On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis again brought up a recent mass murder in Wisconsin by way of illustrating his support for the Florida School Board Association breaking with its national equivalent.
The National School Board Association worried parents protesting school board meetings over COVID-19 precautions could constitute “the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
Though they’ve since apologized, the move has roiled conservatives and has led Florida’s chapter becoming the latest to leave the national group.
DeSantis offered support for the move, quickly pivoting to amplify previous messaging about events at a parade in the city of Waukesha, where a driver plowed his SUV past police barricades and into a crowd, killing six and injuring dozens more.
“I support what the Florida School Board Association did. I think it was the right thing to get out of the National School Board Association. The National School Board Association was using its organization to advance a partisan narrative and agenda. And they created this letter to try to get the FBI to start basically running interference at school board meetings,” DeSantis argued, before pivoting to Waukesha.
“You know, they’re not interested in having the FBI go after the guy in Waukesha, Wisconsin, which was an intentional act of terrorism,” DeSantis said of the NSBA. “But they somehow think a parent who is upset that there’s bad curriculum being put in schools, or forced masking or all these other things, that if they speak out, then somehow they are a domestic threat? Give me a break.”
This messaging may seem familiar to some. In recent days, the Governor has found opportunity to return to talking points related to Waukesha and domestic terrorism on a variety of platforms.
DeSantis blamed the “corporate press” for creating the impression that a concerned parent could be a “domestic terrorist” Monday in Orlando
“For corporate press, they’re more apt to characterize a parent who goes to a school board meeting to protest bad policies as a domestic terrorist than somebody who intentionally rams an SUV into a crowd of innocent people,” DeSantis said, at a press conference trumpeting law enforcement bonuses.
“They will swoop into a community, they will create a false narrative, and then they kind of just leave and they never correct the record when what they’re saying is obviously false. And we’re seeing that right now in real-time with Waukesha, Wisconsin,” DeSantis added.
DeSantis has suggested also that “media lies” about the Kyle Rittenhouse trial may have motivated the Waukesha assailant.
If history is any guide, DeSantis will offer a fundraising email recapping his blast against school boards. He has already sent out one email this week with a Waukesha theme, taking the media to task for its “optional reality.”
“The corporate media eagerly labels frustrated parents speaking out at a school board meeting as ‘domestic terrorists’ but actively choose to look the other way when someone rams a vehicle into a parade of innocent people. That’s the current state of our media,” the email laments.
As ever, DeSantis has one eye on national coverage when he explores themes like this, and strong reviews have abounded on the right.
“Teeth are gnashed after Ron DeSantis goes there,” raved RedState.