“So far, we’ve actually been quite disappointed with Governor DeSantis,” the head of Florida Voice for the Unborn told The New York Times, adding that, in a presidential primary, “if there’s a big pro-life champion to contrast their record with Governor DeSantis’s record, there’s no doubt that he will be hit. That is his weak point.”
Until this week, DeSantis still wasn’t elaborating on his abortion-related plans. On Thursday, though, in response to a question about a six-week abortion ban, he said, “I’m willing to sign great life legislation. That’s what I’ve always said I would do.”
The odds that DeSantis will sign such a bill are high, but he is still being cautious. That answer is not extremely specific and stops short of a commitment to fight for such legislation. The forced-birth crowd is noticing that this is the one culture war fight DeSantis isn’t super aggressive about picking.
It’s not that DeSantis isn’t being aggressive on various far-right causes. He is asking the legislature for a law allowing people to carry guns in public without a concealed weapons permit. He’s called for a grand jury to investigate (translation: serve as a vehicle for promoting) “any and all wrongdoing” by pharmaceutical companies around COVID-19 vaccines.
“We’ll be able to get the data whether they want to give it or not,” DeSantis said. “In Florida, it is illegal to mislead and misrepresent, especially when you are talking about the efficacy of a drug.” He seems to be planning a lengthy show trial to whip up the anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists, but also—based on his talk about side effects—to feed the fears of the vaccine-hesitant.
The man loves picking a fight as a way to solidify his culture-warrior credentials. He’s just being cautious about this one specific fight that’s incredibly important to his party’s base—but was electoral poison to Republicans this year. Funny, right? It’s kind of almost like what DeSantis really cares about is politically calculated performance to position himself juuuuuust right for that presidential primary he is still playing coy about getting into.