In the early 2000s, former GOP president George W. Bush was practically the second coming of Hitler, according to the Left. When the late Senator John McCain secured the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, he was painted as the second coming of Bush. That must have made him the third coming of Hitler. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) was more or less declared a cruel and heartless jerk in the 2012 election.
Then former President Donald J. Trump burst onto the scene in 2015-2016. In the eyes of his detractors in the press and certain establishment Republicans, he was such a bad guy that he made Bush, McCain, and Romney model gentlemen by comparison. None of the men supported Trump, and that all but sealed the deal for their image rehab amongst the MSNBC crowd and readers of The New Yorker.
It seemed nobody could be worse than Trump — until Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) started gaining notoriety in recent years.
DeSantis could potentially run for higher office in 2024, or 2028. With that, we’re now seeing the Left move at a rapid pace to assail DeSantis as even eviler than Trump.
For example, in a 2016 article for Slate, New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie warned that Trump was “running a campaign of threat and intimidation” and that Trump “had opened the door to the worst passions and darkest urges of American society.” He was a “fascist.”
Once in office, Bouie claimed that Trump was a racist expressing pro-white, exclusionary immigration policy in a “crude, demagogic style.” Likewise, he accused the president of bringing racist “rhetoric to the bully pulpit of the American presidency.”
“He has taken everything coursing through the last 20 years of Republican politics and made it explicit,” he added, in reference to alleged prejudice and venom in the GOP in 2019.
In 2022, it seems that Bouie doesn’t quite remember Trump to be all that bad. Trump was charming really, Bouie now claims.
In reaction to DeSantis’ decision to fly 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Bouie claimed DeSantis “may be a more competent Trump in terms of his ability to use the levers of state to amass power, but he’s also meaner and more rigid, without the soft edges and eccentricity of the actual Donald Trump.”
Bouie also claimed that DeSantis simply doesn’t have the showmanship necessary to pull off that kind of move.
The writer also claimed that “Donald Trump is also a lifelong celebrity with a public persona” and somebody who “has the skills of a celebrity.”
“He’s funny, he has stage presence, and he has a kind of natural charisma,” Bouie opined. “He can be a bully in part because he can temper his cruelty and egoism with the performance of a clown or a showman. He can persuade an audience that he’s just kidding — that he doesn’t actually mean it.”
Did you get that? Trump is now a soft-edged, funny, and charismatic part of Americana who can command a stage.
A few years ago, he was provoking America’s worst passions, using awful, uncouth language, and stoking racial hatred — but now he’s an okay guy.
Bouie is not alone in his newfound respect for Trump and spite for DeSantis.
“Ron DeSantis is the governor of Florida, a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, and quite possibly the most dangerous figure in American politics,” MSNBC columnist Michael A. Cohen wrote in April 2022.
Cohen added, “While it’s hard to imagine any politician wresting that title away from Donald Trump, DeSantis brings something to the table that Trump lacks — his ability to translate political vindictiveness, cruelty and demagoguery into policy results.”
For Cohen, DeSantis is worse than Trump because he is smarter and actually does what he promises to do on the campaign trail.
The lesson here, of course, isn’t that DeSantis is “worse” than Trump. Nor is it a statement that DeSantis would be a better nominee in 2024 than Trump.
The takeaway is that leftists and their media allies will always smear GOP politicians who threaten their power with unseemly allegations of racism, hatred, and wickedness. Their goal with such slander is not to defeat those societal maladies, but to intimidate voters into not supporting a certain politician.
It’s always bogus, and a pretty obvious one with their sudden about-face on Trump.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.