THE NEW YORK TIMES BEGINS TO REHABILITATE ORANGE HITLER: Jamelle Bouie writes that Ron DeSantis lacks the ‘soft edges and eccentricity’ of the actual Donald Trump.
Yes, when viewed from the perspective of partisan media, DeSantis looks almost unstoppable. But to a typical person — someone who may have heard about these stunts but doesn’t know much about DeSantis otherwise — he looks a lot like a bully, someone willing to play high-stakes games with people’s lives for the sake of his own ego and advancement.
Well, you might say, Donald Trump is a bully, too. Yes, he is. But Donald Trump is also a lifelong celebrity with a public persona that is as much about “The Apprentice” and even “Home Alone 2” as it is about his political career. What’s more, Trump has the skills of a celebrity. He’s funny, he has stage presence, and he has a kind of natural charisma. 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.
Exit quote: “Ah the ol’ ‘every subsequent republican is worse than the last one’ trope. You can set your watch by it.”
Yes we can!, as a legendary community organizer liked to say.