Yesterday, Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared in Brandon, FL for an extremely clever troll of the Biden administration. RedState reported on the event, which took place at Brandon Honda just to throw a little more hilarity into the mix.
But while the troll was newsworthy on its own, what DeSantis said when he addressed the crowd was incredibly important stuff, and it serves as a marker for other Republicans who continue to straddle the fence on a variety of issues (yeah, I'm looking straight at Asa Hutchinson and Mike DeWine, among others).
“These local government wanted to lockdown businesses, they wanted to force mandates, they wanted to keep kids locked out of schools…you’re damn right I overruled them” 🔥 @GovRonDeSantis pic.twitter.com/kabIHLKEXl
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) November 18, 2021
You hear the reporter use the canard that protecting individual rights is “violating the conservative tenet” of home rule. That's been a line used by several other GOP governors (and supposedly big-brained beltway analysts) who continue to allow their citizens to suffer under the malaise of overbearing COVID-19 mitigation.
DeSantis just rips this reporter a new one, though. The governor slams the idea that conservatism is about submitting to local tyrants, saying that it's “the United States of America, not the united school boards or county commissioners of America.” That's a point that hits the mark, with the original intent of our republic not being for local municipalities to be able to violate the rights of citizens at will.
DeSantis then went after Joe Biden's federal vaccine mandate, painting Florida as a protector against an unconstitutional dictate and noting that a federal vaccine mandate on civilians has never been done before. Again, he's correct in his assessment, as the case that the left always cites as proof that vaccine mandates are constitutional actually had to do with a state legislature, not the federal government. DeSantis further dismissed the idea that federal power over the military somehow continues legality to force substances into private citizens.
The governor then returned to the question of localities enforcing their own mandates where he delivered his best line, stating “These local government wanted to lockdown businesses, they wanted to force mandates, they wanted to keep kids locked out of schools, Yeah, you're damn right I overruled them because they were wrong.” Be sure to finish the video, though, because there are some other firey moments worth watching.
Other Republicans looking on often get squeamish when DeSantis gets forceful like this. How dare he use the power that was vested in him by the voters to protect their individual liberties? Wouldn't the founders want some tyrannical local school board member to have the final say? That's always been an asinine viewpoint, though. The states exist for a reason, and they are the best bulwark against government overreach at any level. Voters didn't elect DeSantis in Florida to defer to leftwingers in Tampa. They voted for him to take a stand when a stand needs to be taken, and he's done that in spades.
And while I know DeSantis isn't entertaining thoughts on 2024 just yet, as a general statement, know that there are going to be a lot of Republicans of all stripes who join the field. Whether one of those is the Florida governor or not, GOP voters should be examining exactly how those in the race reacted when the going got tough. Did they make the hard choices when they had the power to do so, putting it all on the line to protect individuals? Or did they talk the talk while making excuses for not taking action?
The answer to those questions should represent an immediate culling when the time comes. Republicans need leaders who won't back down, and DeSantis has proven, with all the national heat beating down on his skin, that he's got the guts to do the right things.