DeSantis Begs Disney to Stop, But Should They?
As Walt Disney World Turns took another unexpected turn this week, as one of the feuding Floridians requested a ceasefire.
Yes, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, currently embroiled in a disastrous Presidential Primary campaign, wants Disney to leave him alone.
DeSantis has begged Disney to stop, but will they? And should they?
Think of today’s article as a catch-all for another ten days of Ultra-Stupid.
Apparently, the universe didn’t think a pandemic was suspenseful enough for Disney fans. So, it’s thrown in the Florida Feud for good measure.
When we last left the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, some exceptional CNN reporting had unearthed more ridiculousness.
Before that story could even be published, something even wilder happened.
Ron DeSantis appeared in a recorded interview on CNBC and said some stuff.
We’re talking new stuff, the kind of stuff that makes you wonder whether an American Governor has suffered amnesia.
DeSantis expressed the sentiment that “we’ve basically moved on.”
The governor uses the Royal We here to represent himself and possibly the Central Florida Tourist Oversight District (CFTOD).
Still, the statement in and of itself embodies a drastic reevaluation of his current status.
To place that change in perspective, let’s appreciate what has happened.
DeSantis banked a substantial portion of his national political platform on the Florida Feud, an instance wherein Florida’s governor attacked Florida’s most reliable business.
As I’ve previously mentioned, polling suggests that public sentiment squarely favors Disney here.
More importantly, the overriding opinion of would-be voters is that DeSantis’ behavior is just plain strange, a criticism he receives frequently.
A Flagging Political Campaign
DeSantis and his campaign advisors envisioned a path to the White House.
To turn that dream into a reality, the governor needed a few things to happen.
For starters, DeSantis needed a plethora of wealthy donors to fund his venture, which they did.
Casual supporters donated $8.2 million to the campaign within 24 hours of the governor (finally) declaring that he would run.
In a perfect world for DeSantis, his primary opponent for the Republican nomination, Donald Trump, would have faced a few charges for the events of January 6th.
That part of the governor’s plan has probably exceeded his wildest expectations.
Every other part of his strategy has failed completely so far. I again reiterate that nobody has cast a vote in the primary season yet.
So, DeSantis could still earn the nomination, but he’s trending the same way as Scott Walker in 2016.
Political strategists use Scott Walker as a cautionary tale about how to run for President.
That’s like the band who sang Macarena telling a musician how to avoid being a one-hit-wonder.
From a political perspective, the water is at the governor’s nose right now.
Chris Christie recently passed him in a New Hampshire poll, a story that is getting plenty of oxygen because many reporters despise Ron DeSantis.
Currently, the governor faces a financial shortfall as his big-money donors have pulled back their prior support.
That last part brings us to Disney.
DeSantis Begs for a Truce
Do you know what any reasonable campaign manager would tell Ron DeSantis?
Yes, the answer is to drop the Disney nonsense, which has proven to be a massive political loser of a platform.
You shouldn’t overlook the timing here. On August 8th, a new person took over the governor’s campaign.
Less than one week later, DeSantis appeared on CNBC and swore he had moved on from the Florida Feud.
Now, the comments came across as passive aggressive. He added these additional, unhelpful comments:
“They’re suing the state of Florida, they’re going to lose that lawsuit. So what I would say is: Drop the lawsuit.”
The governor also provided advice for Disney CEO Bob Iger, which is kind of like the losing coach in a 40-point blowout offering tips to the winning coach.
Still, here’s what DeSantis said:
“Go back to what you did well. I think it’s going to be the right business decision and all that.”
More comments came afterward, some of which displayed the governor’s typically usage of half-truths and ahistorical statements.
Still, let’s not fall victim to the distraction part of the show. Here was the governor of Florida openly telling Disney’s CEO, “I’m ready to drop this.”
To prove the point, DeSantis pressed a state judge in Florida to dismiss some of Disney’s lawsuit arguments.
The CFTOD’s attorneys requested summary judgment on five out of nine counts in the case.
That’s a political tactic wherein DeSantis could claim victory if the judge granted the request.
At that point, the governor could campaign as if he had put Disney in its place, all the while as he’s acutely aware of his long track record of losing in federal court.
Iger’s new campaign team has persuaded him to be reasonable for now. And that brings us to…
What Should Disney Do?
Here’s something MickeyBlog hasn’t mentioned yet. And it’s a stunner.
A group of “former governors, legislators, senior government attorneys, and other officials” filed an amicus brief on Disney’s behalf.
This so-called “friends-of-the-court” brief is available to read online.
That document is an additional one to the “friends-of-the-court brief” that the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed.
Yes, two unaffiliated groups, one of which includes former Florida legislators, requested that the court treat DeSantis like Thanos at the end of Avengers: Endgame.
I should emphasize that one is a bipartisan filing, meaning that Republicans and Democrats requested that the court come down hard against DeSantis.
If you picture Wongers opening portals and attorneys teleporting in to speak out against Florida’s governor, you’ve got the right idea.
DeSantis has somehow managed to unite any number of ideologically opposed parties in the common cause of despising his treatment of Disney.
While all of that sounds lovely in theory, none of it technically helps Iger with his current predicament.
Why Disney Won’t Stop
Florida has stripped Walt Disney World of its control of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District.
None of DeSantis’ recent comments offer to undo any of the damage his policies have created.
He’s now the political equivalent of a criminal urging his victim not to press charges. However, he’s not offering restitution.
Instead, the governor’s new approach is to state that Disney should drop its lawsuit, which is a no-lose proposition for one person only: Ron DeSantis.
Should Disney proceed, it could feasibly restore the previously vested power of Reedy Creek and likely earn some punitive reparations from the state of Florida.
In short, even though the governor’s olive branch may appear unexpected and welcome, it’s not much of an offer.
Disney gets nothing tangible by taking the high road here. So, this request is a non-starter…unless negotiations are also occurring behind the scenes.
Still, Scott Maxwell wryly noted something vital with this article and this tweet:
This outdated, inaccurate information – still being promoted by the state – says a lot about Florida's commitment to detail. And "ethics" in general.
— Scott Maxwell (@Scott_Maxwell) August 15, 2023
The governor just cut a deal with the head of the Ethics Committee in Florida to pay that dude $400,000 a year to lead the CFTOD.
DeSantis can probably find a way to broker a back-door deal with Disney that benefits Iger and gets the governor out of this mess of his own creation.
That’s what needs to happen here.
Frankly, if there were adults in the room rather than DeSantis’ previous advisors, it’s what would have already occurred.
Thanks for visiting MickeyBlog.com! Want to go to Disney? For a FREE quote on your next Disney vacation, please fill out the form below, and one of the agents from MickeyTravels, a Diamond Level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, will be in touch soon!