‘Petty tyranny’: Ron DeSantis rails against D.C. media, government overreach
Ron DeSantis

DeSantis unfiltered Tuesday in Tallahassee.

With worries seemingly subsiding that Florida’s health care system will be overrun by COVID-19 cases, Gov. Ron DeSantis was free to riff Tuesday.

The Governor, taking more questions from the Tallahassee press corps than has been normal of late, hearkened back to his days in the Fox News green room.

Hot quote after hot quote came from the podium, where a Governor who had been criticized widely for lacking command presence again came into his own.

A recurring topic: the relatively measured approach DeSantis has taken to the coronavirus crisis, juxtaposed against media members and governments elsewhere in the country whose crackdowns he sees as unconstitutional.

“You know, it’s interesting,” DeSantis said, “I watched the [President’s] briefings and you go back a week or two and he was being badgered by the press there.”

The badgering media, the Governor added, asked the President “why aren’t you shutting down these states? South Dakota doesn’t have stay-at-home, you know, whatever.”

“They were badgering about it and he was saying ‘well, it’s their decision’. Now they’re saying you don’t have the authority,” DeSantis said, regarding opening up the states as President Donald Trump has said.

“You know, it’s one or the other,” DeSantis continued. “Functionally, here’s the thing. So when they extended the guidelines, a state didn’t have to continue with mitigation. A state could have done its own thing.”

“But practically speaking,” the Governor added, “once that happened you were just not going to be in a situation where you could open up, I mean, that’s just the reality.”

“He could get rid of the guidelines … what’s going to start to happen is you’re going to have people move in that direction. Just as the extension led to the continued mitigation,” DeSantis asserted, “if he decides to lift that or do more liberal guidelines, you’re going to see the states inevitably follow.”

DeSantis then offered his take on what authority a Governor has, suggesting he sees stricter limits than many of his critics do.

“Just because there’s an emergency, that does not give a Governor unlimited authority,” DeSantis said.

“You see some of the things going on throughout the country. You have people driving into a drive-up church service. They’re not leaving their car,” DeSantis said. “They’re not coming into contact with anybody.”

“They’re turning up their radio, listening to a sermon, and they’re getting fined,” he said.

“I don’t think that’s acceptable. You cannot deny someone a constitutional right if what they’re doing has no impact whatsoever on this infectious disease.

“If someone drives their car, parks in a parking lot, listens to the good news, and then goes home, that has zero impact,” he added.

“Some of this stuff has been petty tyranny … a huge mistake, and what we tried to do here is respect people.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


  • Amy Roberts

    April 14, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    Petty is The President of the United States not giving needed supplies and support unless you pay homage to his greatness. He revels in the Governors begging for the citizens of their State. Governor DeSantis does whatever It takes, for approval of the President, not for the good of the citizens of Florida, but for his own political career.

    • Over it

      April 15, 2020 at 10:28 am

      ORANGE MAN BAD!!!!

  • Frankie M.

    April 14, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    Looks like lil Ronnie has been taking notes during Trump’s pep rallies. Can he comment on his boss pawning decisions off on the states when it came to shutting down the country but it’s His unilateral call on when to reopen the country??

  • Palmer Tom

    April 15, 2020 at 12:58 am

    DeSantis seems to use the Trump playbook and simply change the subject and blame the media. He didn’t address why HE didn’t act sooner. No one ever claimed governors have unlimited power–the state constitution guides that–but governors are in charge of their states and the feds are not.

  • DisplacedCTYankee

    April 15, 2020 at 4:53 am

    “If someone drives their car, parks in a parking lot, listens to the good news, and then goes home, that has zero impact,” he added. (DeSantis)

    Churches don’t deliver “good news.” Only fairy tales.

    • FL Patriot

      April 15, 2020 at 9:42 am

      The Governor is correct to defend religious liberty and activities such as drive in Church services that do not harm or infect people with this virus.

      When you meet Our Lord when you leave this world, I assure you it won’t be “a fairytale.” The “Good News” is in fact that Jesus died to save each of us. And we celebrate on Easter that he conquered sin and death with the crucifixion and rose again on the third day. It is man’s free will to accept His gift of eternal life or he can choose eternal death. Before man are set life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him. You may want to reflect on that.

  • Pedro

    April 15, 2020 at 8:22 am

    Or you can get that “good news” from home. Those evangelicals are just dying for the rapture they so desperately seek.

  • Kerry R Cochell

    April 15, 2020 at 10:41 am

    After the government bankrupted the worlds economy in 2008, I didn’t believe they could do any worse………… I was wrong.

    I’m still waiting for the justification for the ridiculous over reach by this government. The refurb buildings for temporary hospitals and hospital ships, are nothing more than props. You don’t bankrupt Americans, ruin our childrens already sub standard education and tear up Our Constitutional Rights for an infectious disease which we deal with CONSTANTLY.

    Where’s the mass burials in the impoverished third world and over crowded refugee camps who have ZERO resources? I’ve seen NOTHING to justify the damage they’ve done.

    Now the propaganda will segue into china china china, so we don’t pay attention to the REAL issue, WHY? Why didn’t we treat this as we’ve treated every other infectious disease and allow it to run it’s course.

Comments are closed.


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