Donald Trump Thrives on Losing
Plus: Trump, DeSantis, and the GOP’s Culture-War Politics
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ROBERT TRACINSKI: Making Failure Great Again
USUALLY, IN POLITICS, nothing succeeds like success—and nothing fails like failure. So why hasn’t that happened with Donald Trump?
Starting in 2020, Donald Trump has taken a series of losses that ought to make him disappear into the memory hole of Republican politics. Not only did he lose the election, he lost all of his post-election lawsuits challenging the results. In the 2022 midterms, his biggest backers and the most vocal and important election deniers—the ones who would have been in charge of tipping the vote his way in 2024—were almost universally rejected, costing Republicans the big rebound they were expecting.
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JILL D. LAWRENCE: Trump, DeSantis, and the GOP’s Culture-War Politics.
FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S idea of free speech is the freedom to lie, insult people and defame E. Jean Carroll as many times as he wants. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose book is called The Courage to Be Free, is currently defending himself in free-speech lawsuits filed by the Walt Disney Company (over his retaliation against the company for criticizing his law limiting speech about LGBTQ issues in classrooms) and an Orlando restaurant (over his restrictions on drag shows).
These are the two top candidates for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, or will be tonight, after DeSantis makes it official in a Twitter chat with Twitter owner and conspiracy-theory promoter Elon Musk. And then there’s Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. He is not yet in the race, but speculation about him is rising. He released a campaign-like video last week, one signal of many raising hopes among Republicans who see him as a more electable conservative than Trump or DeSantis.
‘What Hath God Wrought?’ Today in 1844, Samuel Morse sent the first telegraphic message from the old Supreme Court in the basement of the Capitol. It was an often-overlooked aspect of Capitol Hill tours I gave fresh out of college back before iPhones and Twitter. Never before has it been easier to reach out touch someone, but before the telegraph, the Pony Express reigned. What hath God wrought? indeed.
Failure to launch… The DeSantis video announcement went live. His website is live. But the Twitter Spaces? Utter disaster. Joe Biden got a dig in.
The Uvalde school shooting… What we know one year later.
Ride and die… Seatbelt usage in my home state of Ohio has dropped to a 20 year low.
Too large to discharge? The House Dems have all their signatures, but need five Republicans. Will any cross the line for a guilt-free debt limit hike? My guess is no.
The gas stove wars… Re-emerge while Congress trades shots over the debt limit.
A housing bust… Comes for small-time investors.
Meet the DeSanti… The profile of Casey DeSantis (and that’s Deh, not Dee, Santis) you didn’t know you needed.
In local news… A man was arrested at a McLean preschool with an AK-47 and a bunch of ammunition. He had plans to “make his way” to the CIA.
Meanwhile, in Texas… A House panel concluded that AG Paxton, who inexplicably still has a job, committed impeachable offenses.
..and the Cruz poll numbers are in… He leads Rep. Colin Allred 42 to 37. Seven percent say they want to vote for somebody else, and 14% “don’t know.”
And in the “Free State of Florida”… A single parent’s objection led to the banning of National youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman’s 2021 Inaugural poem because she claimed it contained “hate messages.” On the form, you can tell this parent really put in the work:
But what do I know? Team DeSantis is confident that giving fringe parents a heckler’s veto is going to play well, and nobody dare question his political acumen. You can read the “hateful” poem here. The mayor has invited Gorman to do a reading of her poem in Miami-Dade.
In Tim Miller’s New Orleans… The mayor is under fire for trying to circumvent “public disclosure rules for anti-recall mailer” in what sounds like the most New Orleans political corruption story in recent memory.
Haley hits DeSantis… In a new ad entitled ‘Echo’. And does a pretty good good job in a scrum, too. But will she ever hit Trump as hard? (You know the answer to that.)
"Bigo" Barnett gets Big’o Sentence… The man who put his feet on Nancy Pelosi’s desk gets 54 months in the big(o) house. (OK, I’ll stop.) He was unrepentant, WUSA9 reports:
Prosecutors said he had also tried to profit from his notoriety and entered a recorded jailhouse phone call into evidence showing he’d suggested copyrighting the wording of the crude note he’d left behind for then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reading, “Hey Nancy, Bigo was here, b*****.” In their memo, prosecutors said Barnett also sold autographed photographs of himself with his feet up on what he thought was Pelosi’s desk.
The GOP is escalating its war on ideas… Writes Molly Jong-Fast in Vanity Fair.
The Two Faces of Ron DeSantis… John Stossell, in Reason: “Sometimes he calls for freedom, and sometimes he preaches something darker.”
Goodbye to a writer… John Nova Lomax, (1970-2023).
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