Jeb Bush Luvs Ron DeSantis, Kissyface Emoji, Exclamation Point

Yet another poll, this one from Fox News, has Donald Trump leaving his potential 2024 Republican primary challengers in the dust. The insurrectionist in chief leads the pack with 43 percent, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a distant second at 28 percent. However, Trump-averse Republicans still consider DeSantis their great white nationalist hope.

During a Fox Nation infomercial special for DeSantis, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush raved about his successor.

“There are people in public life that are kind of ‘check the box’ politicians, and then there are others that want to serve, and Governor DeSantis is one of those," Bush said without any visible shame. "He’s been a really effective governor. He’s young. I think we’re on the verge of a generational change in our politics – I kind of hope so. I think it’s time for a more forward-leaning, future- oriented conversation in our politics as well. And who better to do it than someone who’s been outside of Washington, who’s governed effectively, who I think has shown that Florida could be a model for the future of our country."

Gag Me Christine Taylor GIFGiphy

The guy who begged supporters to clap for him isn't actually popular among the Republican primary voters DeSantis needs to actually beat Trump. This endorsement is like multiple nails in the MAGA coffin.

The Fox Nation propaganda video tries to make DeSantis look like the hero for a new age but he just comes off extra goofy. It's a trend. Please cover your mouth before viewing.

Bush endorsing DeSantis is hardly a surprise, although all that fertilizer he spread around was a bit much. Bush backed DeSantis in last year's gubernatorial election over Democrat Charlie Crist, who was once Florida's Republican governor. However, Bush never considered Crist a "like-minded conservative," which says a lot about how Bush actually defines "conservative."

DeSantis is an edited-for-TV Donald Trump, but he's still a vile authoritarian bigot. Bush railed against Trump back in 2016 and refused to vote for him. Shortly after Trump clinched the Republican nomination, Bush posted on Facebook:

The American Presidency is an office that goes beyond just politics. It requires of its occupant great fortitude and humility and the temperament and strong character to deal with the unexpected challenges that will inevitably impact our nation in the next four years.

Donald Trump has not demonstrated that temperament or strength of character. He has not displayed a respect for the Constitution. And, he is not a consistent conservative. These are all reasons why I cannot support his candidacy.

Gov. Top Gun Maverick is hardly humble, and while Republicans like Bush probably don't mind DeSantis bullying queer people and teachers, there is nothing "conservative" about how DeSantis attacks private businesses that disagree with him. But Bush isn't alone in his willful refusal to see DeSantis for what he is: Conservative columnist David French argued last year that while Donald Trump posed an "existential threat to the continued existence of the United States as an intact republic," DeSantis is "absolutely within the bounds of a mainstream American politician."

French is a supposed supporter of "academic freedom," but he nonetheless defends DeSantis, whose primary agenda has been restricting free expression and thought at Florida schools, including universities (so much for concern about "parental rights"). DeSantis has demonstrated zero respect for the First Amendment, which features prominently in the Constitution. DeSantis (possibly) broke the law when forcing an openly partisan Jim Crow map on the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature.

Anti-Trump New York Times columnist Bret Stephens said after last year's midterms, "[DeSantis] is obviously full of himself and I’m no fan of stunts like the flight of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard. But I agree with him on policy questions like keeping schools open during Covid, he’s been a popular and effective governor, and he obviously knows how to win elections."

Stephens is willing to shrug off DeSantis's human rights violations as "stunts," like David Letterman's pranks on his classic NBC "Late Night" series. This is the same Florida governor who Stephens insists is more qualified to lead the nation than current Vice President Kamala Harris.

Jeb Bush, David French, and Bret Stephens claim they can't abide Trump, but maybe they were just waiting for a less charismatic version to come along.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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