“We believe that everybody counts, everybody is special — and our Heartbeat Protection Act shows that we say what we mean and we mean what we say,” said DeSantis, according to the Post. Then after a brief allusion to there being “much more to do,” he skedaddled from the issue to instead regale the anti-abortion group with what he must have imagined they really wanted to hear about, standard stump stuff about his tax policies.
In all fairness to Ron, this is because he is gutless—tragically, shamefully gutless, in the full medical meaning of the phrase. The man has hydraulics where his guts should be. DeSantis may want to brag to his friendly audience about his latest acts of far-right cruelty, but DeSantis does not give a damn about any of it, not really; it was all a show in order to position him for a competition with the seditionist Donald Trump for the Republican nomination to the presidency, and now his more pressing concern is to keep his own mouth shut about it.
Why? Because DeSantis and the rest of the Republican Party are terrified of the public’s fury at far-right abortion bans. Republican anti-abortion measures remain blazingly unpopular with the public, one of the most hot-button issues working against Republicanism that there currently is, and no matter how many posh galas for the theocratic far-right each Republican candidate might attend, when the primaries are over and they have to face out-party challengers each Republican is terrified that their quotes to these far-right groups will come back to haunt them.
So, in Ron’s case, that means he can’t even muster the guts to even mention abortion to an anti-abortion group on the occasion of being feted for his anti-abortion stances—not for longer than 20 seconds, anyway. Lordy, what if someone makes tapes?
Again, though, this is all part of a larger gutlessness that might be prevalent everywhere in politics, but in Ron DeSantis’ case is his primary and defining feature. Why anyone around DeSantis thinks he has the stuff of a national campaign remains mysterious, given how agonizing their attempts have been to make sure their candidate has been coddled during every last appearance he’s dared to make.
Oh, he’s very brave in appearing before far-right anti-abortion groups—but can you even think of a time when DeSantis put himself in a situation in which he was exposed to face-to-face criticism from anyone who was not on the hard right?
No, probably not. Aside from the usual pandering to the far-right now de rigueur among Republicanism’s rising class, the DeSantis way is to gutlessly use the powers of his office to attack LGBTQ+ schoolchildren, or their teachers, or university professors who have had the audacity to disagree with Florida Republican edicts, and to hold very carefully curated press conferences for him to brag about his bullying, ones in which only his supporters and fellow bullies are allowed to be seen or be heard from.
It’s become crystal clear just why Ron’s handlers don’t allow him to appear in mixed company whenever they can help it, too. You can put him in a photo-op surrounded literally by children and he’ll make a total ass of himself before he’s even halfway onstage.
The man bullies children, but doesn’t have the guts to defend his most radical stances in a room full of the people who most pressured for those radical bills? Pfft. Other politicians, men like Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, learned cowardice after they ran for president and were wounded by a loudmouth buffoon calling them mean names, but DeSantis is a born coward. He’s going to be running from his own shadow from day one.
Trump and Republicans are terrified of their signature issue: Abortion bans
Civil rights groups warn tourists about Florida in wake of ‘hostile’ laws
DeSantis is learning that attacking LGBTQ Americans is bad for a campaign
Jennifer Fernandez Ancona from Way to Win joins Markos and Kerry to talk about the new messaging the Democratic Party’s national candidates are employing going into 2024. Ancona was right about the messaging needed to win the midterms, and we think she’s right about 2024.