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Elon Musk and the Narcissism/Radicalization Maelstrom 

It’s a fascinating thing to watch far-right radicalization unfold in real time. I’ve been watching the Elon Musk and Twitter drama with a mix of fascination and awe. He bought Twitter as part of his romance with the “free speech”/anti-“cancel culture” right and Donald Trump. Just what set him off on that path has never been adequately or convincingly explained, though there are a number of very plausible and not-mutually exclusive theories. Over the last four weeks Musk’s attachment to this crowd and that ideology have been constantly apparent. He gave an early and even for him startling taste of this when he tweeted out a rank gay-bashing conspiracy theory about the QAnon dead-ender’s hammer attack on Paul Pelosi days before the November 8th election. The process has only accelerated and intensified over the subsequent four weeks.

As he virtually high-fives supporters on Twitter he’s moved on from “free speech” and ending bans on people like Donald Trump to a much more explicit insistence that old Twitter management ran the site with the express purpose of elevating the left over the right. So just two days ago, for instance, he wrote: “Far left San Francisco/Berkeley views have been propagated to the world via Twitter. I’m sure this comes as no surprise to anyone watching closely. Twitter is moving rapidly to establish an even playing field. No more thumb on the scale!”

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An Incumbent Election? 

I wanted to share TPM Reader JB’s take on the November 8th election, even though it’s not mine. As is so often the case, what can be valuable about a take isn’t whether it’s “right” or you agree with it, but whether it allows you to see a set of facts in a new way.

Here’s JB’s view followed by a short rejoinder with my own …

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Watch Kevin Sing, Dance, Tap … 

Interesting little detail here. Back in October when Kevin McCarthy thought he’d be presiding over a big House majority he said he had yet to see any impeachable offenses committed under the Biden administration. Now the Freedom Caucusers, who hold his fate in their hands, are holding that statement over him. As CNN reporter Melanie Zanona puts it, McCarthy’s now singing a different tune. Indeed, he’ll sing, dance, do a slapstick number. McCarthy is now begging to be Speaker. I’m with Rep. Dusty Johnson (R) of South Dakota when he tells CNN that even though it’s really not clear how McCarthy pulls this off, somehow they figure he gets it done. I agree.

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Alaska Rep Peltola Wins Reelection

It was expected but now it’s official. Rep. Mary Peltola (D-AK) who was elected to Congress earlier this year in a special election to replace the late Rep. Don Young (R) has defeated former half-term governor Sarah Palin by the solid margin of 55% to 45%.

Peltola is the first Alaska Native woman to serve in Congress. Peltola came just shy of the 50% threshold in the first round of voting and shot up to 55% when second choices were sorted in Alaska ranked choice voting system.

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Reaching Out 

For some time now a number of you have been asking if I can send my Editors’ Blog posts to members by email. So I’ve decided to give it a try. Each day I’ll pick what seems to me the most meaty and important post and that will go out to members by email. Never more than one a day and not every day. But that will be the general format. Along with that post, in a simple and unadorned format, I’ll include a few links to other posts and additional sources of information that are worth your time to check out. We don’t want to send you anything you don’t want to get. So, if it’s not for you, there’s a clear link at the bottom of each email that allows you to change your email preferences to not get any emails from the Editors’ Blog. Try not to do a general unsubscribe because, if you do, we can’t send you any updates about TPM events or important things going on at the site.

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Where Things Stand: Pence Rebuffed Jan 6 Panel But Is Open To Considering DOJ Testimony

This is your TPM evening briefing.

The Justice Department wants to question former veep Mike Pence as part of its criminal probe into Donald Trump’s efforts to stay in power after the 2020 election, two people familiar with the matter told the New York Times in a piece published this afternoon. Pence is reportedly considering the request, breaking from his outright refusal to cooperate with the House Jan. 6 Select Committee’s probe into the matter.

A DOJ investigator reached out to Pence’s team before Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Friday that he was appointing Jack Smith as special counsel to oversee and weigh charges in the DOJ’s criminal probe into Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, as well as the department’s classified records case.

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Dispatch #2: Collision 

The midterm supposedly showed that MAGA Trumpism was an electoral loser. But the new GOP House is prepping for MAGA on steroids.

Coming out of the 2022 midterms, conventional wisdom pointed to one lesson for the GOP: Voters didn’t like Big Lie MAGA Republicans. The Big Lie and MAGA have become all but indistinguishable. But to the extent they are distinguishable, if you came to the game on the back of a Trump endorsement, you probably didn’t fare well in 2022. The best example are all those Big Lie secretary of state candidates in swing states. Every last one of them lost. That and related defeats are what has given rivals in the GOP at least an opening to challenge Trump for leadership of the party. After years when he could make or break anyone in the GOP, in 2022 Trump looked like an electoral loser. Conventional wisdom is usually most noteworthy for what it misses. But the signal here was so strong as to be undeniable: Trump had a stranglehold on the GOP. But in a general election his embrace was toxic, except in solidly red states.

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Where Things Stand: A Fight From Another Era

This is your TPM evening briefing.

The Supreme Court today rejected Donald Trump’s last-ditch request that the High Court block House Democrats from viewing his tax returns, meaning House Democrats can attempt to finally get the records from the Treasury Department before Republicans take back the House in January.

The order was brief, unsigned and noted no dissents.

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As data continues to roll in, it seems quite likely that long COVID is a significant part of why the labor market is currently so tight: it has forced people out of the workforce, plunging them into financial turmoil, which is making it harder for employers to find workers.

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