Thursday, March 16, 2023

so DeSantis might run, eh?

Scuttlebutt is that Ron DeSantis might run for president. He did poorly in a CPAC poll; for a lot of non-Floridian Republicans, he's still basically "Ron Who?" Styx calls DeSantis Trump Lite, but you never know: people were sure that Kevin McCarthy would turn out to be a limp-wristed RINO as Speaker of the House, but he's instead proved to be a fucking pit bull, to the surprise and delight of much of the MAGA crowd. People can defy expectations.

I don't think I'd mind a DeSantis presidency, but I just don't think he has the numbers to put him over the top. Running for office in 2024 strikes me as a mistake that could prove costly. And who should replace DeSantis as governor if he does shoot for the White House? I fear for Florida's future under someone else. DeSantis has been doing a stellar job there.

Trump is also making a huge mistake, I think, by lobbing childish aspersions at DeSantis (DeSanctimonious? Meatball? Come on, man!). Trump recently said that he "regretted" backing DeSantis in his run for governor, but what's unclear to me is what, exactly, Trump has against the man (something of an explanation here). I've heard that DeSantis is squishy on certain Second Amendment issues, which is funny since Tulsi Gabbard, recently a Democrat but now presumably an independent, has hardened her own Second Amendment stance. Aside from that, what is there for a rightie to hate about DeSantis? I see a lot of vitriol against the man in the comment threads at Instapundit, but rarely any justifications for that attitude. If I were to take a stab at the issue, I'd note that DeSantis doesn't have Trump's business background. Then again, DeSantis has done a good job of managing Florida's economy, so it's not as though he's totally at sea when it comes to economics. Trump, in attacking DeSantis, (1) only makes himself looks small and insecure and (2) only makes DeSantis bigger on the national stage in an oblique version of the Streisand Effect.

Ideally—in my ideal world, at least—DeSantis would either wait until 2028 to run, or he'd accept the role of vice president under Trump. DeSantis, with his law background, would argue circles around whatever moron the Democrats chose to put up against him as a hypothetical VP. (Trump, meanwhile, would turn his debate into a circus—amusing but not necessarily substantive.*) In truth, though, I'd like to see Trump run in 2024 with Kari Lake as his VP. Those two were made for each other, and Lake is almost scarily in ideological lockstep with Trump, all while cultivating her own aggressive "mama bear" image. The way things are going between DeSantis and Trump right now, I don't see DeSantis wanting to be Trump's VP. It's possible that Trump could pummel DeSantis, then somehow pull the younger man back into his orbit à la Ted Cruz, who started off as "Lyin' Ted" but became one of Trump's supporters and a partial MAGA-head himself. I don't think DeSantis can be so easily wooed, and honestly, I see no reason for Trump to drive a wedge between him and DeSantis. That's the kind of division that splits the GOP further than it's already been split (MAGA versus neocons these days).

Kiss and make up, guys. And unify. You both need to do what you can to purge the party of its neocon holdouts (most neocons are also Never Trumpers). Concerted action is better than whatever this current bullshit is.


*That said, I'll never forget how, in the 2016 debates, Trump left mild-mannered Jeb Bush apoplectic. Bush just stood there, looking as though he wanted nothing more than to pound Trump into the ground with his bare hands. It was another example of Trump's obnoxiousness, but it also showcased what Trump can do to his opponents.


John Mac said...

I just can't believe that whoever is pulling puppet Biden's strings will permit him to run next year. If I had to bet, the Dems will go with Newsome, notwithstanding the total mess he's made of California.

The Repubs need a candidate who can pull the party together for a landslide victory enough to overcome the fraud that has been built into the system. Trump has too much baggage, and his stupid comments exacerbate division. I'm a DeSantis fan and think on the national stage, he could win over the American people. Would love to see him run on his successes in Florida versus what Newsome has done in California.

Still, we could be fucked beyond repair before the election happens.

Kevin Kim said...

Well, if the Dems go with Newsom, and he tries to run on his (cough) record, that'll be interesting.