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Which View of DeSantis Is Correct?
There are basically two perspectives on Governor Ron DeSantis: (1) committed anti-woke warrior who would pursue an America First-style agenda without the character flaws of President Trump, or (2) a Trump-killer politician being propped up by the GOPe to restore the Republican wing of the uniparty to power in the White House.
The former perspective reflects a lot of negative press by progressive media and favorable press by conservative media. The latter view has been long held by Sundance at the Conservative Tree House and is gaining adherents by former fans of the Governor. One example is Roger L. Simon writing for The Epoch Times:
But I didn’t know … how [the attack on Disney] was all something of a charade. As I started to learn this, not just from the outsider candidate, but elsewhere too, I began to revise my opinion of the Florida governor….
What we need now more than ever is real, not faux, transparency.
For a while, Trump has been telling us everything good that was done by DeSantis was copied from him. I used to think that was unfair. Now, I wonder.
What is causing (accelerating) this change of heart? Well, it turns out while talking a strong game against Disney, DeSantis has actually been preserving some perks for it. Per Simon, Vivek Ramaswamy has pointed out some things:
- DeSantis signed a political anti-discrimination statute that penalized companies for engaging in viewpoint-based censorship on the internet. This was a signature piece of legislation in his anti-woke crusade, but the law specifically exempts companies in Florida that own a theme park larger than 25 acres. Disney’s internet properties and streaming services were exempted from a statute that was designed to stem corporate ‘wokeness’ in Florida.”
- Current Florida tech legislation has new loopholes for Disney.
A DeSantis-supported 2023 bill to safeguard technology companies from harvesting Floridians’ personal information is written in a way that would include traditional technology companies that own and operate internet properties − but not Disney − by applying to companies only if their online advertising accounts for 50% of the company’s revenue, despite Disney’s advanced online advertisement business.This is part of a broader pattern of behavior for DeSantis, a bait-and-switch headline strategy with respect to supposedly woke companies that he goes out of his way to protect.
DeSantis’ supposed reining in of BlackRock’s ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investment in Florida is also eyewash. “DeSantis purported to take BlackRock to task by prominently announcing that Florida’s treasury would yank $2 billion in assets from the financial services company. .. [T]he move was just a PR stunt. The money Florida pulled wasn’t even causing the real ESG-related trouble. Florida claimed it pulled the money because it didn’t want to “fund BlackRock’s social engineering project.” But BlackRock pursues its environmental, social and governance investing strategy mainly via its clients’ stock holdings, where BlackRock leverages its position as the largest “shareholder” in American companies to push environmental and social goals. Florida’s $2 billion was largely in cash and bonds, not stocks, and it represented a fraction of the $13 billion total Florida had invested in BlackRock funds.”
Simon stills finds lot to love about Gov. DeSantis. As do I. But we have now had decades of Republicans taking stands against progressivism to generate campaign contributions, electoral support and enthusiasm amongst the conservative punditry, only to sit back and enjoy the scrimmage over the 50-yard line rather than moving the ball down the field as progressives do.
GOPe support for DeSantis is a red flag of sorts. Whether you personally like President Trump or not, the policies he pursued –by and large–were good for America and consistent with our constitutional system (unlike the current and predecessor regimes). He was stabbed in the back by GOPe whenever they felt free to do so, and thus attenuated what should have been a remarkable assault on progressivism. And they seem to do this consistently.
So the question is: which view of DeSantis is correct: anti-woke warrior or GOPe operative? Or is there a third option?Published in General
Maybe both are correct.
I am not Trump cultist, and as much as I think I like Desantis I have no desire to be either a DeSantis cultist or an anti-Trump cultist.
I’m confused. I don’t understand why Disney World was made exempt. This is what was said in the link info:
In a Friday interview, Republican state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, a bill sponsor, said the exemption was passed to make sure that the Disney+ streaming service “isn’t caught up in this.” The legislation applies to any service with more than 100 million users or at least $100 million in revenue. Disney+ has almost 100 million customers and far more than $100 million in annual revenue.
What does that even mean? I don’t like giving Disney an exemption for anything, but I don’t understand the implications of this one.
And this one? They feel that stocks should have been divested, not cash and bonds, or its not legit? If we hurt a company doing ESG, doesn’t that count? Does removing the cash and bonds have no effect?
I don’t understand.
My thought, also.
And maybe that’s what could pass the legislature. Don’t live in FL, so don’t know how many FL GOP are all in on DeSantis’s policies. I bet most are with him on some stuff, but not other stuff. Which is usually the case.
DeSantis was a TEA-party and Freedom Caucus guy, before he was famous. I think that is the real Ron. Trump agrees, because he has ads knocking DeSantis for being part of a group that looked at heading off the coming Social Security crisis. Trump using Left talking points is not good.
If both are correct, then I’m left scratching my head. Something doesn’t quite fit, and that’s what I’ve been trying to get at in some of my recent posts. If DeSantis is really America First, then why is he allying with the GOPe? Or, why is the GOPe allying with DeSantis? What do they hope to get from each other?
The most obvious answer to me is that the GOPe expects to get a fractured America First movement, and DeSantis expects to get a unified Republican Party closer to America First values. I don’t understand why DeSantis would think that, so it looks like the first option is the most likely: the GOPe is rolling DeSantis with the expectation of a fractured or sidelined America first movement. Although I’d rather be convinced otherwise.
Money seems to be the explaining factor.Can DeSantis take the money and, then if elected, retain an America First political posture?
Unless Trump gets put in jail, he will win the GOP nomination. Is the big money placing a bet on DeSantis in case Trump goes to jail? That would be playing a value bet.
Perhaps the big money thinks they can influence the discussion in the primary. What is that worth?
Or, maybe the big money behind DeSantis just cares about America and thinks backing a candidate that will not commit sexual assault (or at least be able to explicitly deny it) is good. Maybe they just want someone less than 80 to be in charge. Go Gen-X!!!
It is likely all the above reasons. If Big Finance wants to take back the country from Big Pharma and the CIA, let’s have that fight.
The GOPe see DeSantis as the best way to stop Trump. It goes no deeper.
I was assuming that we’re talking about GOPe money, not MAGA or America First donors.
Otherwise, of the areas where DeSantis might differ from Trump materially (e.g. social security reform) would the big GOPe money actually want that? Seems unlikely to me.
But stopping Trump is no prize if the result is a victorious version that is more generally likable and successful at implementing america First/MAGA (assuming that DeSantis is those things).
Not even sure how to respond to that. So you’re happily going with the GOPe using DeSantis as a wedge to fracture the America First/MAGA then?
Being a resident of Florida, I believe DeSantis is the right man for this moment. I find it interesting that so many people believe that he has no core beliefs and that somebody or somebodies (GOPe,etc.) are manipulating him. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that people think everyone just takes a poll and then makes a decision. It’s my belief that Ron DeSantis actually has core beliefs and makes his decisions based on those beliefs and not what the “politics” say he must do.
On the first one it looks like Google and other search engines were the target of the legislation and that Disney + wasn’t. Should it have been? I don’t know. The legislation was targeted at search engines suppressing search results in order to effectively censor viewpoints. Disney’s sin involves pushing woke content, most particularly indoctrinating children.
On the second one, it may be a case of “overselling” the state’s ability to affect ESG investing. Legislation promoting stockholder derivative actions for state investors when companies underperform due to application of ESG “principles” would likely be more effective. Depriving BlockRock of capital attenuates their influence by limiting funds for purchase of stock and control. But Florida’s disinvestment put hardly a dent in BlackRock’s assets.
I believe DeSantis is a real conservative. And I am pleased that he is much more effective at what he does in terms of management than Trump ever was. Trump is simply too ADHD and sensitive to what people on television say.
I did not believe Trump was a conviction conservative – I thank the Left for forcing him into acting like one. But he was sucked in by Covidsanity and the Deep State rolled him.
DeSantis should be much more effective than Trump as the next President – effective for the things I care about.
But I still love Vivek the most – by far.
I think he has core beliefs too. That doesn’t mean he can’t be manipulated, judo style, using his own momentum and strength against him (and the rest of us).
I completely agree!
The GOPe can’t control Trump or his base. They won’t accept that at all.
Good comments; none of which will matter until DeSantis gets off his duff and declares his candidacy. It’s time for him to plunge in and be tested by the fire.
The Dims are already lining up their Christine Blasey Ford’s and assorted tramps. It’s time for DeSantis to fix bayonets and charge into the mele.
Since the term has been used multiple times in this thread, can anybody tell me who the GOPe is? Is it just those Republicans closely aligned with the Bush family? Is it 95% of Republican Party officeholders and party officials? Everyone seems to agree they are awful but I never hear a real definition of who makes up the GOPe.
Or, maybe they want to get the Biden Cartel and the other Democrats out of the White House? A worthy goal.
@randyweivorda, it is certainly Republicans aligned with the Bush family. Since I cited Sundance from the Conservative Tree House I suppose the best thing is to post links to articles wherein he discusses GOPe from his perspective:
The 2024 GOPe Roadmap Appears Modified to Use Republican Governors Association
GOPe and Media Narrative Engineers Set Stage for Tuesday Georgia Election as Referendum on Donald Trump Influence
The Big Ugly Begins, President Trump Targets the DeceptiCons, Those GOPe Establishment Politicians who Need To Be Removed
Georgia ‘Professionally Political’ Republicans Blame-cast Base for Senate Election Result, A Great Example of the GOPe Disconnect
But if Trump’s base goes to DeSantis and if DeSantis is stronger for that base than Trump would be (because DeSantis has fewer personal and managerial flaws), then that means that DeSantis couldn’t be controlled either. So the GOPe is banking on stopping Trump AND DeSantis (and us) by pitting them against each other?
Intelligence and reason don’t seem to figure significantly in the actions of the GOPe and sometimes are conspicuously absent. That said, it might be that I’m not smart enough to see what they are planning and/or have access to insufficient information to make sense of their actions/plans.
It may be that the GOPe really believe that Trump can’t win and are looking for an acceptable alternative. Acceptable to both them and Trump’s base. It may be that the GOPe would rather lose than have Trump in office again. I don’t know. For now, I’m just observing and taking notes.
I don’t think what we call “Trump’s base” will go to DeSantis. DeSantis is going to have to rally Reps on his own merits. And like Buckpasser, DeSantis is smart and knows what he has to do to stay free of the GOPe. Remember, he was in the House at one time.
Keep in mind that Vivek is running for the Republican Presidential nomination, and DeSantis is one of his major rivals. If the three criticisms in the OP are the best that he has, my impression is that DeSantis is doing a pretty good job.
I’m not particularly interested in examining these right now, as they seem rather technical. Politics is the art of the possible, so there may be reasons behind the actions alleged by Vivek.
I am a bit curious about the BlackRock investment issue. I found two relevant articles, at Bloomberg and at Pensions & Investments. The Bloomberg article is mostly behind a paywall, but I can read the headline, which says:
The article at Pensions & Investments reports the Florida Treasury Division pulling $2.0 billion out of BlackRock, and then reports [my highlighting]:
“SBA” refers to the Florida State Board of Administration. I can’t be sure, but from this description, it appears that the FL SBA previously made two BlackRock funds available to participants. I would guess that it’s not within the authority of the FL SBA, or Governor DeSantis, to unilaterally change the investment choices of participants in the Florida state retirement system.
Depending on the rules and laws involved, I would expect it to be possible for the FL SBA to eventually change the menu of investment vehicles available to participants. I don’t know whether or not this is in the works.
In any event, it appears that the roughly $13 billion referenced by Vivek as still invested with BlackRock represents the investments of individual Florida employees and retirees, and is probably not under the immediate control of the governor.
I am speculating a bit with this explanation, though I think that it fits the reported facts and my general knowledge about how retirement and pension plans work.
If this is correct, then Vivek’s claim about DeSantis is misleading. This would make me think less well of Vivek, though he may not know the details himself. It’s possible that he is simply repeating the careless errors of others, which I see quite often.
On the choice presented in the OP, I think that DeSantis is closer to option 1, a “committed anti-woke warrior who would pursue an America First-style agenda without the character flaws of President Trump.”
I very much doubt that he is option 2, “a Trump-killer politician being propped up by the GOPe to restore the Republican wing of the uni-Party to power in the White House.”
Personally, I like both DeSantis and Trump. As I understand it, DeSantis hasn’t even announced his candidacy yet. Even if he does, I don’t have to decide yet, so I’m going to keep an open mind.
Valid question. I believe this has been addressed several times over the years at Ricochet. It’s difficult to nail down what it is and who is part of it because it’s difficult to get to truth in action due to media fog, rhetorical fog, and the fog of long term effects. Also there’s a large element of subjectivity.
That said I think there are some identifiable characteristics. Length of stay. Actual roles played in the system. The timid, incompetent, and fake. Prioritizing position above achievable results. Those able to set or materially influence the agenda, standards, norms, goals, methods.
Me too. Just noodling and speculating assuming that DeSantis does end up running.