Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Trump’s 5-Point Plan to DeStroy DeSantis Has Little Chance
Axios reported the hot scoop that Donald Trump doesn’t much care for Ron DeSantis. After endorsing Florida’s two-term governor in 2018, Don’s taken all responsibility for Ron’s landslide re-election — despite Trump’s inability to pull off his own.
The piece includes Trump’s super-secret five-point plan to deep-six Meatball Ron DeSanctimonius once and for all. (If only Trump had a plan to defeat Biden.) Anyway, here’s the strategy:
- DeSantis’ past support for changes to Social Security and Medicare, including votes as a U.S. congressman to raise the eligibility age for Medicare.
- Disloyalty to Trump after he helped DeSantis get elected governor in 2018. Trump also plans to pound DeSantis on likability.
- Trump wants to cast DeSantis as a lackey of former House Speaker Paul Ryan. On Trump’s social-media site, Truth Social, he attacked Ryan this week as a loser who “couldn’t get elected dogcatcher,” and said he should resign or be fired as a Fox Corp. board member.
- DeSantis’ response to COVID is a top Trump target, even though the governor is known for resisting mask mandates. Trump plans to attack DeSantis’ caution in the earliest days of the pandemic — and try to fight the issue to a draw. A March 2020 headline in the Tampa Bay Times said: “DeSantis orders major shutdown of beaches, businesses in Broward, Palm Beach.” (DeSantis pushesbackonthis.)
- DeSantis took heat for muddled comments, in a Fox News interview last week, about whether to maintain financial and military support for Ukraine. Trump plans to portray DeSantis as wishy-washy on the war, while he toes the MAGA line of cutting aid.
Eh, I don’t see it working. Let’s go through them one by one.
1. DeSantis’ past support for changes to Social Security and Medicare.
Reforming Social Security/Medicare is both wildly unpopular and completely necessary. I prefer eliminating both, which is why I’ve never worked in elective politics. Most pols have voted to change the Ponzi schemes, including Ron DeSantis and Joe Biden.
The problem for Trump is that reforming entitlements isn’t key to the DeSantis brand or platform (at least for the time being). Team MAGA can make a little hay on the issue, but pointing to a couple losing votes in the House doesn’t exactly ignite voters’ passion. I wish DeSantis would go scorched-earth on all federal outlays like Ron Swanson on a bender, but no such luck.
2. Disloyalty to Trump after he helped DeSantis get elected governor in 2018. Trump also plans to pound DeSantis on likability.
You want loyalty in Washington, buy a dog. No politician is due loyalty and only the most naive would expect it from a fellow pol. It’s just not a thing.
Some in the Trump orbit even expect voters to be loyal to the guy who lost to Joe-freaking-Biden of all people. This has it precisely backward. It’s the politicians’ job to be loyal to the voter.
Likability is a weird attack from Trump, since his unlikability was key to his 2016 success. Yeah, he can be funny but never sold himself as “nice.” That era’s GOP wanted a fighter eager to beat down his opponents in either party. Today’s GOP is hardly in a friendlier mood.
Kissing babies is out; kicking butts is in. As long as DeSantis keeps opening a can of whoop-ass every other day, the base will find him likable enough.
3. Trump wants to cast DeSantis as a lackey of former House Speaker Paul Ryan. On Trump’s social-media site, Truth Social, he attacked Ryan this week as a loser who “couldn’t get elected dogcatcher,” and said he should resign or be fired as a Fox Corp. board member.
Ask the average GOP voter about Paul Ryan, and they’ll respond, “who?” Political obsessives have their opinion, but the American voter has a very short memory. This highlights a broader problem with Trump’s attacks to date: most focus on his personal historical grievances. Americans care more about what’s happening now. To them.
The 2024 campaign will not center on Paul Ryan’s brief speakership or the last presidential election. Winners focus on the future; losers whine about the past. Also, if 2022 was any indication, serious conservatives need the votes of a squish or two if they want to take the White House. (If Kari Lake had reached out to a tiny fraction of Arizona RINOs, she’d be governor.)
4. DeSantis’ response to COVID is a top Trump target, even though the governor is known for resisting mask mandates. Trump plans to attack DeSantis’ caution in the earliest days of the pandemic — and try to fight the issue to a draw.
Donald Trump presided over the first year of Covid and thus owns a significant chunk of the government’s disastrous policy. He refused to fire Anthony Fauci. He allowed federal agencies to promote mask requirements and shut-down offices. He warp-speeded the vaccine into existence. Most of his fans oppose the vax today, but they can’t blame it on Ron.
DeSantis, on the other hand, became a national name for opposing restrictions as soon as the science proved they were counterproductive. Should have done it from the jump, but he was more proactive in his Covid-regime pushback than Trump, that’s for sure.
5. DeSantis took heat for muddled comments, in a Fox News interview last week, about whether to maintain financial and military support for Ukraine. Trump plans to portray DeSantis as wishy-washy on the war, while he toes the MAGA line of cutting aid.
The frustrating thing about our political reaction to Ukraine is the all-or-nothing categories, both of which are stupid. A person is expected to either 1) promise endless support to Zelensky forever, or 2) think Putin’s cool and all aid should end yesterday. According to polls, the vast majority of Americans are somewhere in between, as they are on most issues. That’s where DeSantis is on Ukraine.
It’s good to support the invadees, for now, but we should have strict accountability on every dime spent and constantly re-evaluate the situation. Not one U.S. soldier should be sent, nor should our more advanced weaponry. Behind the scenes, diplomats should be promoting peace overtures to both sides. “All or nothing” is a prelude to failure.
As such, politicians need to guess where American sentiment will be in November 2024. Support for military aid has dropped from 63% last year to 48% today. This remains a strong plurality, but the trend strongly opposes forever war.
The five points prove that Trump has no problem with DeSantis’s policies, performance, or personality. Instead, they show his fear that the governor has a solid chance of beating him in the GOP primary. That’s it.
And that’s why he’s workshopping dumb nicknames and all-caps-ing on Truth Social into the wee hours. The shtik worked in 2016, but will it work eight years later? I have my doubts.Published in Elections, Politics
It seems the thing Trump hates most about Desantis is how he ignores Trump. May more Republican voters fellow the governor’s example.
None of it matters if Republicans don’t find a way to beat junkmail balloting.
well said Jon. A very rational take.
It’s a twofer of mind reading, maybe even a threefer.
Does Trump hate Desantis?
Does Trump hate that Desantis is ignoring Trump?
Is Desantis actually ignoring Trump?
It still amazes me just how quickly some people have accustomed themselves to the “new normal”.
The problem with the squishes is that it’s only ever a one way slippery slope of a street. Whether it’s Trump or Kari Lake, assuming that the margin of difference was legit, those squishes chose leftism on purpose. For what?
Presumably candidates in the same party would have similar platforms in the primary. I don’t know about fear, but I can buy that “Trump has no problem with DeSantis’s policies, performance, or personality.” Desantis’ supporters are Trump supporters for the most part, and vice versa. There’s much overlap. Trump is way ahead, but neither can afford to give up a chunk of voters opening the door for a Haley or someone like that.
Rank speculation time: if Trump were really concerned then he would have come out harder and more direct against Desantis. Maybe he doesn’t believe that Desantis can rip off enough of the overlap voters. Maybe he doesn’t think Desantis is actually running. Maybe Trump will end up backing out. Perhaps there is some coordinated plan between them at play. Maybe even involving Haley. Will we ultimately see Desantis/Haley ticket, after Trump has taken the slings and arrows for them? Or will we end up with a Trump/Desantis MAGA ticket?
Well, one would have to move or forgo his electors.
I agree with almost all of this.
Negotiate what? Russia keeps the territory they stole? Russia rebuilds its military during the ceasefire and comes back in a few years for another bite. How do the Ukrainians guarantee the security of that part of their country that isn’t “negotiated” away? Negotiations aren’t some panacea that magically make the war stop. The cause of this war is that Putin is a thug and negotiations can’t fix that.
My concern, well, my expectation, is that things will get pretty vicious, and the loser’s supporters will stay home in 2024 or just leave the top slot blank.
Regardless of how Trump tries to attack DeSantis, Trump is still too old.
There is some shocking speculation in that video. I know that in 2020, some state Republican parties decided that Donald Trump as the imcumbent shouldn’t have to face a primary challenge so they just declared by fiat that Trump gets all the delegates, period. But to do that again after he lost the last election would seem extraordinarily unlikely. I suppose when Trump loses the general election in 2024, that means he should automatically be the nominee again in 2028?
I just thought it was interesting. Post8ng it is not endorsement
A year is a long time in politics and I understand the class division in the GOP. De Santis will either lose the nomination and he will be the new Sen Cruz or he will win the nomination and lose the general election. Running is a dumb move for de Santis. He will not attract the working class voters Teump will. He may be able to get more upper middle class whites but it won’t offset his inability to get working class voters. Other Republicans don’t get them either. They won’t show up.
Help me understand. Why would working class independents vote for Trump and not for DeSantis? Is it DeSantis’ Ivy League education that is a turnoff for the working class? Practically everyone I personally know is working class and I haven’t heard anyone say that Ron DeSantis is too fancy or bourgeois.
Trade and foreign policy. That is what distinguishes Trump from the people backing de Santis. They are the free trading neocons.
OK, that could very well be. Unfortunately a lot of people are opposed to free trade these days. On the other hand, with the price of nearly everything substantially increasing lately, I wonder if people will be willing to pay even higher prices by raising tariffs or shutting out imports. A free-trade Republican could point out that we wouldn’t have had this baby formula debacle if we had allowed imported baby formula all along. If someone has bought lumber for a project, do they really think we would be worse off if we had allowed more Canadian lumber into the country?
Of course, this is presuming that Ron DeSantis is a free-trader. I would hope he is, but haven’t heard anything from him on the topic.
In terms of short memories, I’ll bet 3 tacos that 99% of voters never read the 5 points, but hey, fisk away.
This is normal rock-throwing ahead of the primaries, like every other election. Florida is a pretty key state and they both have a significant presence there.
Expect more rocks. Quite confident there will be no reformation of entitlements done through Congress and debt will continue to increase annually at percentages above a now-increased inflation rate.
Why am I confident? Because that’s the long-standing trend, and there’s apparently nothing we are willing to do about it.
This is the typical free trade WSJ nonsense argument that ignores the costs of free trade and deindustrialization. First, you place your well being in the hands of a foreign enterprise or government who can slam the door.
Second, the ability to ship long distances requires peace yet everything the same neocons want is war. So how are you going to ship the goods securely?
Third, there never has been nor will there ever be free trade. It’s a mercantilist world. We can be free traders with other metcantilists but only until the credit gives out.
Fourth, inflation is a monetary phenomenon not dependent on free trade or not.
I agree that we have inflation because the government has printed a lot of money out of thin air. But whether we have high or low or no tariffs also affects the price of goods.
I don’t think the fed is in charge of money printing any more. Foreign banks can make loans in dollars with 0% reserve requirements.
The big issue is a potential proxy war with China. All the beltway rhetoric is pointing towards that. Ukraine likely winds down or ends in a stalemate. They may not be as big of an issue come election time (Republicans are usually slow to this type of stuff).
Trump avoids war with China. Trump gets tough on China without being idiotic and provactive like our current state department. DeSantis won’t be able to do that. The NeoCons are already championing him. I would think that people have seen this movie before, and have seen how it plays out, but I guess Republicans can’t help putting their hand on the hot stove.
DeSantis is also much stronger as a governor than a potential president. Why would Florida give that up? The office of president is an absolute joke. DeSantis can get more done at the local level, and also set an example for other governors to follow. Federalism in action.
And Trump can continue to poke the hornets nest in DC. He’s the only one I trust to do that. He’s the only one I trust to delegitimize DC in a good way. Not the destructive, nihilistic deligitimization of the current State Dept, Biden admin and the cocktail party conservatives.
Is there anyone under 75 that you would trust to do the same thing?
No. Not from the current pool.
I think there is only one other officially in the pool. Anyone not in the pool?
I consider the pool to be more than who has officially announced their intent to run. The pool includes goofy Tim Scott types who are high up in the Republican party and check off all the boxes for Daily Wire and Fox News conservatives.
If there’s someone outside of the pool who hasn’t crossed the Rubicon yet, I’m all ears.
Jon, great post! This is a clinic on how to write a very good post. There is a clear topic. There is point-by-point refutation of someones stance. There is a clear summary. The formatting is easy to read, which is tough on this site. Take a bow, sir. You have demonstrated you are the King of Stuff.
I sure don’t know.
At Trump’s age, the VP pick is critical and would have to be younger. They would have to fulfill your same criteria.
Who would work out as VP?
Well, if I agreed with everything (as opposed to pretty much everything), I wouldn’t be commenting.
No. DeSantis’ Covid record can stand on it’s own, and I see no reason why Trump would think otherwise. However, that does not require exaggerating the degree of Trump’s responsibility when one accurately takes into account the time and place of his Administration and the amount of knowledge available at the time. Hindsight is, as always, 20/20, but we should remember the degree of uncertainty at the time. That’s not on Trump.
You don’t have to mind read to know that the last one is absolutely true.