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The party of Putin


Even master of bothsiding Peter Baker won’t tart up this particular effusion of deplorableness:

DeSantis’s strategy continues to be to out-Trump Trump, so consequently his proposed betrayal of Ukraine is even more brazen than Trump’s, who at least makes mouth noises about how NATO needs to pitch in more, and who hasn’t yet said anything as Orwellian as DeSantis’s claim that Russia’s invasion of another country is “a territorial dispute.”

Now obviously DeSantis is only doing this because it polls well with the Republican base, which raises the question of why it does.

The answer, I think, is:

(1) Joe Biden and the Democrat party support Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion. This is the biggest reason, and really quite sufficient by itself

(2) Russia is a reactionary ethno-nationalist authoritarian proto-theocratic regime, i.e., what the Republican base wants the USA to become.

(3) Isolationism has deep roots in the Republican party, although this was largely forgotten in the Reagan era. BTW Baker here is committing the classic Boomer mistake of not realizing that Reagan hasn’t been president now for almost 35 years, meaning there’s about the same time gap between the present and the Reagan presidency as there was between the beginning of that presidency and the end of World War II. Calling today’s GOP the party of Reagan makes about as much sense as calling the GOP in 1980 the party of Thomas Dewey or Robert Taft.

In any event, DeSantis is literally worse than Trump on pretty much every substantive issue. Probably the best outcome for the country would be for him to win the GOP nomination, as I think the odds of Trump not using all his immense influence within the Republican base to destroy a DeSantis presidential run are essentially zero, assuming Trump is alive in the fall of next year, which is extremely probable, although accidents will happen, especially when very powerful people are really hoping they will.

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