Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

Reviews | The anti-Trump strategy that could actually work

During the long interlude where the Florida governor was stuck in an in-between state — presumed to be a presidential candidate, but not officially — there were doubts about his willingness to take on Trump.

Last week showed that they were unfounded. Pushaw has been a fierce fighter against Twitter accounts, memes and pro-Trump arguments. Equally belligerent was DeSantis’ Never Back Down super PAC. And DeSantis himself hasn’t been afraid to draw contrasts with Trump in interviews and speeches.

It all adds up to the most aggressive anti-Trump advocacy from someone who wants and expects to have a future in Republican politics since 2016. It’s not Liz Cheney or Adam Kinzinger, fierce Trump critics. who were clearly buying one-way tickets to an early retirement from Congress, perhaps with the sweetener of a CNN contract. DeSantis makes an offer, not to howl in the desert about Trump, but to take the party away from him.

Now, since this is the end in mind, DeSantis’ case is carefully circumscribed. He does not present a full argument against Trump as unfit to serve. Rather, DeSantis wants to go to his right on key issues and convince Republicans sympathetic to Trump and his policies that the former president has failed to deliver on his promises and is unreliable.

A key part of the DeSantis approach is to counter

Trump would likely be best served by consistently bashing DeSantis as a perceived tool of the establishment, whose successes have come on the inherently favorable terrain of Florida. Since Trump can’t help himself, he resorts to blind fire.

His accusation that former Governor Andrew Cuomo did a better job on Covid than DeSantis does him no good. He pairs it with a Republican villain (the New York Democrat hailed Trump’s late endorsement) and plays into the DeSantis camp who argues that Trump doesn’t regret the blockades and would do them again.

Other attacks from Trump — criticizing DeSantis for his six-week abortion ban in Florida, his ongoing fight with Disney and his past support for rights reform — created the opening for DeSantis to say Trump is hitting on him. of the left and is no longer the Trump everyone remembers from 2015-2016. Specifically, DeSantis leveraged attacks on his vote against an omnibus bill in Congress to expose all the money Trump has spent as president. And he used his vote against an immigration bill to remind people of how Trump backed legislation that granted legal status to so-called Dreamers.

If DeSantis is trying to make a good defense the best offense on these issues, he has gone out of his way to fight the criminal justice reform Trump signed into law as president, the First Step Act. Crime is a central concern for Republican primary voters, and Trump’s support for an off-brand bipartisan measure that freed some prisoners early is an obvious vulnerability.

DeSantis also tries to elevate competent governance beyond a mere matter of process and give it ideological significance by explaining how Trump failed to follow through on key priorities. The border wall was obviously never built, and Never Back Down tweeted a thread blaming Trump for being played by “the swamp”. When Trump pledged this week to end birthright citizenship with an executive order on day one — which would be instantly blocked by the courts if he tried — Never Back Down pointed out that he had repeatedly promised to do the same as president but never actually did.

Perhaps the trickiest issue for DeSantis is how to talk about the 2020 election. Letting Trump off the hook with his insistence he was robbed is admitting he’s supposed to be two once a national election winner, making it impossible to claim that he is the primary reason the GOP has developed, in DeSantis’s phrase, a “culture of loss.” .” On the other hand, directly contradicting Trump’s false claim risks alienating Republicans who have bought into some version of Trump’s lie.

DeSantis showed how he thinks he can handle the issue by a notable post-launch interview with Ben Shapiro. He implicitly accepted the idea that the election was “rigged,” an amorphous term adopted by some Trump supporters to mean the election was unfair but not necessarily stolen.

DeSantis cited changes to election procedures in 2020, but blamed Covid alarmism promoted by Fauci – who worked for Trump – for justifying those changes. He added that Trump was stupid and negligent in urging people not to vote by mail and not to have better organizations in states with mail-in voting and “ballot harvesting.” In other words, Trump was responsible for his mismanagement of his own administration and his short-sighted tactical choices.

DeSantis added that if he’s the GOP nominee, “I’m not going to make excuses,” and he will and will be inaugurated in January 2025. Translation: Trump lost, and I won’t.

Now, the DeSantis v. Trump case isn’t deep. It does not address his character, his continuing and growing legal difficulties, or his disastrous conduct after the November 2020 elections, including January 6. This is a narrowly tailored message aimed at an audience that will have a decisive influence on the 2024 nomination battle – Republicans who love Trump, appreciate what he has done as president, and instinctively feel on his defensive when attacked, but are open to another candidate. Without strong support from this group of voters, DeSantis will not win.

It may be that, despite what seems possible at the moment, Republicans will be swayed by a more robust anti-Trump argument, or that the balance DeSantis is trying to strike may not be sustainable in the campaign tumult. Certainly, how DeSantis ultimately leads the fight against Trump on a debate stage will matter immensely.

That said, at first nothing about the way DeSantis and his team are carrying themselves indicates fear of fighting with Trump. At a press group in Iowa on Tuesday, DeSantis called for Trump’s silence on the debt ceiling deal: “Are you in the lead or are you waiting for the polls to tell you which position to take? ” In a statement on Memorial Day, Never Back Down quoted the son of a man killed in the 9/11 attacks who criticized Trump for, through his support of the Saudi-funded LIV tournament, “lining his pockets [of] a country that is accused in a trial as we speak… of aiding, abetting and sponsoring the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

For a very long time, the way to thrive in Republican politics was to support Donald Trump, or at least circumvent him. This option is not available to Ron DeSantis, and his fledgling campaign clearly realizes this.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.

Back to top button