America’s MAGA Governors are increasingly divorced from reality.
I was struck by the title of a recent op-ed by Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post: “Ron DeSantis’ political War on Disney Makes Trump Look Reasonable.”
You really have to fall far, far off the sanity cliff to make Donald Trump look reasonable, but Robinson makes a compelling case.
I mean, seriously, what kind of governor threatens the revenue of a company that is his state’s biggest private employer, No. 1 corporate taxpayer and most popular tourist attraction? For that matter, what kind of self-proclaimed conservative Republican believes a governor has the right to punish a corporation for publicly disagreeing with his policies?
The battle DeSantis has chosen to wage against Walt Disney World always seemed petty and ill-advised. It now looks obsessive and weird — and I fear it tells us something alarming about the man who is running second in the polls, behind Donald Trump, for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
DeSantis’ obsessive need to punish a private company that dared criticize him has evidently been supercharged by the fact that Disney outfoxed him.
DeSantis wanted to take away Disney’s near-total control over the county Disney World inhabits. An agreement from the 1960s gave the company its own taxing district –along with responsibility for policing, firefighting, road maintenance and other government-like duties.
DeSantis had a tough, “anti-woke” oversight board all set to take charge of the special district and show Disney who’s boss — only to learn, late last month, that the Disney-friendly outgoing board had signed an agreement stripping the new board of its power and allowing Disney to continue operating with near-total autonomy for the foreseeable future.
Rather than walking away from further confrontation, DeSantis is asking Florida’s legislature to reverse Disney’s maneuver while ranting about punishing the company — the state’s biggest employer — by developing the land around Disney World in ways that would repel paying customers. “Maybe try to do more amusement parks,” he said at a news conference. “Someone even said, like, maybe you need another state prison.”
As if attacking the premier tourist attraction in his state for daring to disagree with him wasn’t insane enough, DeSantis and his compliant legislature are also continuing their destructive vendetta against the state’s universities.
But they’ll have trouble out-crazying Texas.
Talking Points Memo recently reported on a vote by the Texas Senate to end tenure at the state’s three dozen or so public universities.
Many observers in Texas think it’s unlikely that the tenure ban will pass the GOP-controlled Texas House. I hope that’s right. But even if it dies there, we have to reckon with how far Texas senators were willing to go.
As the article noted,
SB 18 would eliminate tenure only for newly hired professors and would allow a university system governing board to set up its own system of “tiered employment” for faculty, as long as professors receive an annual review.
But let’s not kid ourselves. Eliminating tenure for new hires would put Texas universities at an extreme disadvantage when recruiting faculty. It would cripple many graduate programs. It would inject politics deeply into university management and administration. It would allow state government to play the same kinds of games with higher ed that they love foisting on elementary and secondary educators.
In Florida, DeSantis has pursued an unremitting assault on state educational institutions–from censoring the books that can be used in its public schools, to “don’t say gay” bills, to a variety of attacks on anything the Governor–in his warped worldview–considers “wokeness” on college campuses.
Recent research suggests these attacks on their universities will dramatically reduce the number of high school graduates willing to consider pursing higher education in either state. Axios has reported on a recent study showing college choices increasingly affected by state politics.
Although both liberal and conservative high school graduates affirmed the importance of the state’s political climate to their choice of colleges, young liberals outnumber conservatives by some 2-1, making this a much bigger problem for Red states. One finding should concern Indiana as well as Florida and Texas.
Among all college students, the support for states that have greater access to abortion is by an overwhelming 4-to-1 margin, including two-thirds of Republicans who said they prefer states with less restrictive abortion laws. It’s also a pronounced winner among women (86%) and men (74%) alike.
Prospective students aren’t the only ones avoiding states with abortion bans. The Washington Post has reported a steep drop in applicants for obstetrics and gynecology residencies in those states–drops that will deprive residents of critically-needed medical care.
DeSantis and Abbott are depressingly representative of today’s Republican lawmakers– a collection of loony-tunes aspiring autocrats pursuing suicidal policies repellent to anyone outside crazy MAGA world.
As my grandmother would have said, “A wellness it isn’t.”
23 thoughts on “Falling Off The Cliff..”
And yet… people keep voting for these morons. Scary
To a point, Pat. Ron’s presidential case is falling, and there is evidence people are dropping these crazies.
Tucker Carlson was expendable at Fox News.
This shows that there is a point that all these drama queens can’t cross with inflicting self-damage. Maybe more conservative candidates will enter the 2024 race to rid our country of these “loony tunes.”
For those who haven’t heard, the Florida Board of Education recently expanded Don’t Say Gay from K – 3 to K – 12. The state should now start preparing for the probable increase in suicides to follow. BTW, I’m not sure many people know that some of those anti-woke bills not only direct that no diversity training can happen in schools and governmental agencies, but also in businesses in sunny Florida. I think that’s what drove Disney to speak out.
Eugene Robinson’s column for reality reporting of our national conditions, the crossword puzzle to stimulate my brain and the obituaries to keep track of my friends were what kept me looking forward to the Indianapolis Star till I finally ended my subscription of decades. He is still a primary source for reality reporting of our national conditions; especially those destructive conditions and divisive elected officials who keep the pot stirred. Mr. Robinson also maintains his strong reporting talents to remind us of John Lewis’ plea to the listening nation to “Make GOOD trouble!” DeSantis and Abbot offer no examples of anything but lies, illogical decisions and a total lack of common sense and humanitarianism is beyond their thinking levels. DeSantis has pointed out the reports are not true that he is trailing Trump in the presidential election when he isn’t even a candidate. We all know the truth is the only thing missing is his announcement that he is a candidate. Nikki Haley has announced her candidacy but is ignored by the entire GOP and their message is clear “Ignore that woman behind the curtain.”
“In Florida, DeSantis has pursued an unremitting assault on state educational institutions–from censoring the books that can be used in its public schools, to “don’t say gay” bills, to a variety of attacks on anything the Governor–in his warped worldview–considers “wokeness” on college campuses.”
“Although both liberal and conservative high school graduates affirmed the importance of the state’s political climate to their choice of colleges, young liberals outnumber conservatives by some 2-1, making this a much bigger problem for Red states. One finding should concern Indiana as well as Florida and Texas.” But will they come forward; IUPUI is a major college factor in Indianapolis but will the students vote in the Mayoral and City Councilor Primary here to strengthen Democratic ability to improve general conditions throughout this city/county area? Or will they cower under the GOP Red State control as older generations do?
As I have stated many times before; those elected at federal level do not begin their political careers at the top; they begin here at home. I have returned my mail-in ballot with my votes for Mayor and City Councilor and on the IPS Referendum. And now I wait! This is going to be a long wait till November.
Does Florida not have a process for recalling a governor? Or has that state been entirely taken over by angry old white men?
There is a College in COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho, that was swept up in MAGAnifacation. It is on the verge of loosing accreditation. It that happens, it will shortly be bankrupt and the only higher education in this part of northern Idaho will close.
I guess that’s how you “own the libs”, by decimating the towns economy.
How long will it take for centrist republicans to reel in their crazy colleagues? How much more idiocy and damage will they tolerate?
Regarding reduction in OBGYN residency applicants – are there stats available that reveal this is the case in Indiana? Very frightening since here are a lot of students at IU Medical school and Indiana is short on all varieties of physicians.
I watched a CBS Mornings interview this morning (sorry, can’t recall the name of the person they interviewed). The interviewee stated that congressional republicans carefully watch Fox every day in order to choose what bills to focus on, submit or bring to a vote based solely on what Fox’s talking heads are getting their viewers riled up about. I was stunned!
The assault on public higher education by Wrong Wing (thank you, Morton) zealots is also occurring next door in Ohio. There, an R legislator introduced a bill to ban diversity training, boycotts or disinvestment, “bias” in teaching, work stoppages, and more on the state’s public-university campuses. The bill is an attack on free speech. Students, faculty, and staff have pushed back. At a recent public hearing, hundreds of students voiced their disapproval and disgust with the proposal; many said they would leave Ohio should the bill pass. Few people voiced support for the bill.
With regard to Republicans, there is NO mind to analyze. Nancy’s point explains it all. Is it any wonder that Australia kicked Murdoch’s seditious ass out of that country for doing what he’s doing here? Oh, and lest we forget, it was Republican Reagan who fast-tracked Murdoch’s citizenship to the U.S. so he could “own the libs.”
The Republican assault on the Constitution, education, the rule of law, decency and intelligence proves, at last, that the foundation of that party has NO intention of governing and only panders to what their corporate/banking paymasters tell them to do. Republicans can no longer avoid the label FASCIST. They are all-in with fascism and have been since 1981.
This is what Marx warned everyone about in the 1850s: Capitalism will destroy itself from within if not regulated and held to account. And here we are.
Now readers know why I sold my house in Naples and moved to Bloomington. DeFascist doesn’t need a vote, he needs to do some heavy couch time under the supervision of a shrink. I read Robinson’s piece when published and he gets it. Rarely if ever does a party offer two candidates in its primary both of whom are plainly ill north of their respective necks.
I have written elsewhere that DeFascist is playing with fire from another point of view. It is not only beaches and sunshine that bring Yankee retirees and their bankrolls to Florida. The state has no state income tax, and I wrote that if Herr Ron chases Disney and its ancillaries’ billions in jobs and revenues out of the state he or his successor will be forced to institute such a tax in order to avoid bankruptcy. Result? A great decrease in Yankee retirees and their retirement dollars and a great increase in bankruptcies in the Sunshine State. Thanks, Ron!
And don’t get me started on what happens when politicians write the books and otherwise decree what can be said and taught in Florida’s universities and colleges. If their degrees are unaccredited they will shut down for lack of business. Higher education? What’s that? Just don’t say (fill in the blank).
To Vern’s recitation in re being glad he’s old, I here add “I’m glad I moved,” and if either Trump or DeFascist should be elected, I’m currently torn between Costa Rica and Portugal as next abodes.
As much as I despise Governor DeSantis, I am totally against this sort of thing:
“… Disney’s near-total control over the county Disney World inhabits. An agreement from the 1960s gave the company its own taxing district –along with responsibility for policing, firefighting, road maintenance and other government-like duties.”
Government functions should NEVER be turned over to a private company. And Disney having their own taxing district?’ Heck, no. That reminds me of Indianapolis’ love affair with tax increment financing (TIF) districts, which has been used to hand out money to private developers. TIF districts ultimately erode the tax base, revenue that is going to basic services such as schools, libraries, etc.
Gee Paul, what do you call “privatization”? Or how about turning our tax money over to the churches so they can replace public education? Or the Blackwater businesses that do so much of the dirty war work?
Paul, TIFs are used all across the state, not just Indy. 2022 date shows Marion Co. with 65 TIFs, while Hamilton Co. has 164. See http://gateway.ifionline.org/TIFviewer/.
I despise privatization, but if Disney wants to pay for their own police, streets and their maintenance, firefighters, etc. rather than making taxpayers pay these obligations, I have no objection to that. It’s not clear why county government would want to take on all that obligation for Disney properties which encompass thousands of acres. Apparently the county DOESN’T want that obligation which is why they signed off on restoring Disney’s responsibility to take care of their own needs.
DeSantis’ capacity for pettiness apparently has no bounds.
To the people who fear another Trump presidency, I ask you, what demographic that didn’t vote for him last time around is going to do so this time? The Republican Party’s path of self-destruction seems to me to have passed the point of no return. Their desperate descent into craziness only speeds their demise.
DeSantis, like Trump, is a performer whom some people find entertaining. He’s Tucker Carlson, but with a job. Don’t take him seriously and he and his controlling wife are interesting to observe performing.
Nancy, your final comment supports the idea that Fox News* has been little else but a
propaganda machine for the RNC…very bad! Very scary!
Dan, I believe that Florididia has no recall mechanism. A quick “google” of the question
supports my contention…sigh. But, at least that does not provide him the attention such a
fight would engender.
So, I’ve got this cartoon image going on in my head, of DeSantis, Abbott, Huckabee Sanders,
and ilk going off a high cliff ala Thelma and Louise! Bye now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thelma and Louise would make better governors.
Liberals are now supporting privatization and tax abatements for corporate America. If Republicans are so bad, why are Democrats now wanting to emulate them?
We live in interesting times.
Isn’t the reason Deathsantis hasn’t announced that he’s running for potus because he would have to step down from governor of Florida? I thought I read that in FL state constitution, a governor cannot run for another office while he’s governor. Does the Lt. Governor get promoted or do they have a special election to replace him? Anybody know?
Nancy, one reason for the shortage of doctors in Indiana might be that the state has only one medical school. There are three in Chicago alone and that doesn’t include training for Osteopath if physicians. One school limits first the number of students, and then the number of graduates, including residency programs.
Aging Girl, the legislature might just take care of that little annoyance for Ron. I think they’re working on the bill now.
Could it be that DeSantis and Trump are working together to make Trump look more moderate and therefore more palatable to the voters?
Thanks Peggy, you would know.
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