He also claimed in his Wednesday column that DeSantis reminds him of another “unpleasant” former president, President Richard Nixon.
Boot opened his screed against the Republican governor – a 2024 presidential election favorite – by comparing him to former President Donald Trump and trying to ascertain who is worse. 他写了, “已经, a poll in New Hampshire shows DeSantis topping Trump. 问题, from the standpoint of those of us who have a sentimental attachment to American democracy, is which man is a bigger threat to the republic?”
To find that answer, Boot referred to a New Yorker profile on DeSantis written last month by Dexter Filkins. “Filkins notes that, ‘while Trump, with his lazy, Barnumesque persona, projects a fundamental lack of seriousness, DeSantis has an intense work ethic, a formidable intelligence, and a granular understanding of policy,’” Boot wrote.
That assessment seemed to worry Boot, who asked, “But do we really want a president who will work harder and more intelligently to implement a Trumpian agenda? Is it really better to have a president who is relentlessly focused on right-wing bugaboos … rather than one who is easily distracted into braggadocio about his golf game or his flooring?”
For Boot, DeSantis is thus more dangerous than 唐纳德·特朗普. Considering that Boot wrote a column in 2020 声称 “Trump is the worst threat to our democracy since the 1930s” and cited Nazi authoritarianism, would this mean that DeSantis is worse than the threat of Nazi Germany?
The columnist cited other descriptions of DeSantis made by colleagues. “A former House colleague said of DeSantis: ‘He’s a little reclusive, a bit of an odd duck … but he’s just incredibly disciplined.’” 另一个, which Filkins cited in his profile, 说过 “He has always loved embarrassing and humiliating people. I’m speaking for others — he was the biggest d—k we knew.”
Boot eventually surmised that these qualities make DeSantis more akin to President Nixon rather than President Trump.
“其实, the more I read about DeSantis, the more he reminds me not of Trump but of another disgraced Republican president,” Boot wrote. 他继续, 声称, “Smart and disciplined but reclusive and unpleasant: Who does that remind you of? 那就对了: Richard M. Nixon.”
Boot claimed that DeSantis’ qualities remind him of Nixon’s unsavory qualities, 写作, “I’m thinking of the Nixon who smeared his opponents … and warred with the press. I’m thinking of the Nixon who employed the government against his ‘enemies list.’” He then mentioned the Nixon who “catered to white bigotry.”
Boot also wrote that DeSantis is like the Nixon who “exacerbated social division in an attempt to mobilize the Silent Majority against liberal elites.”
“DeSantis seems hellbent on carrying on the disreputable legacy of Tricky Dick, and with even less respect for democratic norms than Nixon displayed,” the columnist declared.
Boot mentioned facets of DeSantis’ shrewd political agenda, including when he “signed legislation severely curtailing mask and vaccine mandates for businesses and local governments,” when his appointees who control the University of Florida forbade “professors from testifying against DeSantis plans to restrict mask-wearing and voting rights.”
Boot also mentioned an alleged incident “when a pediatrician was as removed from a state board overseeing children’s health insurance after criticizing DeSantis’s outrageous reluctance to provide covid vaccines for children under five.”
In addition to these moves, Boot claimed that “DeSantis refuses to say whether President Biden was legitimately elected and criticizes the Jan. 6 委员会听证会. He created a special task force to police voter fraud even though there is no evidence of widespread fraud.” He also mentioned DeSantis’ “anti-riot” bill pushed in response to Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, the DeSantis-supported “Don’t Say Gay” 法, his political war with Disney, and other actions.