'A unique threat to democracy': New analysis details the danger of DeSantis’ 'increasingly aggressive gambits'
A new analysis is expressing concern about the rise of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and how his influence could become increasingly problematic in the coming months.
"The Florida governor’s increasingly aggressive gambits make some wonder if he’s headed for a fall," Politico's Michael Kruse wrote.
"His swaggering standing and aggressive political posture, according to more than 30 recent interviews and hundreds more over the past several years with aides and ex-aides, strategists and lobbyists, operatives and activists, and current and former elected officials from both parties, reflects a pattern of behavior his allies and supporters chalk up to growing confidence and his critics and opponents see as an increasingly authoritarian bent," Kruse continued.
The writer went on to highlight DeSantis' handling of Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren, who DeSantis suspended after he publicly criticized the governor's attempt to criminalize abortion and gender-affirming care. "There is nothing in the entirety of DeSantis’ record, most of these people agree, quite like the action he took against Warren," Kruse noted.
Speaking to Kruse, Warren said, “This poses a unique threat to democracy." He also expressed concern about the precedent the governor's actions might set. “It poses an existential threat to elections if this is allowed to stand,” he said.
Kathy Castor, a Congressional Democrat representing Tampa Fla., also criticized DeSantis for firing Warren, describing it as "an abuse of power."
“It’s anti-democratic," Castor said.
A former DeSantis advisor also described DeSantis' power move as "raw ambition."
“He’s thinking it’s smart politics,” the former aide said. “I think this might be one time where he may have overstepped.”
Kruse also noted that DeSantis' actions have actually benefited him politically.
"All indications are that it is working to his political favor. In the past two-plus years, he’s raised what is approaching some $200 million," he wrote. "On his campaign website, he’s selling taunting baubles such as 'Freedom Over Fauci' flip-flops and golf balls that come in a package that crows that 'Florida’s Governor Has a Pair.' Polls have reliably predicted he is going to win another term."