Conservative voters across the movement may vary as to why they would consider dumping Donald Trump as their standard-bearer come 2024. Although the former president remains the favorite to retake the White House, COVID cranks may oppose the former president’s refusal to fire dictatorial Drs. Anthony Fauci and Jerome Adams, while his historic base might want to pass the torch to a younger, more disciplined apprentice in the movement. Maybe, say, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
But nobody can deny Trump’s fatal flaw, the liability everyone on the Right should come to abhor, the one on full display at what was ostensibly a midterm campaign rally on Saturday: his inability to prioritize anyone or anything — his party, his country, hell, any three of his wives — over his own enfeebled ego.
With just 72 hours to go before the polls close around the country on Tuesday, Trump unveiled his poll-tested moniker for the Florida governor: Ron “DeSanctimonious.”
The issue that ignited outrage among Republicans was not that Trump’s insult failed to ring true. The issue is how, exactly, does Trump mocking the party’s most popular sitting politician, and one whose vast coattails are required to sweep the electoral juggernaut of Florida, help the Republican Party maximize its electoral potential?
It doesn’t, obviously. If you go back and watch the clip of Trump crowd-testing the “DeSanctimonious” jab, the context renders his intention even more idiotic. Rather than tout the benefits of the Republican candidates running in the state in which he was actually rallying (Pennsylvania), Trump decided to annotate a poll of prospective GOP presidential contenders, cosseting his own ego by bragging about his own popularity.
Luckily for the GOP, their candidates, Pennsylvania’s Mehmet Oz included, seem keen to glide across the finish line regardless of Trump’s help. But remember that this is far from the first time that Trump aimed his friendly fire at his own party and that when Trump did it after the 2020 election to service his own
lie that Democrats stole his presidency, he cost the GOP the Senate, turning Vice President Kamala Harris into the swing vote of the world’s greatest deliberative body.
Beyond the “benefit” for Trump personally, Trump’s eleventh-hour jab at DeSantis was a tell. He’s scared of the governor, and depending on just how wide a margin DeSantis secures come Tuesday, maybe Trump has good reason to be scared.