Ron DeSantis Has an Elizabeth Warren Problem
Plus: The Wall Street Journal’s Double Standards.
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CHARLIE SYKES: The GOP's Weird Deep Fake Campaign
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TIM MILLER: Ron DeSantis Has an Elizabeth Warren Problem.
THE OTHER DAY I HEARD FROM a Democratic strategist with a particularly apt comparison for the DeSantis proto-campaign that was too delicious to be spoken aloud in polite lefty company and thus has been entrusted to me.
To date, the Florida governor’s limp launch has been most frequently compared to the Republicans who struggled to take on the Trump juggernaut in 2016.
Maybe Ron is a replica of Scott Walker, who similarly helmed a successful conservative governorship only to flame out on the national stage before the voting even started. Or maybe he’s more like Ted Cruz, a weird and unnatural political performer who has enough bona fides with the base to finish a gentleman’s second, but lacks the charisma to go toe-to-toe with the orange menace.
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MONA CHAREN: The Wall Street Journal’s Double Standards.
The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto is befuddled. He cannot understand how people who are or once were Republican or conservative can criticize Justice Clarence Thomas. In a piece titled “Et Tu, Juan? Clarence Thomas’s Fickle Friends Pile On,” Taranto denounces Senator Mitt Romney and me for insufficient partisan zealotry.
As delighted as I am to share a subtitle with the senator (“Mitt Romney and Mona Charen go on the attack, then go silent in the face of new information”), there is nothing to Taranto’s accusation. The interest is only in what it reveals about the mindset of Taranto, and frankly, his colleagues at the Journal editorial page.
Happy Wednesday! Ron DeSantis’s campaign may be in the doldrums, but his campaign against Disney is just heating up. The new DeSantis Disney Board nullified 11th hour changes made by the Reedy Creek Improvement District. You may recall the clever legal strategy employed by them, and Team DeSantis was caught with its pants down. Whether or not the new board has the standing to nullify those is one question, but the Mouse has responded by suing DeSantis. I’m not a betting man, but my guess is this court case lasts longer than DeSantis’s non-declared bid for President does. (Read the full complaint here.)
“Disney regrets it has come to this.”
Nikki Haley wants the Disney jobs… Of course, Disney’s never gonna move, but look for her and others to continue to needle DeSantis on this completely avoidable self-own. As the boss notes: running against DeSantis, who is not the frontrunner, seems to be an odd strategy.
McCarthy gets the votes… The first salvo in the debt ceiling has been voted on in the House, and H.R. 2811, the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, passed 217 to 215. It is dead on arrival in the Senate. Obligatory: the rap. The final “AYE”? George Santos, of course. He tried to make a big deal of it, but it backfired. The four NAYS: Buck, Gaetz, Biggs, and Burchett.
Tucker Carlson… Symptom or cause? Ilya Somin argues symptom. The list of theories continues to grow, and so do the far-right laments.
Comedy hour… At the Minnesota capitol.
Separation of powers… Congress finds itself needing 67 votes to do anything about Clarence Thomas. Did it have to be this way?
How Joe Biden can win in 2024… Lis Smith in the Times: “The message is as subtle as a sledgehammer: Do you really want to hand the country over to the Republicans and relive the chaos of the Trump years?”
“A deep, nasty defeat…” David Frum in The Atlantic on the GOP and electoral lessons.
Haley’s Don Lemon moment… The standard GOP argument is going to be he’s past his prime. Maybe she hired Don?
The Bill Russell Files… I don’t know about you, but I look forward to the day where we don’t have dossiers on prominent Americans just because the FBI was run by J. Edgar Hoover.
Checking in with Rep. George Santos… He’s apparently unhappy that the National Right to Work folks are sending him their newsletter. Like it or not, getting elected means every lobbying group on earth can, you know, petition you for a redress of grievances. I read that somewhere.
Meanwhile, in Cleveland… A senior prank fooled some area politicians.
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