Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis likes to rail against government overreach until the time comes for him to do the overreaching.
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a representative of “small government” in the same way that Walmart is a mom-and-pop store. Like many Republicans, he likes to rail against government overreach until the time comes for him to do the overreaching.
And that’s what his administration has been doing this week.
On Wednesday, DeSantis suspended Monique Worrell, the democratically elected prosecutor of the Orlando area, because her political views did not align with his.
Based on how much attention his own fledgling presidential campaign dedicated to the decision, it certainly seems like a very calculated move on the governor’s part. After all, if anything can breathe life into the campaign of a right-wing Republican, it’s putting a Black woman in her place.
That certainly seemed to be Worrell’s own conclusion.
“If we are mourning anything this morning, it’s the loss of democracy,” she said. “I am your duly elected State Attorney, and nothing done by a weak dictator can change that.”
Worrell also tweeted that she would not be “used as a tool in his failing and disastrous presidential campaign.”
Among Democrats, the prevailing opinion was that this is exactly what was happening.
“Wanna-be dictator DeSantis unconstitutionally suspended a duly elected official to breathe back life into his dying campaign,”tweeted Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL). “State Attorney Worrell is a public servant who has done her job. We see this for what it is — a fraud suspension & blatant abuse of power.”
Last year, DeSantis removed Andrew Warren, another elected state attorney, this one from Tampa.
A federal judge reviewing the circumstances of that suspension later found that DeSantis acted unconstitutionally but that he as a federal judge could not intervene in a state matter, which is why the case was dismissed.
As though that wasn’t enough to demonstrate just how “small government” DeSantis is, some of the state’s largest school districts said they would not teach an Advanced Placement Psychology class that includes information on sexual orientation and gender identity because they were worried that they would run afoul of Florida’s new indoctrination laws.
For the same reason, some schools are also planning to teach only excerpts of Shakespeare in the coming term, which begins today.
Of course, DeSantis not only wants to control what Florida students cannot learn but also what they should learn and who can teach them.
And that now also includes “Prager University,” which isn’t a university at all but rather a right-wing organization that puts out propaganda videos, which DeSantis wants shown in Florida’s school.
One of them, in which Christopher Columbus explains to time-traveling kids that slavery was “no big deal,” made the rounds earlier this week.
So, if you are taking notes, Shakespeare is bad, but slavery not so much.
That’s DeSantis-style small government at work.