Let’s Stop Pretending Ron DeSantis Is Establishment

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Former President Donald Trump has superpowers. That much was established when he first stepped onto the political scene in 2015 and demonstrated his uncanny ability to transform folks on the left into crazed caricatures of themselves just by giving an utterance. It seemed that anytime he so much as sneezed, it immediately caused those who are left of center to have a collective meltdown.

But now, he has revealed another superhuman talent: The ability to turn Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis into a Romneyesque neocon just by saying unkind words about him. That’s right. Ever since Trump took a few shots at the person believed to be his most formidable opponent for the Republican presidential nomination for 2024, folks have come out of the woodwork to convince the base that DeSantis, despite proving his America First bonafides time and time again, was secretly an establishment shill in disguise the whole time.

On Twitter, several have made this very contention:

To further perpetuate this questionable narrative, others have pointed to the Lincoln Project expressing their support for DeSantis as proof that he is nothing more than a tool of the establishment GOP.

As the situation continues, we will likely be treated to more folks trying to link the governor to the old guard. But this particular theory, as they say, does not hold water.

For starters, the fact that establishment leaders and the losers at the Lincoln Project support DeSantis means absolutely nothing. These folks base their entire existence on opposing the Orange Man What Is Bad™, so of course, they would support anyone who they believe could tear him down from his pedestal. It does not mean they like DeSantis any better – he just isn’t as odious to them as Trump.

Moreover, attempting to cast the governor as a Romneyesque figure is ridiculous on its face. Does anyone truly believe that if Mitt Romney were the governor of Florida, he would have governed the way DeSantis has?

Of course not. The very idea makes about as much sense as an in-depth conversation between John Fetterman and Joe Biden.

I also happen to know that as governor, DeSantis has battled the establishment in his own state. The old guard in cities like Jacksonville and others have worked to stymie his agenda. It is one of the reasons why the candidates he backed during the primary season were anti-establishment Republicans. The legacy folks were not too keen on his Trumpian ways. However, his battles with the establishment were waged behind the scenes and not in public, which might be why some might be susceptible to believing this false narrative.

The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh made an excellent point:

DeSantis went after Disney. He took on the trans agenda. He shipped illegals to Martha’s Vineyard. He defied Fauci. If you think he’s establishment then you truly have absolutely no idea what the establishment is, how it operates, or what it wants. You are just clueless.

It is worth pointing out that many in the establishment were either silent on these moves, or opposed them outright.

The bottom line is that there is nothing establishment about Gov. Ron DeSantis. The campaign to paint him as such bears some striking similarities to the lies certain folks told by Pennsylvania Senate candidate Kathy Barnette, who unsuccessfully ran against Dr. Oz and others during the primary to get the nomination. They made up a series of lies about her and even went so far as to doctor a video interview to make it appear as if she supports the Black Lives Matter organization.

This is no different.

But realistically, this narrative is not going to fool most of the base, who adores DeSantis about as much as Trump. They spent the past four years cheering him on as he took on the activist media and worked against the progressive agenda in his state. He is far from being in the same camp as Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, or Mitch McConnell. If they are going to ensure he is not the GOP presidential nominee in 2024, they will have to try a different strategy. Perhaps they might consider explaining why Trump is the better candidate instead of resorting to deception.


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