Now that the walls are closing in on Donald Trump, the New York Times is ramping up its hit pieces on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The standard argument against DeSantis for president is that he’s “MAGA-adjacent” — he might not be Trump, but he’s just as bad as Trump. But what if we’ve already turned the corner and are arguing that DeSantis is worse than Trump? The current Republican is always worse than the previous Republican, after all.

Jamelle Bouie has an opinion piece in the New York Times on “What the Martha’s Vineyard Stunt Says About the Trump Wannabes,” and of course the focus is Trump-wannabe DeSantis.

So DeSantis is “meaner and more rigid” than Trump? Sounds dangerous:

“The asylum seekers are now on their way to Cape Cod, to receive further assistance. The stunt failed to make its intended point,” says Bouie, just kind of conveniently leaving out the part where they’re being sent to a military base on Cape Cod “to receive further assistance.” Martha’s Vineyard didn’t even have them for 24 hours before they called in the National Guard.

Yes, when viewed from the perspective of partisan media, DeSantis looks almost unstoppable. But to a typical person — someone who may have heard about these stunts but doesn’t know much about DeSantis otherwise — he looks a lot like a bully, someone willing to play high-stakes games with people’s lives for the sake of his own ego and advancement.

Well, you might say, Donald Trump is a bully, too. Yes, he is. But Donald Trump is also a lifelong celebrity with a public persona that is as much about “The Apprentice” and even “Home Alone 2” as it is about his political career. What’s more, Trump has the skills of a celebrity. He’s funny, he has stage presence, and he has a kind of natural charisma. He can be a bully in part because he can temper his cruelty and egoism with the performance of a clown or a showman. He can persuade an audience that he’s just kidding — that he doesn’t actually mean it.

“He’s funny, he has stage presence, and he has a kind of natural charisma” — didn’t know you were such a fan.

Trump just wanted to build a racist border wall to keep the brown people out. DeSantis is … flying them to Martha’s Vineyard. If we re-elect Trump can we get our border wall, or will DeSantis finish it?


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