DeSantis Dunks on Squish Republicans Criticizing His Fight Against Far-Left Ideology

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Ron DeSantis is firing back after several Republicans took aim at his governance, describing Florida’s fight against far-left ideology as “big government.”

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In mid-February, Larry Hogan criticized the popular GOP governor, calling DeSantis’ attempts to remove critical race theory, queer theory, and pornography from schools “authoritarian.” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu echoed the same sentiment, calling it “big-government authoritarianism.”

And while those two sniping at DeSantis isn’t necessarily surprising, Mike Pence also recently joined the fray, going after the Florida governor for ending Disney’s self-governing status.

“I fully support what Florida did about protecting kids under the third grade,” Pence told CNBC’s Squawk Box. “I have concerns about the follow-on. Disney stepped into the fray. They lost. But then [with] the taxing authority — that was beyond the scope of what I, as a conservative, limited-government Republican, would be prepared to do.”

Yes, we know you wouldn’t have been prepared to do it, Pence. That’s exactly why you aren’t a serious contender in 2024 and should save your time and your donors’ money.

But I digress. The theme with all these criticisms from the right toward DeSantis is that they claim to understand the problems Americans face, not the least of which is the indoctrination and abuse of children, yet they aren’t willing to actually join the fight. They’d rather go on CNN and throw stones from the sidelines at someone who is delivering results.

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DeSantis isn’t taking the attacks lying down. While speaking to donors, he fired back, calling the squish Republicans in question “potted plants” who aren’t “making anything happen.”

Hogan, Sununu, and perhaps to a slightly lesser extent, Mike Pence, are what the Republican base revolted against in 2016. There is no appetite for the mid-2000s strategy of shouting “small government” over and over, while prioritizing corporate handouts and foreign wars.

Besides, there is a stark difference between overreach at the federal level and federalism at the state level. GOP voters elect conservatives at the state level to actually get things done within the bounds of state authority. They don’t elect state governors and legislatures to make excuses about why they aren’t willing to get things done.

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Even the more libertarian elements of the GOP are going to have to come to grips with that reality (or vote Libertarian from now on). The days of Republicans being able to just cut taxes and call it a day are over. DeSantis recognizes that, but he’s also obviously acting out of conviction. He belives woke ideology is harmful, especially to children, and he’s going to stop it no matter how much the fence sitters cry. If only more Republicans had the same gumption.

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