Friday, December 30, 2022


Today's release of Donald Trump tax returns is, among other things, a reminder that in the months leading up to the 2024 Iowa caucuses, Trump is going to be a guy stuff happens to, while his only real rival, Ron DeSantis, is going to be a guy who does stuff.

Nearly all of what DeSantis does will be acts of cruelty directed at people right-wing voters hate. Some of it won't succeed -- courts, for instance, are tossing out some of DeSantis's illegal-voting cases. But for the next year, he'll be the man in the arena, working hard to hurt people.

In response, all Trump can do is whine:

You'd think Republican voters would prefer results, and therefore DeSantis -- but I'm not sure. Trump will be powerless and aggrieved, but powerless and aggrieved is how Republican voters feel all the time, so they may find Trump more relatable. They'll see (we hope) Trump pursued by the feds, by the state of New York, by Fulton County, Georgia. Maybe they'll think, I know how he feels.

Trump was cruel as president, and unlike DeSantis now, he was cruel at a national level. And he has bigger grievances now: DeSantis can claim he's fighting the forces of wokeness in one state, but Trump is fighting all the evil globalists in the world. Who'll out-grieve the other? Will DeSantis's current statewide cruelty bea the memory of Trump's national cruelty? It's hard to tell.

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