Among the most lethal phrases in politics, “rising conservative star” has to be up there. The names Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, and Paul Ryan immediately come to mind – as that’s what all three were at one point, only for them to draw closer scrutiny and their careers to largely go up in smoke. All three are now some cross between a has-been and a punchline.
Sure, Ryan got to be House speaker for a few years, because at the time it was a job no one else wanted – and even then, he never got to enact most of his AynRandian vision for America and he soon became irrelevant. We’re beginning to see the same pattern now with Ron DeSantis who was once hailed as a rising star and immediately set off speculation about running for president when he was handily re-elected in Florida.
DeSantis immediately set about creating a series of draconian laws in Florida that basically left a blueprint for how much damage Republican governors can do with legislatures they control. While his attacks on reproductive healthcare and education are disastrous, DeSantis overplayed his hand by going after Disney, one of the most powerful companies in the country, just for the sake of his culture war.
On Wednesday, Disney sabotaged DeSantis’ latest scheme to create a review board that would have to approve the entertainment company’s content for non-wokeness, by essentially nullifying that board’s legal authority to do anything at all. All DeSantis did was run up a ridiculous legal bill for the state, and this probably won’t be the first of the corporate pushback he’ll be facing. It’s just our latest reminder that as evil as DeSantis is, he’s far from a supervillain. He’s just another weirdo weakling who’s way in over his head and has no business in the job he’s in, let alone running the country. If we portray him in that light, we’ll come out winning.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making