The Real Danger Isn’t Trump or DeSantis
It’s the illiberal desires of Republican voters. Plus: Hogan makes his exit.
1. Shark vs. Alligator vs. Gorilla
I’m back and I have some thoughts on the “who’s worse, Trump or DeSantis?” conversation from last week.1
Quick recap: My friend/colleague Damon Linker wrote a piece arguing that DeSantis is not as dangerous as Trump.
Andrew Sullivan contributed to the discourse by predicting that The Bulwark would endorse Trump in 2024.2
Here is the thing: I get the appeal of the question. It’s like wondering who would win in a fight—a gorilla, an alligator, or a shark.
But it’s the wrong question because the danger doesn’t emanate primarily from the politician.
The danger emanates from the will of the voters.
We have a number of potential Republican candidates who fit squarely in the middle of America’s political tradition:
Nikki Haley. Brian Kemp. Tim Scott. Mike Pompeo. Glenn Youngkin. Mike Pence.
You may have ideological or policy disagreements with all of them. You might vastly prefer a replacement-level Democrat to any of them. Fine. But none of those figures either has a record of, or is campaigning on a promise to, walk American back from the tradition of liberal democracy.
On the other hand, the field has just two candidates who are explicitly positioning