Ron DeSantis Shows His True Colors: Tin-Pot Tyrant – Esquire

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Being our semi-regular weekly survey of what’s goin’ down in the several states where, as we know, the real work of governmentin’ gets done, and where the fool’s gold mouthpiece, the hollow horn, plays wasted words that prove to warn.

We begin in Michigan, where the defeat of incumbent Rep. Peter Mejier in a Republican primary became inevitable the moment he voted to impeach El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago for what we all know now to be true about Impeachment II. His district also got tinkered with during redistricting. But all the postgame analysis seems to be centered on the fact that DCCC activists threw in behind Meijier’s opponent, a full-on MAGA meathead named John Gibbs. From CNN:

Meijer’s primary in his western Michigan district had become a flashpoint in both parties’ national infighting because Gibbs was the beneficiary of Democratic meddling. The party’s House campaign arm, believing that Gibbs would be a less viable general election candidate, ran more than $300,000 in ads ostensibly attacking his alliance with Trump with the goal of boosting him in the primary. But that strategy angered some on the left who thought it undermined their broader messaging against political extremism in the GOP, while sparking fears the gamble could backfire if Gibbs makes it to Congress.

Can we all stop being 4 years old? The worst thing that could happen is that Gibbs gets to be the same kind of noisy, influence-free backbencher that Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor-Greene are. Meijer racked up a 72 percent score from Heritage Action, a total that includes his opposition to codifying Roe v. Wade and to the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

If Gibbs gets elected, he likely will be worse, but on the big questions facing the republic, the choice will be more measured than the coverage of Meijer’s defeat would have you believe. But the performative moral outrage over the involvement of the DCCC is both ahistorical and a bit rich.

For example, in 1946, a Congressional seat opened up in Boston. One of the announced candidates was a Boston city councillor named Joseph Russo. Another one was the skinny scion of a couple of local political dynasties by the name of John F. Kennedy. The latter’s father, leaving nothing to chance, allegedly bankrolled the campaign of a janitor whose name also was Joseph Russo so as to confuse and baffle voters of the 11th Congressional District. Kennedy’s political career was launched under a cloud, and everybody knew it and accepted it as the cost of doing business here in the Commonwealth, God save it.

Anyway, let’s all just assume that, on a day to day basis, one Republican is as good as another, which is to say, not very.

Elsewhere in Michigan, some local Walmart Torquemadas are making life miserable for public school teachers and librarians. So everybody pays.

From Michigan Bridge:

Voters in Jamestown Township, a politically conservative community in Ottawa County, rejected renewal Tuesday of a millage that would support the Patmos Library. That vote guts the library’s operating budget in 2023 — 84 percent of the library’s $245,000 budget comes from property taxes collected through a millage. Without a millage, the library is likely to run out of money sometime late next year, said Larry Walton, library board president.

And how did this dreadful event come to pass? A plague of theocratic busybodies descended on Ottawa County.

The group, called Jamestown Conservatives, passed out flyers at the town’s Memorial Day parade that referenced “Gender Queer: a Memoir,” a Pride Month display at the library and a director who, in the group’s words, “promoted the LGBTQ ideology.”

“Pray that we can make changes and make the Patmos Library a safe and neutral place for our children,” the flyer said. Yard signs urging residents to vote no on the library millage popped up along Riley Street, Jamestown’s main drag. One sign was directly across the street from the library, and another was conspicuously in the lawn of a library board member. That board member could not be reached for comment. One resident posted a large, homemade sign that said, “50 percent increase to GROOM our kids? Vote NO on Library!”

The tombstone of American democracy is going to be crowded with epitaphs, but I suspect we can probably make room for “Vote NO on Library.

We move along to Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis is doing the country the great favor of demonstrating in public what kind of president he might be.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

At a news conference flanked by police from around Tampa Bay, DeSantis said [Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren] has “put himself publicly above the law” by signing letters saying he would not enforce laws prohibiting gender-affirming care for minors or laws limiting abortion. “Our government is a government of laws, not a government of men,” DeSantis said. The suspension, which stunned observers, removed one of the state’s most outspoken prosecutors. Warren, a Democrat, has been a frequent critic of DeSantis, including calling the governor’s 2021 “anti-riot” legislation a misguided “solution in search of a problem” and questioning the need for an election security force proposed by DeSantis.

Not that DeSantis has the predatory instincts of a true tyrant, or anything.

DeSantis said Thursday that the decision to suspend Warren began when he noticed prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Francisco selectively enforcing crimes. He said he asked his staff to look around Florida “to make sure that that was not going to happen here.” […] DeSantis’ order does not cite any specific examples of Warren not prosecuting individual cases, pointing instead to Warren’s public comments on abortion, transgender issues and office policies Warren has adopted.

Just the kind of person I want with his hands on the Justice Department and the entire American intelligence apparatus.

And we conclude, as is our custom, in the great state of Oklahoma, whence Blog Official Jack Whisperer Friedman of the Plains brings us the tale of some peripatetic public money.

From OklahomaWatch:

Nearly seven years later, not a dime has been invested in the County Community Safety Investment Fund, established by passage of State Question 781 to cover the costs of treatment in all 77 counties. That’s where the burden shifted when voters approved State Question 780, reclassifying many drug-related felonies and sending offenders to county jails rather than state prisons. Instead, legislators have been appropriating funds into a separate diversion program managed by state agencies.

You may recall that we mentioned a ProPublica report on states hoarding federal TANF funds for years—here we have the same thing in microcosm:

When 58% of voters supported reclassifying low-level offenses and 56% voted to channel the saving to counties for treatment, they weren’t casting ballots for the spirit of the law, said Damion Shade, executive director of Oklahomans For Criminal Justice Reform. “It is entirely true to say that they have invested in some diversion programs,” Shade said. “The diversion programs that they have invested in are not the diversion programs and not the resources that voters demanded. It’s not. That’s just a material fact. When they say they’re fulfilling the spirit of the law, that means that they are not fulfilling the letter of the law.”

This is your democracy, America. Cherish it.

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