Some Conservatives Want DeSantis to Cool His War on Wokeness
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Some Conservatives Want DeSantis to Cool His War on Wokeness

Florida governor is acting out to juice his presidential bid, obviously, but some in the GOP still think he's going too far

Florida governor and 2024 Republican presidential frontrunner Ron DeSantis is ruffling feathers with a recent war he's waging on "Wokeness." But it's not the feathers you might have expected (note: we're not talking about actual feathers).

No, it's conservatives who are starting to get vocal about DeSantis, saying the governor's moves are overstepping in areas like battling Disney for control of the land around its Orlando theme parks, taking on the College Board for offering an African American Studies AP course, and devoting taxpayer funds to transporting migrants to other states.

It's caused another Republican governor, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, to criticize DeSantis, saying it "Isn't very conservative" to punish businesses you disagree with. The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expressions, which has supported DeSantis in his fight against diversity programs, still thinks the governor is going too far with his Stop WOKE Act, which would regulate what professors teach on subjects like race.

"You cannot censor your way to freedom of expression," FIRE's legal director told CNN in a story about DeSantis criticism. And this is a group that usually supports DeSantis.

Some Republican voters and fundraisers told CNN in the story that they're worried bad publicity  and heavy-handed policies could backfire in the primaries, torpedoing the governor's campaign before it really gets going. DeSantis could also be losing libertarian voters on the fence about the upcoming crop of candidates.Katherine Mangu-Ward, editor-in-chief of Reason magazine, a publication aimed at libertarians, said in a podcast that DeSantis is raising his profile by using state power to score points, not achieve goals. "This is not a good way to run a state. This is not a good way to run a country," she said.

If DeSantis had little competition for the 2024 nomination, that would be one thing, but the field is already looking crowded and there's the long shadow of Donald Trump to deal with, too. Will the GOP rein their boy in? (Looks back at the last two election cycles…) Oh, probably not.

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