It’s Different When Ron DeSantis Does It: CNN Edition
By CHARLES C. W. COOKE | December 3, 2021
There’s some choice DeSantis Derangement Syndrome on CNN this morning. Check out this headline:
DeSantis proposes a new civilian military force in Florida that he would control
Gosh! A “civilian military force in Florida that he would control”! That sounds terrifying — especially when paired with the piece’s artwork, which, for some reason, shows both Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump.
And what would this “civilian military force in Florida” do?
St, Petersburg, Florida (CNN) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to reestablish a World War II-era civilian military force that he, not the Pentagon, would control.
DeSantis pitched the idea Thursday as a way to further support the Florida National Guard during emergencies, like hurricanes. The Florida National Guard has also played a vital role during the pandemic in administering Covid-19 tests and distributing vaccines.
Sounds . . . fine? Useful, even.
Ah, but this is unusual, right? Oh wait, no, it’s not:
States have the power to create defense forces separate from the national guard, though not all of them use it. If Florida moves ahead with DeSantis’ plan to reestablish the civilian force, it would become the 23rd active state guard in the country, DeSantis’ office said in a press release, joining California, Texas and New York.
So nearly half the states do it — including California and New York — and Florida itself used to have one before it was abandoned. Which makes the problem . . . what, exactly?
But in a nod to the growing tension between Republican states and the Biden administration over the National Guard, DeSantis also said this unit, called the Florida State Guard, would be “not encumbered by the federal government.” He said this force would give him “the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible.” DeSantis is proposing bringing it back with a volunteer force of 200 civilians, and he is seeking $3.5 million from the state legislature in startup costs to train and equip them.
Ah, right. The problem is that this unit would be “not encumbered by the federal government,” and, thereby, that it would be under DeSantis’s control. Which is just absolutely horrifying — unlike, say, the massive, nuke-filled, “civilian military force” that is under Joe Biden’s control, which is completely different, for reasons that CNN will presumably arrive at next time a Republican is in the White House.