Last week, former Washington Post and CNN writer Chris Cillizza, who is among the keenest observers of American politics (partisans tend to not like Cillizza because he challenges their conformist comfort zone a little too often) wrote an excellent piece that indicates from his vantage point, Governor Ron DeSantis plans to attack Donald Trump on “corporatism” in the GOP primaries.
DeSantis loves to play progressive-populist and it’s fooled a lot of Floridians. And heck, people who read this site may not believe it, but it’s actually fooled some bonafide progressive I know who voted for Bernie Sanders. DeSantis attacks on corporations and pointy-headed academics and the medical establishment sound oh so good to them. And As Cillizza points out in his piece, DeSantis sees an angle due to Trump’s years of dubious business associations and cronyism.
Yes Trump, was a purveyor of corporatism who had numerous cronies from his years in shady businesses, but DeSantis not so strangely, has most of the GOP donor-class, those who benefit the most from crony-capitalism and protectionism in government behind him. They’ve turned on Trump, not because he offends them or even because he’s “unelectable” as is theorized, but because in Ron DeSantis, you have the single biggest pay-to-play politician in the US today.
We’re not going to outline everything DeSantis has done to affirm his status as America’s premier pay-to-play politician today, because the paper trail is well-established at Florida’s daily newspapers, Seeking Rents by Jason Garcia, and our own TFS archives. DeSantis is unlike anything we’ve seen in the past in Florida. He makes Rick Scott’s cronyism look in hindsight like quaint, clean idealism in retrospect. Let that set in for a moment.
Let us remind folks that in the past month, DeSantis has replaced the independent Disney-managed Reedy Creek Improvement District, with a state board stuffed with out-of-state political contributors and GOP activists. Let’s remind folks, he’s overturned the boards of several of Florida’s state universities and stuffed them campaign contributors. While New College has gotten the most headlines, thanks to Christopher Rufo, a Washington resident being put in de-facto charge, and Richard Corcoran being made President, every state university has been impacted by DeSantis contributor influence.
So DeSantis can pretend to be anti-corproate and and anti-crony, but he’s really Trump on steroids when it comes to this. And at some point, it will all be exposed nakedly for the American voter to see.