DeSantis Muzzles Trump | www.splicetoday.com


What is the status of the criminal case against Donald Trump? So what, who cares? And for all the folks who can rattle off the name of Joe Biden’s Attorney General in under a minute, here’s a Kewpie doll from the Maryland State Fair for that we-must-democracy fervor. I’m joking — although I doubt Merrick Garland was known to most Americans as recently as two months ago, following the raids on Barron and Melania’s rooms in Mar-a-Lago — but it’s good that Trump isn’t anywhere near in the story so prominent is media sites, websites and television shows. There’s a new kid in town, as the Eagles sang in the mid-1970s (the only decent song on the awful Hotel California) and whatever your feelings about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — mine are mixed: I liked his Covid policies, hate his Elmer Gantry Pence emulation on social issues — his dogged pursuit of the presidency has managed to smear mainstream media silly to frighten that these self-proclaimed custodians of our Sweet Land of Liberty have found out, at least temporarily, that the Trump click-o-meter is running halfway.


I was surprised, perhaps naively, last week when DeSantis’ superficially hilarious political theatrical sketch of sending 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard was more than a two-day story. Naivety is mentioned because I would have given it serious thought, rather than brushing it off as a comical piece designed to make a quick point, the Democrats’ explosive response (the National Guard flaunted the volunteer “terrorists,” NIMBYism, fuller Fruit salad regalia – my only nod to this monarch’s years of funeral activity in Britain, although I offer Paddington his condolences pro forma – and finger-pointing in a way not seen since the Capitol ‘riot’ nearly two years ago ) was entirely predictable. Was my fastball dipped in Velo, was the sinker hanging over the plate? Jesus, I hope that’s not the case, but if so, I’m in plentiful company, sympathetic, agnostic, and hostile.

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As has been noted in this area over the years, the most important issue for me is comprehensive immigration reform; no Blue Ribbon Commission, no toothless “Grand Bargain” debate in Congress, no speech by the President, but a 30-day overhaul of the entire system. The United States is in an era of vicious xenophobia – not confined to one party, although Republicans are vocal and more disgusting in their denunciation of people (obviously lazy immigrants need to be sorted out at the borders as effectively as possible) who want a better life . It’s been said and written a million times, but it’s still true: America is a country of immigrants, and with all the whining about the death of democracy you’d think the “elite” in the Beltway connoisseurs would take a swipe from their DeSantis/Trump Bashing to remind their readers/viewers. Then again, after last weekend, maybe reporters and editors at The New York Times and Washington Post no different from creeps like Sen. Ted Cruz and share a hatred of “foreigners”, with the exception of Asians, goes without saying. Better restaurants!


(Larry Hogan, Gov. of Maryland — AWOL for about a year — doesn’t have the balls, but he’d get 100 legacy points if he said, sure, Maryland will happily take in 10,000 immigrants. It would be a boon for the state and Baltimore City , and it’s not like there aren’t many vacancies and a need for new entrepreneurs.)


It’s hard to imagine DeSantis anticipating the political gift he was presented with in New England last week. If he really is that politically adept (and I have my doubts, and wouldn’t be surprised now that journalists fear him), he has a past that may not be deadly, but is at least unsavory; true, former VA Gov. Ralph Northman has removed his blackface suit, but he’s a Democrat), then, assuming he’s re-elected this fall, prepare for his inauguration in January 2025. I found it interesting, if not forward-thinking, that #NeverTrump Times Columnist Bret Stephens — not exactly in the Bill Kristol/Max boot camp, as he wasn’t entirely negative about Trump’s policies — approaches DeSantis with more hope than enthusiasm. On Monday, in a “conversation” with fellow Dead Firefly Over Any Republican fellow Gail Collins, Stephens wrote, “I’m not a registered Republican anymore, but I would vote for DeSantis over Trump in a primary, and I would vote for DeSantis over, shall we say.” , Kamala Harris or Gavin Newsom in a general election, although I hope I don’t have the choice I would have to make.” Stephens will not reveal which choice he would prefer at this point, which would help inform his current politics figure it out, but I bet CIA agent Mayor Pete or Governor Jay Robert Pritzker wouldn’t be able to.

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On the subject of sleazy Gavin Newsom, The Wall Street Journal published a playful editorial earlier this week that suggested DeSantis should accept Newsom’s tweeted invitation to a (presumably televised) debate. Acknowledging that Newsom was cheeky (and that the Florida governor is in a closer race for re-election this fall than his California counterpart), the author still thinks the idea is a worthwhile idea, if decidedly not because he or she supports Newsom. It read, “Yet a debate, or better yet more than one, would … present Mr. DeSantis in a way that rarely passes through the state or national liberal media filter.” Every move he makes is criticized in the national press, and Democrats are calling him “scary” than Donald Trump ahead of November’s election. It’s happening even faster than we thought… A debate would show voters the difference between the governance models in California and Florida. Mr. DeSantis gave a beautiful speech the other day about the ‘Great American Exodus’ from progressive countries in states like Florida.”

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The editorial writer was probably thinking of Ronald Reagan’s legendary October 27, 1964 speech “A Time for Choosing” on behalf of presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. The Arizona Senator lost to LBJ in a landslide (it’s doubtful that even a more moderate Republican in 1964, say William Scranton or Nelson Rockefeller, could have won just 11 months after JFK’s assassination), but Reagan’s political career took off. Two years later he was elected governor of California and, thanks to the incompetent Jimmy Carter, won the presidency in 1980, just six years after Nixon resigned over Watergate.


But it’s not 1964, or even 2000. I wouldn’t trust DeSantis – like any politician he feeds attention – to accept Newsom’s offer in a gambit to beat all other GOP challengers (and raise even more money than he already has, reminds me of George W. Bush 1998-99). I don’t think it would be wise: the media would crucify him no matter who “won” the debate, and DeSantis’ perceived arrogance might not go down well in Florida. Then again, I thought Trump was done for in 2015 after he mocked John McCain for being captured in the Vietnam War, so I’m not an expert on post-2015 politics, a downside shared by 99 percent of Americans.


– Follow Russ Smith on Twitter: @MUGGER1955





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