Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel explains the power dynamics behind DeSantis’ fight with Disney. DeSantis just hired four law firms, at the taxpayer expense, of course, to fight Disney’s secret coup to retain control of its property.

Maxwell writes:

If you look at Mickey Mouse’s hands, you’ll notice he doesn’t have a middle finger. But if he did, he most surely flipped it at Ron DeSantis this past week.

Florida’s governor had told the world that he’d taken on Disney and won. But while DeSantis was busy tweeting, Disney operatives were busy working, quietly rewriting legal papers in an attempt to ensure the governor’s tough talk never amounted to anything more.

Basically, Disney was playing 4-D chess while the governor’s legal team was fumbling with a bag of checkers. And by the time Team DeSantis figured out what had happened Wednesday, its members could do little more than fume and pout.

DeSantis is so used to picking on easy targets — drag queens and transgender teenagers — that he wasn’t prepared to do battle with someone with the power to fight back.

It’s easy for DeSantis critics to laugh and scoff. Donald Trump certainly did, mocking his former protégé for getting bested by a cartoon mouse.

But the reality is that this whole situation stinks.

Ron DeSantis and GOP lawmakers are trying to use bully power and petty politics to punish a private company for expressing opinions they dislike — in this case, Disney’s opinion that LGBTQ families should be treated like human beings….

Still, Disney doesn’t deserve to run its own government. Many of us have argued as much for years. Unfortunately, lawmakers in this state have been happy to do Disney special favors for decades — as long as Disney cut them checks.

Just two years ago, DeSantis signed a law exempting Disney from a crackdown on social media companies after the company gave his political committee $50,000.

The ludicrous bill, which was invalidated by a federal judge who noted the special-interest favoritism, included a carve-out that exempted any company that “owns and operates a theme park.” DeSantis signed the bill less than two months after cashing Disney’s check and after records show his staffers swapped emails about the language Disney lobbyists wanted in the law.

DeSantis clearly did a favor for a corporate donor, blowing a castle-sized hole in the tough-on-corporations narrative he tries to peddle. In fact, a big part of why corporate America likes DeSantis is that they know he plays ball….

DeSantis had vowed to make Disney “follow the same laws every other company follows in the state of Florida.” I actually like that plan. That’s how it should’ve been all along. But that’s not what he did.

Instead, he put a group of hand-picked political appointees in charge of the private company. No other company in America works like that. DeSantis didn’t put Disney on the same footing as everyone else. He tried to put Disney under his own personal thumb. And Disney seems to have found a way to at least temporarily thwart him.

If these guys actually had a desire to do the right thing — before Disney cut them off financially — they wouldn’t have tried to twice ram through poorly thought-out laws. They would’ve asked a team of smart government-law experts to devise a way to sunset Disney’s special status in a logical, legal matter.

But logic has taken a beating in Tallahassee over the last two years as book-banning, pronoun-legislating and drag-queen-bashing have become the rage.

I don’t begrudge anyone who laughed at DeSantis last week for getting out-brained by a mouse. It was cringe-inducingly amusing to watch his campaign team stage a meltdown on Twitter, claiming that the governor’s clear loss was really a big win because (just you wait) the governor is always thinking “10 steps ahead….”

So sure, laugh at DeSantis. But I’m still not rooting for Disney.

While the company has done some great philanthropic things in this community, it has also used money, power and even free park tickets to warp public policy in this state for decades. Everything from secret text messages with county commissioners to try to deny sick time for local workers to back-channel messaging with the governor’s staff to request special favors.

I’m not cheering for the powerful corporation or the pandering politicians. I’m rooting for good government that doesn’t cater to special interests — the one thing neither side seems to want.