Let’s Talk About That DeSantis, Newsom Debate.

It didn’t appear to go well for Ron DeSantis.

Lauren Elizabeth


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Well in case you hadn’t heard already, there was another debate. This time not between Republican candidates scrambling to do what they can to catch up with Donald Trump or at the very least separate themselves from the rest of the struggling pack. This time, it was between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and California’s Gavin Newsom.

I suppose it’s probably not much of a surprise, but needless to say it went about as you would expect for Ron DeSantis given how this entire election cycle has gone for him.

In just one of the many highlights, Gavin Newsom did not hesitate to dive in and said:

“…What you’re doing is using education as a sword for your cultural purge and you know what? With all due respect, you know I remember in the 1970s we had a bill called the Briggs initiative. And there was a guy by the name of Ronald Reagan, so offended by the Briggs initiative which was the original ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, in that case it was not allowing teachers that happened to be gay to teach. And Reagan had the courage to stand up and he said ‘you can’t catch gay like you can measles’. I don’t like the way you demean people. I don’t like the way you demean the LGBT community. I don’t like the way you demean or humiliate people you disagree with, Ron. I really find this fundamentally offensive, and this is a core value that distinguishes the values my state and frankly the vast majority of Americans against the weaponization of education and the purging that he’s advancing.”

I mean…just absolutely brutal. Ron DeSantis’ face throughout the entire sequence was fascinating to watch as he grew more and more uncomfortable, realizing exactly what he had gotten himself into.

For DeSantis, it was of course never supposed to go this way.

For DeSantis, this was his chance to elevate himself. This was his chance to set himself apart as a serious candidate who would be capable of winning a general election and earn trust with a base that has not waivered in their allegiance to Donald Trump. Instead, once again DeSantis has come across the same way he has since the beginning of the campaign: like a coward without a genuine bone in his body.

To be clear, I’ve got no love for Gavin Newsom. He’s about as opportunistic as they come among Democrats, and he represents everything wrong with the party. But in this specific instance, he rose to the challenge. He’s been acutely aware of the fact that Democrats are in need of a Biden successor, and seized the opportunity for himself the way Ron DeSantis clearly could not.

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Lauren Elizabeth

Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx