The political feud between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Disney has been heating up for the last few months. In April 2023, Disney filed a First Amendment lawsuit against DeSantis, accusing the governor of waging a ‘targeted campaign of government retaliation.” DeSantis, who’s preparing for a 2024 presidential campaign on the GOP ticket, says he isn’t backing down. So how did this all begin? And who will come out on top, once it’s all done?I'm being a good environmentalist by recycling my reaction from last week.
[DeSantis is] "making himself look even worse while getting liberals to side with a big corporation. Nice trick, but not the one he's trying to pull."Based on the polling data CNBC showed and the interviews with DeSantis supporters in Florida, it has so far. It remains to be seen how well it will continue to work now that Ron DeSantis is officially running for President against Donald Trump for the Republican nomination, and, should he actually get the nomination, in the general election.
Another trick he's pulling is continuing the trend that I saw developing more than a decade ago and summarized in DeSantis to sign replacement for Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney World's own government.Aren't Republicans supposed to be the business-friendly party? Well, they were, but this split has been building for a decade since I wrote about how Newt Gingrich threw big business under the bus while campaigning against Mitt Romney. Ten years later, the rift between Republicans and big business has opened up wide enough for everyone to see. Who knows? Maybe the Republican Party or at least DeSantis will fall into it. Break out the popcorn.At the time, I thought DeSantis and the Florida Republican Party hadn't fallen into the rift between them and big business. Now, I think they haven't just fallen, but jumped into the widening and deepening chasm. That calls for more popcorn.
[The] observation that Republican primary voters are more interested in cultural issues than economic issues fits the shift in “the Republican Party’s base moving from country club to country” as CNN quoted Tom Davis, a former Republican representative from northern Virginia, in 2017. That's what I've been seeing since 2012.[M]ajor U.S. political parties don't have consistent ideologies. They do, however, have consistent core interest groups and Gingrich is throwing one of them, the northeastern business interests, which have been with the GOP since it formed out of the remains of the Whigs in the 1850s, under the bus. That ended up being smart in the short run, given that he was angling for the votes of Southern populists, who don't care much for the northeastern business interests and haven't since before the founding of the republic.DeSantis is hoping that will work in his favor.
Follow over the jump for videos by The Wall Street Journal and Yahoo! Finance on the subject.
Wall Street Journal's explanation for Why Disney Is Scrapping Its ‘Star Wars’ Hotel and $900 Million Florida Campus combined the feud with DeSantis with Disney's own financial issues.
Walt Disney Co. is reversing course on a nearly $900 million corporate campus and shutting down a costly new hotel amid growing tensions with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The campus would have relocated more than 2,000 employees around 20 miles outside of the Walt Disney World Resort to a town in Orlando called Lake Nona.DeSantis may have given Disney just the incentive it needed to cancel a billion-dollar project as part of the company's $5.5 billion dollars in cost cutting. As for the Galactic Starcruiser, that was a great experiment that didn't pay off and it's a shame that, like some of my favorite FiveThirtyEight correspondents, its cast and crew may end up being among the 7,000 employees being let go by Disney. The only comfort I can take from it is that good ideas at Disney never really die; they eventually get used somewhere.
WSJ’s Jacob Passy explains the reasons behind Disney’s decisions and the economic benefits lost as a result.
I close with Yahoo! Finance explaining How the Disney-DeSantis feud and other policies may impact Florida's economy.
Yahoo Finance senior columnist Rick Newman discusses how the Disney-DeSantis feud may impact Florida's economy.On the one hand, Rick Newman makes the case for DeSantis that DeSantis's policies during the pandemic worked as advertised to promote jobs, wages, and the Florida economy. On the other, he also cites how DeSantis's emphasis on culture war issues, including race, education, and immigration in addition to the anti-LGBT measures that Randy Rainbow satirizes, is turning the state unfriendly to business. Newman closed by saying that DeSantis "wants businesses to sign up to his war on 'woke capitalism' and for businesses that don't do that, he will punish them, which he has started with Disney, which is a battle he he might end up losing, by the way." In other words, "go woke, go broke" isn't a just a warning about what the market will do to companies that engage in diversity, equity, and inclusions, but a threat by conservatives, particularly in government, to make that happen to companies if the market doesn't do that to them.
That's a topic for another post. Stay tuned for Memorial Day.