Now that Donald Trump has been ousted from the political stage, his most high profile proteges are having a rough go of it. Ron DeSantis is in danger of losing his career. Matt Gaetz is in danger of losing everything. They’re each relying on the Trump playbook to try to get them out of their respective messes. It’s not exactly going well for them.
DeSantis, mired in controversy and facing fairly ugly numbers when it comes to his 2022 reelection hopes, is trying to insult his way out of his scandals. 60 Minutes does an expose on his corruption, so he calls 60 Minutes “fake news.” But this isn’t working for him. Trump had the ability to get the public to tune in for his slugfests with the media, if only to root against him. It allowed him to get his message across. DeSantis, with his wooden personality, can’t get anyone to pay attention or care, so he has no way to push his messaging.
Gaetz, under federal criminal investigation for underage sex trafficking, is trying stunts such as staging a press conference with a witness who was recently interviewed by the FBI as part of the investigation. But none of it’s working. Gaetz isn’t managing to muddy the waters, he’s just opening himself up to potential obstruction of justice charges on top of everything else he’s facing.
There’s a reason Gaetz and DeSantis can’t make the Trump playbook work for them: they’re complete idiots. Donald Trump was a one dimensional villain, but he had a sort of brute force cunning that allowed him to survive for decades, if never stay ahead. Gaetz and DeSantis don’t even have that. It would be like me thinking that reading the Dan Marino playbook will make me able to throw a touchdown. Even with the playbook in hand, you’ve got to have the skill to pull it off. And these clowns don’t.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report