When I look at Donald Trump, I see a stupid, spoiled man who wants to disassemble democracy for his own enrichment and vanity.

When I look at Ron DeSantis, I see a smart, determined man who wants to disassemble American democracy motivated by a sense of ideological certainty. Who has at every step used power to punish his perceived adversaries.

The only reason DeSantis is preferable to Trump is that he has the mental capacity to understand the ramifications of nuclear war. That is it, there is nothing else that makes me think DeSantis would be preferable to Trump.

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Famous last words. You do not know whether DeSantis is worse than Trump or not. But for certain, the evidence shows that both are so bad that neither should ever be President of the U.S.

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There's a reason why CPAC increasingly feels like a cult gathering. It's because it is a cult gathering. Sometimes what you see really is what you get.

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Apropos of nothing... my friend and fellow political geek and I were discussing this morning about the potential that Kevin is forced, after a lengthy government shutdown this summer, to kill the Hastert rule once and for all and cut some kind of deal with the Problem Solvers Caucus. And I couldn't help but observe that for all the current GOP fixation on the culture war, and "grooming" in particular, that their most fundamental rule as a House caucus is named after a convicted pedophile. You can't make this stuff up, can you? Food for thought, carry on.

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In 2024 IF Republicans retain control of the House, regain the Senate (as many analysts say they should) and the Republican nominee wins the White House it really doesn't matter whether Trump or DeSantis wins the White House. Each will bring their own particular threats to the Republic.

Trump already has advisors assembling a team to fulfill Steve Bannon's dream of "Deconstructing the Administrative State" and it is this cadre of likely appointees and unseen and unknown malign actors doing the work that are a danger. Trump will sign stuff and tweet stuff and take credit for success and blame others for failure. As long as the grift flows to his bank accounts and he gets positive press he'll be happy as a clam presiding over the mess his henchmen make.

DeSantis is a man with a mission. He is deadly serious in what he wants to achieve as President and may have the brains to accomplish it. He does not want to deconstruct the administrative state he wants to weaponize it and use the government to assert his will upon the country. And he too is assembling an army to put in place.

And both would love to weaponize "Schedule F".

Trump was always a wannabe Mussolini; DeSantis is the real deal.

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In the categories defined (by Linker as well), DeSantis may not be worse than Trump, but in other categories, he is distinctly worse. Many erstwhile Republicans seem to be deceiving themselves that our nation and democracy itself may be safer by avoiding Trump and choosing DeSantis. It won't be. I hope people will not delude themselves as they did in 2015-16, but it seems they will, and are, again. Tribalism, bah. I fear nothing was learned.

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Y'all have convinced me. Trump is worse than DeSantis. Either way, though, I'm still Never Trump, Never DeSantis. I'm Michael Anton Flight 93 all the way on both menaces.

Trump wants to be Putin. DeSantis wants to be Orban. I'm not really good with either of those options.

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Sorry, hard disagree that DeSantis is less dangerous than Trump.

1) Trump is terrible, noted. But everyone knows what he is and he's already been rejected at the polls 3 times (4 if you count losing the popular vote in 2016). DeSantis gives some Never Trumpers and all Maybe Trumpers the fig leaf to feel good enough to start/keep voting Republican.

2) Trump just wants A) adulation, B) money, and C) to get laid. Trump will support SS and Medicare and could even push UHC if that get's him what he craves.

3) DeSantis wants A) power, and B) dominance. DeSantis is a Harvard and Yale trained lawyer who knows how to use the levers of power to punish his foes.

So I will always regard the cold and calculating as more dangerous than the bombastic and buffoonish.

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Two things struck me today.

1. There was massive fraud in 2020. Yet, not a scrap of actual proof has ever been produced. Weird!

2. The former guy's rantings are all but jibberish. There's barely a coherent thought anywhere in there. Yet, almost half of the country can't wait for him to be president again. We're in trouble as a society.

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Hard disagree on DeSantis. Saying that "no one" is worse than Trump is just plain old foolish. For most of Trump's reign, there was a lot of commentary to the effect that a smarter, more insidious politician with authoritarian tendencies could do even more damage than Trump. I think that guy is here. Let's not sugar coat it, because what you are going to do (and what I think Linker is up to) is to build a permission structure for anti-Trumpers to support DeSantis. "Hey, he's not so bad. No coup and look at all the good anti-woke stuff!"

When in reality, we have someone who has:

1. actually run a serious television ad claiming to be a sent-by-God culture warrior. 2. weaponized the government of a state against private entities that engaged in protected free speech. 3. is trying to turn public universities into Hillsdale college 4. has legitimized fringe "medical freedom" theories that threaten public safety in the name of sowing distrust in government 5. has limited what private businesses can discuss and how they can train their employees in private meetings 6. has engaged in what may be the most blatant gerrymandering we have seen 7. told tech companies who they could and couldn't de-platform.

That, folks, is disqualifying. AND a more effective authoritarian than Trump.

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I will thank Charlie here for saying out loud, in one word, what everyone needs to hear in the expression "The Demented Orange God King." Hints ... not Orange. Not God. And not King.

It is past time for us to have honest, open public discourse about Donald Trump's mental health and its potential impact on the future of this nation, even the world. I have a parent with clinically diagnosed severe dementia and recognize so many of the same outcomes and patterns of behavior in Trump. Much more effort should be made, by the media and others in a position of power and/or influence, to generate truthful, full disclosure on this issue and not shy away from the topic for fear of hurting feelings or MAGA backlash, much less allow Trump supporters to deflect the discourse instead toward Joe Biden's age and perceived competency as if it were the only factor in play.

Trump has officially declared his candidacy for 2024. He is a legitimate threat to win. The stakes are too high not to address this elephant in the room forthrightly and professionally. Much better now than later, before it becomes too late.

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"He’s flagrantly corrupt. He lies constantly. He’s impulsive and capricious. And he displays a lust for power combined with complete indifference to democratic laws and norms that constrain presidential power"

DeSantis has numbers two and four, at least half of number three, and it wouldn't surprise me if number one was in the background somewhere waiting to come to light. The quick death of an aneurysm might be better as compared to the bleeding agony of ebola, but neither one is a choice worth making on the merits.

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I guess the choice for the GOP is between a deranged carnival barker that could bring about nuclear war on a whim (hyperbole) and a competent quasi fascist that could get them to 1940's Germany without batting an eye. I think most in the GOP would prefer the latter. The slow boiling of the frog continues.

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DeSantis vs. Trump: Using such measures as honesty, ethics, morality, and intelligence, then yes, Trump is worse.

But if the measures are electability and the ability to put his ideas into law, DeSantis is more dangerous. And those are the measures that are important to me right now.

You are arguing about which one is the worse of two evils. I hope we don't get down to that.

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DeSantis is extremely dangerous. He has a puppet congress and senate not to mention the State Supreme Court in Florida who exuberantly go along with every move he makes. Imagine what he and a united U.S. Congress and Senate would do. People are minimizing the damage he could do just like they did with Trump. DeSantis is a zealot and from what I read about him and Guantanamo Bay the other day makes me shudder at what he would do at the helm of this country. Downplaying his malevolence comes at our peril.

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I don't get the Bulwark's insistence on convincing everyone that DeSantis is preferable to Trump. Seems to me the Bulwark has been banging this drum for a while now and I'd really like to know what's the point of it all? Not so long ago we were being warned about the dangerous possibility of someone with Trump's agenda and disrespect for the norms of democratic governance but armed with a functioning brain and capable people around him. DeSantis appears to fit that bill nicely, thank you very much, and yet now there's a hue and cry that Trump is soooo much worse. Well, maybe he is, mileage will vary, but how exactly is DeSantis preferable? It's been said he's never attempted a coup as Trump did. Given his actions as governor, do you seriously think he wouldn't try if the circumstances left him in the same boat as Trump in 2020?

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