How did Ron DeSantis do in the debate with Governor French Laundry?

Americans have so few shared values or interests (see my favorite Harvard analysis on why we can’t agree on whether open borders are good or bad; low-skill immigrants are great for the rich and terrible for the working class) that they can watch different political events even while watching the same political event. Was last night’s debate between Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis an example of that phenomenon?

Based on a casual sampling of Twitter, every account with rainbow flags, #FreePalestine banners, etc. declared that Newsom was the winner while all of the conservative accounts tweeted how impressed they were with Ron D. Here are two that happened to show up adjacent:

Readers who watched: How did Ron DeSantis do? Is it time for me to switch allegiance from Nikki Haley?

13 thoughts on “How did Ron DeSantis do in the debate with Governor French Laundry?

    • Our neighborhood is dog-rich and poop-free due to the numerous dog waste stations (bags and lined trash can). It’s interesting that it has proven to be much easier to rid a city of dog poop than of human poop.

      Separately, any time that we host guests from California they marvel at the cleanliness of the streets, parks, and beaches here. They ask whether there are government workers constantly scouring Florida to pick up trash. Maybe I haven’t gotten up early enough, but I’ve never seen a city or county worker picking up trash at the beach. I have seen some volunteers picking up very small items that wash up after storms.

  1. I haven’t watched this yet (or will ever?), but it seems like Newsom should need an amazing performance to come out on top.

    I live in SF, and California has had a terrible trajectory the last 3 years (even ignoring covid)

    Seems like Florida is either same or better.

    How can Newsom not take a beating?

    But maybe I’m misjudging the whole premise of this debate. Given that Newsom is running for president on the down-low, he only needs to look good to Democrat voters, not swing voters.

    I was also scanning twitter trying to find someone who had said “My side lost tonight”, but couldn’t find a single one. I just want one genuine, no-bullshit reaction from anyone.

    • David: To your last point… Yes, that’s what I mean about a lack of shared values/interests. If a politician says “we forgave $400 billion in student loan debt”, that’s a winning point from the perspective of the elite and and a losing point from the perspective of the working class. There isn’t anyone in the middle who might evaluate the statement from a neutral point of view. Same deal with “I closed public schools for 18 months”. That will be well-received by folks whose kids are in private school (like Mx. Newsom’s kids) and, most likely, poorly received by the peasants.

  2. I am not American, and I do not live in USA. From my perspective Donald Trump was real disgrace for Republican cause by not starting any new wars. In only three years with Democrats we already have (at least) two. Although Ron DeSantis seems quite sympathetic to neocon cause, only with Nikki Haley we can be absolutely certain that Grand Old Party will return to it’s old Bush-Cheney-Halliburton grandezza.

    • mata: I’m not a fan of Nikki Haley’s Team America: World Police attitude. But I am opposed to expansions of race-based hiring, low-skill immigration (harmful to the working class), and transferism (see below) and a Republican president would help to at least slow these expansions. I feel that Nikki Haley is the Republican who has the best chance to win a general election in 2024 because she is less like to say things that enrage Democrats and get them to turn out in droves (maybe this doesn’t matter now that we’re in the age of mail-in ballots for everyone and Democrats can therefore hold power forever).

    • With current Democrats and their trajectory, we are all out of trump cards. I would even vote for Chris Christie now.

    • philg,

      Nikki Haley has not been subjected to strong vetting yet. She’s a stand-in for “Generic R” against Biden. There is lots of oppo that will turn off voters once Dems start advertising against her e.g.,

      1. Corporations should dictate immigration policy
      2. Higher retirement age and means-tested Social Security and Medicare
      3. Disney should move to South Carolina to escape DeSantis
      4. Pro-identity politics: George Floyd’s death needs to be painful for everyone.
      5. Opposes free speech:

    • 1: I don’t agree with her method (have bureaucrats talk to employers and then craft a genius policy). But I think she is on the right track. If an employer is willing to pay someone a wage that is over a threshold that protects the working class, e.g., $125,000 per year, why not let that person show up to take the job and pay taxes? And if a combination of the employer and the potential immigrant are willing to pay for the cost of supplying infrastructure necessitated by the resulting population expansion, why not let the person immigrate? (in I calculated that this would be about $1.5 million if chain migration rules continue to apply).

      2: Cheating the 20-year-olds by making them pay for my Social Security while denying them future payments? I support it!

      3: It would be interesting to see Disney World SC!

      4: Her admiration for George Floyd isn’t widely shared among Republicans, but Democrats might stay home or not mail in all of their ballots if they knew that everything named after George Floyd would be preserved!

      5: I agree with Nikki that online discourse would be way more productive and civil if people used their real names (a practice that I encouraged on from its earliest days). Given that dissent is currently punished by employers and government, though, I can also see why people don’t want to use their names. But we might also ask what the practical value of anonymous online posts is. Have there been major revelations that were first and/or only put forward by anonymous users?

    • philg,

      1. Could make sense on paper, if you believe it leads to more cardiologist-immigrants. But wouldn’t the lobbyists seize the process, if it is coming from unverified corporate claims of “need”?

      2. SS cuts have been a graveyard for GOP politicians for decades. Romney, too, polled way ahead until people got to know him.

      5. A very interesting discussion topic, especially with TikTok likely manipulating trending topics to benefit the Chinese state and their desire for division in America. But US history and the US Constitution both favor free speech including anonymous speech, without a compelling argument otherwise. I preferred the name verification of old-Twitter, until Twitter chose to abuse the process by stripping verification from anyone who disagreed with them.

    • 1: It’s true. An apartment building owner “needs” landscapers and cleaners who will work for 7 Bidies per hour (and who will eventually live in the building via Section 8 vouchers). So Nikki’s proposal of a bureaucratic process is a disaster, in my opinion. On the other hand, if we had the law that required the work visa holder to earn at least 3X the median wage I think that would survive bureaucratic disfigurement.

      2: Yes, the Social Security shell game is broadly appealing. On the other hand, the retirement age has been raised substantially already (by a 1983 law). This was violence against those born in 1960 or later and I’m from 1963 so I almost missed the cut. It looks like I might lose yet again. gives a list of options for cheating the chumps who’ve been paying into the system. Those to be cheated are “Starting with those age 62 in 2024”. Being male, of course, has already cost me since my life expectancy is lower and therefore the number of years that I can expect to collect is lower than if I had chosen to identify as female.

      5: I agree that there is a role for anonymous publication, but it didn’t use to be an all-day every-day phenomenon.

  3. I didn’t watch the debate since I think both Govs showed who they were during Covid, but I like both Gov. Ron and Nikki and think either would be a vast improvement over the current front runners. Forced to chose I would go with Gov. Ron since I think he really distinguished himself as an executive during Covid – as Dr. Jay pointed out, DeSantis actually read the scientific articles and concluded that The Science was BS. Who would expect their elected officials to actually read scientific articles? Trump’s downfall was Covid — as Bill Barr shows in his autobiography understanding Covid was not intuitive and Trump did not have the self discipline to get to the bottom of things but instead handed Covid off to Fauci and The Science.

  4. Typical Philg right-wing mindless rant… Grow up, Phil,… you weren’t so nutty when I knew you at MIT. Sheez…

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