Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. The early stages of the 2024 race have begun.
Desantis says Good Morning: “I will serve two terms, and I will be able to destroy leftism in this country.” pic.twitter.com/okqerKl7Gs— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 29, 2023
At the risk of being too earnest, may I say that DeSantis's boasts that he "will destroy leftism in this country" and "Florida is where woke goes to die" are creepy? I'm neither Left nor woke, but in a free country, individuals and groups do have a right to be Left or woke.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 29, 2023
Because Trump has so often used his pardon power as a political tool, as Gabriel Schoenfeld noted in The Bulwark yesterday, it is appalling but certainly no surprise that he has repeatedly floated pardons for hundreds of people convicted in connection with the Capitol attack, most recently at the CNN town hall. Now we have DeSantis, so far the only potential intra-party threat to Trump’s comeback plan, holding out the possibility of pardons on “day one” for January 6th defendants—including Trump himself.
...Last week, NBC News reported that aides from the governor’s office were soliciting and possibly tracking presidential campaign contributions from lobbyists while the state budget, filled with projects important to them, was still awaiting DeSantis’s line-item veto pen and eventual signature. Ten lobbyists told NBC this was unheard of, especially with their business pending on his desk. It’s unclear whether it was illegal, but the unsavory ethics and optics are obvious.
...There are many ways I would consider DeSantis a greater threat to the public welfare than Trump, given his cruel Florida record on education, race, abortion, immigration, and the health, safety, and rights of the LGBTQ community. He’s anti-science and so is his surgeon general, as Scientific American argues. He’s even attacked the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice reform law that Trump signed and few in Congress opposed.
All of this is related, but my focus here is the disturbing signals DeSantis is sending about his moral code and U.S. democracy. They suggest Trump is not the only White House contender who, if elected, would feel entitled to run roughshod over America’s laws, values, and the constitutional rights of people who don’t look or think like them.