It's funny, the things I think of in the shower.

While we may recoil at the spiritual hollowness of the kinds of people who are attracted to tyrants and bullies, we shouldn't forget that it doesn't mean they're incompetent.

Some are, but most who survive in an autocrat's inner circle have some level of talent or ability.

Albert Speer could probably have taught Tim Cook a thing or two about supply chain management. And Speer also should have been hanged at Nuremberg. He knew better than most, and kept the war going longer than it otherwise would have.

Likewise Goebbels, an educated man with what can only be described as a gift for understanding mass communications and propaganda.

Himmler? He was a chicken farmer, but he had an eye for talent and he was ruthless. Heydrich was his man.

Borman? Murderously efficient gangster. Not an especially bright man, but possessed of a keen sort of low animal cunning.

Leni Riefenstahl definitely knew how to use a camera. Like Speer, got off too easy. Should at least have done time. Like, 30 years or more.

Ernst Röhm was kind of a wild card or loose cannon. Useful, until he wasn't anymore. Not especially smart, but ambitious and he had something of an army at his command. Perhaps didn't understand how to "stay in his lane."

Goering was mostly a prop. A drug addict and a man of limitless appetites. He was pretty good at the internal politics, and unencumbered by a moral conscience. Just someone to add an air of legitimacy in the early years. He wasn't a brilliant strategist either, over-promising and under-delivering as head of the Luftwaffe.

No, what people like this all have in common is some enormous spiritual defect that attracts them to "strong men." Some emptiness that they try to fill by endearing themselves to bullies. Someone who enables them to pursue their own twisted agendas. Gives them license to be their own bad selves. Get rich through fraud and theft. Murder people. Manipulate and intimidate people. Elevate their professional or artistic reputations. Receive social status and rank they otherwise never would have had. (Looking at you, Dr. Ladapo.)

All they have to do is tell the boss what he wants to hear.

Eventually, the boss fails, because there was no one to prevent his worst excesses, rein in his worst instincts, and the whole enterprise collapses with him.

Then, like roaches, they all scurry for the dark corners. The rationalizations begin. The excuses. The denials.

The whining.

Will DeSantis go too far soon? Feels like it. Some murmur that he already has. If so, I guess it'll be up to Casey to right the ship.

Whether it's now, after he's a candidate, or after he's in the Oval, DeSantis will be another Trump in more ways than a few. He'll step on his dick and fall on his face.

And all his toadies with their heads up his ass will have to see a chiropractor for an "adjustment."

The only question is, how much damage does he do to the rest of us?

Originally posted at Notes From the Underground 09:47 Tuesday, 21 February 2023