One of the things you learn about Washington DC is how fake everything really is. If you’re a conservative, you generally discover this early, and you’re reminded of it often as you wonder why every campaign of consequence for federal office gets steered to the left, and loses all its vigor and fight. There is a broad class of political consultants in Washington DC that don’t much care about ideology or policy, or to the degree they do, they tend leftward, but what they do care intensely about is candidacies. They ultimately don’t care much about the success or failure of the candidates with whom they contract. They don’t have any notion of loyalty, and in many cases, they actually revile the candidates for whom they work, or hold their candidates’ supporters in absolute contempt. Republicans find this to be the case much more often than Democrats, but the source of it is something simple and unavoidable: These political consultants are entirely a band of mercenaries, and they’re an industry unto themselves. They don’t serve candidates, elections, or electorates. Their only actual client is themselves. An “uncontested election” is a serious problem for them. Who will hire all the flunkies of alleged political wisdom? Who will pay their bills? This is the crowd currently fundraising for Ron DeSantis, and they’re abusing him nearly as much as his donors and supporters, but for the fact that he likely already knows. And there’s the catch: If he knows, he’s a villain just like them, but if he doesn’t, he’s too big a fool to deserve voters’ support.
Ron DeSantis likely knows all of this. He’s been in and around Washington DC for a long while, and he knows how the game is played. It’s hard to imagine that he’s spent so much time in politics, particularly in Washington DC, without knowing all of this quite intimately. He knows how the fund-raising works, and he knows how the consultants use it. DeSantis is raising money, and he may well be raising it for a campaign he intends to run in 2028. Understand, I am not suggesting that he won’t announce a campaign for President for 2024, but that unless he has some sort of corrupt inside information about the demise of President Trump, whether real or merely political, he has to know his chances here are poor. Yes, he’ll get a post-announcement bounce, maybe a media/DC-supported mega-bounce, but it’s all hot air. Every candidate gets a bounce, never mind a thoroughly engineered candidate like DeSantis. Well, except Mike Pence. Even Nikki Haley got a micro-bounce. The problem is that all else remaining equal, he cannot overcome Trump. DeSantis isn’t a fool, so he knows all this. Why bother?
DeSantis may be playing a shrewd fund-raising game, both on behalf of his own future prospects, but also on behalf of his friends in DC who do not wish to see President Trump re-elevated into that office. You see, a 2024 campaign can be quite useful in banking money to be used in 2028, having spent only a token amount of his growing war chest on 2024. More, it takes money that would in large measure be available to Trump for 2024. This splitting-away of approximately Republican resources may be the more important part of the goal, because the GOP insiders do not want Trump, though they’ve resigned themselves to that probability. Their “plan B” is that they will undermine him with a bloody primary to make sure his sort never rises again.
DeSantis’ campaign, if launched, isn’t going to be a fruitful one for anybody except Ron 2028, and the entirety of the vaguely Republican-ish consultancy class. They will make millions. They’ll rake in the money, knowing from the outset that their is a losing effort from the start. They’ll waste the money of rank-and-file DeSantis supporters and even some up-scale money guys because these are the people who have perfected the narrative that Trump isn’t a nice, traditional, bend-over-and-take-it Republican, but have packaged it in a way that these bend-over-and-take-it Republicans don’t feel as though they’ve been so thoroughly debased.
Honestly, when you think about it, these consultants, despicable though they may be, enjoy the perfect racket: They needn’t produce victory. They needn’t give sound advice. They need only create the impression that they “got close” with their candidates, and they seldom pay a professional price. When I think back on the tortured stupidity of Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace from 2008, insisting that McCain suspend his campaign “to deal with the financial crisis,” and then blaming the debacle they created on Sarah Palin, you need look no further. These exemplars of the type should serve as reminders to future candidates that they have no loyalty to their candidates, no ideology they firmly hold, and no person they will not stab with a shiv in order to try to preserve their own reputations against the backdrop of their colossal failures and poor judgement. The real clue, of course, is the money. All of these people care only about money, so that when they talk one of these politicians into making a run, they insist that the candidate begin raising money immediately, and as much as possible. You’d think that this is wise, inasmuch as the candidate will need the money for their eventual campaign, and that’s true, but the real cause is much worse: None of the people who comprise the political consultancy class in and around DC wish to hitch their own wagons to an underfunded candidate, because most importantly, they want a big payday.
I’m not telling you that it will be purely impossible for DeSantis to enter the race, overcome a two-to-one margin of support, and gain the Republican nomination. I’m telling you that whether he wins the nomination(this time) or not really is not all that important to DeSantis himself, and it certainly doesn’t matter to the consultancy class now swarming him like flies to a turd. The key is that he’s in the race, and spending money on all the consultants and their friends in the political campaign industrial complex. Marketers, ad producers, pollsters, and the whole suite of people who feed like leeches on the body politic swarm any new campaign, hopeful to sink their claws into the meaty flesh of a big campaign war chest.
DeSantis, without the intervention of currently unknown circumstances, cannot wrest the Republican nomination from Donald Trump. More importantly though, even if he were to somehow capture the support of all the moderates, the NeverTrump/ProjectPedo phalanx, and the entirety of Swamp Republicanism, what he cannot do in 2024 is to win the Presidency. This is because far too many of Trump’s MAGA coalition recognize the nature of the game DeSantis and others are playing, and simply will not, under any circumstance, support anybody in 2024 who’s name isn’t Donald J. Trump. It’s really simple. It’s that simple. DeSantis and his forthcoming campaign is a scam, brought to you by professional charlatans, but whether DeSantis is knowingly in on the scam or not, he already knows the outcome, and that should deter you from supporting him with your time, money, or vote.