Vladimir DeSantis


Irony, thy name is Florida.

DeSantis signs 'anti-riot' bill into lawOn Monday, Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed H.B. 1, an act “relating to combating public disorder.”  The bill passed on strictly partisan votes by Republicans in both the House and Senate with the exception of one GOP senator who voted with Democrats opposing the measure.   It contains the following provisions which fly in the face of supposedly traditional GOP governing principles.

  • Defines riot “as an assembly of three or or more persons, acting with a common intent to assist each other in violent or disorderly conduct” (you can kiss the First Amendment goodbye).
  • Creates the second-degree felony of “aggravated rioting” if more than 25 participants cause bodily harm or $5,000 in property damage or use a deadly weapon (good thing for Oath Keepers and Proud Boys the U.S. Capitol is not in the Sunshine State).
  • Disorderly conduct includes “imminent” danger of injury or property damage (otherwise known as the “psychic full-employment clause”).
  • Limits the ability of local governments to reduce the operating budgets of municipal law enforcement agencies (so much for decentralized decision-making).
  • Prohibition of obstructing traffic by standing on a street, highway or road (of course it does not apply to obstructing traffic on waterways a la pro-Trump regattas).
  • Calls for imprisonment without bail until arraignment of anyone arrested for participating in a riot (unlike Kyle Rittenhouse who was allowed to go home after fatally shooting two people with an illegally obtained assault weapon).

These are just the highlights.  And how does DeSantis characterize these 61 pages of big government oversight?

If you look at the breadth of this particular piece of legislation, it is the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country.  There’s just nothing even close.

Now those are words from a man of conviction.  Except of course when it does not fit his narrative of us versus them.  During a Monday appearance on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle, Florida’s tough-talking strongman suggested jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial convicted the ex-police officer because “you basically have justice meted out because the jury is scared of what a mob might do.”  Just so I understand this correctly, three people standing on Duval Street in front of the Florida Supreme Court with a sign that says “H.B. 1 is unconstitutional” is a riot, but four police officers killing an individual at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis is not.

You want more irony? On March 2, 2021, during his state of the state address, DeSantis took umbrage against those who he claimed were promoting the “cancel culture” and “political correctness.”

Florida has always been a state that strongly supports free speech, and we cannot allow the contours of acceptable speech to be adjudicated by the whims of oligarchs in Silicon Valley.

I cannot wait for the remake of Blazing Saddles, when DeSantis is cast in the role of Governor Lepetomane (Mel Brooks in the 1974 original) and declares, “We can’t allow oligarchs in Silicon Valley to control speech.  That’s our phony-baloney job.”

What could possibly go wrong?  Look no further than this morning’s headlines.  For example,  Reuters reports, “Russia arrests over 1,700 at rallies for hunger-striking Navalny.”  Or as DeSantis and his legislative “red guard” would describe it, “Russia jails over 1,700 without bail for riots that blocked traffic.”

The day before the Navalny protest, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the Federalist Council in a nationally televised speech which sounded a awful lot like DeSantis’ justification for Florida’s anti-riot law.  Putin dared anyone to challenge his handling of Alexei Navalny.

Organizers of any provocations that threaten our core security interests will regret what they have done like they’ve never regretted anything for a long time.

Putin might as well have ended by saying, “You know, like my comrade-in-arms and future president of the United States Ron DeSantis.  But in Russia, we don’t need no stinking H.B. 1.”

As he leaves the podium, Putin passes Konstantin Kilimnik, hands him a manila envelope, and says, “Konstantin, I have your next assignment, should you decide to accept it (like you have a choice, haha).  As always, should you or any of your SVR team be caught or killed, I will disavow all knowledge of your actions.”  (Mission Impossible theme plays as Kilimnik reads the contents of the envelope before it self-destructs.)

For what it’s worth.


4 thoughts on “Vladimir DeSantis

  1. Don’t forget the gratitude of the insurance companies who now have a very broadened riot exclusion excuse for not paying for damages. Imagine how happy property owners will be.

  2. We are in a time of trial, one which goes far beyond systematic racism in police forces. The core of our democratic beliefs is being tested and we must step up and meet the moment. The men and women of the far right are no different than the true believer leaders of the Taliban – except that the religion of our would-be kings in America is power and control.

  3. One of your best! If only it hadn’t been necessary.

    P.S. I am despondent in that I can’t think of any way for “progressives” to push back in any meaningful way within the system before our basic civil liberties are hollowed out for decades. The theoretical obvious answer is to “vote the perpetrators out of office”. But given the power of the incumbency and lack of campaign finance reform, that is unlikely to occur timely enough to reverse the current trends in governance, especially at the local & state level. Will the next step have to be waiting for a situation where the enforcement of this Florida law is challenged in court?
    At this point, personally, I feel the most immediate personal action I could take would be leaving Florida! Alas, that is not a practical option. Also, that still would not rid us of the current “foxes in the henhouse”.

  4. I continue enjoying your brilliance! Thanks very much for keeping me inspired and entertained.

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