Ron DeSantis: Human Trafficker and Friend of Pedophiles
This headline is, incredibly, fully accurate!
Happy Friday my beautiful babies. Cue up my theme music, and submit this Jackal into your rolodex section titled, “Headlines that go hard.” There is a lot to touch on this week, so if we break it down into sections it’ll go like this:
Ron DeSantis shipping immigrants up to Martha’s Vineyard.
Russia’s total collapse in Ukraine.
Adnan Syed has his conviction vacated (!).
Find someone who loves you the way Ron DeSantis loves trafficking humans.
There were a host of other stories in the news this week, but on Thursday, Governor DeSantis made headlines after his team announced - in an exclusive with Fox News - that they flew fifty immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard. The New York Times has details:
About 50 migrants unexpectedly arrived by plane on Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday, local officials said, escalating a tactic in which Republican-led states have shipped busloads of migrants to liberal bastions like Washington and New York to protest the significant rise in illegal immigration under President Biden.
The migrant group, which included children, arrived on two planes around 3 p.m. without any warning, said State Senator Julian Cyr, a Massachusetts Democrat representing Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Officials and volunteers from the island’s six towns “really moved heaven and earth to essentially set up the response that we would do in the event of a hurricane,” he said.
As the migrants received Covid-19 tests, food and clothing, there was confusion on the ground about who had sent them to Martha’s Vineyard, a popular getaway for the moneyed and powerful. Migrants said they had started the day in San Antonio, but it was the Florida governor’s office that took responsibility (my emphasis).
As the story states, this has somewhat been an ongoing development. A few months ago, Greg Abbott started busing migrants to New York, in what was clearly a vindictive move that targeted a perceived “liberal” city (never mind the fact that New York’s mayor, Eric Adams, isn’t exactly a darling in progressive circles) that offered sanctuary to immigrants. By all accounts, New York City dealt with the influx of new arrivals pretty well (although there are struggles), and the story sort of faded from the news, even as migrants ended up in other blue cities.
However, because Ron DeSantis is 1000% running for President in 2024 and is locked in a battle with Abbott over who is going to come in fourth in Iowa, he had to up the ante. Earlier this year, Florida allotted about $12 million to “relocate” migrants to various parts of the U.S. On Thursday, it became clear that DeSantis used some of that money to locate migrants currently in Texas and had them shipped to Massachusetts. Again, these people were not even in Florida; DeSantis just wanted to get in on the lib-owning. J.V. Last summarizes in a piece worth reading:
[DeSantis} gave Fox the exclusive story about how he’d chartered two planes to fly 50 undocumented immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
You may recall that DeSantis previously appropriated $12 million of state money to conduct campaign stunts like this, because, as his comms director told Fox:
States like Massachusetts, New York and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as “sanctuary states” and support for the Biden administration’s open border policies.
There are some ironies.
First, the Biden administration explicitly rejects open borders.
Second, the governor of Massachusetts is a Republican. (Though I suspect Martha’s Vineyard was chosen not because it’s in a Republican-governed state, but because America’s first black president owns a house there.)
Third, if the problem is being able to care for illegal immigrants then maybe the state of Florida should have spent the $12 million on, you know, caring for illegal immigrants, instead of using the money to get earned media for the governor.
Fourth, Ron DeSantis is, supposedly, a Christian.
While human trafficking has a legal definition which this obviously does not meet (but kidnapping might be close), DeSantis’s actions are, in a moral sense and a colloquial sense, roughly the same thing. The penal code in Texas (where DeSantis picked up these immigrants) says:
"Traffic" means to transport, entice, recruit, harbor, provide, or otherwise obtain another person by any means.
Given that these immigrants were (1) human, and DeSantis both transported and enticed them onto a plane (2), it feels almost incorrect to not call him a human trafficker. In fact, one of his spokespeople bizarrely conceded that they were, in fact, acting like the drug cartels. Sounds like they agree with me! But the actual story gets a little bit darker. NPR has more details, and it looks like someone affiliated with DeSantis tricked the migrants into getting on a plane by lying to them:
The migrants said a woman they identified as "Perla" approached them outside the shelter and lured them into boarding the plane, saying they would be flown to Boston where they could get expedited work papers. She provided them with food. The migrants said Perla was still trying to recruit more passengers just hours before their flight.
So, this is apparently endorsed by the Party of Christianity™:
Find vulnerable people and lie to them.
Make promises to them that won’t be kept.
Essentially bribe them.
Ship them off to a place they are unfamiliar with, all while using them as pawns in a political strategy.
The silver lining here is that according to Deuteronomy 27:19, DeSantis is currently cursed, so that’s cool. But I think the zoom-out, big picture is that this shows exactly what the response to Biden’s speech also showed: The GOP is 100% the Party of Trump.
They love him.
They want him to lead the Party forever.
He is the future of the GOP.
It is important to sacrifice every moral and conservative principle to support Trump.
If you close your eyes and revisit this story on Earth 2, where Trump won in 2020, and it’s actually him who is trafficking immigrants (this time with the power of the White House), would you question it at all? This move sounds like a Stephen Miller wet dream come true.
Obviously, the point here is really just to make the libs squirm, which is generally the only reason the GOP exists as a whole anymore. But, by all accounts, the squirming isn’t actually happening:
More evidence of that:
I think Republicans who thought this would be some sort of “owning” of the libs are really telling on themselves. They are really just projecting how they would feel if the same thing happened in their neighborhood:
Johnathan Chait makes the same point but also references a great movie, so he gets a shout:
I live in Denver, which is one of those dreaded “sanctuary cities,” and I can definitely tell you that - aside from a few NIMBYs, who do not even want a new hot dog stand in their neighborhood - the majority of people here would just shrug their shoulders if buses of migrants were shipped over from Florida. In fact, the Biden Administration already does this! The thing people would get upset about, however, is the deliberate deceiving of people with children, and sending them to a random place in a new country, without coordinating with the local government. Popehat speaks a little more, uh…plainly, than I would:
And Heath Mayo says the obvious (part?) out loud:
Ron DeSantis @GovRonDeSantisIn Florida, we take what is happening at the southern border seriously. We are not a sanctuary state, and we will gladly facilitate the transport of illegal immigrants to sanctuary jurisdictions. https://t.co/YeEbMzy8yG
Another overlooked point:
The fundamental problem with DeSantis’s move is that it gets only the GOP base excited and no one else. Moms in the suburbs? Given that they are already running from the GOP, this can only make it worse. Actual Christians (not ones who pretend to be for cultural reasons, like DeSantis and his wife) who are somewhat alarmed by the major strides leftward by Democrats? They will think this is gross. And it is all to prove to the GOP base that DeSantis is the person who is most likely to be the second coming of Trump. Keep in mind that Trump is a guy who:
Lost an election
Fomented an insurrection and soft coup
Is currently in a wee spot of legal trouble
Is currently banned from all social media
Is basically a sentient bedpan
DeSantis wants to be that guy. Good luck! On top of all of this, DeSantis’s standing is somewhat overrated and overlooked by a lot of media. Recent polls show him beating his Democratic challenger, Charlie Crist,1 by only three points. His approval rating in Florida is only 50%, which is pretty low for a Governor. His “strongly disapprove” rating is 41% (if you switch that to “strongly approve,” his positive rating drops to only 45%).
Compare him to Larry Hogan, who is a Republican governor in a blue state: Hogan hit around 71% approval, including 87% approval amongst African-Americans (not easy for a Republican).
In short, the GOP’s decision to double-down on Trumpian tactics may seem like a fun play on social media, but in the real world it will have actual consequences as their hopes in November continue to dwindle. There is obviously a good chance DeSantis wins reelection in November, but in 2024 he really does have bigger problems:
Ukraine is winning.
Over the past week, Ukraine has launched a major counteroffensive into Russian-occupied territory, and they are - watch the italics here - crushing Russian troops. Francis Fukuyama (who else?) explains why Ukraine will win:
The Ukrainian general staff has been extremely smart in its overall strategy, focusing not on the Donbas but on liberating parts of the south that were occupied by Russia in the first weeks of the war. Ukrainian forces have used NATO-supplied weapons, particularly the HIMARS long-range rocket system, to attack ammunition depots, command posts, and logistics hubsall along the front. They have succeeded in attacking supposedly secure Russian rear areas deep in the Crimean peninsula. At the moment, 25,000 to 30,000 Russian troops are trapped in a pocket around the southern city of Kherson, which lies on the west bank of the Dnipro River. The Ukrainians have succeeded in taking out the bridges connecting Kherson to Russia, and have been slowly tightening the noose around these forces. It is possible that the Russian position there will collapse catastrophically and that Moscow will lose a good part of its remaining army.
Not only is Russia being pushed back, but their army is also being forced to abandon huge stockpiles of equipment, which they will not get back. At some point, the question will be asked as to whether or not Ukraine would be able to make incursions into Russia to take territory. And it is an open question as to whether or not Ukraine should. After all, Russians and Ukrainians are all one people, aren’t they?
It is 2014 again and we are all listening to Serial.
OK, so a quick refresher on Adnan Syed: Back in 2014, everyone was listening to a podcast called Serial, which looked into Syed’s case in Baltimore. In 1999, Adnan’s ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, was apparently murdered by Syed. His accomplice in the crime, Jay Wilds, went to police and confessed, with his recap of events leading to Syed’s prosecution. As the podcast lays out, there were major holes in the story and doubts about the conviction. The podcast really elevated the case to a national level, and Maryland’s courts looked at it several times, often saying that prosecutors should revisit it.
For a long time, prosecutors didn’t want to, and when that is the case it is hard for someone to get a second look. But this week, prosecutors changed their minds. They no longer have confidence in Syed’s conviction and are recommending that he be released. To summarize what prosecutors said:
There are two suspects that were not properly ruled out at the time of the trial.
One of those suspects threatened to kill Lee.
The victim's car was located directly behind the house of one of the suspect’s relatives.
One of the suspects attacked a woman in her own car, raped someone, and committed domestic abuse. They were improperly ruled out.
As was shown in both the podcast and elsewhere, the cell phone tower data was completely unreliable, and it was a major reason why Syed was convicted.
A corroborating witness, Kristina Vinson, reneged on her testimony, and basically admitted she had it all wrong.
Because Wilds had told numerous lies and versions of events to detectives, his testimony was only relied upon because the cell records and Vinson's testimony corroborated it. Without those, his testimony is dogshit.
So, prosecutors in Baltimore have said Syed should go free, without bail. I want to sort of hit out at media outlets here, because many have said that Syed will face a new trial. That is highly unlikely, to the point of almost being impossible.
Prosecutors are vacating his conviction and basically torching their own work. They destroyed the original case against Syed and heavily implied that they think someone else did it. And they are letting Syed go free, without posting bail. While it is possible that they will charge him again, it is also possible that the squirrel in my backyard will speak Spanish to me in the next two weeks (Hola Guillermo!). In other words, Adnan is going home.
That is it from me folks. I will see you next week. In the meantime, here are two should-reads:
Chait has a good piece on this whole thing.
Relevant here: Did the John Birch society win in the end?
Why do Democrats think that running people who ALREADY SERVED AS GOVERNOR is a good idea?