DeSantis Derangement Syndrome
It hasn’t taken long for the wolves to come howling …
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House obliquely criticized DeSantis’s Martha’s Vineyard airlift of illegal immigrants by suggesting that Florida farmers “need them to pick crops down here.” (Pelosi) may have had a point about Biden-induced labor shortages, but in our charged racial climate, her “pick crops” line came off horribly.
Vice President Kamala Harris, in her characteristically awkward speech, stated that federal aid distribution would be guided by principles of “equity,” meaning that “communities of color” would receive preferential treatment over white hurricane victims. DeSantis’s Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw corrected her, observing that FEMA resources were already available on a non-discriminatory basis to all.
“FEMA Individual Assistance is already available to all Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of race or background,” tweeted Ms. Pushaw, adding, if you need assistance visit disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.
Politico’s Jack Shafer offered mock praise for the governor. Shafer sneered that DeSantis was now acting like a “normal politician” instead of an “excitable boy,” “red-toothed biter,” “political opportunist,” and “loon.” Shafer dismissed actions that have saved thousands of lives and eased the suffering of millions as merely “the latest example of [DeSantis’s] opportunism,” “a hurdle to clear on his way to reelection,” and “a tryout for the White House, a position he so clearly lusts for.” The savvy Beltway reader, he intoned, should realize that this “temporary adjustment” will “return to culture warfare once Ian’s waters recede.”
Joy Behar, a paranoid hysteric who claims to be a comedian, also claimed that DeSantis bears personal responsibility for the hurricane because of his skepticism of climate change. Behar co-hosts ABC’s wine mom-centric The View. Perhaps, reminds Paul du Quenoy at the Spectator, it wouldn’t have happened if DeSantis had recycled more. “Behar further supposed that DeSantis is a hypocrite for accepting federal disaster assistance, lazily equating public funds for emergencies with the socialism she presumably favors but that DeSantis opposes.” In a time of crisis, Behar’s “harping” was “tasteless and mean-spirited, but no one could call it funny.”
Since DeSantis came to office, Mr. du Quonoy reminds Spectator readers, the governor has diligently followed “state directives to streamline and improve the effectiveness of hurricane responses that were put in place after Hurricane Irma devastated parts of Florida in 2017.”
In the week before Ian made landfall, the governor placed all of Florida under a state of emergency. He also mobilized 7,000 National Guard troops from Florida and other states, and readied 28,000 linemen to restore expected power outages. When the hurricane increased in strength to a near-Category 5 storm, DeSantis mobilized an additional 14,000 linemen and delegated evacuation protocols to local authorities in at-risk areas.
When Ian arrived last Wednesday, DeSantis immediately did what any state governor should do: he placed calls to President Joe Biden and the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA). He was active on the ground meeting with local officials and, dare one say, acting positively presidential as he focused on the storm rather than his political fortunes. Biden, who did not initially accept DeSantis’s call, did eventually talk to him, and DeSantis publicly thanked him for extending federal disaster relief.
(President Joe Biden) will not visit Florida until October 5, however, a week after Ian impacted the state. Nevertheless, more than two thirds of power outages were restored within 72 hours. Some 70 people, mostly those who failed to evacuate, were killed. This is a tragic figure, but far fewer than the “hundreds” eagerly predicted by hostile media as the storm came through.
DeSantis, who has wisely risen above his critics, recently told Fox News host Tucker Carlson, “When people are fighting for their lives, when their livelihood is at stake, lost everything, if you can’t put politics aside for that, you won’t be able to.”
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