Ron DeSantis on Liberty and Leadership
Discerning between political substance and clickbait churn in the DeSantis/Morgan interview.
Hours before sunrise each day, our editors are reviewing reliable and trustworthy media sources. That review results in an 0800 editors meeting to determine, as a digest of news and policy, the few topics that deserve further analysis and other “below the fold” topics to be covered in our Executive Summary section. Moreover, we determine what we are not going to cover because it amounts to “clickbait churn.” Some news junkies thrive on that churn, but the fact is, it’s a mainstay of both the commercial Leftmedia talkingheads and scribes and, unfortunately, most of their conservative media counterparts because clicks equal advertising revenue.
The reality is that, most mornings, the majority of news we review is advertising churn, and that is a disservice to all Americans.
Case in point this week would be the relentless speculation about whether Donald Trump was going to be indicted by a partisan New York prosecutor. I covered that issue the day after Trump took the “indictment” bait and set the social media churn machine on fire last week.
Took what bait? The Demos are working overtime to ensure Trump is the Republican’s 2024 nominee, certain that even Joe Biden, on his deathbed, could defeat Trump again. And typical of how Beltway political analyst get this latest dust-up wrong, Charles Hurt insists that the media has fallen for Trump’s “Let’s get arrested!” hyperbolics: “The political press, which has vowed to ignore Mr. Trump this time so that he doesn’t get reelected — fell for it once again…” Hurt has this exactly backwards. The Leftmedia, with their right media counterparts dullardly playing along, did not fall for anything. These Demo Party publicists want Trump to destroy the Republican primary so the Demo nominee can win.
That notwithstanding, under the title “The Relentless Prosecutorial Persecution of Donald Trump,” I came to Trump’s defense against the absurd prosecutorial overreach.
Another case in point would be comments by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in an interview this week, every word being spun one way or the other to feed the churn machine.
No, DeSantis did not “Rip Trump’s character and chaotic leadership style,” as interviewer Piers Morgan put it, asserting “Gov. Ron DeSantis has finally taken the gloves off and launched a blistering attack on his former mentor, former President Donald Trump.”
But what DeSantis did say ahead of announcing his candidacy for president in 2024 is important.
There is one thing Trump accomplished that DeSantis would like to accomplish, and that is to serve our nation as president. There are many attributes that DeSantis brings to office, including his extraordinary military and academic background, that Trump would like to claim.
DeSantis has clearly proven himself in one of the nation’s largest and politically most significant states, Florida, as affirmed by his landslide reelection last November. As House Republicans limped across the finish line nationally, barely taking control of the House and losing the Senate, despite exaggerated rumors of a “red wave,” in Florida, DeSantis won 62 of the state’s 67 counties and beat Democrat challenger Charlie Crist by nearly 20 points. On that resounding victory, which included substantial Hispanic and Demo crossover votes, DeSantis declared: “We have embraced freedom. We have maintained law and order. We have protected the rights of parents. We have respected our taxpayers, and we reject woke ideology. We fight the woke in the legislature. We fight the woke in the schools. We fight the woke in the corporations. We will never ever surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die!”
And he has sustained that momentum every day since his reelection.
So, here is what he had to say in his interview with Morgan related to Trump.
Acknowledging his record as governor and his national appeal, Morgan asked DeSantis how he differed from Trump. DeSantis responded: “Well, I think there’s a few things. The approach to COVID was different. I would have fired somebody like Fauci. I think he got way too big for his britches, and I think he did a lot of damage.”
I covered this in depth in a 2020 election postmortem under the title, “Trump’s Biggest Blunder — Anthony Fauci,” noting that was the fatal error in Trump’s ChiCom Virus pandemic response, and it cost our nation irreparable damage. It proved a major contributing factor to his loss of a second term because it enabled Fauci to promote the Demos’ bulk-mail ballot fraud strategy.
Astoundingly, as one of his last acts as president, Trump awarded a Presidential Commendation to Fauci.
On all the Trump drama, DeSantis said, “The way we run the government, I think, is no daily drama, focus on the big picture and put points on the board, and I think that’s something that’s very important.”
Unfortunately, Trump thrived on the chaos and drama, which I warned about just months after his election — pleading with him to stop undermining the good he was doing by “swapping spit with jackasses.” Notably, a well-placed person within Trump’s inner circle mentioned that Patriot Post articles were frequently included in White House staff briefings. Apparently they missed the one on endless and mindless tweets.
A wise friend and a very astute political observer, Cal Thomas, offered this observation about all the Trump chaos and drama: “Trump was questioned at a White House press briefing about polls showing his popularity was declining. Asked to explain, he responded, ‘Nobody likes me. It can only be my personality. That’s all.’ It was a rare moment of transparency for him.”
As for Trump’s trademark petulance, like calling the governor “DeSanctimonious,” DeSantis responded: “I kinda like it, it’s long, it’s got a lot of vowels. … I mean, you can call me whatever you want, just as long as you also call me a winner because that’s what we’ve been able to do in Florida, is put a lot of points on the board and really take this state to the next level.”
He would not take Morgan’s bait on Trump name-calling: “To me, it’s just background noise. It’s not important for me to be fighting with people on social media. It’s not accomplishing anything for the people I represent. So, we really just focus on knocking out victories, day after day, and if I got involved in all the undertow, I would not be able to be an effective governor.”
Notably, Trump exploded after Morgan asked DeSantis about the bogus Trump prosecution, and he responded humorously, “I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair.” Trump ranted that DeSantis is a “wheelchair over the cliff kind of guy,” and called for investigations of his campaign.
Fact is, DeSantis has strenuously and rightly defended Trump, and slammed the Manhattan DA for pursuing an indictment, saying, “The Manhattan district attorney is a Soros-funded prosecutor and so he, like other Soros-funded prosecutors, they weaponize their office to impose a political agenda on society at the expense of the rule of law and public safety.”
Recall that ahead of DeSantis’s first election as governor in 2018, Trump declared: “Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader, Yale and then Harvard, who would make a great Governor of Florida. He loves our country. He’s a true fighter.” Indeed he was and is.
DeSantis told Morgan: “We had a good relationship and I think one of the reasons he got to know me [when I was in Congress] is because I saw the Russia collusion thing as a farce from the beginning. Very few people said that. We had a handful of us in Congress that were fighting back against that. So, I would go on TV, and I would defend him when it wasn’t popular and when it was kinda politically risky, but I just thought it was the right thing to do. I thought that he had good ideas for the country. And then when I became governor, his last two years as president, we worked very well together. He had a place in Florida and worked well with us to serve our state.”
In closing, Morgan noted correctly that DeSantis made a fatal mistake with Trump. “What’s that?” asked DeSantis, to which Morgan responded, “You got too popular.”
Indeed, in typical slash-and-burn fashion, Trump assailed DeSantis after the interview: “Now that Ron DeSanctimonious is finally admitting he’s in the Race…let me explain the facts. He is, for a Republican, an average Governor.” He then insisted Morgan was “a ratings-challenged TV host” and then started trashing Florida. Par for the Trump course.
Likewise, Trump recently condemned Fox News and The Wall Street Journal for daring to write anything favorable about anyone but Trump.
Recall that popular Fox host Tucker Carlson privately articulated sentiments many share about Trump, even before the J6 protests: “We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait. I hate him passionately. … What he’s good at is destroying things. He’s the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong.” Given the outrage that generated from his fans, Carlson is trying to make amends with Trump.
Regarding Trump’s destructive fratricidal attacks, DeSantis said, “My view, though, is we should want the country to do well, I want other Republicans to do well.”
That clearly contrasts his approach with fellow Republicans and that of Trump, whose self-aggrandizing fratricidal fire is in stark contradiction to Ronald Reagan and his 11th Commandment on Republican primaries. As President, Reagan advised, “When the decisions are made as to who the candidates will be, then the 11th commandment prevails: Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.”
However, Trump didn’t just turn on his Republican opponents. In the end, Trump turned on everyone who had stuck by him through it all, those who gave his administration gravitas and legitimacy, including former VP Mike Pence, former chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, former AG William Barr and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Of the coming contest between DeSantis and Trump, political commentator Ben Shapiro concludes: “So, what can DeSantis do? The answer: It’s not really up to DeSantis. It’s up to Republican voters. It will be DeSantis’ job to remind Republican voters that Trump has won precisely one election in the last seven years; it will be the job of Republican voters to acknowledge that reality. It will be DeSantis’ job to point out that Trump didn’t clean out the executive branch and gave Fauci power; it will be the job of Republican voters to acknowledge that such criticisms aren’t ‘unfair attacks.’ It will be DeSantis’ job to remind voters of his record; it will be the job of Republican voters to look to that record rather than tweetstorms for policy victory. Will Republican voters use their heads…? We’ll find out soon enough.”
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776
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