Thursday, March 23, 2023


Ron DeSantis does a walkback:
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida this week clarified his description of the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “territorial dispute” and said that Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president, was a “war criminal” who should be “held accountable.”

Mr. DeSantis, a Republican who is expected to announce a presidential campaign in the coming months, made his latest comments in an interview with the British broadcaster Piers Morgan, who shared them with The New York Post and Fox News, both owned by Rupert Murdoch.
(I'm quoting from a New York Times story by Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Swan, who should know that Piers Morgan didn't "share" DeSantis's remarks with the Murdoch media -- the interview was conducted for Morgan's show on the Murdoch streaming channel Fox Nation.)

DeSantis's clarification will be a relief to Republican Party boss Rupert Murdoch and to the GOP establishment, which is still anti-Putin and pro-Ukraine. But that's the problem. A segment of the GOP voter base now despises the GOP establishment, seeing it as part of America's "uniparty," and will regard this as more evidence that DeSantis -- unlike Donald Trump -- is a cuck who's sold out to establishment "globalists."

Murdoch may be one of those globalists, but his biggest star is not happy with DeSantis:
The change appeared not to have been lost on Mr. Carlson. Just hours after Mr. DeSantis’s new comments about Mr. Putin were made public, Mr. Carlson attacked what he said were people who give in to the news media, asserting that they are forced “to repeat whatever childish slogan they’ve come up with this week.” In a mocking voice, he said, “Vladimir Putin is a war criminal.”
He's not the only one who's grumbling. Breitbart spotted these tweets:

(Miller has more than 90,000 followers on Twitter. Langman has nearly 80,000.)

Also see this post at an old-school right-wing blog called the Last Refuge (aka the Conservative Treehouse):
Returning to Neocon Roots – DeSantis Backtracks on His Tucker Carlson Ukraine Position as Territorial Dispute, Now Says “I think it’s been mischaracterized,” and “Putin is a war criminal”

After attempting to navigate through the politics in order to curry favor with the base Republican voters on a Ukraine position, when confronted by Piers Morgan who is a pro-NATO war voice, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis now says his former position on Ukraine has been “mischaracterized” and Vladimir Putin “is a war criminal.”

The walk back highlights once again that Ron DeSantis is an empty vessel using poll testing to formulate his policy stances....

The professional political class of the GOPe, the DeceptiCons, are never as vicious against Democrats as they are against candidates who do not conform to the Republican UniParty orthodoxy. If you want to see the Republicans fight dirty, just become a Republican political candidate that does not comply with them. Then, and only then, will you see a side of the Republican wing that doesn’t surface against Democrats.

Threaten their GOPe Wall Street multinational corporate interests, ie. ‘their money‘, and the DeceptiCons get vicious.

If the professional Republicans are NOT targeting a Republican politician, you can be assured that Republican politician is a member of the GOPe club operation.

Yes, it really is that simple, and Ron DeSantis is a member of that club.
("GOPe" means "GOP establishment.")

The idea that DeSantis will destroy the America First movement and bring back Jeb Bush/John McCain Republicanism has been kicking around for a while on the right. Here's a TikTok from Jon Miller:

@gamerjonmillerstream Do you really think Ron DeSantis is our pick? Take a look at the people who support him.#republican #greenscreen ♬ original sound - We are Talk It

This might not be significant. If Trump falters and DeSantis wins the nomination, nearly all Republican voters are likely to close ranks around him.

But it looks as if there'll be at least some Never Ronners. Enough to cost him the election? That probably depends on the election.

In 2008, most of the country desperately wanted to deny the GOP a third term, so the anti-Obama movement known as PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) generated lots of headlines but had no impact on the general election vote. Four years later, in a much tighter race, the Bernie-or-Bust movement might have cost Hillary Clinon the presidency, as just enough disgruntled Democratic primary voters stayed home or voted for Jill Stein (or even Donald Trump). How close will the 2024 election be? I can't tell.

But there might be more Never Ronners than Never Trumpers in the GOP primary electorate, simply because Trumpists are so willing to believe that everyone they hate is an evil globalist who's one or two degrees removed from George Soros or the World Economic Forum. DeSantis probably should be trying harder to reassure these crazies that he's not with The Enemy. Instead, he just gave them more reason to believe that he's part of what they think Trump is fighting.

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