You can't really root for either, but it's still fun to sit back and enjoy the spectacle.
2022 was a remarkably bad year for conventional wisdom pretty much across the board from the Red Wave to Russia's inevitable conquest of Ukraine to DeSantis eclipsing a rapidly fading Trump.
The GOP is totally moving on from Donald trump.— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) March 21, 2023
Marshall is being sarcastic here, since the rest of his timeline has been prominent Republicans and conservative influencers defending Trump and often attacking DeSantis. It's true that the indictments have turned up the heat, but the underlying trends we've been seeing for weeks haven't shifted.
We all knew that Trump wasn't going to be a good sport and go away quietly. His relationship with the GOP has always been purely transactional. There was no reason for him to play nice for the good of the party and every reason for him to do everything in his power to get the nomination. Add to that his personal hold over a large segment (possibly a plurality) of the party and a vindictive nature, and you've given non-cult Republicans everything to fear.
Trump busy adding more Republican names to his Revenge Tour. pic.twitter.com/zzE7JsDx14— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 19, 2023
A statement that will satisfy nobody as he tries to find a way to thread the needle. Somehow the Gov of FL has really brushed up on crime stats in NYC while not really paying attention. Then he takes a jab at Trump. He’s trying to find a lane that doesn’t exist & just looks weak. https://t.co/NqkNF42QHm— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 20, 2023
Desantis had 3 days to think about it. And the best he can come up with is Soros, Soros, Soros … we won’t get involved … and I don’t know anything about paying porn stars. And MAGA made him into a genius because the dope was able to beat a weak candidate who had no money.— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 20, 2023
I’m sure there is a non-MAGA Republican constituency for Desantis out there somewhere. After he just spent 5 years trying to win them over, he burned it all down in a month. This guy was supposed to be their next big thing. Sad! pic.twitter.com/3j8tQvHtrk— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 20, 2023
I’m not sure if Desantis’s dumbass statement this morning was intended to piss everyone off and burn every bridge he still had left with the base, but that is what is happening. Couldn’t happen to anyone more deserving. pic.twitter.com/5ncIfnQtIA— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 20, 2023
A brief note to those making the "they all line up behind the nominee" argument. That was true in the past, and the rest of this post suggests it will be true if Trump wins, but are you really confident usually US political precedent to predict the behavior of this cult of personality?
It really doesn’t matter if Desantis can somehow beat an indicted Trump in a primary.— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 20, 2023
What matters is whether he can get all of the people ripping him to shreds right now to show up to the polls after he just defeated Trump.
Good luck with that.
Remember how the establishment press embraced Vance as an alternative to Trump?
I've been asked by multiple reporters if an indictment would lead me to rescind my endorsement of Donald Trump. The answer is: hell no. A politically motivated prosecution makes the argument for Trump stronger. We simply don't have a real country if justice depends on politics.— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) March 18, 2023
Trump responds to Desantis’s presser, alluding that he may have sexually abused a teenage boy. pic.twitter.com/v2Uq38XWM7— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 20, 2023
The Empire Strikes Back. pic.twitter.com/QW0fps3ztK— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 20, 2023
Trump Allies Use Expected Indictment To Try To Turn GOP Against DeSantis https://t.co/dmS4IaYDjk via @TPM— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) March 20, 2023
Well, you can’t say we didn’t warn you. pic.twitter.com/w3XelwomAu— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 20, 2023
Desantis is taking a beating on Bannon’s show: “This is not an acceptable response … This is one of the most unbelievable, feckless, weasel, consultant-driven responses you’ve ever heard .. A bunch of weasel hobbidy-gob words. What does he even mean? Oh, he’s Soros funded …” pic.twitter.com/FheUcj4B7y— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 20, 2023
Donald Trump's loyalists are outraged at Ron DeSantis:— Republican Accountability (@AccountableGOP) March 20, 2023
Bannon: "Gov. DeSantis, you're better than this. That was a weasel approach. Don't throw anything about the pornstar. I don't need to hear it from you."
Lindell: "DeSantis is the Trojan horse we thought he was." pic.twitter.com/K9RuXrxXRv
Roger Stone on Desantis: “Who’s paying for this book tour, which is a thinly-veiled campaign announcement tour, and what do they expect to get for it?” pic.twitter.com/MeBGhPuzNJ— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 17, 2023
So absurd: Kevin McCarthy begs MAGA not to protest any indictment, while agreeing with Trump that it's a witch hunt. Republicans created this incoherent mess by attacking any/all investigations targeting Trump as a deep state plot for six years running:https://t.co/B2EwefzSXb— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) March 20, 2023
Former Trump supporters now shocked that he lacks class and dignity. pic.twitter.com/YJIeWStS9e— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 20, 2023
Gosh, it pains me to do this again. But do this again, I must. They make me do it.— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) March 20, 2023
Started / Going pic.twitter.com/sKbAxA4Ck3
The earliest records for intentional castration to produce eunuchs are from the Sumerian city of Lagash in the second millennium BC. https://t.co/sq736gPF5U— Richard M. Nixon (@dick_nixon) March 19, 2023
Worst Pornhub description ever https://t.co/oxOmUELDv7— Jeff Timmer (@jefftimmer) March 20, 2023
One final interesting twist.
Depending on where law enforcement tries to arrest Trump (if they do), this could end up becoming a much more important story than any of us realized. https://t.co/NZXvRWpoXr— Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D (@RVAwonk) March 19, 2023