How did freedom-loving Florida fall for an authoritarian governor? @helenlewis traveled from England to Ron DeSantis’s magic kingdom in search of an answer. https://t.co/1yOGpIUPeX
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) March 28, 2023
A view from elsewhere — longish, but it’s the weekend:
… Internet memes sometimes refer to Florida as “the America of America,” but to a Brit like me, it’s more like the Australia of America: The wildlife is trying to kill you, the weather is trying to kill you, and the people retain a pioneer spirit, even when their roughest expedition is to the 18th hole. Florida’s place in the national mythology is as America’s pulsing id, a vision of life without the necessary restriction of shame. Chroniclers talk about its seasonless strangeness; the public meltdowns of its oddest residents; how retired CIA operatives, Mafia informants, and Jair Bolsonaro can be reborn there. “Whatever you’re doing dishonestly up north, you can do it in a much warmer climate with less regulation down here,” said the novelist Carl Hiaasen, who wrote about the weirder side of Florida for the Miami Herald from 1976 until his retirement in 2021.
But under the memes and jokes, the state is also making an argument to the rest of the world about what freedom looks like, how life should be organized, and how politics should be done. This is clear even from Britain, a place characterized by drizzle and self-deprecation, the anti-Florida.
What was once the narrowest swing state has come to embody an emotional new strain of conservatism. “The general Republican mindset now is about grievances against condescending elites,” Michael Grunwald, the Miami-based author of The Swamp, told me, “and it fits with the sense that ‘we’re Florida Man; everyone makes fun of us.’ ” But criticism doesn’t faze Florida men; it emboldens them.
It is no coincidence that the two leading contenders for the Republican nomination both have their base in Florida. In one corner, you have Donald Trump, who retired, sulking, from the presidency to his “Winter White House” at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach. (When Trump entered the 2024 presidential race, the formerly supportive New York Post jeered at him with the front-page headline “Florida Man Makes Announcement” before relegating the news story to page 26.)
In the other corner stands the state’s current governor, Ron DeSantis, raised in the Gulf Coast town of Dunedin, a man desperately trying to conceal his attendance at the elite institutions of Harvard and Yale under lashings of bronzer and highly choreographed outrages. In his speeches, the governor likes to boast that “Florida is where ‘woke’ goes to die.” In his 2022 campaign videos, he styled himself as a Top Gun pilot and possibly even Jesus himself. You couldn’t get away with that in Massachusetts…
For so many who choose to live here, arriving in Florida feels like a relief: a liberation from cold winters, from COVID mandates, from the paralyzing fear of political correctness, from the warnings of climatologists and guilt trips by Greta Thunberg. “This is an irresponsible place,” Grunwald told me—a counterweight to Plymouth Rock and the puritanism of the Northeast. When I drove across the border into Georgia, a battery of signs greeted me, warning against speeding and littering, as if to say: Look, we’re relaxed here, but not Florida relaxed. In freedom-loving Florida, you presume, every warning and restriction has been reluctantly imposed in response to a highly specific problem. (Exhibit A, the hotel swimming-pool sign: No swimming with diarrhea.)…
Any serious consideration of DeSantis inevitably runs headlong into his lack of charisma. Can you win the presidency without being able to make small talk? The Republican donor class is very keen to lubricate his path to power, but they worry he can’t schmooze and flatter as well as he bullies and schemes. He has courted partisan YouTubers and talk-radio hosts, but throughout his reelection campaign last year, he did not grant a sit-down interview to any mainstream publication, and declined to cooperate with profiles in The New Yorker, the Financial Times, and The New York Times. His press team specializes in insults that read as though ChatGPT has been trained on Trump speeches—gratuitous, yet somehow bloodless. (Asked to respond to fact-checking queries for this article, DeSantis’s press secretary, Bryan Griffin, replied by email: “You aren’t interested in the truth; this is just yet another worthless Atlantic editorial.”)…
Buoyed by Trump’s blessing and the support of right-wing media, DeSantis won Florida’s Republican primary for governor in August 2018 by 20 points. Two months later, he went on to win the general election by just 32,463 votes. In The Courage to Be Free, he recalls asking his transition team to draw up an “exhaustive list of all the constitutional, statutory, and customary powers of the governor. I wanted to be sure that I was using every lever available to advance our priorities.” If DeSantis ever sits behind the Resolute Desk, you can bet he’ll do more than order Diet Cokes and compulsively check Twitter…
At 44, DeSantis represents a new generation of Republicans who have learned to speak Rumble—the unmoderated alternative to YouTube—as well as fluent Fox. He knows which of his actions to shout about, and which ones are better smothered in boredom. At a flashy press conference on April 19, 2021, for example, DeSantis surrounded himself with cops to sign the Combating Public Disorder Act, which was presented as taming the excesses of the Black Lives Matter movement but—according to Jason Garcia, a former Orlando Sentinel investigative reporter who now runs a Substack called Seeking Rents—gave police extra power to quell dissent and civil disobedience more generally. That was a moment worth staging for applause by the Blue Lives Matter contingent. By contrast, the governor waited until just before midnight the same day to approve Senate Bill 50, a blandly worded law that collects sales tax from online shoppers while giving tax breaks to Florida businesses. The difference between the splashy staging of the anti-riot bill and the quiet enactment of S.B. 50 “illustrates DeSantis to me so perfectly,” Garcia said. “He’s a governor that is masterful at driving these angry social-war fights that divide people, then turning around and governing like a pro-corporate Republican.”…
Nothing is more damning of the modern Republican Party than the fact that DeSantis needs to flaunt his authoritarianism, anti-intellectualism, and casual cruelty to court its base. Even then, the routine falls flat. DeSantis lacks the weirdness, effervescence, and recklessness that makes his home state so compelling. A true Florida Man does not master bureaucracy and use his powers of patronage to reshape institutions in his image. A true Florida Man does not make the trains run on time. A true Florida Man tries to soup up his boat with a nitro exhaust and accidentally burns down the illegal tiki bar he built in his backyard. Some are born Florida Men, some achieve Florida Manhood, and some have Florida Manhood thrust upon them by the demands of right-wing politics.
if they wanted competent authoritarian leadership, they wouldn’t have gotten behind trump in the first place, that’s not what they’re here for, they’re here for the show, and desantis is not a showman
— GOLIKEHELLMACHINE (@golikehellmachi) March 27, 2023
Just reading that made me puke all over my keyboard. Somebody owes me a new one.
44? I would have pegged Governor Meatwad for well north of fifty.
Back in 1972, or thereabouts, I was driving I-95 northbound well after midnight hell-bent for Charleston at around 90 mph. I noticed lights slowly gaining on me and finally the blues (I think they were blue but they could have been red back then) went on and I pulled over. A gruff but reasonably young Florida State Trooper looked at my shoulder length hair and my Tennessee license. He then told me that I had a tail light out, which was how he’d kept track of me, and that across the line in Georgia I would have to see the judge about a speeding ticket and, this being Friday night, the judge wouldn’t be in until Monday and I’d have to wait in jail. He then told me to get the light fixed and to slow the fuck down and went back to his car. I dutifully slowed the fuck down.
But this is genuinely funny.
My worry about DeSantis is that he actually IS what the Corporatist wing of the Republican Party thought they would get in TFG — a loyal functionary who can keep the rubes entertained while focusing on appointing the right judges, signing tax cuts, etc. (which they did get to some extent), minus the part that so enthusiastically loosened the chains on the Frankenstein monster and went romping off through the countryside with it (eg 1/6, which the Corporatists did not like and which DeSantis would never do). Plus he’s young, so he can afford to wait if Trump survives, and he’s got a power base (albeit a distinctly regional one).
Were I a Dem Party mandarin musing about the medium-term, I’d be thinking about ways to kneecap him painfully and permanently, just in case he doesn’t pull off a full Christie-Walker Faceplant (degree of difficulty 2.8).
CRT killed the Florida man
CRT killed the Florida man.
In my mind and in my van
We must rewind that is the plan.
And of course, the news wants to know “what does all this mean” for 2024?
Well, of course it means that DeSantis had better get busy committing crimes and paying off porn stars and Playboy models. It’s the only thing that will help the poor soul with the voters now. 🤣
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I think that’s true, but that wing can’t win a general election without Florida Man’s in-laws and cousins in the exurbs of Milwaukee, Detroit and the Pennsyltucky T. They tend to be irregular voters and I don’t know if Tiny Dee has the stuff to get them to fill out their ballots.
Just saw this in my twitter wanderings that are more fun than vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms
I don’t think RDS can change that trajectory. I could be wrong.
@OzarkHillbilly: In Florida, “freedom-loving” means the freedom for contractors to put up vast swathes of unsafe buildings. It makes a lot more sense when you know that.
@OzarkHillbilly: Yeah, freedumb!-loving is the only sense that’s accurate, but that would undermine the setup of the article.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Yeah, I’m pretty confident we’ll win the popular vote again in 2024. The electoral college is what makes it close.
Has DeSantis ordered the statue of David in Sarasota covered up yet?
When did the state of Florida become “America’s most freedom obsessed state?
Other than in the fevered dreams of Floridiots.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: lol Tiny Dee, I might start using that instead of Pudding Boy.
As to actual total votes, that’s immaterial of course; what matters are the votes of the Right People, not all those [shudder] Inner City types. And I agree that he couldn’t win the popular vote (absent, say, some total economic meltdown on a Dem’s watch), nor am I sure his appeal will be very strong outside the Confederacy. But “Republicans fall in line,” and if the Corporatists crank up the Wurlitzer, he could pose a challenge.
Mr. Bemused Senior
Hate does that to you.
I’ve read that Koch money had been backing DeSatan but is now on the sidelines after his poor performance and lack of traction.
The cartoon statue has the perfect pinched lips prissyness that DeSatan exudes to all but fellow prisses.
Freedom’s just another word for I don’t have to give a shit about anyone else.
Ron “The Actuary” DeSantis is about as far from the meth addled, gator wielding Floriduh man as you can get. Trump banged a porn star, to DeSantis taking a walk on the wild side means being overdue with a library book
I can’t believe it took me all this time to notice the white boots!
I guess I was so taken with the boobs, the bloated belly, and the red Florida wang that I never made it down to the boots?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@bbleh: one thing Rs should be worried about, if say actuarial tables and a lifetime of the Filet-o-Fish being the diet plate catch up with The Beast between now and Nov ’24, how many voters will write him in anyway
@bbleh: Absent an economic meltdown, which the R’s are trying to engineer through defaulting on the national debt.
That won’t work. They have to be able to claim their hands are clean.
@Baud: “BIDEN MADE US DO IT!!!!”
@Baud: i hope the corporations yank their chains hard about this.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I’ve seen a couple of stories like this, trump supporters disrupting DeSantis book signings
@StringOnAStick: concur, unfortunately. At a minimum I think they’re looking to spook the markets badly enough to trigger a recession.
@Baud: it would appear an outright shutdown wouldn’t work — we have Obama to thank for that, and I’m glad we do, because absent that fiasco I think they might believe they could get away with it — but I also think there is a needle they could thread, eg they could cause a market crash and say “wasn’t us!” AND I’m not at all convinced their actions are / will be fully rational. The Crazies have McSqueaky by the … uh … short hairs, and between their recklessness and his fecklessness (hey, I just made that up!), they could easily wreck things without intending to.
@OzarkHillbilly: They had Jim Crow thriving in the 1960s, so I am not buying the idea that freedom is a time-honored tradition in Florida. Weirdness, maybe, but not freedom.
Old Dan and Little Ann
I read this as I sit on an Orlando Shuttle bus. Off to the Happiest place on earth. I’m going to have to pretend.
Seems there are plenty of bully wannabes against DeSantis all too ready to use offensive nicknames coined by Trump. Sure let’s call him fat let’s call him short let’s call him ugly. Cause there are none of those on our side. I mean it’s just politically correct wokeism to bother not insulting people for physical characteristics amirite? Ha fucking ha.
Josh Marshall was amazed I actually wrote to him about his Lil Ron gets Pantsed headline and wanted to know if I was serious since after all that’s what Trump calls him. Some defense there of a grade school level bullying headline. Cuz Trump did it first.
I may be too sensitive but I am definitely serious.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
He had a bunch of them thrown out of one of his control freak public appearances here in FL
Florida’s rep is really overrated both for weirdness and freedom ( reptile stories excepted). Most of the place is aimed at retirees and family tourism*. Walt’s Kingdom may or may not be magic, it’s super controlled.
*There are exceptions eg Daytona
@sab: No to mention, Florida has been a landing pad for deposed right wing dictators, their families, their supporters/sycophants and their families for the last 7 decades.
@OzarkHillbilly: Hahahha! Oh that would be perfect!
I wanna see his fucking birth certificate. Wikipedia says he was born in September 1978. There’s no way this bitch is only two years older than me.
Nice people avoid Jeffrey Goldberg’s rag like they avoid anthrax and washing Ben Shapiro’s shorts.
I am a Floridian and that description of us is so totally weird. Freedom? Those are the religious busybodies making more laws instead of minding their own business.
Also i don’t know kooks like the stories. People have jobs, raise families and seem mostly like evevrywhere else except we generally hate cold weather. Unfortunately even the bigots seem to be just like everywhere else. A population of 23 million can find stories to fit any theme. I wish the invasive animals like boa constrictors wasn’t true though.
Republicans gained power here through offering lots of tax cuts in Reagans time and the Democrats just seemed to collapse in the 90’s. I still don’t understand that part. Now its gerrymandering and we still don’t haveca strong party to fight back. The gop here has had it easy and they are now kooks.
I really don’t think most people have been paying attention. They don’t recognize the code words to avoid kooks.
@trucmat: Heaven forbid we hurt the feelings of the fascists.
There is nothing on earth worse than hurt feelings.
@Cacti: To paraphrase TBogg, for some liberals there is no crime greater than “using words wrong.”
Florida, like many right wing enclaves, believes most of all in freedom for white Christians and stifled silence for everyone else. Within these confines many people believe that they are living in a loose libertarian paradise.
There is no such thing as competent authoritarian leadership. People got behind Trump because he was as gaudy and stupid as they were, despite his supposed wealth, and promised to hurt the people that they wanted hurt.
The political press is deeply disappointed that DeSantis is not a showman. They write more about how dull he is than the incoherence of his policies.
I still don’t know much about how DeSantis has succeeded in Florida. Is his staff loyal and competent? How well does he work with the Florida legislature? Is there any depth to his right wing ideology or is he just better at playing to white fear than other conservative politicians?
And it is curious that local reporters who have been covering Florida politics for decades don’t have a clear idea about who DeSantis is and what he wants. The same could not be said, for example, of Ronald Reagan or if Trump.
You answered your own question: he promises to hurt the people they want to see hurt.
They seem pretty loyal but I’m not so sure about competent. A case in point is the Disney fiasco, Disney did everything in plain sight but Team DeSantis didn’t notice for 2 months – and that includes the cronies actually on the board in question. They do have a habit of getting hit by unintended consequences which makes me think they’re not that smart.
The legislature is his poodle, they’re totally subservient.
I don’t think he has any great ideological depth, he’s after power, if the opportunities were better on the far left he’d be a proud Trotskyist
@Gvg: They’re using the white-voter/Confederate version of “Freedom” which = low taxes/regulations and lots of guns.
Roberto el oso
My lifetime record of correct political predictions is pretty poor, but …. I think DeSantis has to run in 2024 rather than 2028 because his term as governor ends in 2026. That 2-year stretch until the next presidential election will be lethal for him. How’s he going to spend it? Write another book or two which no one reads? Start giving interviews, when his unease is so palpable even in the softball-ones with friendlies? And his obvious misanthropy towards anyone other than maybe his wife is going to make any attempt to imitate Trump’s giganto/weirdo rallies a non-starter. What can he possibly do in those two years to keep himself in the spotlight which he so obviously detests?
@Roberto el oso:
I think you’re right but also because he really can’t back down now without looking fatally weak. Ironically his very cultivation of right wing media to boost his ratings has also locked into the MAGAs that he’s the Great White Hope. Right now he’s imploding, all dressed up and nowhere to go, if he backs out he’s a Scott Walker who didn’t even make it to the primaries
@trucmat: Tone Policing is a waste of time.
Modern Republicanism (everywhere) is Whilhite’s Law on steroids:
There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.
@kindness: The part they leave off their “Don’t tread on me” bumper stickers is “I tread on you”.
It’s not enough to fuck the weak, which the guv can do as well as the Swinish Oaf. No, the drooling mouthbreathers get off on dirty talk to go with the fucking, which SO delivers and the guv can’t That’s what RonD is missing.
And I don’t know how he’s connected to Floriduh Man. I first heard of him in high school when we were reading Chaucer – surely you remember “The Tale of Whiteboot Pudding-Hand?”
It makes me sad because I just came back from spending 10 days in Florida. There is so much natural beauty and so many interesting places to visit. I had such a great time. Granted I really didn’t interact with many people outside of the UU congregation and some people on the trails and I’m a white woman so I didn’t experience the ugly side of things.
I think the mentality that DeSantis represents is everywhere, sadly. Things have gotten so much worse since Fox and all of their copycats and the even worse media outlets. I’m not sure how we counter it. Sometimes I think I’ve gotten through to some one in that world and then the next time I see them it’s like the previous understanding never happened. Calling for mass reprogramming sounds a little out there but I honestly think that’s what we need.
hells littlest angel
@trucmat: I agree. Making fun of people’s broad physical appearance (short, fat, ugly, etc.) is juvenile, lazy and stupid. When you say DeSantis is a fat asshole, you are implying that there is some equivalence between obesity and assholery.
Remember Jack Nicholson’s campfire speech in “Easy Rider”? If you go tellin’ them they’re not free..
That’s the scene before he’s bludgeoned by rednecks.
@MomSense: I’m glad you enjoyed it. People tend to think of Florida as resort beaches and theme parks ( and it has a lot of very good ones) but it also has areas of stunning natural beauty and some really cool stuff. Sadly for the last few years a lot of the people moving here are rightwing jerks
I think a lot of the DeSantis boom came from Republican elites who fear Trump will drag down Republican candidates across the board if he is the nominee. Elite journalists went along with their Republican peers.
Neither can deliver the rank and file, though. DeSantis has to go get them, and he may not have the right stuff.
@hells littlest angel: I agree that making derogatory names for DeSantis based on physical features is wrong and should be avoided.
So how about “El Caudildo?”
Roberto el oso
Just out of curiosity, what are BJ folks’ feelings regarding the (up-till-now) conventional wisdom that it’s important for a presidential candidate to pick someone as their running mate who comes from a different region of the country than they do? The choice made presumably because the lower ticket brings in a different set of voters, or having a native son or native daughter might help bring in an important state.
Off the top of my head (*), going back to JFK, this is what we’ve had so far:
JFK/LBJ (Mass. & Texas) ; Nixon/Lodge (California & Mass.) ; LBJ/HHH (Texas & Minn.) ; Goldwater/Miller (AZ & NY) ; Nixon/Agnew (California & MD) ; HHH/Muskie (Minn & Maine) ; McGovern/Eagleton/Shriver (South Dakota/Missouri/MD) ; Ford/Dole (Michigan & KS) ; Carter/Mondale (Georgia & Minn.) ; Reagan/Bush (California & Texas) ; Mondale/Ferraro (Minn & NJ … I think?) ; Dukakis/Bentsen (Mass & Texas) ; Clinton/Gore (Arkansas & Tenn. okay, that’s kinda close) ; Bush/Quayle (Texas & Indiana) ; Perot/Stockdale (Texas & California) ; Dole/Kemp (KS & NY) ; Gore/Lieberman (Tenn & CT) ; Bush/Cheney (Texas & Wyoming) ; Kerry/Edwards (Mass & NC) ; Obama/Biden (Illinois & Delaware) ; McCain/Palin (AZ & Alaska) ; Romney/Ryan (Utah & Wisconsin) ; HRC/Kain (NY & Virginia) ; Trump/Pence (NY & Indiana) ; Biden/Harris (Delaware & California) …. whew!
I’m semi-convinced that M T Greene has a good shot at being the GOP VP candidate, but since Georgia’s next door to Florida (Trump and, far far far behind, DeSantis) this would go against the historical default above … and Nikki ‘Snowball’s Chance In Hell’ Haley is also a bit too close …
(*) okay, I have to admit I had to look up both Nixon’s 1960 running mate, as well as Goldwater’s, and for some reason I’d completely forgotten the Dole/Kemp ticket …
@sab: I spent grade school in Florida and I do love it. I often have critical comments because I have issues. But it is an amazing place and would be much better if it hadn’t been overrun by geriatric Mid-westereners.
The sunrises and sunsets are unbelievable. And some very cool people. Betty Cracker isn’t a unique freak. There are lots of people like her. Then there are lots who are not.
A Twitter thread, on 10 things De Santis needs to do and most likely won’t:
@Roberto el oso: I think first and foremost the President needs to pick a candidate who can complement him and help on his appalling workload. ( The 20 th century approach to vice-presidents was appalling and wasteful. Especially you FDR, leaving Truman in the dark when you were old and sick.)
Also too pick a likely successor. Defangs the too old argument and also gets an up and ready replacement. Like the Scottish tanist instead of a crown prince. Clinton’s fault was he thought Al Gore was better than he was.9
ETA The old days of geographic balance are archaic and have been for quite a while. I don’t know what the election balance was then, but other than that Lincoln could not have picked a more damaging VP.
@Geminid: how about “El Caudillito,” not so much about stature as about maturity? (I mean, eating pudding with your fingers…?)
@Roberto el oso: I don’t think geographical diversity in a president/vice president ticket is as important as it was in the last century. The US has become more homogeneous socially and culturally, and regional differences are not as great. Now the divide is more between urban and rural ares, and the suburbs in between have become the electoral battleground.
Suburbs tend to track each other politically without respect to region. At least, that was the case with the Blue Wave of 2018. That year, Democrats picked up suburban districts in New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia, Michigan, Kansas, Texas and Southern California.
Picking a VP from a big purple state could still be a good play. A notable failure here was in 2000, when AL Gore chose Joe Lieberman from Connecticut when Bob Graham of Florida was available.
And that still makes me want to cry.
I really hope trump picks marge as his vp . It would be perfect, and even more unelectable. I now think if trump fails to win the repub nom (unlikely unless the weight of indictments this year actually crushes him), his rusted on supporters will stay home.
DeSantis is very beatable imo. Not just his repellent personality, but the oppo research has barely begun. I think there is plenty there.
Plenty of FL reporters, especially among the print media, know exactly who he is and what he wants and have been reporting on it for years. But the majority of the people of FL are too stupid, bigoted, cruel and/or greedy to give a shit.
Political strategists, even more than the general public, over value oppo research.
@Aussie Sheila: I don’t know. I just think DeSantis is an extremely icky snot. Trump had a successful tv show, and was also an epic boor.
Hard to duplicate that. Boorish and successssful tv show. Everyone thought they knew him. Suburban housewives changed their minds.
@Roberto el oso:
I don’t think this matters much anymore. It’s more about compatible ideology.
Ironically, I think the fact that the modern GOP has absorbed Southern Dixiecrats accelerated the decline of the importance of regional politics.
@Brachiator: But the ick factor is real.
The political press seemed to miss this, too.
But I take your point. And the guy that DeSantis chose as his public health director appears to be a quack. But if DeSantis continues to be a credible GOP challenger, I would like to know more about his staffers and key appointees.
Deputinize Eurasia from the Kuriles to St Petersburg
There’s also the actual developers on the freedomistical shitty drainage plans that have vast developments flood 1 year out of 3.
Trump created his celebrity persona as wealthy New York Bad Boy long before his TV show. And the New York press kissed his butt and approvingly reported his antics for years.
DeSantis is a constipated little snot, but he seems to know how to play to white resentment even better than Trump. Both men are repellent. DeSantis seems to struggle to make any kind of name for himself outside of Florida. God knows what slime the GOP will serve up next.
There was another night of big protests in Israel. A Times of Israel article on them is titled:
People do not trust PM Netanyahu when he says he is backing off on his plan to overhaul Israel’s judiciary. Plus, hardline members of his coaltion still insist they will push it through.
@Aussie Sheila: Trump’s team is well started on its DeSantis file, according to a March 15 Politico article titled “Trump prepares an extensive opposition file on ‘Ron DeSanctimonious.’ ”
Besides open sources covering DeSantis’s statements and record as prosecutor, Congressman and Governor, the effort has the benefit of knowledge from personal, professional experiences with the Florida Governor:
@hells littlest angel:
Interesting interpretation. Wrong, but interesting. Well, actually, not interesting, just wrong.
@Geminid: Not one American in 1000 gets that reference.
@Baud: They would absolutely claim that. They have to be able, with the MSM helping, to claim that it was the Dems fault.
@OzarkHillbilly: There’s a longstanding tradition in the United States that the people who bloviate the most about “freedom” actually are referring to “freedom” to oppress people who they hate. It was that way from day one — when the “freedom-loving” “Founding Fathers” made sure that they preserved their freedom to enslave people.
@Geminid: Good point, but — it seems to me that there is still a hell of a lot of difference between states that are above and below the Mason-Dixon Line. About as much difference as there was in 1861.
@Geminid: They do still need to be from different states, because of the constitutional rule that if they are from the same state, the electors for that state cannot vote for both of them. But regional ticket-balancing is not as big a deal as covering different constituencies in other ways.
@trucmat: He is as ugly as they come on the inside, which is what really counts. He’s a small, horrible person who wants the U.S. to be a conservative fascist state. Pardon me if it offends you that people are insulting him, he deserves it all and more.
@Citizen Alan: I agree. I don’t see much use for such names generally; it’s just a fun game to play here.
I think that the best way to view the Citizen Don and Governor Ron show is through the lens of professional wrestling.
It’s being billed as The “Final Battle” of 2024. The ultimate rumble in the swamp out of which only the true warrior will reign supreme. But with a twist.
They will playact a mighty rivalry until their audience is whipped into a frenzy – each side seeing their guy as the true hero and the other side as the bum. In the end they reconcile, becoming the ultimate superhero team to fight universal evil – the evil outside the stadium. The stadium goes wild!
The ultimate play would be for Pres Don to do his four years in the ring and then tag in VP Ron to finish the fight.
The rest is all titillating stage craft to keep the audience mesmerized, buying tickets and filling seats.
What the hell, it’s as good as any other speculative prognostication at this point.
@Roberto el oso:
Fixed that for you.
Shorter “The Atlantic”: “here’s 50k more words where we act confused about the obvious fact that conservatives lie all the time about everything, and conclude that anything bad is all because of hippies”
The saddest thing about folks like the Atlantic editors is that they’ll carry water for fascists all day and it won’t change what’ll happen to them when the fascists take power one iota. All that deflection, all that ass-kissing, all that “opinions on the shape of the Earth differ” hand-waving, all for nothing.