'Tallahassee isn’t Washington, D.C': Miami newspaper identifies 'cracks' in DeSantis’ 'Florida Blueprint'

'Tallahassee isn’t Washington, D.C': Miami newspaper identifies 'cracks' in DeSantis’ 'Florida Blueprint'

In a Monday, September 4 op-ed, the Miami Herald editorial board highlights several "cracks" in Florida governor and 2024 GOP candidate Ron DeSantis' "Florida Blueprint" slogan, warning that "Voters should ask whether the 'Florida Blueprint' is exactly what its title denotes, a strategy to govern a state like Florida, where opposition has been neutered, or an effective way to lead a diverse nation."

The board offers a few examples of the governor's "sledgehammer approach to governing," emphasizing the ways he "seems more concerned with headlines than prudent governing."

The editors note that "court battles over a president's policies have become normal in America's polarized politics. The difference with DeSantis is that legal fights don't seem to be a consequence of his actions, but the goal."

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First, the board points out that DeSantis has been successful in Florida "largely because of a compliant Republican-controlled Legislature," and therefore "faces no real opposition thanks to a Florida Democratic Party that can't figure out how to win elections and the state's rightward shift in recent years."

However, Miami Herald emphasizes, "Tallahassee isn't Washington, D.C. If elected president, DeSantis would have to make deals with a divided Congress, where he was once a backbench member of the U.S. House who disliked Capitol Hill politics and the backslapping it requires, Politico reported."

Former Republican strategist Mac Stipanovich called DeSantis a "mean, vindictive, petty man,'" noting that Florida "Republicans fall in line or risk DeSantis' payback."

Another problem with the "Florida Blueprint" according to the Herald is that "DeSantis and Republicans have become sloppy at writing laws. A consequence of one-party rule is that legislation now is rushed through, without meaningful debate. The laws are too vague, confusing and ripe for court challenges."

READ MORE: 'Persistent affordability crisis': How DeSantis’ plan to sell his 'Florida blueprint' could backfire

Additionally, the board writes:

One of DeSantis' first culture-war measures was a 2021 anti-Big Tech bill that, despite having all the marks of unconstitutionality, cruised through the Legislature. The law, in part, banned social-media companies from de-platforming Florida political candidates, levying fines of up to $250,000 a day for violations. After industry groups sued on First Amendment grounds, a federal judge blocked key parts of the law, calling it 'riddled with imprecision and ambiguity,' and an appeals court upheld much of the ruling. Florida has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in.

DeSantis' signature 'Stop WOKE Act,' which limited how teachers and college professors can teach about race, also got dressed down in court. U.S. Circuit Judge Mark Walker last year temporarily blocked the law from being enforced in higher education, calling it 'positively dystopian.' An appeals court denied Florida’s request to stay Walker's order. Federal courts recently blocked, at least temporarily, laws and policies that targeted children attending drag shows, banned Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming healthcare and banned minors from receiving such care.

The editors also emphasize:

In Florida, there's one way to be a Republican today: the DeSantis way. There are few conservative mavericks left in Florida government in the mold of the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, who famously blocked [ex-President Donald] Trump's attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. How would DeSantis deal with Republicans who aren't fearful or sycophantic? It's not clear.

READ MORE: DeSantis-appointed lead of Florida’s affordable housing has 'very surprising' financial history: report

The board's full op-ed is available at this link (subscription required).

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