March 17, 2023

SCUTTLEBUT: DeSantis’ Christo-fascism festers at the University of Florida

SCUTTLEBUT: DeSantis' Christo-fascism festers at the University of Florida

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Before Trump’s dangerously authoritarian afterbirth Ron DeSantis started poking his stubby fingers (meatball fingers?)  into the state’s university system, the University of Florida was highly regarded, especially for its Honor’s program, which experienced a shakeup over the summer when its beloved director was suddenly fired.

Just before that earthquake, something called The Hamilton Center emerged late last year and was a done deal before most people knew about it.

In July, the Tampa Bay Times reported that “The University of Florida has received $3 million in taxpayer funds to establish a new academic center focused on civics courses. But the university did not ask for it, a secretive group did.”

DeSantis lackeys and Florida Republicans played (or acted as themselves) dumb and shrugged their shoulders when questioned about it.

The Hamilton Center’s MO is “to help students develop the knowledge, habits of thought, analytical skills, and character to be citizens and leaders in a free society.”

Ah, a free society.

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Remind us down here in this flaccid fascist cesspool what a free society is again.

It’s not freedom to let people breathe on each other at the neighborhood salad bar during a deadly pandemic.

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It’s not freedom to ban Black history and books because it makes Florida’s white supremacist majority feel uncomfy about their racism, bigotry, homophobia and hate.

In DeSantistan, freedom is to bend to the Christo-fascist whims of a power hungry Governor White Power (h/t Joy Reid).

But back to the University of Florida Hamilton Center.

Rumor has it, The UF Hamilton Center, funded, just like DeSantis is, with GOP dark money, wants an entire college and living community, staff, and classrooms.

This, has either been directly communicated and/or extrapolated from DeSantis’ press conference on defunding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives at state colleges and, frankly, across Florida.

DeSantis said that defunding DEI programs—which he called “hostile to academic freedom”—will make them “wither on the vine.”

He also wants to target what he deems as “trendy ideology,” aka “wokeness,” aka anything that doesn’t fit into his fetid Christo-fascism, doing just that by eviscerating the state’s historically liberal New College in Sarasota.

“These attacks are politically motivated to suppress freedom of speech, to put into place DeSantis’ supporters,” said Anna Eskamani, Democratic member of the Florida State House of Representatives.

On January 31 in what was perhaps his most Orwellian Doublespeak concerning higher state academia, Kim Jong Ron DeSantis doubled down on his diabolical anti DEI stance, saying, ““In Florida, we will build off of our higher education reforms by aligning core curriculum to the values of liberty and the Western tradition, eliminating politicized bureaucracies like DEI, increasing the amount of research dollars for programs that will feed key industries with talented Florida students, and empowering presidents and boards of trustees to recruit and hire new faculty, including by dedicating record resources for faculty salaries.”


While it made little sense in August, the firing of the Honor’s Program director is suddenly coming back into focus.

The UF Honors Program, which, in August suddenly fired its beloved director Mark Law to the dismay of parents, students and faculty alike, has a new honors community, classrooms, etc. coming in the fall.

UF Provost Joe Glover released a statement saying he, one one else, fired Law because of what he described, according to the campus newspaper, The Alligator, as “inadequate vision for the program — an opinion he acknowledges administration also held.”

Law remains at UF as a tenured professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Law was replaced in the interim by his deputy, professor Melissa Johnson.

“I continue to stand by my leadership of the Honors Program,” Law said. “I wish Dr. Johnson and the Honors team the best and will offer any support in the transition period that is asked of me. We all at UF have a goal of student success.”

Our source, embedded deep within University of Florida tells us, “They needed Mark Law out because they knew he would fight a combined honors/conservative college.”

And in case anyone was doubting DeSantis’s involvement in this disturbingly academic shade, his spokesperson Bryan Griffin confirmed it to Tampa Bay Times, saying, “We absolutely support the goal of the center; the governor has prioritized civics, leadership, and classical studies in education. So, of course, we approved the line item in the final budget. It is also evident from UF that they welcome the center.”

Chilling, isn’t it?

So who’s going to run this Christo-fascist university outpost of DeSantis Doublespeak Thinktank Fuckery?

“We expect the new honors director, in a hush-hush search that is technically following rules but also following a pattern used when they know who they want, will be tied to the Hamilton Center,” our source says.

Of course they will.

Let’s not forget who is the new president of the University of Florida, none other than Ben Sasse, former Nebraska Republican Senator who did vote to convict Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial for incitement of insurrection, but is a Republican through and through, voting against the Affordable Care act and against laws protecting abortion, bolstering criminal justice, fighting climate change and pretty much anything to help humanity.

But yeah, he wasn’t a fan of Trump’s.

And that’s a plus right now when Colonel Wokenfuhrer DeSantis is eyeing his former job.

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In addition to a $1 million salary, Sasse got a $300,000 pool installed at his new Gainesville manse, compliments of the University of Florida.

Nice work, if  you can get it.

He’s not complaining.

As Thomas Jefferson said in Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, “If there’s a fire you’re trying to douse, you can’t put it out from inside the house!”

Keep an eye on The Hamilton Center, because we’re definitely smelling smoke.

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