November has been a rough month for smug conservatives. The GOP was going to gain 1,241 House and Senate seats and Elon Musk was going to show all those lib skeptics that being an utterly soulless jackass is shrewd business acumen.
The Democrats have retained the Senate and will probably gain a seat, and Twitter may go down at any second because Elon decided to be a tough guy and his employees called his bluff. Sure, the GOP will have a narrow advantage in the House, but have you seen them lately? Many in the media love to talk about Democrats in Disarray, but goodness, the various factions are at each other’s throats. It’s not like there’s a strong Speaker of the House who happens to be the GOAT Speaker of the House waiting in the wings for Republicans.
Meanwhile, Elon, who was going to recreate Twitter as a glorious total shitshow for Nazis and cranks, has faceplanted to the tune of $44 billion. One of the people who know him best, the excellent tech journalist Kara Swisher, was a guest this week on Chris Hayes’ podcast Why Is This Happening?. Swisher makes a solid point that Musk is no idiot, and he has achieved a lot in his career with Tesla and SpaceX. But then Twitter suspended The Babylon Bee’s account.
For the uninitiated, The Babylon Bee is a conservative version of the satire site The Onion. Like many attempts at humor by conservatives, it’s subpar and often based on cruelty. They got their ass suspended for a pretty awful joke where they named Biden’s assistant secretary for health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Rachel Levine “The Man of the Year.” Because she’s transgender. Get it? Haha, what a knee-slapper.
Anyway, apparently, Elon got really angry about this, and because he is the richest guy in the world, decided that instead of just shitposting about wokeness ruining the world, he’ll just buy Twitter and mold it to his liking. He also apparently is on this campaign to punish Twitter people, and his ultimatum issued this week was roundly rejected by most of his employees, who decided that working for a Nazi-curious megalomaniac was not their gig.
Swisher points out that Musk didn’t use to be this way. He loved Obama, in fact. But something in him snapped and he went full winger. Never go full winger.
It is hard not to notice that far-right wackos are a self-destructive lot. They are zealots, and zealots do not like to hear criticism or advice. For they are right, always right, and if they decide that running full speed into a brick wall is the best solution, darn it, they are going to hit that wall at top speed, broken bones be damned.
Trump’s candidates got mostly wrecked, and as he demonstrated in that weird rambling campaign announcement this week, he is not going to adjust shit. The rest of the GOP who are not slavish Trump cultists are blaming Trump. They really are no better. Blaming Trump is very convenient, but it wasn’t Trump who killed Roe. And they are not backing down much at all, as it is pretty clear that the furthest right of them are going after contraception and same-sex marriage next. This is not going to win them very many votes in areas they need to get more votes, like the Philadelphia suburbs.
At the same time, if you listen to or read that Swisher interview, Elon was a much much better businessperson prior to this turn towards right-wing madness. He way overpaid for Twitter, and it looks like it is going to be a huge black eye on an already deteriorating legacy. Swisher noted that she and other people have tried to get Elon to listen to other people. But he is demonstrating that core trait of a winger – zealotry.
I’ll close by noting that there is no real equivalent to this level of “I am right to drive off the cliff” zealotry on the left. Most tend to acknowledge errors, even if they are not really their fault. A good example of this is Pramila Jayapal’s walkback of a letter written in the summer encouraging Ukraine to negotiate with Russia that was somehow released in October. Can you imagine a MAGA person doing that? They are not allowed to ever be wrong.
I say as a person left of center, keep it up, guys, you’re doing great. The last word goes to Green Day.