September 27, 2023

Save the Date for the DeSantis/Newsom Debate

The heirs apparent to both political parties will duke it out in November.

The promised debate between successful Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and failing California Governor Gavin Newsom is due to happen on November 30 at 9 p.m. on Fox News. Sean Hannity will be the moderator, with Dana Perino and Stuart Varney acting as co-moderators. It should make for some worthwhile television.

The announcement of an actual date being set is very telling about the state of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’s unpopularity. In August, our Thomas Gallatin wrote about Team Biden’s distaste for Newsom’s debate challenge to DeSantis. Harris was particularly miffed at this brazen maneuvering that could only reflect badly on her.

But a month later, Biden is facing ever-more insistent calls from his party not to run in 2024. Harris has also consistently been lumped in with those calls. They’re politically weak and ripe rotten for the dumping.

The latest Washington Post poll showing former President Donald Trump with a 10-point lead over Biden is just the latest hint that the left-wing propaganda machine (i.e., the corporate media) has cooled on the president. Considering the source of the poll, it’s pretty clear that the Democrats intend to shove Biden/Harris out of the way.

This affects GOP nominee hopeful Ron DeSantis’s campaign calculous as well. If President Biden is no longer a factor in the 2024 election, it could potentially make Trump a less palatable nominee to the GOP. It might prompt voters to ask: Wouldn’t a younger, more eloquent, more culturally conservative candidate seem like a more viable choice? Particularly if the opponent were a younger someone like Gavin Newsom? Either way, it’s fair to say that DeSantis and Newsom are the likely heirs apparent should “Trump vs. Biden: The Sequel” not happen.

For his part, Newsom is seizing the moment. In a surprise veto last week, the Golden State governor nixed AB 957, a bill that would have allowed the state government to take children away from their parents if the parents refused to affirm their child’s gender confusion. His choosing to veto the bill when all indications previously were that he was willing to sign it was a signal to all that he is making moves toward challenging Biden. Newsom also seems to be angling to campaign as the moderate Democrat. He can’t do that if he signs such an authoritarian bill.

Agreeing to finally set a date with DeSantis is just one more indication that Newsom is gearing up for his own 2024 run.

This debate can only potentially help both men. As Gallatin pointed out, if DeSantis shines, it’ll hurt former President Trump; and if Newsom shines, it could put a nail in the Biden/Harris coffin.

It’s also likely to be a great debate because both young governors have proven themselves as canny debaters. Newsom, by his recent actions and statements, is gearing himself up to portray himself as a moderate Democrat (and is also banking on the average voter being completely unaware of the hellhole California has become under his leadership). He is quick on his feet and very politically savvy in his answers.

DeSantis, on the other hand, is excellent at being able to dismantle leftist lies in real time. His ability to remember facts and details that debunk their talking points has devastated many a leftist hack reporter. One might also recall that when Harris was taking swipes at DeSantis over Florida’s school curriculum, DeSantis offered to have a debate with her. She promptly fled. This is not only because of his formidable ability to articulate facts and his positions but also because of Harris’s legendarily poor rhetorical skills.

Are we about to witness a debate with similar significance to the direction of the country as the Lincoln/Douglas debates? In terms of left vs. right governance, the similarities are striking.

In the Lincoln/Douglas debates, Abraham Lincoln, the young Republican lawyer seeking to unseat the senator of Illinois, was arguing against the institution of slavery and specifically against the expansion of slave states in the new territories. Stephen A. Douglas, the incumbent Democrat senator of Illinois, was arguing for the continuation of popular sovereignty — which declared that the new territories could decide to have slaves based on their residents’ inclinations. However, this “popular sovereignty” led to horrid and bloody pre-war skirmishes in states like Kansas, where Missouri pro-slavery “bushwhackers” would slip over the border and intimidate or eliminate anti-slavery Kansas settlers.

Yet again our country is faced with two divergent views for the country. One has produced a flourishing and growing state; the other has turned all its streets into skid row trash and refuse dumps. DeSantis has already won that debate.

As our Douglas Andrews aptly put it, “The difference between the two states can be boiled down to a simple question — one that reveals the key to human flourishing: Are your people free, or aren’t they?” DeSantis’s victory on that front is indisputable. California has been losing population, and the state’s loss has been Florida’s gain.

Our country is once again a house getting ever more deeply divided. Unlike the Lincoln/Douglas debates, let’s hope and pray that the DeSantis/Newsom discussions lead to a renewed fervor for American values and rejection of leftist policies.

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