A pathological liar told the truth for once over the weekend:
CNN — Former President Donald Trump took aim at Ron DeSantis Saturday, claiming the Florida governor and his team are “trying to rewrite history” regarding their Covid-19 pandemic response, and called the potential presidential run by his GOP rival “very disloyal.”
“There are Republican governors that did not close their states,” Trump told reporters while aboard his plane. “Florida was closed for a long period of time…”
“I had governors that decided not to close a thing and that was up to them,” he said. The former president also took aim at DeSantis’ shifting posture on vaccines, saying the Florida governor had “changed his tune a lot.”
The orange fart cloud is correct. DeSantis was slow to act as the virus spread initially, probably because he was weighing the factor that matters most to him, i.e., how closures would affect him politically. But eventually, bars were shut down and public gatherings limited for months by state order. When the politics shifted, so did DeSantis, lifting restrictions earlier than recommended.
DeSantis also used to urge people to get vaccinated and deployed then-scarce doses to wealthy enclaves (gift link) where his donors live until he figured out anti-vaccine demagoguery was popular with the base. Now he and the crackpot surgeon general he appointed are lying about vaccine safety and blathering all the time about the “free state of Florida,” as if the shutdowns never happened.
That same CNN article says Trump claimed Nikki Haley called him recently to let him know she’s thinking about launching a 2024 presidential campaign. Oddly, he does not seem to find that disloyal, though he gets a self-aggrandizing dig in:
“I talked to her for a little while, I said, ‘Look, you know, go by your heart if you want to run,’” Trump said. “She’s publicly said that ‘I would never run against my president, he was a great president.’”
Trump said he told Haley that she “should do it.”
Has any flip-flopper flipped more than Haley has flipped on Trump? What a weathercock she is on the subject, and it’s weird that she gets a pass. Maybe they’re in cahoots and Trump promised he’d pick her for VP if he gets the nomination. Or maybe he just doesn’t see Haley as a threat.
Or maybe Haley is among the Republicans hoping for a deus ex machina, perhaps in the form of “actuarial arbitrage,” i.e., Trump shuffling off this mortal coil and joining the bleedin’ choir invisible. There are scads of Republicans in that group according to reporting by McCay Coppins in The Atlantic:
This magical thinking pervaded my recent conversations with more than a dozen current and former elected GOP officials and party strategists. Faced with the prospect of another election cycle dominated by Trump and uncertain that he can actually be beaten in the primaries, many Republicans are quietly rooting for something to happen that will make him go away. And they would strongly prefer not to make it happen themselves…
Their rationale was straightforward: The former president is 76 years old, overweight, appears to maintain the diet of a college freshman, and believes, contrary to all known science, that exercise is bad for you. Why risk alienating his supporters when nature will take its course sooner or later? Peter Meijer, a former Republican representative who left office this month, termed this strategy actuarial arbitrage.
“You have a lot of folks who are just wishing for [Trump’s] mortal demise,” Meijer told me. “I want to be clear: I’m not in that camp. But I’ve heard from a lot of people who will go onstage and put on the red hat, and then give me a call the next day and say, ‘I can’t wait until this guy dies.’ And it’s like, Good Lord.” (Trump’s mother died at 88 and his father at 93, so this strategy isn’t exactly foolproof.)
I despise that fucker so much I keep a bottle of champagne chilled so I’ll be prepared to celebrate when the news that he has taken a dirt nap reaches me. But this Atlantic piece makes me hope the odious pustule lives longer than a giant sequoia. I know life isn’t fair, but goddamn it, just as a practical matter, a party that puts a malicious, incompetent, narcissistic boob like Trump in charge should fail. May he live to see the day.