'Nothing Happens in a Vacuum'
Breaking down the DeSantis plan to create a state guard.
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Maybe it’s innocent, maybe it’s not. EUGENE R. FIDELL writes about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis-backed plan to resurrect the Florida State Guard. It’s not happening in a vacuum.
What’s this all about? There’s nothing inherently wrong with a state having a “state guard.” Nearly two dozen do. They are not part of the U.S. armed forces and no federal money is involved. By law, their members cannot be in any of the federal military reserve forces. These are the people who are called out to assist with disasters when the National Guard is otherwise occupied. Florida used to have a state guard, although it seems to have gotten along quite nicely without it for decades.
If Florida is so flush with money that it can come up with $3.5 million to cover the cost of 200 volunteers, that’s for the Sunshine State’s taxpayers to ponders. But more is going on here. It is, at best, a shameless political act in service of DeSantis’s presidential ambitions. Reviving a defunct state force is not needed to protect Florida’s long coastline. For that we have the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection, established federal agencies that have the necessary personnel, gear, funding, training, experience, and apolitical, merit-based professional leadership.
Again: Political grandstanding is the most innocent possible explanation. But not the only possible explanation. DeSantis’s private force cannot reasonably be viewed in isolation from the other challenges Republican governors and legislatures have been raising—not only with their National Guards, but by probing every possible weak point in the Constitution when it comes to vaccines, voting, vote counting, and more.
At some point, whatever is going on here—be it bits of MAGA posturing or genuine attempts at subverting the Constitutional order—we are running the risk of things getting out of hand and pitting the states against the federal government in ways we haven’t seen since the Nullification Crisis of the 1830s.
Editor’s note: Remember when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent the Texas State Guard to supervise the feds during “Jade Helm?” Good times. No chance Ron DeSantis does anything like this!
The build-up of Russian troops on the border is alarming. Afghanistan is facing mass starvation. Meanwhile, Trump country is not only anti-vax, it's pro-obesity. Get fat to own the libs. David Frum joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
The confidence and commitment to democratic values expressed in the Baltics and Czechia are precisely what the Biden administration should praise and reward through the Summit for Democracy. Simultaneously, the Summit can be a signal that post-communist countries whose very survival relies on American security guarantees cannot also be vehicles for Chinese influence in Europe.
Greece has provided an unfortunate example of deepening economic links to China under its current reformist government. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has a reputation as a responsible leader, and with diplomatic help, he may come to share the new European opinion about the true nature of Chinese largesse.
Viktor Orbán’s Hungary, not invited to the Summit, is a tougher case. An eager BRI member, the current government in Budapest has thwarted many European initiatives to hold China to account. His government’s histrionic rhetoric about possible U.S. interference in next year’s general election, its ongoing battle with the EU institutions, and its soft spot for Beijing present the Hungarian public with a stark choice: The country can either become a full-fledged member of the community of Western democracies, or a Chinese client state akin to the dysfunctional post-Soviet and ex-Yugoslav countries to its southeast.
Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend and it was filled with Christmas cheer, like ours was. The VFW was out of trees! So we ended up at Lowe’s, and Santa came through the HOA on our volunteer fire department truck, and the HOA collected donations for local food banks and animal shelters. Much hot cocoa was consumed.
Where’s my stuff? At Reason, Daniel Drezner explains about the fragility of supply chains.
How reintroducing wolves could save you 15% on Auto insurance?
Better be careful, though, lest we start debating wolf highways. #RIPPluie
What the fresh hell is this?
Don’t have a cow, man!
Vartan Djihanian @Vartan80Big political retirement about to break in the next hour. Stay tuned.
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