Opinion DeSantis 2024: If You Think Trump Was Too Honest and Sane About COVID
Nearly a year after Jan. 6, US democracy remains perilously fragile
The political system we have long taken for granted is now in jeopardy. American democracy rests on a consensus that elections are free and fair. Before 2020, the integrity of a U.S. presidential election had not been seriously questioned since 1876. In that election, unlike 2020, there were legitimate grounds for challenging the outcome. Despite the controversy, the parties resolved the issue through compromise.No president before Trump has refused to concede an election since the tradition of formally doing so began in 1896.
Having run for governor as an almost worshipful devotee of Donald Trump,has angered his former patron by floating the possibility he might run for president without Trump’s permission.
This strategy requires a way to differentiate himself on something other than personality, where Trump is considered the beau ideal among the party’s rank and file (and DeSantis can only offer a pale imitation.) DeSantis has seized upon the pandemic response. Where Trump was tiptoeing around vaccine skepticism, DeSantis jumped in with both feet, banning private companies like cruise lines from requiring vaccination, appointing a vaccine skeptic to his state’s highest office, and refusing to say if he’s gotten his.
DeSantis accuses press of trying to 'milk' January 6 attack on the Capitol: 'This is their Christmas'
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took a reporter's question about the Capitol insurrection and turned it into a slam on the media."This is their Christmas: January 6," the Republican governor said, specifically mentioning media organizations based in Washington and New York. "They are going to take this and milk this for anything they can to be able to smear anyone who ever supported Donald Trump.
Trump used the last point recently to paint DeSantis as evasive and weak. “I watched a couple politicians be interviewed, and one of the questions was ‘Did you get a booster?’ Because they had the vaccine, and they’re answering like — in other words, the answer is yes, but they don’t want to say it because they’re gutless,” he told OAN.
DeSantis is now responding by attacking Trump as weak for urging people to engage in social distancing at the outset of the pandemic. Asked by a right-wingif he had any regrets, DeSantis replied that he wishes he spoke out against the Trump administration “locking down the country” at the beginning of the pandemic. “I never thought in February, early March, it would lead to locking down the country,” he said. “And I think if knowing now what I know then, if that was a threat earlier, I would have been much louder about, you know, trying to say this is not.” (DeSantis often speaks in garbled prose, but the meaning of his remarks in context was perfectly clear.)
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"The events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6 have a lingering sting on many voters," professor Raymond La Raja said.It comes after three former U.S. Army generals raised concerns about the risk of "civil war" over the White House vote, although some experts downplayed such warnings.
This came after DeSantis assailed conservative Supreme Court justices for upholding a vaccine mandate on health-care workers. “Roberts and Kavanaugh did not have a backbone on that decision,” he complained. What the hospitals need, according to DeSantis, is unvaccinated people roaming the halls.
What’s notable about DeSantis’s fulminations on this topic, other than their continued pandering to, is his evident determination to run to Trump’s right on the pandemic.
It is telling that of the many failings DeSantis could cite by Trump, he is seizing on the former president’s initial willingness to do anything at all about the pandemic. Trump repeatedly denied the coronavirus posed any serious public-health risk and insisted it would go away while trying to hide the extent of the spread and treating the entire pandemic as a deep-state plot to undermine his reelection. Looking at this record, DeSantis has decided Trump’s weak point is the brief moments of sanity and candor when he acknowledged the virus was real.
DeSantis may or may not actually be more delusional on COVID than Donald Trump. But it is a revealing commentary on the state of their party that he sees his best chance to supplant Trump as positioning himself as even crazier.
Ron DeSantis Welcomes You to Florida, America's New Texas | Opinion .
There is a sense here in Florida that this place is the future.Considering also the romantic notions that have attached to that state since films began to romanticize the Wild West over the last century, it's remarkable that Texas' once-nonpareil position in the conservative imagination has been displaced so quickly—and by a place that was long thought of as a blue-leaning swing state.