Ron DeSantis is suffering from a rather common political disease. It’s called One Trick Pony Syndrome. It is especially prevalent among Governors, which is why you see so few of them ascend to the White House. Let me explain.
Almost everybody starts out in politics as the local state level. And the key is to tailor your spiel and policies to your local constituents. First a city or county office, then climb the ladder to the state legislature. get your name out and run for state Senate. And at each stop along the way you tailor your messaging and platform for your specific voters.
And if you’re involved in state politics, becoming the Governor is the pinnacle. You run the whole state. And on order to get there, you have to balance fundraising, populism, name recognition, and a keen understanding of the selling points for your key constituencies. You are the ultimate state politician. Which is actually problem nationally, since every state is different.
GOP Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is a poster child for this syndrome. DeSantis was a largely unknown, populist Freedom Party caucus member when he decided to run for the open Governor’s seat in 2018. Right from his announcement, DeSantis was nobody’s 1st choice for the job. But he had a plan.
Pander to power. When DeSantis decided to run, his first act was to attach himself like a Lamprey to Florida’s most famous part time resident, El Pendejo Presidente. His own disgeaceful pimping of his own wife and children in a campaign ad would make a carnival varker blush. But it worked. Trump endorsed DeSantis all in, and he squeaked out a victory.
But it was running his actual campaign that showed DeSanctis’s innate weakness, and his limitations. DeSantis is nothing if not savvy, and he knows his state. Therefore DeSantis ran on a simple four step campaign. 1. Get the conservative old farts in The Villages. 2. Get the MAGAt’s. 3. Get the rednecks and racists. 4. Suppress everybody else. And it worked. DeSantis pulled out a narrow victory in the general election.
Which was a problem for DeSantis. Because you can only serve two terms as Governor in Florida. And so his ass wasn’t in the Governor’s chair for five little minutes when he was already calculating his strategy for 2024. 2024 was a no brainer, since he fully expected Trump to roll to reelection in 2020.
And as a result, every.single.thing. that DeSantis has done since inauguration day in 2019 has been geared towards getting the GOP presidential nomination in 2024. As a result, he railed against Covid vaccines, except in The Villages of course. He refused to implement a mask mandate, fudged on shutting down the state, refused to allow local school boards to set up mask mandates, picked a stupid fight with the state’s largest employer, Disney over LGBTQ rights, and turned spring break into a mass spreader event that hit northern states harder than his. His reelection was a snap.
If you notice a trend, you’re not the only one. His every move has been to lock up Florida’s electoral votes in 2024. His latest atrocity was to veto an advanced African American Studies high school class as being flawed and non educational. The way DeSantis is going, in another two years, the state of Florida will spell the word education as indoctrination. But there’s his one trick pony problem. He’s laser focused on Florida.
The problem, which DeSantis just doesn’t get is that Florida isn’t The United States! And DeSantis isn’t going to win the White House with Florida’s electoral votes. To win the White House, he’s going to have to win states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado and Arizona, all of which have racial and ideological makeups far removed from his Florida comfort zone.
Here’s a perfect example. DeSantis must consider himself a Mondo Muchacho because of his large Hispanic population. But Florida’s Hispanic population is far different than most other states. The majority of Florida Hispanics are Cuban Americans, who fled Castro’s socialist paradise. They also have a sizeable Venezuelan population, whom DeSantis pissed off by sending a planeload of compadres, and not a mandatory course. Yes ladies and gentlemen, this is what true stupid looks like. r compatriots on a junket to Martha’s Vineyard. And those groups have little in common with Mexicans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Costa Ricans, or Colombians.
You wanna win Michigan? How about Detroit? You wanna win Wisconsin? How about Milwaukee? You wanna win Pennsylvania? How about Philadelphia? You want to win Ohio? How about Cleveland and Akron? All of them share large African American populations, and I’m betting that none of them think that an advanced high school course in African American Studies is non educational. Especially when the goddamn thing is an elective course, and not a mandatory one. Personally, I don’t think that my Irish heritage is inconsequential either.
You want to win in Arizona and Nevada? Well Senor Governor, you had better get ready for a whole new breed of immigrant. I live here. And these immigrants came from completely different countries, with completely different priorities and belief structures, and you cookie cutter brand of macho just isn’t going to do it for them.
This is what is going to sink DeSantis, if not in the GOP primaries, then almost certainly in the general election. because DeSantis is so desperate to solidify the GOP base, he has gone as far over the top in his governing as you can go without falling off the other side, and all to impress the DUX News base. But guess what? A whole lotta mainstream national media channels have broadcast this insanity too, complete with editorial comments.
And as a result, by the time DeSantis finally gets around to formally announcing his candidacy for President, and going on a national introduction tour, a whole lot of people in America are going to think that they already know everything they need to know about Ron DeSantis. And it ain’t golf. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Even if you didn’t know you were making one. Don’t touch that dial.