Given a choice between Trump and Trump . . .

. . . GOP voters will pick Trump every time.

I keep telling you guys not to count out Trump. He was counted out after the 2020 election. He was counted out after January 6. After the midterms, DeSantis rose far above Trump in the betting markets, as voters rejected all those Trumpian nutcases. Now Trump’s back on top in the polls and betting markets.

Of course DeSantis has lots of things going for him. Almost all conservative intellectuals support him over Trump. GOP politicians privately support him. College educated GOP voters prefer him by a wide margin. The betting markets suggest that he’s far more electable than Trump.

But Trump’s also got many advantages. A New York prosecutor is doing everything possible to revive his career with a silly court case. Democratic voters prefer him over DeSantis, probably because they know he’s less electable. Thus Democratic pundits have been relentlessly attacking DeSantis (I disagree with this cynical ploy, as betting markets suggest that Trump still has almost a 46% chance of winning if he were to get the nomination. And just wait until that recession hits.)

DeSantis decided that since Trump is so popular with GOP voters, his best chance was to adopt Trumpian views in areas such as the “culture war” and foreign policy. Instead, he made himself look foolish. Ukraine is a “territorial dispute“? Really? (A view he recently amended.) DeSantis doesn’t realize that given a choice between Trump and Trump, voters will pick Trump every time. If GOP voters want a Putin lapdog, Trump’s their guy. DeSantis would have been better off focusing on economic issues.

DeSantis can attack Trump, and thus make GOP voters associate him with Democrats who persecute the object of their affection. (This is why Bragg’s court case helps Trump.) Or he can hold back, as Trump ridicules him again and again, and thus come across as a wimp.

The betting markets say that DeSantis is far more likely to win, if he gets the nomination. But the Republican Party is a personality cult, and DeSantis has no clear path to the nomination.

PS. I see that Trump and DeSantis are each accusing the other of sexual improprieties. Make my popcorn buttered.

Update: I thought the GOP’s message was that Florida and Texas were like paradise, and California was a hellhole. So what’s this?

In a wildly misleading Truth Social post, published this morning, Trump cast Florida as being among “the worst in the Country” for “crime,” “Education,” “Health & Safety,” “Education & Childcare,” “Affordability,” and “COVID-19 Deaths.” “HARDLY GREATNESS THERE!” he concluded.

More popcorn please . . .



16 Responses to “Given a choice between Trump and Trump . . .”

  1. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    23. March 2023 at 11:40

    As stupid as Trump is and as dangerous: I have always said regardless that parts of American law enforcement are downright artificially inventing crimes and criminal cases, throwing dirt at you until something sticks. That’s fabrication and voter manipulation.

    And now, years later, other media are suddenly admitting that it is indeed fabrication after all. This kind of fabrication, in the sense of artificially creating crimes, should itself be a criminal offense.

    It tells you everything that this New York agency has been desperately looking for cases against Trump for so long, and that’s all they came up with!!

  2. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    23. March 2023 at 12:40

    Christian, The Senate should have voted to convict Trump in 2021, and yet only 7 GOP Senators had the guts to vote to convict. That means roughly 42 are corrupt.

    That’s the proper solution.

    All this recent legal stuff in NYC is nonsense, as you say.

  3. Gravatar of Sean Sean
    23. March 2023 at 13:02

    You can’t convict Trump when he didn’t commit a crime. That’s the rule of law.

    Also I think Scott is underestimate Desantis. He’s barely begun to fight. His first direct shot I’ve seen was on payoff off a pornstar. Not a legal issue with it but conservatives aren’t the party of banging pornstars.

  4. Gravatar of Sara Sara
    23. March 2023 at 13:27

    So we’ve gone from the statement “ordinary people” to “intellectuals”.

    See how Sumner views himself here. He’s above you. He’s better than you. He’s an “intellectual”. He’s superior and you’re inferior.

    1. Yes, DeSantis is a great choice. I would point out, however, that Sumner has repeatedly attacked DeSantis on his blog. So it’s quite interesting how Sumner’s view of DeSantis suddenly transforms from “idiot” and “hard-right” to the “intellectual choice”; but placing that incoherency aside: yes, his policy proposals are very similar to Trumps.

    2. When will you understand that your refined sensibilities, your niminy-piminy personality, your lack of ability to resonate with the average joe, your poor diction and writing, your p.c. culture, and your drugged up degenerates are repulsive, snobby, and counterproductive. The ordinary people you speak of DONT LIKE YOU. The same people voting for Trump would vote for Robert F. Kennedy Jr, just to stick it to the man, to the establishment, to the elitist wimps, little war mongers, sitting on their golden pedestal, and babbling and prattling like neolithic Neanderthals. You can’t do anything. You can’t create anything. You sit behind a desk.

    And considering that Trump’s policies are almost identical to DeSantis it doesn’t surprise me that the voters have cross over appeal. Your preference for DeSantis, which can only logically be defined as a preference over personality since their policies are the same, is just more proof that you’re a pompous prick.

    In case that descriptive, abstract, metaphorical style of writing just blew your mind, let me write it concisely.


  5. Gravatar of Ricardo Ricardo
    23. March 2023 at 13:59

    Of course it’s a territorial dispute.

    Where have you been?

    (a) U.S. spent a lot of money overthrowing Yanukovych.
    (b) The people who voted for him, predominantly in Donbass, seceded from the union.
    (c) MINSK agreement was designed to end the civil war and provide autonomy for Donbass.
    (d) Kiev clearly violated the MINSK agreement via intermittent shelling and small arm battles between 2015 and 2022. Houses were destroyed; people living there were residing in their basements for fear that a shell would land on their dinner table. Many died and were injured. Additionally, the 1.5 in arms sales only further increased the attacks on the Donbass region.
    (e) Russia was asked to engage by the leaders of Donbass, or what was left of it, which wasn’t much, and Russia agreed.

    This is undeniable. These are facts, not musings.

    RT is not the only news station to visit Donbass. It’s visited regularly by news outlets from around the world, and the residents tell them Kiev is the problem, not Russia, so that’s the reality on the ground.

    Now if you claim that we should all pretend otherwise, because the only thing that matters is stopping the disintegration of Ukraine, because it would strengthen Russia, and because we have some state interests in Ukraine, then you simply subscribe to a real politik view of the world, a more interventionist, war mongering approach that will end horribly, and anyways that is a philosophical position not an evidential one. There is zero evidence presented that Russia is engaging in so called “false-flags”.

    I would also suggest that you don’t ask questions using teenage exclamations such as “really?” as it makes you appear rather dumb.

  6. Gravatar of Edward Edward
    23. March 2023 at 15:28

    We have spoken a length about Sumner’s inferiority complex, the incessant smirking, the arrogance, the chest beating, the need to feel superior over those around him, and the defense mechanism that gives him a false sense of security, of confidence, and the appearance of order in the world of chaos. Words like “intellectual” and of course his musings about all of those horrible “ordinary people” are just the tip of the iceberg.

    Another example of the inferiority complex asserting itself is in this article. Sumner says:

    “I thought the GOP’s message was that Florida and Texas were like paradise, and California was a hellhole. So what’s this?”

    “In a wildly misleading Truth Social post, published this morning, Trump cast Florida as being among “the worst in the Country” for “crime,” “Education,” “Health & Safety,” “Education & Childcare,” “Affordability,” and “COVID-19 Deaths.” “HARDLY GREATNESS THERE!” he concluded.”

    As you can see Sumner’s mind is struggling to distinguish between real data, which is represented by the emigration numbers in California, the high crime in California cities, high cost of living, high taxes, and a defunct legal system that treats people differently predicated upon skin color, etc, from political showmanship. On the one hand you have hard data. On the other hand you have a man trying to separate himself from a political opponent.

    In other words, of course California is worse than Florida and Texas. There is a factual reason people are leaving the golden state.

    On the other hand, it’s also obvious that both Trump and DeSantis will distort accomplishments, and emphasize and exaggerate short comings in an effort to win the primary, assuming DeSantis runs. Such is par for the course. You cannot win otherwise.

  7. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    24. March 2023 at 10:39

    And so the Putin poodles return.

  8. Gravatar of Voltaro Voltaro
    24. March 2023 at 15:36

    “If GOP voters want a Putin lapdog, Trump’s their guy”

    The kind of Putin lapdog who supports sending arms to Ukraine? This tells us much more about your alignment with the cultural left then anything about Russia or Ukraine.

  9. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    25. March 2023 at 04:44

    I accept that Trump has a chance to win the Republican nomination. I think it’s unlikely he wins another general election. There’s clear evidence he’s lost some support, even among Republicans, to say nothing about non-Republican voters. He couldn’t afford to lose any support.

    Is there any reason to believe he can regain some of that lost support? Not much, if one believes what former supporters say in focus groups, though such analyses have severe limitations. A fair portion of focus group participants who formerly supported Trump stopped supporting him early in his presidency, he they concluded he didn’t seem to take the job seriously. They hoped he’d act more professional once elected. They very strongly say they would not vote for him again.

    That said, if Trump wins the Republican nomination and something happens to Biden after his re-nomination, such that Harris ends up at the top of the ticket, for example, I’m much less comfortable. I still think she’d likely win, but results could be much closer. It’d be more likely Hillary versus Trump.

  10. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    25. March 2023 at 04:46

    That is, it’d be “more like Hillary versus Trump.”

  11. Gravatar of James R. James R.
    25. March 2023 at 15:28

    You went after Trumps tax records; you bugged his phones; you created a fake dossier; you spent two years pretending that unarmed people were conducting a coup; you spent thousands of hours and millions and millions of taxpayer money on investigating his businesses, his relations to Russia, his family, his friends, his affairs, and for what purpose?

    The only thing you could find on this man was, apparently, his affair with a Pornstar. I don’t think he slept with her, but if he did I congratulate him. I wish I could sleep with a twenty five year old at 70.

    I grew up in Moscow in the 1970’s because my father was an executive for a multinational, and America today reminds me of the beginnings of the Soviet Union.

    The legal system has been weaponized to go after the opposing party, and the degeneracy of the left is now a global threat.

    In the old Russia, I saw people starving; I saw lines at 0300 as people tried to secure a loaf of bread; I’ve seen politicians threatened; I’ve seen phony investigations; I’ve even seen people dragged from their homes, their businesses, never to return. However, I have never seen a 12 year old trans, half-naked, dancing around a pole until recently, while 40 year old men and women cheer. There is a degeneracy here in the west that threatens the entire globe. It’s as nasty as anything anyone has ever seen, and it’s a derivation of hard left politics.

    When Alan Dershowitz tells you that in 60 years he’s never seen such legal abuse, then that should be a red-flag; it should be enough for even Scott, a pretty radical liberal, and who quite frankly isn’t half the man Dershowitz is, to come around and ask himself if maybe his preferred party has gone too far.

  12. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    25. March 2023 at 17:50

    Voltaro, The kind of Putin lapdog that wanted to pull the US out of NATO in his second term.

    James, “You went after Trumps tax records”

    I did?

    “I have never seen a 12 year old trans, half-naked, dancing around a pole until recently”

    Who am I to criticize your taste in art?

  13. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    25. March 2023 at 17:51

    James, You said:

    “There is a degeneracy here in the west that threatens the entire globe.”

    That’s right, the threat is not Putin invading Ukraine, it’s pornography.

  14. Gravatar of Boris Pavelec Boris Pavelec
    26. March 2023 at 01:26

    National Review is fact-checking Trump now? What a time to live in.

  15. Gravatar of Boris Pavelec Boris Pavelec
    26. March 2023 at 01:56

    @Ricardo: Poor Putin only helps where he can. Leaders of Donbas, happily elected by the free folk of Donetsk and Luhansk, politely ask him for help in a territorial dispute. Suddenly, he occupies Cherson and Zaporizhia, without even knowing how he got into this mess.

  16. Gravatar of Craken Craken
    26. March 2023 at 19:51

    The devotion of a “libertarian” economist to the hard Left, with its communistic economic commitments and its programmatic effort to destroy cultural flourishing, this public devotion to a parade of madnesses never ceases to amaze.
    The truth, my academic reptile, is that we on the Right do not find Trump adequate to the Times. We only find him the very best politician presently available, the sole combatant against the evil American ruling class and its “Evil Empire.” He possesses in a surprisingly high degree the first virtue: courage. We reject you, your communism, your authoritarianism, your bureaucratization of the world, and, most of all, we reject your nihilistic, sadistic culture.

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