Trump/Desantis Feud Shows That Fealty To Trump Must Be Unwavering

Apparently, dressing your kid up in a "Make America Great Again" onesie just isn't good enough.

Poor Ron DeSantis. He ran in Florida's Republican Gubernatorial primary as "the Trump guy," and he won bigly. But publicly contradicting the president may cost him the endorsement.

DeSantis came from far behind in the race by positioning himself as the biggest Trump supporter of the bunch. He even ran an infamous (or adorable, depending on how you look at it) ad showing him reading "The Art of the Deal" to his infant son and teaching his toddler daughter to "build a wall" with her toy blocks. He even dressed the baby up in a "Make America Great Again" onesie. As with everything else in America, how you feel about the ad depends on how you feel about the president. If you're a Trump supporter, it's freakin' adorable. If you're not - well, it's borderline child abuse.

Whatever it was, it worked. Trump endorsed DeSantis (apparently over the objection of some of his advisers) and DeSantis won. But that was then, and this is now. And now the president is irked at the former Congressman. Bigly.

Last week, Trump drew criticism for his Tweets claiming that the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico had been inflated to make him look bad. DeSantis put out a public statement that “Ron DeSantis is committed to standing with the Puerto Rican community, especially after such a tragic loss of life. He doesn’t believe any loss of life has been inflated." Considering the number of Puerto Ricans who have moved to Florida in the wake of the hurricane, that was probably a smart move.

But Trump is taking it personally. He doesn't like to be corrected. And he values personal loyalty above all other qualities (as a number of Republicans who dared to criticize him publicly have learned.) Now, Trump is saying that he won't go to Florida to campaign for DeSantis.

DeSantis already had a big target on his back. First of all, Florida is a big swing state. Second, his Democratic opponent is Andrew Gillum, beloved by the socialist wing of the party and the liberal media. The press is already framing this race as the battle between the Bernie Sanders backers versus the Trump backers. And we all know which side they want to see win. DeSantis is going to need every Trump supporter in Florida to turn out for him in November. A rally with the president would have been a big help. The president being pissed off at him will not.

This whole episode illustrates what is to me the biggest problem with Trump: he's petty, vindictive and he's making enemies of his most loyal supporters (just ask Jeff Sessions.) He's already destroyed the careers of some great conservatives (Mark Sanford) and driven other Republicans into retirement (Paul Ryan, Jeff Flake, Bob Corker.) He insulted his way through the presidential primary and now has his former victim Ted Cruz groveling for his support. Sniveling cowardice is not a good look on anyone. You wonder why Ted Cruz is facing a tough reelection battle? Maybe it's because he's now praising the man who insulted his wife's appearance and accused his father of assassinating JFK. I can't think of any job in the world worth suffering that kind of humiliation.

As for Ron DeSantis, he may learn the hard way that if you board the Trump train, you can't ever criticize the conductor. EVER. No matter how much MAGA swag you put on your kids.

Comments
No. 1-6
FloridaMan
FloridaMan

Ron DeSantis gets what he gets. I don't want my governor taking marching orders from the President in D.C., which is why I didn't vote for him in the primary. He's got my vote in December because I'm not that vindictive, but he put a paid the cover charge to get into this club and he's staying 'til last call. The Republican Party will learn all-too-late that Donald Trump was its worst nightmare.

sjplwc
sjplwc

//This whole episode illustrates what is to me the biggest problem with Trump: he's petty, vindictive and he's making enemies of his most loyal supporters //

Well put. Among the conservative camp there are really just a few factions: those who think DT can do no wrong, those who will give him credit for nothing he does even when it advances conservative values, those who are troubled by his personae and behavior but support him anyway because of his policies, and those who don't believe his often sound policy results justify his gross personal conduct. I am among the last group, but realize nothing I can say will change the minds/hearts of those in the third category (Don't care for his antics/overlook them because of his policies.)

For me, nothing rationalizes conservatives supporting a lying, puerile, reckless bully for the office of President of the United States. He embarrasses our cause and, about twice-a-week, supplies a ghastly national example of how NOT to act. Some things are simply never worthy of being defended -- his personal history, behavior and ascent to the highest office on the planet among them.

By overlooking Trump's hideous comportment in the name of "gotta beat the Democrats at all costs", we Constitutionalists, conservatives, the Christian-Right, etc. have probably lost our moral and intellectual credibility for a generation. And rightly so.

That kind of unprincipled, bottom-line thinking used to be the unscrupulous Left's angle (see indissoluble support for Bill and Hillary Clinton) and we rightly blasted them for it. Now we've joined their rankly utilitarian manner of thinking in the name of "winning". We've become just like them. It breaks my heart.

MTNJACKET
MTNJACKET

Latest indications are that Cruz is not really facing a tough reelection battle. And, my bet is that DeSantis will have the President's support for Governor. DeSantis may have to concede, truthfully, that much of the extreme publicity about the hurricane death toll is simply a political attack against Mr. Trump. The BS directed at him was the real issue that Mr. Trump should have ignored but didn't. The federal response was about all that could be expected on an island with a corrupt, socialist leaning government without a reliable infrastructure and which is afflicted with union labor woes.

JASmius
JASmius

Any GOP candidate for any significant office that can escape Trump showing up to gloryhog - oh, sorry, I mean "campaign for him" - has dodged a YUGE bullet.

CMacchiato
CMacchiato

I wouldn't describe anything Ted Cruz has done as groveling, but you're correct about the rest of it.