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Saturday, October 01, 2022

DeSantis passed the hurricane test

A 500-year hurricane wiped out most of Florida this week. The Tampa Bay Times described the devastation.

The newspaper said, "It wasn’t just the coastline, though it took most of the blow.

"As Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida on Wednesday, the beach towns were the first to go as water and winds up to 150 mph decimated paradise towns from Fort Myers Beach to Punta Gorda — a city familiar with disaster, taking close to a decade to recover from 2004′s Hurricane Charley.

"Houses were torn from foundations by water that acted as a conveyor belt. Personal belongings and building materials fused with wet earth.

"But the wrecked beach towns marked only the beginning.

"An hour northeast of Fort Myers, in rural inland communities like Arcadia, the extent of the damage began to reveal itself Friday.

"The trunks in the orange groves bend to the right or left, mapping the trail of the storm that blazed through the farming community."

The cleanup will take months. Recovery will take years. Even for a state that deals with hurricanes every year, this one could be too much.

But 4 years ago, Floridians elected the right Florida Man to run the state government. He didn't wind up in a motel room drunk and stoned with male hookers. DeSantis knew what to do and is doing it.

This week, Politico said, "Gov. Ron DeSantis spent his first term becoming one of the most influential Republicans in the country — a likely 2024 frontrunner who’s already shaping his party’s national agenda.

"But DeSantis still hasn’t faced one of the toughest challenges a Florida leader can encounter: a major hurricane."

On Sunday, he mobilized the National Guard.

On Monday, he activated the state's emergency services. He issued warnings on what to expect in the surges.

On Tuesday, he issued an evacuation order.

Then the hurricane hit. Since then, he has been everywhere. Biden and DeSantis called a truce.

The president said, "This is not about whether — anything having to do with our differences politically. This is about saving people’s homes, lives, businesses."

Biden is right. There is a time to politick and there is a time to govern. This is the time to govern.

But mine is a political blog and it is through that lens I view events a thousand miles away from Poca, West Virginia.

DeSantis passed the test. Problems crop up and he is on it.

He had a stern warning for looters: "Don’t even think about looting. Don’t even think about taking advantage of people in this vulnerable situation. I can tell you, in the state of Florida, you never know what may be lurking behind somebody’s home. And I would not want to chance that, if I were you, given that we’re a Second Amendment state."

Looting is stealing the last remaining possessions of an impoverished people.

The governor was not just playing Mister Tough Guy.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, "We don’t want people ever, moving into the future to say, ‘Well, when Ian hit, people went into homes and they robbed their homes they burglarized their homes. I don’t want to leave my home.’ We never want that to be an impediment to people getting out when we say get out."

Moody is demanding looters remain in jail without bond. 

It is Saturday. DeSantis already is discussing recovery. He is giving a troubled people -- many who lost everything -- hope and encouragement.

Mene Ukueberuwa of the Wall Street Journal wrote, "The day before the storm he called the big one arrived, Florida’s governor met with residents of the state’s vulnerable Gulf Coast. His first and firmest message was: Get out. 'You have the potential for 10, 15 feet of storm surge that can absolutely be life threatening,' he said Tuesday at the Sarasota Emergency Operations Center. He demanded that everyone evacuate, saying 'those orders are not taken lightly.'

"Offstage after the press conference, Ron DeSantis had a different emphasis. 'He came down to the city and kind of prepared all of us,' says Mayor Erik Arroyo of Sarasota. The two shared notes on the preparations they had put in place. They pledged to get the city running again more quickly than the days or weeks most believed it would take."

DeSantis was prepared for the worst. When the worst arrived, he handled it well.

Americans, saddled with an idiot president, noticed.


  1. Good column, Don. DeSantis is the definitive Florida Man and in a most excellent way. Kudos to DeSantis, sincerely. Let him finish what he started in Florida. That said, back in a week or so. Off to the Canadian West.

    1. he’s the next George Bush just wait

    2. Bush used a sort of "fire and forget" method as an executive. DeSantis is ON IT, getting briefed on situations but also doing his own research so he can make informed decisions. Once GW turned something over to a Cabinet member he never even got briefed and so you got the botched Hurricane Katrina response for which School Bus Nagin and Gov. Blanco should have gotten plenty of blame. Natch, because they were Democrats the MSM laid it all on Bush. Beyond that, DeSantis routinely gets his hands dirty in the details, something Bush disdained. Can you imagine GW telling the legislature how they were going to redraw the congressional districts? Nah. I moved back to Florida the year DeSantis got elected and he has impressed me since the day he fired the two corrupt Elections Supervisors in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

  2. The psychological devastation of this storm (as one inland who went thru it) was the 15 hours of unrelenting wind. Most hurricanes are an hour of panic as it builds, an hour of terror in it, an hour of fear as it winds down. I was not in the hurricane winds area. Cannot imagine how horrific is was for those who went through it in Cat 4 or Cat 1 hour after hour. I'm amazed that so many homes survived with roofs intact. The lessons learned from Andrew are code everywhere in FLA.

    BTW - lots of stories about difficulty finding gas for cars but not one in Ft Myers area or Tampa are news about abandoned electric cars.

    1. My Aunt and Uncle had their house flattened by Andrew . My Aunt never did get over the psychological effects of that trauma. She suffered from PTSD until the day she died in 2015.

    2. After Andrew many changes were made to the building codes in Florida, and more recently they were changed again on roofing. In my area, to be able to reinsure our house, we had to reroof under the new updated code. Costly though it was, that may very well have saved many roofs from Ian's total destruction.

    3. Just installed a new roof on our Treasure Coast house last March. Got a $550 rebate from the insurance company, but they'll probably raise the premium that much next year.

      Power was out for almost 48 hours. Many thanks to the repair crew who installed a new pole and transformer to get the lights on again--all of whom were men working in the dark. Don't see any feminists willing to take those jobs. I guess if you have a $200,000 degree in critical queer studies you feel entitled to a six-figure job as coordinator of diversity, inclusion, and sustainability in some large corporation.

  3. Used to just shudder at the thought of al gore being president after the twin towers were attacked, causing over 200 innocent americans to jump/fall to their death.
    Then thank the good lord hillary clinton wasn't able to slither into the white house despite all the corrupt means she used to try and derail Donald Trump
    Now we have the imbecile walking corpse in charge at the most dangerous time in history for USA, how sad we don't have a grownup leader like Desantis in charge.

    1. Is the imbecile walking corps in charge at the most dangerous time in history? Or is it the most dangerous time in history BECAUSE OF the imbecile walking corps? I think the answer is obvious especially when seeing just 2 to 6 years ago how great the US and world was.

    2. Yes, Biden totally created this most dangerous time in history. All this chaos at one time doesn't just happen on it's own.

    3. From Jimmy Carter forward, our "democrat" Presidents have been our worst ever! Biden has now replaced them all as the very worst in our entire history as a country.

    4. I left Lyndon Johnson out of that group. Shame on me!

  4. Ron DeSantis appears to have an authenticity which is unique amongst any Democratic candidate. (I do respect Tulsi Gabbard. She was relentless against Kamala Harris during the primaries).

  5. p.s. - Ron DeSantis would be an excellent leader and president. With Donald Trump, America had a sense of pride and patriotism. (Exclude the hate-fest from both parties and the media). I believe a second term with Donald Trump will be another success because he is wiser from his first term.

    1. Hell yes, Desantis 2028. After Trump restores his policies and brings criminals to justice in DC


    2. Whirled Peas says:
      Governor DeSantis is impressively cool and collected, a pillar of organizational skills and common sense. For a true brainiac, he is remarkably down-to-earth. We definitely need him after Trump Again. I am just sad that he has to take big money from corporations. But who, besides President Trump, doesn't?

  6. Looters should be shot on sight. We had problems with the scum when we were forced to evacuate from wildfires in the Sierra Nevada foothills. There is no lower form of life.


    1. Years ago we were working a fire outside of Paso Robles and this Calfire crew came on a family of looters seems the house was in danger so the called in a drop as the looters were frantic, trying to leave slick, red mud on them, their car and the loot. Now they would be suiing.

  7. Lee County was the bullseye for Hurricane Ian -- Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Bonita Springs.
    This percentage was at 90% outage yesterday morning. The community along with DeSantis's execution is getting the job done.

    May God be with everyone there.

  8. My dad in Bradenton evacuated to Sebring. He's back home.

    -Mikey NTH

  9. Actually, I doubt he noticed a thing, but his handlers knew a Moloch speech wasn't the way to go.

  10. Um, aren't all states supposed to be Second Amendment states?

  11. DeSantis appeared to have a genuine respect for the people he worked with during the hurricane. He didn't needed a teleprompter to tell him that.