Has Ron DeSantis broken the law?

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2022

Bexar County Jail: Did Ron DeSantis break the law when he engineered those flights to Martha's Vineyard?

We don't have the slightest idea. Jonathan Chait says he probably did:

CHAIT (9/20/22): The Ron DeSantis approach to governance is to feed a steady flow of chum to conservative media. His most recent such measure was a made-for-Fox gambit that involved transporting two planeloads of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in a modern reverse Freedom Ride. But not only did Martha’s Vineyard’s residents greet the residents with love rather than the fear DeSantis hoped to provoke, it also seems probable he violated the law in order to pull it off.

There are two potential legal violations at play: lying to the migrants and misusing state funds.

Multiple reports have found the migrants were lured onto the plane with misleading or false promises that included employment. WBUR’s Eve Zuckoff and NPR’s Luis Clemens interviewed migrants the night they arrived in Martha’s Vineyard. At least two reported a woman who called herself “Perla” promised them jobs and four months of housing at their destination:

[...]

One of the migrants told the Boston Globe, “There, a lady offered us three months of rent, work, and said they were going to put our papers in order.”

Yesterday, Javier Salazar, the sheriff of Bexar County in Texas, opened an investigation into whether any laws had been broken in luring the migrants onto the plane.

Inevitably, our liberal world is now picturing DeSantis consigned to the Bexar County jail. We regard this as our tribe's latest "category error."

Here's what we mean by that:

Our problem—and it's deeply serious—is a political problem. It involves the way many voters are drawn to the kind of claims and conduct performed by people like Trump and DeSantis.

Almost surely, you can't solve a political problem by means of criminal law. But our tribe rarely seems to imagine the pursuit of a political solution to our political failures.

On cable, our tribe has devoted years to the project of getting Trump locked up. Our tribunes discuss this project for hours on end, day after day after day after day. 

Everything else disappears. Little else gets discussed, including the actual immigration problems which turn a lot of voters toward DeSantis and Trump.

Inevitably, we're now seeking the same type of "jail cell solution" in the matter of DeSantis. One thinks of the early Tommy Lee Jones vehicle, Jackson County Jail.

(Beyond that, Chait's reference to the Freedom Rides reminds us that, by dint of basic tribal law, DeSantis must also be seen as a racist.)

For us, the political instincts to which we refer recall the old country song. You recall the name of that famous old song:

Born to Quite Possibly Lose.

A basic reminder: How might our tribe peel voters away from the Trump-DeSantis orbit?

We recommend this basic reminder. We're seeking to win the most persuadable of these voters, not the "hard-core fanatics."

Those "fanatics" have a perfect right to their beliefs, of course—but no, they aren't the target. We aren't after 100 percent of the vote. We're after maybe five points more.

INSTANT UPDATE: Also, let's get Cathy Latham locked up.


49 comments:

  1. Those are important points.

    1. Work towards political solutions to our political failures.
    2. Seek to persuade a small fraction of Trump voters. Not the crazies.

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  2. "Did Ron DeSantis break the law when he engineered those flights to Martha's Vineyard?"

    Meh. In our humble opinion, dear Bob, a more interesting question is whether the failure (deliberate, willful failure, it seems) to protect the country's borders breaks the law.

    Unauthorized border crossing is a crime. Refusing to prevent estimated 2 million crimes/year has gotta be a crime.

    What do you think, dear Bob?

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    1. Mao is famous for his strict adherence to the letter of the law. That's why Mao wants 870,000 (not 87,000) new IRS auditors to go after those who commit the criminal act of cheating on their taxes.
      Go, Mao!

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    2. We need 87,000 new border agents for deportations, not 87,000 IRS agents to harass middle class taxpayers who are footing the bill for illegal immigration and everything else.

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    3. We need IRS to harass rich people.

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    4. Don't you mean the wrong kind of rich people, not the ones who cleanse poor people from Martha's Vineyard?

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    5. I mean the kind of rich people who evade taxes and skirt the laws, such as Trump's father, Trump himself, his extended family and his kids. And anyone else who uses such tactics to evade paying what they should.

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    6. Trump never failed to pay the taxes he was legally obligated to pay.

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    7. Not so, why do you think he is in trouble in NY?

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    8. 8:32,
      Then Trump and I, who also doesn’t cheat on his taxes, have nothing to worry about.
      Now, what was your complaint about, again?

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    9. Watching the left openly declare "If you don't have anything to hide, there is nothing wrong with any prosecution, home search because government officials never act politically or otherwise improperly and you are guilty by virtue of their action." Imagine thinking this way.

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  3. One can chew gum and walk at the same time.

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  4. Sheriff Salazar is not investigating a political problem. He is investigating a crime committed against a group of immigrants. Somerby wants to frame this as a political act, but the victims were not political -- they were real people whose lives were harmed by the lies used to lure them onto planes, so that DeSantis could play a politically motivated prank. DeSantis may have had political motives, but the harm was done to real people and it broke the law, which makes this not a political problem at all, but a criminal one.

    This bait-and-switch with motives doesn't get DeSantis off the hook for what he planned and did to those immigrants.

    Somerby only wants to focus on why people like us want to see DeSantis locked up. Somerby thinks that is political too. But my own response is anger that DeSantis would do something like that to innocent people who are trying to survive under difficult conditions. He is an evil man who hurt others, and he deserves to go to jail for doing that. And yes, the law exists to prevent criminals from doing bad things to other people. That IS a criminal problem.

    That Republicans are drawn to DeSantis and Trump when they commit such crimes is not MY problem or the blue tribe's problem. It is a Republican problem. We will see whether they are still drawn to Trump after he goes to jail. But putting criminals who commit crimes in jail does address the problem of their wrongdoing. What Republicans feel about those crimes, is THEIR problem, not mine.

    And frankly, I do not care how Somerby thinks we can best recruit some of those crime-loving Republicans to join our tribe. I don't want them here. And I would rather find my extra 5% among the Independents who are repulsed by the new face of the Republican party. The one engaging in Nazi-style salutes while Trump pretends to be their savior, the messiah.

    Is it a political problem when so many Republicans are bat-shit crazy and believe that Democrats are reptilian pedophiles killing children to make adrenochrome? I would say that is a social problem created by lying to vulnerable people. Blaming them for their own beliefs now would be unfair when a former president is leading their psychosis.

    Criminals need to be locked up, including the ones who attempted to subvert voting machines in Georgia. There are consequences for actions. Without being held accountable, there is no reason why Republicans won't simply take over the government by force. There is apparently no restraint of conscience among them, judging by their treatment of immigrants and other groups in our society.

    Somerby is wrong when he tries to make this our problem. It is HIS problem and he needs to figure out how to deal with it, since he has chosen to be BFFs with the red tribe.

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  5. Somerby wants to frame societal issues as political, but this a nonsense take. Our failures are electoral, we need an electoral solution; and here Somerby is again full of nonsense: the Republican is already hard core - there are zero Trump voters to peel away. Somerby knows he is wrong on this and so offers his weak minded "A basic reminder" which is complete nonsense.

    Due to the psychology of Republican voters (they are not crazy, they are wounded and traumatized), right wingers have a tremendous edge in motivating their voters, while Dems struggle to motivate their voters; however, there is no question that the strategy (the one Somerby is complaining about) of going after right wing corruption is working for Dems - see 2018 and 2020.

    Like electoral voters, readers here are not open to persuasion by Somerby, but largely because all he does is spew right wing nonsense.

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    1. Democrats are good at motivating Democrats to vote Republican.

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    2. There’s no evidence of this.

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    3. Trump's presidency is evidence.

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    4. Except Trump was elected via Russian interference not by defecting Democrats.

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    5. Notice that Trump was not re-elected. That suggests that if there were any defecting Democrats, they regretted it and went back to voting for Democrats such as Biden.

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    6. Get a load of these treasonous election deniers.

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  6. “But not only did Martha’s Vineyard’s residents greet the residents with love rather than the fear DeSantis hoped to provoke, it also seems probable he violated the law in order to pull it off.”

    Within 48 hours, soldiers were herding them onto a bus to go to a military facility.

    The Venezuelans must have felt like they were back home.

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    1. Do you lie on purpose, or are you just too stupid and hoodwinked by your thought leaders:

      “The military wasn’t involved in their transport to the base, and the immigrants went there voluntarily, according to a civil rights group representing many of them.”

      https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/sep/20/instagram-posts/military-didnt-deport-immigrants-marthas-vineyard/

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    2. Who do you think the National Guard are, tough guy?

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    3. "Deportations are carried out by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, not the military."

      You could do mh the courtesy of reading his link. Then you wouldn't sound like a moron so often.

      The National Guard IS military and it is not U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement.

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    4. @cecilia: The Massachusetts National Guard was called in to assist by Republican governor Baker, who criticized DeSantis’ stunt. It was not part of a federal operation. You could also read that the migrants agreed to go. They were not “herded” anywhere. They were taken where there was more room and more options for helping them. But you are in love with your mindless script.

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    5. Anonymouse 7:29pm, it’s you who needs to learn how to read.

      The illegal immigrants were assisted by the National Guard. I never said they were forced to go, I said that the Venezuelans were used to being assisted by the military. Boy howdy.

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    6. Oh, mh, your wrath makes you even more obtuse.

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    7. Arguing with a drunken troll. How low can you go mh?

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    8. Ferdinand, why not? mh has been leveling insults toward the blogger for years. He obviously has no problem with going low.

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    9. Cecelia, you are embarrassing yourself again.

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    10. I don’t mind. It’s just anonymices.

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    11. Oh I loves me a little Cecelia time. It's pretty clear that these folk were lied to when they were told the Vineyard is an appropriate destination after labor day. My sister in the Hamptons will be placing a BLM sticker over her Trump one if DeSantis tries to pull that one off in her neighborhood. Believe it or not, there are rich republicans that hang out in those enclaves; go ask the 50 or so billionaires backing the good governor in what can best be described as a grassroots republican political career. Fortunately, despite their protestations, there's always room for one more brownish looking guy to climb that ladder and clip that 20 foot hedge.

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    12. “ It's pretty clear that these folk were lied to when they were told the Vineyard is an appropriate destination after labor day. ”

      Right. So…so…gauche.

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    13. "It's pretty clear that these folk were lied to when they were told the Vineyard is an appropriate destination after labor day."

      Whoa. It's wickedly funny, actually. In the Larry David sort of way.

      ...and not intentionally, we presume. Which makes it so much funnier...

      Thanks for the laughs, Cecelia. For reading dembottery above and picking out this sentence...

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    14. With climate change, Halloween is the new labor day.

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    15. Mao, anonymices do irony like MV folks do the Welcome Wagon.

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  7. Did Ron Desantis break the law when he exposed the hypocritical, embarrassing wealthy enclave of selfish Democrats who deported the unwashed invaders within one day of their seeking sanctuary at Martha's Vineyard?

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  8. It's a criminal solution to a political problem.
    How very CLEVER Bob must feel every time he
    types that.
    The translation has come to be, however, I don't
    care if someone breaks the law if they are a right
    winger.
    Or, I care about as much as when a right winger
    chants, "lock her up."
    OK, Bob, finish your milk and cookies, it's nap
    time.

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  9. Election tampering is a feature and not a bug in Bobworld.

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  10. To claim that criminal prosecutions are political is the Republican meme du jour, Bobby. You've got this crimial/political thing all screwed up. Fact is, that if Greg Abbott takes a crap in Texas, Ronny D. has a sudden urge to wipe his ass in Tallahassee. Breaking the law is not without its just consequences, as a general rule, but only as such, and does not apply here, so you got that one right. The good governor, to his credit, was able to explain in a press conference that using taxpayer money to ship these people out of Texas would apparently forever prevent them from migrating to their ultimate destination, FLA. He knows this because he just does, you dumbness liberals. Of course he couldn't query any of them regarding their intentions in FLA because they are as rare as an honest republican legislator in that state. Bottom line, Bobby, is that if suggesting to a Harvard trained lawyer that there are laws in this country to be considered before such shenanigans in the future is de-motivating, perhaps it has served its purpose, the icing on the cake being that it might result in more such press conferences in which the good governor can comport himself like a churlish schoolboy.

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    1. Incidentally, saw a nice Rubio ad tonight on the tele in which he earnestly stated that libs are turning boys into girls. It's gonna be fun watching these two ramp it up against each other in the coming months.

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    2. Why don't they ever care that girls are being turned into boys?

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    3. Because Tucker’s audience is mostly male, you know, the gender that needs to tan it’s balls to enhance their manliness and become more like Tucker.

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    4. Which raises the question, where is the line beyond which Tucker’s audience will not tread in adherence to his preachings? D in C, what is your thought about the ball tanning proposition? Are you prepared to consider the possibility that tanning your balls is not a fruitful exercise, and if so, doesn’t that shake the foundation of your relationship with Tucker? If there is such a line, is it any where near accepting him calling a war amputee a coward, or are you ok with that? Let’s find the line. My line is accepting the drivel of any TV personality who wears a bow tie beyond the age of 30.

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  11. Jimmy Dore: Martha’s Vineyard Can’t Handle Influx Of 50 Immigrants

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmObSU3gRa4

    For your listening pleasure, dear Bob...

    ...attention: bonus inside! -- one of your famous demigods speaking...

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    1. Jimmy Dore, LOL.
      Was Newt Gingrich not available to lie to us?

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