Friday, March 31, 2023


Ron DeSantis had some bad luck yesterday. He made a previously scheduled book-tour appearance at a large gun shop outside Atlanta -- after being criticized for not canceling the appearance, which came a few days after a mass shooting in Nashville -- but, poor bastard, he was upstaged by Donald Trump, whose indictment on more than 30 counts was reported a few hours later.

So, purely by happenstance, Trump won the day. His indictment stirred up delicious grievances in the curdled souls of right-wing voters. But DeSantis didn't try very hard to score points. Sure, he said he wouldn't cooperate with Trump's extradition:

But otherwise, his response was the same George Soros-bashing we got when he was asked a question about the indictment at a March 20 press conference. In that answer, DeSantis invoked Soros six times. Soros is DeSantis's go-to on this subject. He's reminding me of fellow Floridian Marco Rubio, the king of the rehearsed talking point:

DeSantis should have upped the ante. He should have sounded more like Tucker Carlson:
On Fox News, the host Tucker Carlson said the ruling showed it was “probably not the best time to give up your AR-15s.”

“The rule of law appears to be suspended tonight — not just for Trump, but for anyone who would consider voting for him,” Mr. Carlson said.
DeSantis had just been to a gun shop. He had a perfect opening to say something like this. But even at the gun shop, he'd barely talked about guns:
In his hourlong remarks Thursday, DeSantis devoted little time to the issues of gun safety and violence, although he did offer a brief defense of gun rights.

“I’m proud to be able to stand here and say that we support our Second Amendment rights,” he said.

He then pivoted to other topics that resonate with conservative voters: so-called sanctuary cities, sex changes for minors, Black Lives Matter protests, building a border wall and Covid policies. DeSantis ... held up Florida as a model for the nation while also railing against left-wing “wokeness.”

"You want to tell me that men can get pregnant? No, I’m not buying that,” DeSantis said. “You want to tell me that babies are born racist? No, I’m not believing that.”
That's good, but you should give 'em the even redder meat, Ron! You should really rouse the rabble! Be like Glenn Beck on Carlson's show:
“What this is all about, I believe, is trying to inflame this country. They’ve wanted violence from the right from the beginning. They can’t wait [for] it. They need it. Because if we strike out—look at January 6!” Beck said. He then for some reason called attention to the fact that “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley, one of the Capitol rioters who had been imprisoned for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, was moved into a halfway house this week.

“The day they’re letting him out, they do this to Donald Trump?” he said. “They want you to strike out. Why? Because then they can close the cage.”

Beck then predicted dire straits for the U.S. in just two years’ time: the U.S. dollar will collapse, the nation will be “at war,” and the public will live in a “virtual police state.”
Obviously DeSantis doesn't want to aggrandize Trump the way Beck did last night:
"Donald Trump is not even a person anymore. He is a symbol. He is a symbol of the average, everyday guy that keeps getting screwed every single time [and who] watches other people screw up big banks, screw up their companies and get away with it," Beck said Thursday on "Tucker Carlson Tonight."

"They see people all the time doing stuff that they know if they did, they'd be in prison for 20 years. But because they're not part of the elite, they get away with it. Donald Trump has taken arrow after arrow." ...

"This guy has been taking the bullets for the average person now for years...."
But he could have catastrophized and whined: If they're coming for Trump, they're coming for me, and then they're coming for you. That's you we need your AR-15s, that's why I need to fight for your freedoms, which I will do until my dying breath.

But he doesn't have it in him. That's why he's only a strong second-place contender. Unless Trump is forced out of the race, DeSantis will need to up his game.

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