Maybe it’s not so hot an idea to start a war with the biggest company in the state you govern. That’s the harsh lesson Ron DeSantis may soon learn. Once seen as the future of the Republican party, the Florida honcho has hit a streak of bad luck. He’s cratering in the GOP presidential primary polls (before he’s even thrown his hat in the ring, no less). And his recent return fire on Disney — including threatening to build a prison adjacent to the Magic Kingdom — is backfiring on multiple fronts.
Let’s start with a prediction his mentor-turned-archnemesis Donald Trump made, namely that Disney may grow so weary of being attacked by DeSantis that they may pick up their toys and find another home. That could very well happen, thanks to him. As per The Daily Beast, a North Carolina legislator has filed a measure beckoning the House of Mouse their way.
It’s called “Mickey’s Freedom Restoration Act,” and it seeks $75,000 to explore the possibility of stealing Disney World and its enormous employment opportunities. “North Carolina is a great place to do business,” reads a release, suggesting that the Tar Heel State’s Democratic governor won’t cross ethical lines by punishing them for daring to not hate LGBTQIA+ people.
Democratic senator Michael Garrett, who introduced the bill, dragged DeSantis, saying, “Politicians who put their state’s economy at risk to boost their own selfish political ambitions are a liability.” He added the state would “welcome The Walt Disney Company and all other businesses seeking refuge from the culture war madness currently gripping the great state of Florida.”
Democrats are taking Disney’s side over DeSantis, but what about fellow Republicans. Well, some of them think he’s being a short-sighted bully, too. According to The New York Times, not only is Trump trashing him for being “absolutely destroyed by Disney,” so is Trump’s former buddy Chris Christie.
“I don’t think Ron DeSantis is conservative, based on actions towards Disney,” the former New Jersey governor said at an event on Tuesday. “Where are we headed here now that, if you express disagreement in this country, the government is now going to punish you? To me, that’s what I always thought liberals did, and now all of a sudden here we are participating in this with a Republican governor.”
Advisers to Trump have been taking advantage of the beef, which they reportedly believe will be damaging in a general election, and in the primary, too.
Other Republicans who’ve come for DeSantis include Mike Pence, who trashed the fight back in February, and the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, who on Tuesday wrote, “You’d think the former president would be critical of Disney’s woke turn, but his only abiding political conviction is personal advantage.”
Meanwhile, Disney doesn’t appear to be taking DeSantis’ threats all that seriously. They cleverly circumvented his diabolical attempt to strip them of control over their portion of Florida land. And soon after he threatened them with a nearby prison — again, all because they criticized his so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill — seemed to troll him by casually announcing a Pride Event at Disneyland in California, whose governor actually lets students and teachers use the word “gay.”
(Via The Daily Beast and NYT)