George Will is not deterred from putting in his two cents about the 2024 GOP nominee. Will, the bastion of conservative thinking, makes the case in the Washington Post that neither Donald Trump nor Ron DeSantis is likely to be the nominee. He does so with his usual dignity and reserve.
The Republican 2024 nomination question was: Can anyone harpoon a Great Orange Whale? Who knew he’d harpoon his own self, repeatedly? DeSantis imitating Trump’s persona of an unhappy warrior, while playing Captain Ahab in the movie, was a flattering act for Trump. The prospect of a binary choice between Joe Biden or Trump is demoralizing to the nation. Republicans may soon turn away from a second choice: between Trump or DeSantis. Both candidates are fragile.
This is a valid point. It’s early in the cycle. Everyone in the punditry industry knew that the 2008 Presidential election would be between Rudy Giuliani, and Hillary Clinton at this point, but they were all wrong. Even when the primary season begins, the early results are not always reliable. In 1980, Ronald Reagan was defeated by George H.W. Bush in the Iowa Caucuses. Bush was briefly hailed as the Republican frontrunner.
George Will’s personal animosity towards both candidates seems to have influenced his judgment in this analysis. WaPo has revealed that George Will’s spouse, Mari Will is an advisor to Republican candidate Sen. Tim Scott. He’s not impartial.
Trump is as stale and sour as a crust of sourdough that has been sitting on the shelf for a month. He’s running to win in 2020. Even his most ardent supporters might be confused by his crybaby crusade, which makes him claim that the country is so corrupt that his landslide victory could be wiped out without a word from the courts. Some of his appointees are as sharp as a snake’s teeth.
Will DeSantis on DeSantis:
DeSantis, following nearly two months’ exposure to non-Floridians, is a political Edsel. Ford’s marketing power backed the launch of this new model in 1957. The car model was discontinued in 1959 and became a symbol of misreading the consumer. DeSantis wants to be the president of Iowa or that small minority of Iowans, who are voting in January’s caucuses, and believe Trump is too ideologically soft (e.g. regarding wokeness), and not abrasive enough (e.g. regarding gay rights).
He criticizes Trump as being thin-skinned.
George Will became so enraged by Trump’s presidency in 2018 that he urged people to vote for Congressional Democrats. This is not the attitude of someone who wants the best for the Republican Party, regardless of how much you like or dislike the person behind the Resolute Desk. One has to question his motives now.
George Will concludes:
Politics prophecy is optional, but there aren’t enough Republicans in Iowa, or across the country, who love the bitter rivalry between Trump and DeSantis – their contest to see which of them can hate the most American flaws – to nominate one of them. This is bad news for Biden.
Joe Biden’s 2024 will be a very grim year for him, and it is highly unlikely that he will even be running. George Will is unlikely to be the source of this grim news.
George Will was yesterday’s headline. His opinion is not one that should be taken seriously by today’s libertarians and conservatives. He’s an old-school creature from the country club GOP. A “go along and get along” type, the kind responsible for the dismal GOP results in too many elections to count. He’s clearly angry and frustrated about the current state of the GOP. It’s worth reading his opinion as an interesting curiosity, and perhaps as a reminder of how things used to be. But the smart money says that he is wrong.
As noted above, it is still early in the game. It’s hard to predict the future, as someone once said.