As election day, November 8, is turning into election week or month, the outcomes are being dissected through the lens of the 2024 presidential election. What looked like a red wave initially is turning out otherwise as several swing states, perhaps after discovering on election day that their preferred Democrat candidate lost, delayed releasing any official results until they could “recount” the ballots or “find” additional ballots to put their preferred candidate in the lead. Interestingly, these delays only seem to favor Democrat candidates.
This is a repeat of 2020, and the feckless GOP leadership appears to have learned nothing over the past two years, or else they prefer to remain in minority status.
Florida was a major success with Governor Ron DeSantis winning bigly, along with Senator Marco Rubio. DeSantis should be the role model for the other 25 or so Republican governors, as he gave a master class in handling COVID prudently, based on science rather than hype, and punched back hard against the woke leftist culture infecting the rest of the country.
Many Republicans left blue hellholes like New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois, turning Florida into a deeper shade of red, leaving the hellholes a deeper shade of blue, simply by virtue of migration. This partially explains Florida’s electoral results, but much credit goes to Governor DeSantis and his governorship.
As such, DeSantis has become the darling of the media, Trump-hating RINOs, and much of the Republican establishment. Are they enamored over his ability to punch back against the Left? Or is their newfound affection due to DeSantis possibly displacing former President Donald Trump as the Republican nominee in 2024? For the anyone-but-Trump crowd, DeSantis is a gift from the heavens.
Should he win the nomination, the left will turn on him on a dime, as they did on Trump once he became the nominee in 2016. Trump quickly morphed from being a regular on Morning Joe to his new persona as a racist buffoon as soon as he became Hillary Clinton’s electoral opponent.
At the time of this writing, neither Trump nor DeSantis have announced any run for President, although Trump has hinted at it and teased a big announcement, which most assume will be his declaration of a presidential run. Maybe, maybe not? DeSantis has said nothing and is now coming off a campaign and reelection, not the time to announce that he is running for President.
If both run, it would be hard fought and nasty, as was the 2016 GOP primary season. Trump is the master at branding his opponents and not in a flattering way. The last Florida governor to learn this was “Low Energy Jeb.” Will the next one be Ron “DeSanctimonious”?
Primaries are a time of choosing as each candidate makes their case to their party’s electorate. Whoever emerges victorious, assuming the candidates don’t annihilate each other, will be primed for the main event. Democrats and the media hope that Trump and DeSantis destroy each other, leading to a Pence/Pompeo or Haley/Noem ticket that loses genteelly in a McCain or Romney fashion, allowing the deep state and ruling class to return to some semblance of pre-Trump normalcy.
I offer another possibility, or suggestion, as I have zero inside knowledge, only an obsessive interest in all of this. Suppose all the Trump vs DeSantis sparring is nothing but theater? What if the two Florida residents have discussed plans and strategy already? Interestingly, Trump just retruthed a Truth Social comment, “Trump masterfully started this fake ‘fight’ with DeSantis…” perhaps acknowledging this theory.
Trump still has his strong MAGA base, and in a CPAC straw poll a few months ago, was the favored 2024 nominee over DeSantis by 69-24 percent. It’s still Trump’s party.
DeSantis is an exemplary governor but has no national governing experience, unlike Trump who has already spent four years as President. DeSantis, not being independently wealthy, will be beholden to the donor class supporting his candidacy, possibly clipping his wings should he become President. Trump doesn’t have this conflict of interest.
Trump has his baggage, his brash personality and inability to turn the other cheek, features that both annoy and thrill his detractors and supporters respectively, as few Republicans have the ability to punch back against the leftist forces against them -- Hollywood, academia, corporate media, Wall Street, big pharma, big sports, and the coastal latte-sipping elites.
The ruling class would like nothing better than for Trump and DeSantis to split the GOP vote, leaving the door wide open for another destructive Democrat administration. Watch the media do their best to set up this scenario.
My theory is that Trump and DeSantis formed a secret alliance, allowing the Trump-hating RINOs to pour hundreds of millions into DeSantis’s potential campaign. The two can feud publicly, sucking the air out of the political room for the next year, then join forces. Not only will they have a huge campaign war chest, but the NeverTrumpers who loved DeSantis one minute will have no idea what to do when they get their wish, except that their guy is running for the White House with another guy they loathe.
This would be an unbeatable ticket, assuming the election systems, particularly in swing states, get fixed. DeSantis would have four years as an understudy, and after Trump cleans up the numerous flaming bags of poop created by the Biden-Obama administration, DeSantis would be well positioned to continue making America great again for another four or eight years. All Trump would have to do is claim New York as his primary residence to avoid the Constitution's effective prohibition on the president and vice president coming from the same state.*
If the election systems aren’t fixed, this is all moot. This includes ballot “counting” extending days or weeks past the election, bags of ballots found in mountain ravines, cameras monitoring ballot tabulation suddenly going offline in Jeffrey Epstein fashion, or “drop and roll” ballot dumps that always favor the Democrat candidates.
Under such electoral malpractice, the Democrat or uni-party candidate will always win. Republicans focus on voting while Democrats focus on the far more important and downstream ballots and counting the votes. As Joseph Stalin observed, “The people who cast the votes don't decide an election, the people who count the votes do.”
If the GOP cannot understand or fix this, they will be a perpetual minority party. And a DeSantis candidacy will take a wonderful governor from Florida, leaving him on the political ash heap of Republican losers.
Predictions are a dime a dozen these days, but Trump and DeSantis are too smart to destroy each other. Trump helped DeSantis win the governorship and DeSantis knows Trump could dispatch him as he did to 16 talented and experienced primary opponents in 2016, few of whom still have a political future.
Don’t listen to the hype from Fox News and other Trump-hating media that Trump is finished. This gaslighted “feud” is designed to dispirit Republican voters and boost sagging media ratings. Maybe this is all part of “the plan.” Regardless, buckle up as the next two years will be a wild ride!
Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a physician and writer.
Follow me on Twitter @retinaldoctor
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Images: Gage Skidmore
*Article II: “The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves.” This would prevent Florida's electors from voting for the president and vice president, a handicap that no rational person would burden the ticket with.