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Soon We— And Trump— Won’t Have Meatball Ron DeSantis To Kick Around Any More

I was in college at Stony Brook on the North Shore of Long Island. The big money on the North Shore was relatively quiet. If you wanted to see loud money you headed south— to the Hamptons. In 1967 or ‘8 some friends piled into my VW van and we drove the Hamptons. We drove around Southampton, East Hampton, Westhampton Beach, Bridgehampton… It was winter and we wanted to see what it was like. It wasn’t loud; it was empty for the winter. We figured out the area is a summer getaway for affluent New Yorkers (and beyond). May years later a friend of mine told me his ex-wife arrived on a private seaplane and was still fighting with another passenger, shrill, as she was getting off the plane and fell into the Atlantic. In my mind the Hamptons became synonymous with wealth, inbed prestige and opulence, attracting celebrities, business moguls (particularly from Wall Street) and influential individuals from all walks of life— including, of course, politics. Due to its status as a high-end vacation spot with lots of free-flowing money, the Hamptons have become a significant location for political fundraising events for both of the corrupt establishment parties.

Over a month ago, Meatball’s finance team put together a couple of fundraisers for him in the Hamptons. No one was buying any tickets, so they slashed the prices for the Southampton event from $6,600 perversion to $3,300. That didn’t help and last weekend 2 out of the 3 events were cancelled, further cementing in the minds of the donor class that DeSantis is a loser. The same weekend, RFK Jr was raking in piles of cash there. Murdoch’s NYC newspaper reported that Caroline Wren, a big GOP political fundraiser, said “This weekend broke DeSantis’ campaign. I don’t know anyone who went. George Santos could’ve pulled off a better fundraising swing in the Hamptons than Ron DeSantis did this past weekend… They’re starting to look at other places. Some are looking at Tim Scott, some are turning to RFK Jr. and some in the GOP are coming home to Trump.” Another source said “The DeSantis experiment is dead. Donors aren’t coming to his events because they don’t see any return on investment.”

Earlier this week, John Nichols noted that Meatball Ron “is starting to look like a Scott Walker-lever loser.” His polling is horrible and it gets worse everyday and he has the stench of a loser, which Trump uses to describe him now. He has no grassroots support and has been getting all his money from the billionaire class— and that’s been drying up. “Once heralded by the mainstream media as the alternative to Trump,” wrote Nichols, “DeSantis is now taking a pounding in the press. ‘DeSantis Can’t Shake Trump’s Long Shadow,’ warns U.S. News and World Report. ‘There Is No Ron DeSantis 2.0,’ asserts Politico in a dismal assessment of prospects for a campaign reset. The Atlantic simply notes ‘The Humiliation of Ron DeSantis.’ This all sounds oddly familiar to those of us who chronicled the rise and fall of another GOP ‘star’ who imagined that a reputation as a headline-grabbing Republican governor, along with a penchant for mouthing social-conservative dogma, would be enough to win a Republican presidential nomination.”

Eight years ago this summer, Scott Walker was the hottest commodity in GOP politics. The recently reelected governor of Wisconsin had joined the 2016 presidential field with a splashy announcement that drew the national press corps to an exposition center amid the suburban sprawl of what was then a reliably Republican county. Walker went live that night with Sean Hannity on Fox News— attacking “lame ideas” from “the left” such as the minimum wage. The next morning, images of the 47-year-old career politician plunging into a crowd of seemingly enthusiastic supporters were splashed across the front pages of the nation’s newspapers, as the New York Times reported that Walker would cast himself as a cultural conservative “who would defend the ‘unborn,’ the Americans who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds, and more broadly the conservative and traditional citizens who feel under attack from what they consider coastal elites.”
Republican operatives assured reporters that the Wisconsinite had what it took to grab the GOP nod and take back the White House from President Barack Obama’s Democrats. Walker, South Carolina Republican Party chair Matt Moore announced, had “rocketed to the top tier of candidates.” A Reuters analysis noted that “a resume that appeals to conservatives” had “placed him among the top contenders for his party’s nomination in poll after poll.” In Iowa, he led surveys of likely Republican participants in the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. In New Hampshire, the first primary state, headlines reported that Walker was “surging.”
But, within weeks of its formal launch, there were signs that Walker’s campaign was unraveling. There were money problems. Staffing problems. Messaging problems. And Donald Trump problems, which surfaced when the political newcomer shredded Walker in debates. By September, just two months after he started running, Walker’s poll numbers had tanked to roughly zero. He quit the race with a feeble call for Republicans to unite against Trump and then, when political reality finally dawned on him, repositioned himself as a Trump enthusiast.
Defeated for reelection in 2018, Walker is now in the business of giving vapid advice to losing political candidates. He even has a tip for DeSantis: “light a fire with primary and caucus voters with some really bold ideas.” Walker doesn’t have an actual plan for DeSantis; just a word salad of political happy talk. The failed governor turned presidential candidate of 2015 says the failed governor turned presidential candidate of 2023 needs to “be lean and, at the same time, he needs to go bold. I know this firsthand.”
While Walker’s practical advice is trite– what candidate doesn’t want to “be lean” and “go bold”?— he’s right about his area of expertise.
Few Republicans know so much about getting beaten to a political pulp by Trump as Walker. But DeSantis is rapidly accumulating his own “firsthand knowledge” of how to tank a campaign for the Republican presidential nod.

Tara Palmeri has been on the DeSantis beat for Puck for months. I got the feeling today that she knows her beat is a dead end. Yesterday, she wrote that “It’s been a long, harrowing fortnight for Ron DeSantis, the former putative political wunderkind who I’ve been reporting for months was more of a Republican donor’s fantasy of a candidate than an actual voter’s. But after watching DeSantis shed 38 staffers, and after assessing days of leaked memos and background quotes promising a great reset, those heavily invested in the DeSantasy are now wondering if it’s time to jump ship, and to whom. Many are looking hard at how DeSantis fares in Iowa and New Hampshire. ‘It’s still a two person race,’ said Canary CEO Dan Eberhart, a former Trump donor who has bundled and maxed out to DeSantis. ‘DeSantis needs to make a shift and make a decisive showing in Iowa or it’s going to be a one man race. He’s spending too much and needs to adjust.’ He continued: ‘He needs to tell voters what he’s going to do for them, and drop a lot of the culture war stuff.’”

DeSantis can’t hear the people who are saying that to him. Extremism and culture war is all he’s ever been, going right back to his time in Congress when he was a founding member of the neo-fascist, anti-social safety net “Freedom” Caucus. Palmeri wrote that “just based on his four-day schedule in New Hampshire this weekend, I don’t see a great pivot and neither do the party leaders and activists that I’ve spoken to recently. Without being offered a schedule, the rabid D.C. press corps has flown up just to observe this alleged reset of a semi-cash-starved candidate. From the invites I’ve cobbled together, DeSantis does not seem to be taking the advice of John McCain’s old hands, who advocated in 2007 for the former war hero to essentially set up camp in the state— a strategy which resulted in his nomination the following year. Instead, DeSantis has a schedule packed with more intimate events, instead of the back-to-back town halls that he so desperately needs to reach thousands of voters inexpensively. So far, DeSantis has only held one town hall in New Hampshire, whereas Nikki Haley will hold one in whatever town will have her. Tim Scott hosted one in Derry last week that won him plaudits for being upbeat and forward-looking.”

And speaking of Tim Scott, he may have buried DeSantis yesterday by— sweetly as ever— telling a reporter in a Des Moines suburb that he hoped that “every person in our country, and certainly running for president, would appreciate that” slavery had no benefits to enslaved people. “There is no silver lining in slavery,” Scott said. “Slavery was really about separating families, about mutilating humans and even raping their wives. It was just devastating.” Foolishly, DeSantis is still defending his stand on slavery. It’s just another reason it’s all over for him, even if his campaign is still twitching.

A last warning from Palmeri: “As the candidate’s dearth of natural talent becomes clear, and his campaign endures a meaningful shake up, the Anyone-But-Trump donor class is, as Shakespeare once wrote, examining other beauties… The Glenn Youngkin fantasy persists”— with the donor class.

Yesterday Noah Berlatsky wrote that Meatball’s campaign “is already melting into a grease stain of incompetence. In February, DeSantis was only polling about two points behind Trump. Since then, though, his standing has plummeted. According to 538's tracker, he's now at 18.8 percent, while Trump has surged to 52.3 percent— a 33.5 point gap… In a desperate effort to reset, the campaign announced this week that it would cut a third of its staff to try to sell itself to potential funders as a lean, scrappy, focused underdog effort. Its claims to renewed competence, however, were rather undermined by Nate Hochman, a communications staffer [— hired by the campaign because of his well-known fascistic politics—] who promoted a video featuring Nazi imagery superimposed over DeSantis's face. Hochman was quickly fired. But the Nazi imagery is not exactly a surprise. DeSantis is a virulently poisonous figure who has built his reputation in Florida on rabid hatred of LGBT people. He's done everything in his power to prevent students in the state from learning about Black history. He also transported immigrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard in an anti-immigrant publicity stunt which may have constituted illegal human.

It's tempting to believe that the embarrassing failures of DeSantis's campaign are the natural backlash to his bigotry, cruelty, and authoritarianism. Or, as one characteristic recent article put it, "Being an Unlikable Jerk Not Working Out So Well for Ron DeSantis." Book banning, human trafficking, slavery apology, Nazi memes: maybe DeSantis is too much of a fascist scumbag for even the GOP.
The truth though is less encouraging. DeSantis's struggles have less to do with the hate and authoritarianism than with the fact that he's running against the equally odious but inexplicably beloved Donald Trump. In fact, with Trump still firmly ensconced at the top of the field, it seems clear that "fascist scumbag" is the GOP's preferred brand.



Plenty of 'dumber than shit' going around.

1) any money that thinks the nazi voters will ever nominate anyone with a higher melanin content than meathead is dumber than shit. also wasting their money.

While scott and ramasmarmy might sound good to the money... the nazi voters will NEVER put someone with melanin (or a vagina, for that matter) at the podium in their reichstag. Nazi voters, as kinda indicated in the last paragraph, vote their hate. full stop. nothing else.

2) trump is their god. only trump can fall off that pedestal. nobody else can push him off. and it is not in trump's nature to do or say anything that will cause him to fall off in …

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