opening up businesses," DeVanney said, adding, "It resonates and it will resonate elsewhere. Pittsburgh is a great place to have confirmed that." [bold added]
And the below -- which reminds me of good-sounding editorials of his I remember reading -- illustrates why I saw potential in him at one point:
DeSantis says the country faces severe challenges emerging from the national emergencies of the pandemic. He was shocked by how easily so many people gave up their basic freedoms when the panic hit. "Our adversaries are looking at how the West responded to this," he said. "And they're thinking, 'Man, if we can instill panic and fear, we can get them to close down their whole society, cripple the strongest economy in the world, like the United States did.'" [bold added]
You might be thinking: Finally, we have a politician who appreciates what freedom means and has a chance to win! You would be wrong about part of that:
Looking set to cruise to victory, DeSantis, shows his true colors with the cruise companies. (Image by Josiah Weiss, via Unsplash, license.)
He is also tussling with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over "vaccine passports," but on this, DeSantis is on the side of his state rather than of majority opinion. He pushed to fine cruise lines that refuse to accept unvaccinated passengers. The CDC wants ships to meet a high threshold of vaccinated passengers on each cruise. A compromise is likely, and the public is on the side of the CDC: 80% of cruise enthusiasts want the restrictions. It's an early reminder to DeSantis that his gubernatorial imperatives will sometimes clash with his desire to extend his national appeal. [The cruise lines recently caved, despite the fact that they had better legal ground. --ed] [bold added]
So much for the property and speech rights of businessmen -- and everyone else for that matter, and so much for the governor's lip service to freedom. He has no more right than the CDC to impose a vaccination policy on a cruise line. Do not be fooled by the fact that his position differs in concrete detail from the one favored by the left.

-- CAV


Shea Levy said...

I was watching DeSantis with some hope as well, but his opposition to private businesses discriminating based on vaccine status and his signing and proudly trumpeting the bill stripping social media companies of freedom of speech and association killed that.

Galileo Blogs said...

Well said, Gus, and I definitely agree.


Gus Van Horn said...

That's exactly where I am. In fact, since DeSantis isn't anywhere near as abrasive as Trump (so, less-energized opposition) AND he is more organized (will get more done, and more systematically), he could pose a much greater threat to the Republic than Trump ever did.

Gus Van Horn said...


Sorry not to have approved your comment sooner: The queue wasn't forwarded properly to my email, so I was unaware of it until doing blog maintenance today.

And thanks for pointing out your newest piece.