We’ve complained about it in this space before, but it bears repeating: National political gossip rags like Politico seem absolutely determined to fluff Florida’s terrible governor all the way to the fucking White House. Steve M. of No More Mr. Nice Blog summed it up on Twitter this morning in response to the latest egregious puff piece:
You’re going to publish this article every fucking week until he’s president, aren’t you, @politico? pic.twitter.com/onyOLvuFCX
— Steve M. (@nomoremister) April 16, 2021
Steve was not exaggerating. Here’s a summary of Politco’s DeSantis hagiography just in the last month:
That’s just one outlet, and while Politico is the most obvious “DeSantis for President” operative, they aren’t alone. To quote Beto O’Rourke: “Members of the press, what the fuck?”
I do want to note that the major Florida dailies have done a wonderful job of puncturing the DeSantis bubble. They’re the ones who exposed the governor’s vaccines for wealthy donors scheme, raised questions about how Florida is cooking the books on the pandemic, documented the utter failure of the state’s unemployment benefits system and the culpability of Rick Scott and DeSantis, etc.
That said, it is the gossip rags like Politico, which seems to have inherited the Drudge Report’s role as the publication that rules the Beltway hackdom world, that create the environment in which toxic creeps like Trump and DeSantis thrive.
Our best chance to short-circuit the gathering DeSantis juggernaut will come next year. This Parkland survivor gets it:
The most important race in 2022 is the one that few people are talking about.
If we do not beat the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis in 2022 he is going to run for president and has a sizable chance of winning.
We need a strong Dem to beat him.
Before we get Trump 2.0
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) April 15, 2021
Alas, that plan relies in part on the state party getting its shit together, and those of us who live here have been trying to make that happen since the 1990s without success. Absent that, maybe we’ll get lucky in one of two ways:
1) Trump keeps seeing himself compared to DeSantis unfavorably, and, in a fit of pique, he decides to take his protégé down a peg or ten. He’s certainly petty enough to think and act that way. I’m pretty sure I care more about the long-term prospects of the GOP than Trump does, and I hate that party with the white hot heat of ten thousand exploding supernovas. But one of the joys of 2021 — Trump’s spectacular fall from the absolute center of attention to relative obscurity — might hinder his ability to damage DeSantis.
2) DeSantis becomes the next presidential election cycle’s Pawlenty, a guy who looked “good” on paper and was met with Beltway hosannas only to melt under the klieg lights of national media exposure because he has the charisma of a bowl of stale, unseasoned instant grits. That’s a possibility, but DeSantis has a mean streak where his personality should be, and he has reflexive hostility toward reporters. Republicans find those qualities compelling, even if DeSantis comes off as a snarling asshole to normal people.
I don’t know how it will shake out, but DeSantis bears watching, and so does the Beltway press. The attempt to foist DeSantis off as a “nicer” or “more competent” Trump, as if the worst president in American history sets a meaningful standard, is a symbol of how broken everything still is.
Seems most likely to me. I’m more afraid of Hawley.
Agree with Hogg. FL can redeem itself next year.
Or Scott Walker.
@zhena gogolia: One of the things about TFG that all these guys don’t have is a persona outside of politics…beware of Tucker Carlson.
So what do you call a slightly nicer TFG? Lil Mussolini?
Wind is gone, sun is shining for the first time in days, temps will hit the 50s and I’m off to check on the spring wildflowers.
Much more enjoyable than thinking about deStupid and politico.
Although I have to say, I simply do not understand the hacks who can promote such a creep after what happened the last four years.
Tucker is “media,” but it’s political media. Trump’s celebrity background was much more varied than politics. Closer to Reagan in that respect.
DeSantis is Matt Gaetz without the sex scandals. The same smugly aggressive, assertive arrogance and defiantly confident ignorance and FUIGM policy inclinations.
Politico sees this as an investment. They’ll be “inside” the DeSantis campaign by promoting him now.
How can DeSantis win the Republican nomination for President when Tucker Carlson already has it wrapped up? Does anyone seriously doubt that Jon Stewart’s ragdoll will win the nomination if he runs, or that the man who made bowties anathema again will realize this and act upon it?
@?BillinGlendaleCA: That’s a good point. Carlson would certainly electrify the Trump base. But maybe he has a disadvantage among low-info, non-affiliated voters, who, God help us, often decide close elections. In 2016, thanks to fictional reality show “The Apprentice,” they believed that Trump was a successful business man, a theme that also tapped into years of propaganda that has dumb people convinced them that the country should be run “like a business.” Not sure Carlson could replicate that.
The “nicer” version of Trump pushed a law to legalize killing BLM protesters.
I’ve stopped bothering to look at Politico, because I know I’ll see the same thing in a Cillizza headline a few days later. And like Cillizza, what they publish as take-it-to-the-bank concrete political wisdom today can evaporate like the dew without notice and be replaced by the opposite tomorrow. They’re fluffers for the Village media, nothing more.
DeSantis is popular with Político because he is the donors’ choice next cycle. Which makes him more like Jeb Bush than Pawlenty. Except that mean streak you mention could make him popular with the base in a way Jeb could only dream of.
@Jinchi: He’s definitely not nicer. Maybe more polished and less prone to Twitter profanity.
DeCovid is de dreadful, no question – I’ve thought of him as Trump’s Mini-Me for a while. And, as I’ve said before, no matter what Andrew Gillum’s personal problems are or are not, he would have been a million times better as Governor. I’ll admit Florida politics stump me; while I’ve lived here for 6 years, that time has been in a 55+ community and my few friends are mostly fellow ex-Yankees. Why the Democrats don’t do better here is a puzzle – there are lots of transplanted Northerners (although a lot of them are pretty right-wing) and a large population of POC (who for the most part aren’t treated particularly well by the state government). I live in Manatee County and can’t think of any reason why Republicans outnumber Democrats by the margin that they do. I guess the only solution is to vote Green or Libertarian or….never mind.
Nope. There is nothing surer in this universe than the knowledge that TFG will turn on DeSantis with a viciousness never before seen in the GOP.
@Betty Cracker: Three of the last four GOP presidents have some sort of mythic narrative, e.g., Reagan as anticommunist freedom fighter and all-American guy, GWB as cowpoke and Commander Codpiece, Trump as successful businessman who screws models. It’s all bullshit, of course, but I can’t see pols like Hawley and DeSantis pulling that sort of thing off. I also can’t see Carlson carrying that off, the pics of his prep school ass in a bowtie will kill the buzz. These guys are all like the mooks that were running when Trump waltzed in and took the GOP nomination without actually ever being a Republican. The Trump voters may like what they hear out of these guys but they don’t worship them, and worship is what they crave.
We are what, three months into President Biden’s first term, and we’re gonna do this?
What exactly are any of the ReQublicans going to run on, again?
Does anyone really think that Pompeo, Cotton, Cruz, Scott, etc are just going to let DeSantis waltz to the nomination? They ALL think they’re the rightful heir to the (extremely large) Asshole Wing of the GQP. Those debates are going to be a complete circus. Anyone really think that this group is going to turn around the fortunes of the GQP?
And that’s assuming trumpov himself doesn’t go nuts bashing various ReQublicans, extorting endorsements, and/or dragging half of them down just by association (criminal or otherwise).
Not worried about this clown. Let’s keep pushing hard on the media, DAILY, for their many, many failings and start to get focused on 2022.
@cmorenc: Without the sex scandals…yet. DeSantis is too creepy to not have something along those lines tucked away.
@Baud: True, but in Republican politics, St. Ronnie didn’t do all that bad.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Not to mention Tucker Carlson has a punchable face. Dumf, for all his faults, is only loathsome when he talks.
On the other hand, it’s every grifter for himself in the GOP so someone like Tucker might get the nomination because, while he will lose the general, he will bring out the base to protect the down ticket GOP incumbents.
Mike in NC
Shitbird Jonah Goldberg recently posted a piece about three “Floriduh Men” who represent the Republican Party: Donald Trump, Matt Gaetz, and Ron DeathSantis.
Guess which one he’s boosting?
@Betty Cracker: Agree, but look back at the GOP nominees and those that have been successful in winning in the past 40(since St. Ronnie), they all(except Bob Dole) had a career outside of politics before they ran. The candidates who went into politics out of college never seemed to catch fire.
There’s a scrum of a half-dozen serious TFG-wannabes, and meanness is their common personality trait. No need to hide it in the modern world of today, I guess.
As for Florida politics, can someone like Val Demings do well statewide?
They will keep pretending that Trump represents some kind of principled policy stance instead of being, essentially, the Berlusconi of American politics — a well-known, wealthy and charismatic asshole who stroked the egos of people predisposed to hate the future because they are less likely to be in charge.
Try to imagine 2016 without Trump. What would have happened? I think that there is a significant chance that Clinton still would have lost not because she was an inherently weak candidate but because she was female. God bless Kamala Harris for making that breakthrough, but what I really think needs to happen is a contest between two women, because that might just concentrate minds of voters as to what kind of government they want instead of giving in to barely understood “feelings” that women are weak. Or maybe the misogynists and evangelicals will just stay home.
I still can’t figure out what happened to Florida since I moved away 20 years ago. The state that produced Bob Graham, Reuben Askew, Claude Pepper, Janet Reno, Lawton Chiles. What the hell happened?
It could be that the condo commandos of yesteryear, Tom Brokaw’s “greatest generation,” all died and were replaced by their children, Baby Boomer Reaganites. I speak as someone from the Jones subset of the Baby Boomers. In Palm Beach County, the Cenville/King’s Point crowd were loyal New York liberal Democratic snowbirds who voted for school bond issues and lefty politics.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Mike in NC: My vote is for Matt Gaetz as the Republican of The Future(tm); he looks like he was coated in plastic, so white as to make most Scandinavian-Americans look ethnic, clearly has no soul, dumb as a rock, abusive pervert, and utterly lacking any self awareness.
@Cameron: Agree to disagree about Andrew Gillum. He was the ethically challenged chosen vehicle of the Bernie Bros to run against the more moderate Gwen Graham, and he was as flawed and ultimately unsuccessfu in the general as nearly every other candidate the Bros foisted on us.
@MattF: Plain, unadorned mean doesn’t play well. Quick witted humorous mean plays quite well. Of the other candidates on display in 2016, only Chris Christie came close, IMHO. The others, and certainly, Cotton, Hawley, etc. are hopeless. De Santis is probably closer.
I still believe that if the Democrats had nominated Gwen Graham instead of Gillum, DeSantis would be forgotten. Ah well. :/
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
The Beltway press fluffed Chris Christie for years and that got him…bupkis when he ran for POTUS. I would not worry about who or what Politico is fluffing unless or until there’s some other factor independent of the beltway press that indicates someone is a real threat. Although it is always infuriating when they fluff the undeserving, their fluffing is worthless as an indication of actual political potential.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: Speaking of Rep. Gaetz, the WaPo explainer about why he’s now in very deep shit needs to be widely circulated
ETA: It’s also helpful as an introduction to Florida politics.
@Barbara: I think Christie is likely their best bet. But who knows?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I know nothing about Florida politics except it seems to be confusing even to those who do, and even less about the various Latin cultures around Miami, but this seems like a big deal (interesting thread with a funny story)
Short version: Raul Martinez, a former Dem mayor of Hialeah who’s built up a big following as a Spanish-language radio host is being replaced by a right-winger. The ’20 postmortems I read said that Spanish language radio played a big role in turning Hispanic voters against Dems.
@Bostondreams: Is Gwen still likely to do well next time?
@Barbara: Hillary is a bit of a unique case(as is TFG), she was demonized for 30 years(first in Arkansas and then nationally), the only time she wasn’t demonized was when she was Secretary of State. Republicans in Arkansas in the 80’s weren’t afraid of Bill running for President, they were afraid of Hillary and began demonizing her.
West of the Rockies
I will say this for TFG. He often smiled. He could read a room (of supporters anyway) and could wisecrack.
Pompeo and DeSantis seem to lack those abilities. Cruz tries to be funny but it never really works. Cotton and Hawley also lack humor and charisma.
I meant Trump was closer to Reagan than Carlson is.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
We are at least a year from even being to make half-informed, gasbag guesses about the mid-terms. Dan Pfeiffer, who I think is the smartest of the O’Bros, made the point yesterday that one of the problems Dems had in 2020 was that for all the money that came in, a lot of it came late, and state parties and local candidates do better with early or predictable money, i.e. commitments to monthly donations.
I’ll be watching to see what Jaime Harrison and Stacey Abrams and Ben Wikler do, who steps up to follow their example in places like NC– which some Dem guru said is the state where GA’s turn-around can be replicated– and AZ and PA.
The reason they are pushing all this nonsense about the pandemic, masking, opening up and fighting the science is that they know they cannot win on policy. The way we win is to do the work to make things better. They’ll pick some monster to run against Biden/Harris and Team D. It should have no impact on what we do before the election.
(I’m waiting my 15 min after Pfizer #1!!)
Our local paper’s online carcass prints plenty of op-eds from various sources (e.g., Marc Thiessen). Yesterday’s gem was an endzone ball-spiking for how badly Texas has owned the Libs because just look at how Covid has disappeared.
So I look and their infection rate remains 4X that of California. He sure showed me.
Do not understand why they feel it necessary to fill virtual space with garbage just to prove…I do not know what. Their other annoying habit is slapping real estate porn among news articles and pretending they’re articles and not paid ads. “Richard Chamberlain’s breathtaking $23 million Pacific Palisades estate listed for sale!” Uh, thanks?
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@MattF: Need to subscribe, but my bet is the Florida Republicans view drug dealing, soliciting prostitutes, child molesting and god knows what else he did as a sign of strong moral fiber in their bois.
Sadly, I suspect more like a Palin or a Greene — or for a better example, a Hailey — will find that playing to all-out Nationalism will protect them from the kind of sexism that generates those sentiments.
In my estimation: A lot of these situations boil down to “is they uppity?” than an open rejection of them because of gender, alone. H. Clinton was painted for decades as uppity, stuck-up, and not knowing her place, and Harris dodged some of that as VP candidate — but got a face-full as POTUS candidate, similar with Warren.
In contrast: If you’re a woman, and advocating for regressive policies, you’re seen as OK, acceptable, the “right” kind of woman to vote for. You see the same damn thing with Black folx like (un) Justice Thomas, Carson and Allen West: willing to toss away building kinfolx up, in order to play to the folx with money and power.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Baud: I meant Trump was closer to Reagan than Carlson is.
That’s a good point; Trump is a character from the 80s and generally fits the “Reagan Democrat” media myth; “he was a liberal when he was young, but then grew up, blah blah blah” and about Reagan’s age when he was president.
Benghazi enters the chat
Fluffers visions a light touch, a pat on the back as it were.
Politico is commercial bullshit, nothing more, nothing less.
My consolation with Carlson is that he lasted one dance on Dancing with the Stars. And it was a legendarily ignominious dance.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Woodrow/asim: until she became the prospective 2016 candidate, HRC was useful to Rs as a foil to Obama. Tweety used to trot out the the “Do Dems have buyers’ remorse on 2008?” every once in a while, and during the great Chuck Todd-fueled “Why can’t President Obama have a drink with Mitch McConnell?” stupidity (2013? ’14), I think McConnell and Orrin Hatch both said, “We could have worked with Hillary Clinton in the White House…”
A few bitter old Clintonites like Ed Rendell and James Carville would make those noises too.
Christie may perhaps be the best bet for them in the general, but was he sufficiently loyal to Trump to win Republican primaries? Will that still matter in two years or three years?
Thinking back on Christie, Christie disqualified himself in the 2016 primaries for shaking hands with President Obama when Obama came bearing hurricane relief. Kind of an early times high note for me in ultra-partisanship. Let your people drown.
@Barbara: which woman do you think the Republicans might nominate to provide the voters with the choice you envision? The increasingly desperate and pathetic Nikki Haley, who has twisted herself into the Gordian Knot of pretzels trying to be a Never Trump Trumpist? Most of the pool of potential women candidates in the GOP are at least as insane and dangerous as the men.
@Betty: Don’t know if Graham will run or not. She tweets like she’s still interested! My guess is Ag Commish Nikki Fried will run. IMO, she’d be a disaster, which should make her candidacy highly attractive to the state level party bosses.
My local ( KCMO ) PBS has a weekly news show which is usually pretty neutral politically. A couple of weeks ago one guest held up DeSantis as the model for the country handling covid! Florida numbers are great…blah blah blah…three other guests and a moderator and zero push back. Weird the push for that clown is reaching Missouri!!
Frankly, I don’t see the need to worry about who the Republicans will run. I worry that the Democrats just need to keep doing good, popular things to make people’s lives better and hope that in ‘24, it won’t matter who the GOP puts up, the Dems will have made their case to enough voters to win.
Now, as a lifelong progressive (thanks, Mom), do I think the Dems can pull that off? That’s the worry I have.
@Betty Cracker: What do you know about the new Dem leadership here in Florida? I know they churned up some new faces but I haven’t read or heard much about how they compare to their disastrous predecessors.
@West of the Rockies:
shitforbrains has spent his entire life as a bullshitter, trained by his dad to be – a bullshitter. It is the entirety of his skills, BS. And he’s not good at that because he’s an obvious bullshitter. People who like that or think that everyone is, found him amusing. Till his combination of stupidity and lack of actual character took the BS too far and his narcissism got him all the notoriety that he deserves.
Cracker for Governor 2022
Ever since they abused their power to anoint G W Bush the next president in the Spring of 1999 it has been frustrating to watch the members of the corporate media vie for kingmaker champion. After Trump it is hard to imagine anyone trusting them again, but I said that after Bush and oh how wrong I was.
@Baud: Not really, TFG had never run for office before he ran for President, Reagan had been a 2 term Governor of California.
@cope: My impression is they had a golden opportunity after 2020 to throw out all the big donor-focused, consultant-driven baggage and start over, then they failed to do so. They fired the people at the top because they had to, but it sure looks like they hired more of the same.
I hope to dog I’m wrong.
@Woodrow/asim: Benghazi really was after she left office.
How do we know he is not caught up in big forehead’s scandal???
Snarki, child of Loki
Same old, same old: when residents of a GOPers home state tells you what a fraud they are (Reagan banning guns, vastly running up the CA budget; Trump being a corrupt NY asshole; now DeSantis) it gets ignored.
So: better to off them before they spread beyond the borders of their state, amirite?
@Citizen Alan: No problem! What a dull world it would be if people agreed about everything.
@Cameron: From my experience (up here in NY), the types that tend to move to FL are small business owners (fairly consistently right-wing Trumpers) who’ve retired, sold their business, have a decent nest egg, don’t want to pay taxes on it, and so move to FL to be with other people like themselves. A few are folks who just don’t want to deal with the winters anymore and like to golf or something. Fewer and fewer I think are the NYC Jews who came to FL in the postwar years and used to form a major Democratic bloc. I think the formula of fewer NE liberals/Jews + more rightwing Cubans + more rightwing tax haters = pretty red FL going forward.
And that was only because Obama brought with him Christie’s hero Bruce Springsteen — who up to then had spent years not giving Christie the time of day. Then Bridgegate happened, and Christie became the only fan Bruce has ever mocked in public. I think Christie lacks not just the celebrity that covered over Trump’s flaws, but also the appeal to win beyond New Jersey.
Gin & Tonic
The House of Representatives passed a bill reauthorizing the National Marrow Donor Program (bone marrow) 415-2. The two? Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert.
@Betty Cracker: Well, that’s depressing. Sounds like Massachusetts. These state Dem parties need some fresh blood.
James E Powell
What’s the knock on Fried? She’s the only name I’ve seen floated for 2022 governor.
@James E Powell: Stuff like this.
@Betty Cracker: So the state party apparatus consists of money robots, and the highest elected Democratic official in the state has a taste for brawling? This doesn’t sound like a recipe for success. I mean, I’ll vote for any Democrat on the ticket, but…..
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
and why do you think that happened? Mayhaps because the purity ponies and Bros vilified the best fundraiser the Democratic Party ever had to the point no one would declare they would crawl over broken glass to vote for her in 2020 – let along accept fundraising help from her.
Anyone outraising St. Bernard had to be a Wallstreet shill. Harris had plenty of $ but couldn’t get primary votes – wonder why that was? Biden raised plenty early on, but was pretty much out of money by Super Tuesday fending off attacks by other Dems and trying to stay relevant in caucus states. Warren was on the outs with Rose Twitter the minute she looked like she was outdrawing and outraising Bernie.
If we want the Dems to keep a majority in 2022 and have a chance to keep the WH in 2024, we have to accept that there are candidates who can’t unilaterally disarm on fundraising. There are going to be a lot of companies that want to wipe the GQP stink off them. Take their money! And the Dems can’t wait around for St. Bernie to anoint the candidate least likely to disrupt the flow of dollars (none of which will make it down stream) into his pocket. An early, clear winner in the 2024 primaries will mean more money for down ticket races. No more early IA and NH primaries or caucuses – They are an enormous waste of candidate’s time and money better spent fighting the GQP.
“Nicer version of Trump” has to be one of the lowest bars in the world.
I saw one of these stories earlier. “Nicer version of Trump” Makes me want to barf.
Is there a Stacey Abrams type in Florida who can shake up the Florida Democratic party? Asking for a friend.
Does anyone seriously think Trump is going to step aside for someone else?
@TheTruffle: Stacey Abrams started organizing in Georgia in 2010 or 2014. It takes a long time. Every state needs to start doing that now.
“The best time to plant an oak tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”
@Cacti: If he croaks or is debilitated!
Who knows? Probably not if he can drag himself into the primaries. But Pence is done, and all these other dopes might be happy to be named Trump’s VP choice.
Carlson seems to me to be on the verge of repeating the mistake several other Fox hosts made with Dominion, only this time with the vaccine manufacturers. If he dives down that rathole and brings another billion-dollar lawsuit down on Fox, he’ll lose his platform.
I have never been able to watch Carlson for more than a few minutes, and I don’t know what really appeals to the rabid GOP base. But aside from his bombast as a TV talking head, I don’t know if Carlson really leaves much of an impression.
He’s got no swagger, doesn’t seem to be particularly masculine in the stupid way that some Republicans like, and doesn’t come across as a leader.
J R in WV
Who are we talking about here? Bullshitter nor shitforbrains is enough clue for me, as so many RepubliKKKans are just that – a stack of bullshit.
DeSantis is a lying, racist, corrupt crook. He’s the nicer version of Trump only because he has much less of a back catalog.
@J R in WV: The orifice of excrement is in your *Rump. As taught by daddy *Rump. Clearer?
Nicer Version of Dr Evil promises that the lasers on his sharks will have soothing colors