Lee Heidhues 11.20.2022
It’s hard to believe there is someone WORSE than Donald Trump. There is someone much WORSE than Trump.
God’s messenger. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. A right wing vicious Ideologue who believes he is a messenger sent by God. In his successful re-election campaign DeSantis ran this Video.
Terrifying and scary. Straight out of The Handmaid’s Tale.
Excerpted from New York Magazine – Intelligencer – 11.20.2022
None of Trump’s 2016 opponents was Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis is 44 years old, only four years older than Pete Buttigieg. He is guaranteed an opportunity to appear on Fox News whenever he wants for the foreseeable future; all he needs to do is to find more “woke” objects of his vengeful fury. Why tangle with Trump when the old man might soon die a natural political death?
Florida Guv DeSantis seems likely to be so formidable as to discourage some other rivals from playing in the 2024 sandbox dominated by the two big bullies from the Sunshine State. My colleague Jonathan Chait has been arguing for a while that the Florida governor is putting together a fan club that ranges from traditional conservatives who are ready to move on from Trump to the very extremists who think DeSantis is even better than Trump at “owning the libs” and expressing the life-giving hate of the MAGA movement. And now the outcome of the 2022 midterms has been like rocket-fuel for DeSantis, Chait observes:
The Murdoch-owned media, very much including Fox News, unleashed an undisguised propaganda blitz to convince its audience that Trump is the source of the party’s struggles and DeSantis represents its future. Trump’s angry response [attacking “Ron DeSanctimonious”] is a measure of how seriously he takes the threat to steer the base away from him. Many journalists registered surprise at the bluntness of the chorus blaming Trump. Yet the prospects for a DeSantis nomination, and the changes beneath the surface that have made it relatively likely, have not been fully appreciated outside the Republican world.
If DeSantis can indeed compete for Trump’s own base while thrilling more traditional conservatives who see him as a skillful demagogue who shares their views and interests, then yes, he could take down Trump — though not without a vicious and poisonous fight.
But there’s something about DeSantis that reminds me of former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a charisma-free ideological thug who terrified liberals everywhere until he actually ran for president in 2016 and he sank like a stone before any votes were cast. And the swooning over DeSantis among conservatives reminds me of Rick Perry when he briefly stormed the 2012 Republican presidential field like a conquering hero — until he suddenly became perceived as an insubstantial buffoon.
But even if DeSantis is Ronald Reagan reincarnated, and the irresistible force needed to dislodge Trump’s immovable self-regard, there is also a decent chance (as some reporters are already suggesting) that he will choose to wait until 2028 when he could either run as Trump’s natural successor (assuming an offer to step aside this year would instantly make Trump a DeSantis fan again) or the antidote to a failed MAGA movement if Trump runs and loses again.