WASHINGTON — Perhaps the only person who triggers progressives as much as Elon Musk these days is Ron DeSantis. Every week, it seems, Florida’s Republican governor takes some new action that enrages the left and delights the right. His poll numbers are rising, which is bad news for Democrats — because DeSantis is showing the way forward for Trumpism without Donald Trump.
Like Trump, DeSantis is a counterpuncher — minus the political baggage and personal vendettas. He punched back against the left-wing education establishment, signing a law banning critical race theory in schools. He punched back against Disney, moving to take away its special tax status after the Burbank, Calif.-based company demagogued his bill to protect the parental rights of Floridians. He punched back against Big Tech, signing a law that prohibits social media companies from censoring or de-platforming political candidates. (Enforcement of the law is on hold because of litigation.) He punched back against race-baiting Democrats who slandered GOP election integrity laws as “Jim Crow 2.0,” signing a sweeping voting overhaul bill that strengthens voter identification requirements, prohibits the mass mailing of ballots and bans ballot harvesting.