Ron DeSantis’ Own Smug Memoir May Have Handed Disney Victory in Their Battle
Florida Governor and wannabe 2024 Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis may have just signed his own political death warrant. Granted, he’s no stranger to doing that, given his recent political wheeling and dealing in Florida. His anti-educational STOP WOKE Act has already been deemed unconstitutional by a federal court, and his state’s tourism is likely to suffer after a civil rights organization issued a travel warning for Florida due to his bigoted policies.
Now, it appears that he’s got even bigger political fish to fry, but he doesn’t seem to realize that he himself is on the menu. And he put himself there.
DeSantis’ newest memoir, The Courage To Be Free (a title whose irony is not lost on queer Floridians) reveals that his war on Disney was a personal matter all along. The politician began his feud with the entertainment company after Disney spoke out against DeSantis’ “don’t say gay” law, which would limit classroom discussions on sexuality and gender. DeSantis set his sights on Disney in response, and signed a law to take control of the organization’s self governing district in his state. DeSantis then attempted to sabotage the company’s efforts to work around the law, which prompted a lawsuit from Disney.
And they have quite a good case against him, thanks to his own self-serving memoir—a thing he probably thought would be helpful in his angling for the presidency. The lawsuit argues that DeSantis’ moves against Disney were “political retaliation,” which is illegal, but they’d have to prove DeSantis personal motives in his actions against them—which would normally be a bit difficult, so it’s convenient that DeSantis decided to help them out!
Disney’s lawyers have cited key passages in The Courage To Be Free that all but prove that the politician was targeting the company in order to score political points. The book brags about Desantis’ rapid efforts to destroy Disney’s tax district, an action which was in response for Disney’s “support of indoctrinating young schoolchildren in woke gender identity politics.” In case you’re wondering, that statement admits that DeSantis was targeting the company due to their speech in opposition to his laws, speech that is protected by the First Amendment. The book also characterizes Disney’s speech as “a frontal assault” against the DeSantis administration, an assault which, according to an op-ed published by DeSantis in the Wall Street Journal, he intends to “fight back” against.
Scott Wilkens, senior counsel at the Knight First Amendment Institute, says that lawsuits such as Disney’s usually have to “make inferences” about the political motivation of government officials. In this case, DeSantis said the quiet part out loud. “You have pretty clear statements from Governor DeSantis that he is seeking to punish a corporation for its speech… that’s prohibited by the First Amendment,” said Wilkens in a statement to The Washington Post.
Could you imagine the irony? The DeSantis administration imploding under his own words? Never has political justice tasted so sweet.
(featured image: Fox)
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