Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Godzilla vs. Rodan

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.

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.

DeSantis, on the other hand, has a personal hold on almost no one. His support comes all but entirely from the combination of far-right positions, perceived viability, and a protected spot in the political hothouse, and the last two of those are quite fragile. When the fighting began in earnest, it was obvious he was going to lose that right-out-of-the-box shine quickly.

Perhaps the best guide to the battle is Ron Filipkowski, who reads GOP/MAGA tweets so we won't have to.

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?

Remember how the establishment press embraced Vance as an alternative to Trump?


One final interesting twist.

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