Plus: A debate over dueling awfulness.
So which one is doing a worse impression of a human: Comer, Trump or DeSantis? I know it changes from day to day but, on average?
Say what you want about Trump but I'm just glad that someone is finally going to get us the flying cars, jet packs, and robot dogs we were promised in the 50's.
Now, if someone can get the ball rolling on those nuclear powered airplanes...
Which is more dangerous- alligator or crocodile?
I read that Fox Directors are paid up to $250K annually. Is it possible that Ryan stayed in it for the money?
It will be interesting to see what comes of CPAC in the future. They've saddled themselves so firmly to Trump's brand, what will they do when things move on to whatever comes next?
When are people like Ryan going to realize the fundamental problem — that a news organization is not supposed to be a "big part of the constellation of the conservative movement"?
Whatever may have been the biases of the mainstream media prior to the establishment of Fox News, however refreshing it may have seemed at first for conservatives to see coverage which wasn't tilted against their perspectives, its very existence has proven to be a mistake. A cautionary tale against journalism tailored to a particular audience.
Journalism cannot maintain its integrity while simultaneously maintaining fealty from a political demographic. The only legitimate "brand" for a news organization is one based on accuracy and fairness. Even acknowledging the fundamental subjectivity of such ideas, this has to remain the ideal.
We now have a deeply ingrained problem with no obvious solution – at least none which makes for a comfortable fit with American maximalist ideals of free speech. Relying on the judgement of viewers has created an audience addicted to being told what they want to hear, and uninterested in any source of information which would serve as check on their preferred media. And as we've seen, this has resulted in a counter-reaction on the left whereby suppression of coverage that contradicts prevailing ideas of "moral clarity" (i.e. is X-ist or Y-phobic) has become a culturally normalized imperative.
There have got to be solutions to this problem which maintain a spirit of civic-mindedness without being threatening to our values. As a simple matter of consumer protection, the public should have a right to expect that an organization which brands itself as "news" maintain certain standards of ethical behavior. It should not be out of the question to levy fines for gross inaccuracies or negligent disregard for the truth as other democratic countries do. If the financial interests of Dominion can serve as a check on out-of-control media, why can't the interests of the American public enjoy similar protection?
I don't know where the political will for such solutions is going to come from. But the very fact that Fox News' celebrity personalities are likely to emerge unscathed from a scandal which, at any other news organization, would end careers and bring the organization to its knees, indicates a problem which can't be ignored or papered over with naive faith in American ideals of free speech and the discretion of its information consumers. Our democracy depends on us finding an answer.
Yes I know what discretion is. Do you know what annoying is?
A modest proposal:
I think the Republican bill in Florida to abolish the Democratic Party does not go far enough.
I propose that Florida abolish ALL political parties (making membership in any political party a crime) and all elections will be some form of ranked choice/final five/instant runoff voting.
I think it is obvious that neither Trump nor DeSantis should be elected-- they are both dangerous to our democracy and I think that both are probably unelectable nationwide. If the Republicans wanted an actual election win vs. "owning libs," I guess they would elect a different in their primaries like Haley (I don't think Scott has it in him honestly) Youngkin or Kemp that has a ghost of a chance of chance at swaying Independents. Basically, don't put forward actual Batman villains and performative a-holes.
By the way, if you harbor any illusions about how much worse Trumpism guided by a DeSantis will be, I suggest you have a look at the overt public statements and expressions of his allies. We can to some degree discount the clowns like his Surgeon General -- although the nescience these imbeciles promulgate will do much damage -- because they will be leashed, deployed as needed to keep the shock troops entertained -- a kennel of trained lapdogs kept and used for crowd control. None of them will be allowed to make any important decisions or be admitted to any of the deep councils.
Look rather to his legislators, aides, and serious allies such as Christopher Rufo. Look to what they are doing. Look to what DeSantis says about them and what he declines to say or comment.
Here is a bill that would require bloggers who write about the Governor, legislature, or state officials to register and file reports with the state:
Is this serious? In one sense, only tendentiously. We can for now at least file it with other ostensibly serious legislation and statements clearly intended as clickbait provocation -- for instance, SB 1248 (https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2023/1248/?Tab=BillText) which would make it illegal to register or file as a Democrat. Ha hah, that's pretty silly, look at how the Democrats are scared of us when we're only just mind f--ing them.
But in a larger sense, even the most obviously unreasonable of these are as serious as a firing squad. The totality of this activity adds up to a generalized continuous program probing the boundaries and limits of how much territory authoritarianism can take and hold. Remember Lenin's dictum: advance with bayonet; if you meet steel, retreat; if you meet mush, advance.
How about this pledge for New College: "We will be shutting down low-performing, ideologically-captured academic departments and hiring new faculty. The student body will be recomposed over time: some current students will self-select out, others will graduate; we'll recruit new students who are mission-aligned." New College is to be a model for "recapturing" the entire education system for conservatism.
This is not trolling or click baiting. This is a blueprint for action as serious and clear cut as the drawings for a fighter jet or aircraft carrier, or the battle plan for Desert Storm.
The part of that pledge that frightens me the most is not the bit about taking the faculty away to some sort of academic Gitmo and replacing it with complaisant intellectual hooligans.
It's the part about making the student body "mission aligned."
I was truly surprised by that. I ought not to have been. I like to think of myself as historically literate enough, particularly about the 20th century, to be unshockable.
Look at this again. Rufo and DeSantis-ism will not drive out uncompliant faculty and administration. This is deplorable but ultimately of little consequence for the future. Faculty and administration is of the past. The important part of the program looks to control the future. It will wash out minds who are not true believers and bar entry to such in future. The student body will be rebuilt and re-made. Tomorrow's cadres will be "mission-aligned."
If there is a difference between this and other dreams of achieving social perfection by purifying human nature, and literally creating human beings in the true image of perfection, I don't see it.
These projects always end badly. No, I need to correct that. They do always turn out badly , but alas, once embarked upon, they never end.
I beg anyone who on balance concludes that Trump would be worse than DeSantis to look further down the road. Consider what Trumpism, with the torch passed on to DeSantis or another like him, will become. Trumpism is the id of fascism expressing itself. Trumpism running rampant is a nightmare.
Trumpism regulated, clarified, focused, and directed by DeSantis thought is worse than a nightmare -- it would and will be a tenth circle of hell.
Who's worse? Who cares?! Neither should ever have the levers of national power in their hands. Period. Full stop.
Instead of speculating about degrees of *bad*, maybe spend the time thinking of and promoting ways to keep both these assholes out of the Oval Office.
I can’t see DeSantis tweeting to a mob he riled up, that they be more angry with the VP they’re hunting for execution on his behalf. Donald is already insane and authoritarian enough to do that ,think he’s perfectly justified, and to whip up loyal mobs. I don’t think Mona or Charlie are dismissing the idea Ron could have a similar moments of insanity, just that Trump has already had them , and been allowed to remain in his party as a candidate. Trump should be disqualified, period. It’s worrying that Ron and others are inspired by his attitude, absolutely. Is Ron as nuts, and ruled entirely by self regard like Trump, to the point of irrationality ? I don’t know. It would be nice if Republicans could nominate a known prudent person, but apparently it’s Don again or Ron, they’re the clear frontrunners. I don’t fault Mona or Charlie for comparing the two, within that dynamic. The question is would they vote for Ron over a reasonable Dem like Biden. I don’t hear them saying that at all.
This Trump DeSantis argument is complete bullshit. Neither one of this evil fuckers should be considered as a possible leader of the free world. Trump is an ignorant narcissist with dreams of being an authoritarian leader and should never be allowed near the levers of power again. DeSantis on the other hand is an intelligent fascist POS, who clearly understands what he is doing and has the ability to make the slow transition into a fascist state palatable for the people Trump aptly called the uneducated, e.g. the MAGA base. Both of these assholes are a clear and present danger to American democracy and both should be condemned for the wholly corrupt and dangerous maniacs they are.
DeSantis planning to remove yet another prosecutor elected by the voters:
This guy is in overdrive. The emergency brake is off. People better wake up.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but it is really distressing to read Linker’s paraphrasing of his twitter feed after daring to say that Trump would be worse than DeSantis. Instead of engaging in a reasonable debate about the point (let’s face it – no one really KNOWS what the answer is), they attack Linker as a “center-right fascism-enabler”. Contrast that with Chait’s response. He doesn’t agree but he raises valid points.
What is so distressing to me (other than it painfully points out my naiveté) is that I expect more of the anti-Trump/anti-DeSantis crowd. I expect more intellectual depth or at least more humor. I don’t expect to see what I see from the other side (“if you don’t agree with me, you must be a groomer”, for example).
I don’t know the answer either, but it’s hard not to give a lot of weight to Linker’s question about “who you would like in the WH when the next crisis arises”. God only knows what Trump would do. At the moment, I would feel better with DeSantis at the wheel.
Trump’s complaint about Murdoch throwing his anchors under the bus is completely on brand. Because the truth never matters to Trump. So he can’t figure out why anyone would tell the truth and thereby hurt himself financially. Trump would never do such a thing.
And, of course, it misses the key point that the anchors threw themselves under the bus. Murdoch’s crime is that he didn’t stop them from doing it.
Comer’s comments on Beau Biden should remind us all that every time you think they can’t go any lower, there they go. There’s no bottom for these guys. And what Charlie said is accurate – despicable isn’t nearly harsh enough. We need a thesaurus.
They should go after Joe Biden for all of the interfering that he has been doing in the investigation of Hunter Biden – oh, wait – he hasn’t been doing any. Just exactly like Trump did – oh, wait – I meant the exact opposite of what Trump did.
And when they were asked about it, Republicans dusted off the old playbook and said that they hadn’t heard about his remarks. Even when those remarks were quoted, the response was “well you’ll have to ask him what he meant”. You can practically hear them scurrying away.
Now who is worse Trump or DeSantis? Latest proposed legislation in Florida: https://www.wfla.com/news/politics/florida-bill-would-require-bloggers-who-write-about-governor-to-register-with-the-state/
Chairman DeSantis in full Cultural Revolution mode.