Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been ratcheting up his criticisms of former President Donald Trump, most recently when he suggested that Trump let Dr. Anthony Fauci pressure him into issuing too many restrictions at the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Conservative writer Jonathan Last, however, believes that DeSantis's gambit is going to massively fail.
Writing in The Bulwark, Last argues that DeSantis is too much of a "smarty-pants" for the GOP base, which wants a more genuine ignoramus on par with Trump.
Among other things, Last notes that DeSantis is being evasive about whether he got a booster against COVID-19, which the GOP will see as a sign of weakness.
"If this turns into a hot war, Trump is going to crush him," Last writes. "Maybe it’s possible to outflank Trump on vaccines, but not if you’re a phony who took the vaccines. Republican primary voters will smell that a mile away."
Last also thinks DeSantis is underestimating the damage that will be done to his long-term prospects if he challenges Trump and loses.
Once you’ve bent the knee to Trump, you have to fight like hell just to keep your station," he writes. "Moving up in the world? Forget about it. Why is this? Because no one who has submitted to Trump after getting clobbered by him is capable of selling the dominance politics that Republican voters want."
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