Donald Trump was considered such a “threat” to Washington’s established order that Democrats talked about impeaching him a month before he actually took office.
Then, after years of promoting lies about Trump, they impeached him twice over dubious claims, with the help of Liz Cheney-style Republicans. And now, they and their media allies appear to be urging the Justice Department to go after Trump for the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.
Trump was so awful that the left dubbed him the biggest threat to the nation’s survival and even Cheney has said Trump should never be near the White House again.
Yet a curious thing is happening on the way to the 2024 elections.
As bad as the media, the Democrats and those Cheney-like Republicans want to make Trump out to be, they also are now fashioning the narrative that Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is worse than allegedly the neo-Hitler we elected in November 2016.
The latest in this attack is warmongering, pseudo-conservative Max Boot of The Washington Post. Last week, Boot wrote a column in which he declared DeSantis – who officially and publicly has time and again ruled out running for president in 2024 – a “bigger threat to the Republic” than Trump because DeSantis is “smarter” than the 45th president.
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How can one of 50 governors in an admittedly large state be worse than the biggest threat the nation has seen in nearly a century – which Boot once labeled Trump.
Conservative journalist Drew Holden tweeted a screenshot of a September 2020 column in which Boot declared “Trump is the worst threat to our democracy since the 1930s.” Maybe Boot was referring to FDR.
“Actually, the more I read about DeSantis,” Boot wrote, “the more he reminds me not of Trump but of another disgraced Republican president. Smart and disciplined but reclusive and unpleasant: Who does that remind you of? That’s right: Richard M. Nixon.”
And of course, Boot tossed in the obligatory leftist talking point about all Republicans being racist, as Nixon “catered to white bigotry.”
“DeSantis seems hellbent on carrying on the disreputable legacy of Tricky Dick, and with even less respect for democratic norms than Nixon displayed,” Boot wrote in smearing DeSantis.
What’s the evidence for this? Well, Boot cites Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law and its “anti-riot” law, adopted after Black Lives Matter destroyed city after city to honor the late George Floyd.
Boot apparently forgot these laws were duly passed by Florida’s elected Republican-led Legislature.
Add these to DeSantis fighting back against the liberal media, and Boot notes that Florida’s governor promotes one of “the most alarming assaults on free speech and academic freedom since the dark days of McCarthyism in the 1950s when Nixon rose to power.”
There is it, not just Nixon and Trump, but Sen. Joe McCarthy as well.
“His record reveals a troubling pattern of authoritarianism and vindictiveness that would be extremely dangerous in the Oval Office,” Boot added. “Just because DeSantis is smarter than Trump doesn’t mean that he is any less dangerous. In fact, he might be an even bigger threat for that very reason.”
But that’s just part of the new left-wing narrative about Florida’s popular and potent governor. It’s been growing for months, and will likely pick up steam as DeSantis nears re-election in November.
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Last month, Business Insider trotted out Ruth Ben-Ghiat, an alleged historian at New York University, who claimed DeSantis is a “very dangerous individual.” “He’s dangerous,” Ben-Ghiat explained, “because he is equally repressive, but doesn’t have the baggage of Trump. It’s hard to have the baggage of Trump.”
The evidence of how “repressive” DeSantis is included his enacting the anti-grooming parental rights’ education law, the “Stop WOKE” law that prohibits anti-white racism in workplaces and schools, and the creation of the state’s new election-integrity unit that will ensure voters are who they say they are.
In May, the NeverTrump Lincoln Project, a political consulting firm that was co-founded by a sex groomer of young men and which is best known for how many elections its clients lose, proclaimed DeSantis was one of the “crazy ones,” along with GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz and Republican Sen. Rick Scott.
Back in April, MSNBC columnist Michael Cohen called DeSantis the “most dangerous figure in American politics” – apparently for enacting laws Cohen did not like.
Cohen’s ill-tempered screed followed comments by left-leaning Republican former congressman David Jolly of Pinellas County, who told MSNBC in January that DeSantis was “far more dangerous than Donald Trump.”
Last week, Rich Lowry of the conservative magazine National Review, answered these critiques.
“This is an extraordinary level of hysteria over a competent, popular Sunbelt governor who has never schemed to reverse the outcome of an election,” Lowry said of liberals – who need little impetus or incentive to go into full-blown hysterical mode.
“There is nothing aberrant about him [DeSantis],” Lowry wrote.
“DeSantis may be ‘Trumpy’ in notable respects, but he doesn’t exhibit any of Trump’s character flaws,” Lowry added. “He is tough on reporters, but he hasn’t engaged in any taunting or gratuitous insults. He is a sharp political player, which isn’t unusual of powerful governors but isn’t fundamentally driven by personal vendettas. He hasn’t governed via tweet, with seat-of-the-pants edicts quickly reversed or forgotten when he’s talked out of them.”
Meanwhile, DeSantis also “is a voracious consumer of information and isn’t prone to ill-informed riffs,” wrote Lowry. “He hasn’t shown a chronic inability to distinguish between his personal interest and the public interest. He pays close attention to his voters but is willing to pursue policies that aren’t driven by his base, such as higher teacher pay and robust environmental protection. And, of course, he has never once lost an election to Joe Biden, and cast about for any reason to deny the result out of ego and pique.”
“In all the ways that should matter, in short, DeSantis is better than Trump, and compared to the former president, he is reassuringly normal. In a better world, this would win him some grudging praise from unexpected quarters. Instead, because he’s a conservative Republican with some chance to be his party’s presidential nominee, he is ipso facto considered a threat to the republic.”
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DeSantis probably shouldn’t take these smear jobs personally.
By 2024, the left will totally rehab Trump and will go into overtime and overdrive to convince a nation that is increasingly rejecting liberalism that whoever the Republican nominee is in 2024 will be “worse,” more “dangerous,” or more “threatening” than the greatest threat to our democracy ever.