Trump or Death in Waco
Plus: What's the matter with Ron?
“When the herd moves,” former British PM Boris Johnson observed ruefully. “It moves.”
This applies to pundits as well as politicians, as Florida’s governor is learning. A small sample of the hot new What’s-The-Matter-With-Ron-DeSantis buzz:
At a recent gathering of 16 prominent Republicans, a number of DeSantis supporters discussed if he should run against Trump or wait until 2028.
[There] are signs that his momentum may be stalling: he’s faced weeks of relentless attacks from Trump and his allies, fellow Republicans have criticized him for dubbing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “a territorial dispute” and some recent polls have shown his support in a hypothetical GOP primary slipping.
He hasn’t declared his candidacy yet — but some Republicans fear that their non-Trump savior is showing signs of faltering.
Axios: The DeSantis conundrum
If DeSantis doesn't live up to expectations, the most apt comparison to his campaign could end up being that of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in 2016.
Cruz mistakenly assumed that a majority of Republicans would support him as the last candidate standing against Trump. He spent much of the primary holding his fire against Trump before going on the attack.
During his naked attempt to get Fuentes to think he was also based, Hochman says “when the man’s right, he’s right” in response to Fuentes’s claim that “women are goofy, okay, they should have no authority, they should have no authority over men.” Then, after Fuentes says that women “just really have no business in politics,” Hochman repeats his response: “When the man’s right, he’s right.”
In Chris Rufo, the Florida governor has found a useful weapon for the multi-front culture war he hopes will launch his presidential run.
And, of course, this weekend’s Bulwark podcast: “Ron DeSantis is Scott Walker.”
What we learned in Waco
Maybe Donald Trump was worried that he was being too subtle.
He had called for terminating the Constitution to restore himself to power, embraced QAnon conspiracy theories, pushed election lies, and dined with antisemites and Holocaust deniers. He had praised Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “genius” and accused fellow Americans of being a greater threat than either Russia or China.
Trump had moved from inciting to celebrating January 6th insurrectionists, even recording a song with a choir of imprisoned rioters.
He had threatened “retribution,” and “death and destruction,” if he was indicted, and tweeted out images of himself wielding a baseball bat next to the Manhattan DA. His language has become increasingly apocalyptic. Unless he is elected in 2024, he warns, America is doomed to destruction.
His bleats on Truth Social are now ALL CAPS expressions of anger and menace.
But maybe he thought his message was insufficiently clear.
So he went to Waco: