Thursday, January 12, 2023


Three AP reporters wrote this story about Ron DeSantis, which reads as if none of them live in the actually existing America where DeSantis plies his trade:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent dozens of immigrants from Texas to an island off the Massachusetts coast last year in a high-profile effort to highlight illegal immigration on the eve of the midterm elections. But as thousands of Cuban migrants flocked to his own state’s shores in recent weeks, he adopted a more cautious approach.
"Cautious"? That's hilarious. It's not cautious -- it's nakedly political, like his Martha's Vineyard stunt, just in a different way.
The governor, who is a top Republican presidential prospect, activated the National Guard late last week. But related deployments of soldiers, boat patrols and military planes were slow to materialize.
Of course they were. These migrants are Cuban. The Cuban community in America is right-wing, so Cuban migrants get special treatment in Florida and U.S. law. And the right talks about them differently: Other asylum-seeking migrants are history's greatest monsters, but not Cubans.
Some residents expressed frustration about the persistent influx of migrants as they recently inspected two large rafts abandoned in a Florida Keys community park.

“If they come over on a boat, they need to turn the boat back around,” Ernest Vaile, a Missouri resident who winters in Florida, said as he examined the collection of cracked wood...
A guy who owns two houses is actually a DeSantis critic? Nahhh -- wait for it:
... adding that he didn’t blame DeSantis. “From all I know, whatever Gov. DeSantis decides to do will be the right thing.”
Oh, perfect. I assume Vaile is a white retiree who watches of Fox all day. He looks at the evidence of his senses and he's upset -- but then he recalls the hours of pro-DeSantis propaganda he's mainlined while watching Fox, and he decides that Rupert Murdoch knows best.
The episode unfolding in south Florida offers insight into DeSantis’ leadership as he eyes a presidential primary campaign against former President Donald Trump.
Is that what they're calling raw political calculation these days? "Leadership"?
While DeSantis is known for embracing Trump’s brash leadership style and even his mannerisms, allies suggest the Harvard-educated former military attorney is more deft at navigating delicate political issues than the former president is.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a Trump rival during the 2016 campaign who attended DeSantis’ second inauguration last week, offered a warm assessment when asked to evaluate the governor’s approach on hot-button issues like immigration.

“I will say that, overall, Gov. DeSantis has done a good job as governor and Florida is on a roll,” Bush told The Associated Press.
Translation: Don't write anything bad about this guy! He's our party's ticket back to the White House! (Also: My entire family wants DeSantis to beat Trump like a rented mule!)
DeSantis associates privately believe he will finalize his 2024 decision by the end of March, although a public announcement may not come until early summer.
No, DeSantis associates don't believe he will finalize his 2024 decision by the end of March. DeSantis associates know he decided to run months ago. They just want to maintain the fiction that he's still solemnly weighing the decision. (And trust me: He's going to announce as soon as he finishes the publicity tour for his forthcoming book, which drops on February 28.)
He is eyeing an aggressive conservative policy agenda over the coming months to strengthen his prospective Republican candidacy. As DeSantis moves forward, however, the Cuban migrants pose a test for him.
They don't, but go on.
Failed Florida Republican congressional candidate Laura Loomer, a popular voice among Trump’s most fervent supporters, questioned DeSantis’ commitment to conservative policies on multiple fronts, especially immigration.

“Thanks to Gov. Ron DeSantis, we now have more illegal aliens in our country,” Loomer said. “During his time as governor, immigration has actually gotten worse.”
What part of "failed candidate" don't you understand? Loomer doesn't speak for the right on this.
Meanwhile, DeSantis’ would-be 2024 rivals — and there are many beyond Trump...
Actually, there aren't any, once you exclude self-deluded wannabes who'll never win a state in the primaries.
... are quietly hoping the shine of the governor’s political star will fade as his status as a leading presidential prospect attracts new scrutiny.

In recent days, an aide to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who is also weighing a presidential bid, criticized DeSantis for supporting a ban on abortion at 15 weeks after conception as insufficiently conservative.
Republicans always nominate anti-abortion candidates, but they never nominate the most anti-abortion candidate available. This has been true since at least 1988. (It was certainly true in 2016.)
Meanwhile, DeSantis is planning to bolster his conservative bona fides in Florida’s upcoming state legislative session, which begins in March and is expected to conclude by May.

It’s unclear what legislation DeSantis will pursue, but the governor in recent weeks has signaled a desire to keep pulling at partisan divides.
Imagine thinking that DeSantis "has signaled a desire to keep pulling at partisan divides" only "in recent weeks."
In late December, DeSantis’ budget office called on state colleges to submit spending information on programs related to diversity, equity and inclusion and critical race theory, which examines systemic racism. The request could be a prelude to a DeSantis push to slash state funding around what he calls “woke” ideology in state schools.
"Could be"? Ya think?
DeSantis also recently made a series of high-profile conservative appointments to the board of trustees of a liberal arts college. Critics worry that he’s simply injecting his conservative politics into the state’s higher education.

“Is he willing to just burn an institution to the ground and harm the community just to score cheap political points?” asked Andrew Gothard, president of the union United Faculty of Florida.

This goes on for several more paragraphs, until we reach the end:
And on the Cuban immigration front, he has avoided some of the fiery conservative rhetoric that defined his view on the U.S.-Mexico border — at least, so far.

The Florida National Guard announced Wednesday that it was mobilizing 12 military planes and approximately 150 troops to help south Florida authorities respond to “mass migration impacting the area.”

“The Florida National Guard supports and follows orders of our Commander in Chief, Governor Ron DeSantis,” the Guard said in a statement.
Are you as creeped out by that statement as I am? Can you recall any other governor in America being referred to in an official statement as a "Commander in Chief"? Jimmy Breslin once referred to Rudy Giuliani as "a small man in search of a balcony." That applies double to Ron DeSantis.

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