Governor DeSantis has gotten the requisite attention he demands for his inhumane stunt of sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, using state funds. For a Governor that thrives on performance-art and defying the norms of democratic republics, he is in his element right now. But questions continues to persist and the controversy is swirling so intensely, that we are seeing a backlash even among Never Trump types that (ignorantly) thought DeSantis might represent a return to “normal” GOP behavior.
DeSantis is always in control – he uses power like no Florida Governor in the past and controls the media narrative to a tee. BUT this firestorm is like nothing he’s ever faced, and it’s swirling like a Category 4 Hurricane that’s currently out to sea but could find land. For the first time in his tenure, DeSantis is losing control over events and appears unable to put his spin on things at the national level, quite the way he normally does. The longer it continues, the more danger his once very safe looking electoral prospects face, even if he thinks he’s “owning the libs” at the moment.
Judd Legum notes in his Substack newsletter, that the pamphlet used to attract migrants to Massachusetts appeared to be the type that would be developed by a tourist development agency, but in fact was a crudely assembled bi-product of Florida’s Governor and his team of performance artists.
No doubt, DeSantis and his supporters got a big rise out of the pamphlet and the entire shady human trafficking operation that is now under official investigation in Bexar County, TEXAS (not Florida, let’s remind folks). But what they didn’t factor in, or consider (or more likely didn’t care about) is that these were asylum seekers, not undocumented immigrants.
This reality, is DeSantistans cannot distinguish between people migrating from the south for asylum and those crossing the border for other purposes. To them, they are all problematic, despite our current labor shortage in this country.
What this has done, has overturned 60+ years of rhetoric among GOPers, many who were Cold Warriors and even recent officials, like Florida’s two US Senators, that those seeking freedom are safe in Florida. Ron DeSantis has put up a clear NO VACANCY sign, where Rick Scott and Jeb Bush once openly courted refugees.
Governor Scott is probably more responsible than any GOP official for realigning Florida’s Venezuelan exile community toward the GOP – now with an operation designed to get a rise out of the media and “elites,” Ron DeSantis might squander that work. DeSantis’ commentary sounded like that of a southern segregationist in the time of Jim Crow, with talk of inflicting the same pain on the north people in the south, face.
If this does not prove the GOP in Florida is now a party of vigilante goons, what exactly will?
Keeping track of DeSantis outrageous behavior is hard, and as our Kartik Krishnaiyer regularly notes, we were accustomed to dealing with Rick Scott doing one crazy thing a month, and thinking it was unhinged, now DeSantis does five things a day and we cannot keep track.
We at TFS, obviously focused on about ten other DeSantis’ kerfuffles were late to recognizing a brewing storm about DeSantis embrace of an antisemitic pastor. Better late than never, we link this article from the Independent Jewish publication Forward, to inform our readers as to this very troubling situation.
DeSAntis embrace of extremists is nothing new. But even for him, this is a new low.