It's really remarkable how gutless Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is at his core. The would-be Republican presidential candidate sure is quick to bully reporters, students wearing masks during a global pandemic, and anyone in Florida schools and universities who he has the slightest bit of so-called executive power over. But the man goes out of his way to avoid any public appearance where he might be exposed to potential critics. When it comes to actually fighting for the Republican nomination he so covets, DeSantis has continuously failed to find a spine when it comes to taking on the biggest obstacle standing between him and the nomination: Donald Trump.
How can a person who can barely muster the courage to even whisper the name “Trump” make a case to voters that he’s a strong candidate? DeSantis’ primary foe has given him a mountain of topics to unload on, from inciting an insurrection to multiple impeachments, and most recently a jury’s verdict finding him liable for sexually abusing columnist E. Jean Carroll.
This is a guy who thinks he could stand up to the rest of the world's leaders, both friendly and hostile? He'd get rolled by No. 10 Downing Street's resident cat before he ever made it through the front door.
The latest show of campaign cowardice by the Florida governor and his top supporters is an epic cave from the pro-DeSantis "Never Back Down" PAC, which sent a single tweet bashing his biggest competitor following a Trump-orchestrated free hour of publicity on CNN. How brave!
When it comes to pointing out the sheer odiousness of His Royal Pantload, that's a pretty reasonable campaign-themed rundown. How does any of that make America "great”? Why does any Republican call themselves a Trump supporter when supporting Trump means supporting violence against police, terminating the Constitution, sexual assault, and a stream of delusions based entirely around Trump's belief that whenever he's screwed up or lost a popularity contest, it's only because his enemies launched some sort of secret conspiracy against him? Who actually likes that stuff?
I know, I know: a Republican base made up of racist and misogynistic anti-American fascists likes that stuff. They've been vibrating in their chairs for years now, waiting for a boorish sleaze-bucket to come along and give it to them. Ah well.
In any event, Semafor's Shelby Talcott reports that after the tweet was sent, Never Back Down PAC’s leadership immediately regretted it and the whole thing was blamed on someone who had certainly not gotten the "approval of the PAC's senior communications team." Talcott also reports we probably won't be seeing any similar hard punches at Trump in the future. That's how shaken the pro-DeSantis PAC's team was after the organization premised on electing DeSantis actually referenced the sheer awfulness of the race's current poll leader.
Well, there's your problem. I'm not sure how DeSantis' campaign boosters are going to convince anyone he's a less dodgy character than the insurrection-launching, book-cooking sex pest if everybody linked to DeSantis is forbidden from mentioning all that stuff.
This is all just another example of the complete and utter gutlessness of the Republican Party, from the first moment Donald Trump bragged about his penis size and started slinging preschool-sized insults from within his oversized suit. The entire party lives in terror of Donald Trump becoming mad enough at someone to give them a nickname. From the debates onward, Republican officials, candidates, and their underlings will immediately cling to whatever stream-of-consciousness thoughts Donald last burped out, quickly abandoning whatever soft principles they held in the first place
The grounds for attacking Trump are fertile. Turning a profit from supplicants streaming in to pay you money while they wait for you to grant them an audience in the White House? No problem! Put the squeeze on another country's government to grant you some help with your election in exchange for that sweet, sweet military money Congress already allocated? There's not a single thing corrupt about that! We hate NATO now! Presidential son-in-laws should of course be able to scoop up a couple billion dollars from a foreign monarchy after doing it a series of important favors! We don't care about your damn pandemic, getting drunk in a barber shop is what our forefathers drove off British soldiers to achieve! We like Putin now! Well, mostly! It's okay to take classified documents if you're only using them for monetary gain! Who doesn't assault women in department store dressing rooms?
The level of sheer gutlessness necessary to meekly nod and claim that well, now you too stand behind whatever the last terrible awful thing the reality show con man said out loud is amazing.
Ted Cruz? Lindsey Graham? Mitch McConnell? Kevin McCarthy? Marco Rubio? Ron DeSantis? Your pro-Trump father or uncle or work buddy? Gutless. Every last one.
This bunch of cowards is willing to erase the whole history and platform of the party in order to keep from having to deal with Donald Trump calling them names or going off to start his own new party that values burping self-regard above "fiscal responsibility" or "family values" or any of the rest of it.
How can anyone even pretend that Ron "DeSanctimonious," of all people, is going to survive a Republican presidential primary long enough for his campaign bus to even need a second tank of gas? Even his own PAC withered under the slightest test. Until someone finds a spine strong enough to stand up to a bully like Trump, only cowards remain.
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The data is in: Americans don’t like Republican policies on abortion. Kerry is joined by Drew Linzer, the director and co-founder of the well-regarded polling company Civiqs. Drew and Kerry do a deep dive into the polling around abortion and reproductive rights and the big problems conservative candidates face in the coming elections.