Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has largely seen every moment of his administration as another political opportunity to promote his brand – something he already did quite literally by selling anti vax t-shirts just a few months ago. Nearly everything since then has been a stunt at trying to defy the Biden administration while he’s also caught in a rivalry with Donald Trump over which one can keep a larger and more gullible fan base.
Using the Trump playbook hasn’t worked as well for DeSantis as it has for his protege – largely resulting in string after string of court losses as he tries to fight against the vaccine mandate. Recently, DeSantis sustained another loss in court, though this one was unrelated to the pandemic – involving a casino deal he was trying to negotiate with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. His only hope of the deal being revived is contingent on whether or not the U.S. Dept. of the Interior decides to appeal the ruling, which has limited chances of success, forcing DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe to re-negotiate with DeSantis having much less leverage than he had when he went in.
While voters, particularly the ones DeSantis is trying to motivate, don’t care much about Republican hypocrisy, what they do care about is a candidate who appears to be weak and can’t deliver – even if the promise in question was a ballot initiative the same year DeSantis was elected. The message that he’s weak and beholden to the same federal government he’s regularly tried to ridicule is the right one to send to voters on the fence in 2022.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making