Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is doing something with Disney that’s dividing the right and invigorating the left (but only in a mildly amusing way). His decision to revoke Disney’s special privileges by not renewing the Reedy Creek agreement has conservatives aligning in some pretty weird ways over the notion that DeSantis is misusing government power and retaliating for political speech he doesn’t like.
Former Trump legal team member Jenna Ellis is taking the same line that the establishment conservatives over at National Review are taking in criticizing DeSantis’ move. Meanwhile, conservatives who liked Trump’s figthing style see DeSantis as a bit of hero who refuses to bow to what are surely highly questionable political positions by an incredibly powerful corporation that appears to be operating outside the wishes of shareholders.
Then there’s the left, who would prefer that children be “educated” on sexual transitioning at a very young age. They’re kind of gloating over the conservative rift, but it smells a bit of desperation as they cling to “standards” that are, frankly morally repugnant. They’re not very popular at the moment, what with their guy failing pretty dramatically in the White House.
What’s interesting, and lost in most of the debate, is the question of what’s happening to schoolchildren in America today. The DeSantis critics on the right are talking about government overreach and tax burdens and loss of revenue. The left is talking about their feelings (again). The DeSantis defenders seem to be the only ones talking about how the children and the nation’s future are worth the fight against this present darkness, even if it leads to uncomfortable intraparty discussions.
However the drama plays out, it’s good to remember that DeSantis is not a stupid man, nor a stupid politician. From The WSJ:
Disney largely funds the Reedy Creek district, which had about $150 million in revenue last year. It also carries close to $1 billion in debt. The mayor of Orange County warned Thursday that if the district goes, then upkeep will “fall to the county’s budgets,” putting “an undue burden on the rest of the taxpayers.” The headaches look large enough that it’s difficult not to wonder about the bill’s effective date. It dissolves the Reedy Creek district on June 1, 2023—time for Disney and Mr. DeSantis to make up.
Disney and DeSantis will likely work toward striking some kind of a deal because the era of woke boardrooms may be short lived. If Netflix and Twitter — and indeed Disney itself — are harbingers of what embracing those policies leads to, a quick look at the worth of their individual stocks should scare companies straight.
There’s likely to be later protesting on the part of some of these corporations that they felt bullied to adopt the new woke standards in this age of cancel culture. That’s a fair enough defense, but isn’t really enough to justify confusing and gaslighting children.
How much Americans will ultimately be willing to forgive them remains to be seen.
I talk about all that today on the show. There’s also a brief review of the very funny “Killing It” (trailer below), and a bit more on Musk’s moves to prove he’s serious.
Dip your toe in if you dare.