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Republicans count on their enemies not to reciprocate their callous nihilism

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Ron DeSantis, currently begging for federal aid in the wake of the horrors of Hurricane Ian, opposed federal aid to New York after Sandy Hook because, after all, he’s Ron DeSantis:

As a freshman congressman in 2013, Ron DeSantis was unambiguous: A federal bailout for the New York region after Hurricane Sandy was an irresponsible boondoggle, a symbol of the “put it on the credit card mentality” he had come to Washington to oppose.

“I sympathize with the victims,” he said. But his answer was no.

Nearly a decade later, as his state confronts the devastation and costly destruction wrought by Hurricane Ian, Mr. DeSantis is appealing to the nation’s better angels — and betting on its short memory.

“As you say, Tucker, we live in a very politicized time,” Mr. DeSantis, now Florida’s governor, told Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night, outlining his request for full federal reimbursement up front for 60 days and urging the Biden administration to do the right thing. “But you know, when people are fighting for their lives, when their whole livelihood is at stake, when they’ve lost everything — if you can’t put politics aside for that, then you’re just not going to be able to.”

However tempting it may be, giving aid to Florida now is the right thing to do, and emulating DeSantis by punishing Florida residents by seeking revenge on one of the worst people in the largely abysmal field of American politics would be wrong. But these asymmetries are fraying the bonds of American democracy.

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